ENRICA LEXIE CASE: ITALY TO PAY COMPENSATION, BUT INDIA CAN’T EXERCISE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OVER MARINES

FACTS

On 15 February, 2012, at about 4.30 PM, at a distance of about 20.5 nautical miles from the Indian coastline, a fishing boat ‘St Antony’ happened to pass the Italian tanker “Erica Lexie”, the two marines on the ship – Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone – take it for a pirate boat, and opened fire at it. As a result two fishermen, Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki, died.

HELD

The Permanent Court of Arbitration, presided by Vladimir Golitsyn, in Enrica Lexie case, has held that India is entitled to claim compensation from Italy in relation to the acts committed on 15 February, 2012. The Court also held that the Marines are entitled to immunity & India is not allowed from exercising its criminal jurisdiction under S.302 read with S.34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) over the Marines.

INDIA IS ENTITLED FOR COMPENSATION

Since, Italy has acted in breach of the Article 87, paragraph 1, subparagraph (a), and Article 90 of the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea, therefore Italy must compensate India for “loss of life, physical harm, material damage to property (including to the “St. Antony”) and moral harm suffered by the captain and other crew members of the “St. Antony”, which by its nature cannot be made good through restitution”- the Court pronounced. To reach to a conclusion on the amount of compensation due to India, the court has invited both India & Italy to consult with each other. It clarified that the Arbitral Tribunal shall have jurisdiction in respect of the quantification of compensation due to India.

OTHER FINDINGS

The Tribunal also held that since neither Italy has not breached Article 56, Article 58, paragraph 3 or Article 88 of the UNCLOS nor India breached Article 87, paragraph 1, subparagraph (a), Article 92 or Article 100 of the Convention, hence, Article 300 cannot be invoked in the present case.

Case Name- The Italian Republic v. The Republic of India (State)
Case Number- 2015-28

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