Article Turkey: Country Ratifies 2004 Protocol to Amend Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability

On December 10, 2021, President’s Decision No. 4918 ratifying the Protocol to Amend the Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability (2004 protocol) was published in the Official Gazette, making Turkey a party to the protocol.

The Paris Convention and 2004 Amendment Protocol

The Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability is a multilateral international treaty establishing a legal regime governing liabilities arising from nuclear accidents. The convention provides for an exclusive and strict liability regime for the operator of a nuclear installation, including a benchmark liability figure and a minimum liability limit, a surety requirement for the operator, jurisdiction rules to determine the forum for the resolution of compensation claims, and a statute of limitations for the relevant claims. The 2004 protocol significantly increases the minimum liability limit, provides for a right to compensation for a broader range of harms, and extends the statute of limitation on compensation claims from 10 years to 30 years.

The protocol will enter into force for all contracting parties on January 1, 2022. (The unofficial consolidated version of the convention after the entry into force of the protocol is available on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency’s website.)

The president’s decision includes a reservation to article 7(a) of the convention that will be deposited with the ratification instrument. The reservation reserves Turkey’s right to establish amounts of liability that are lower than the minimum amount established by the convention with respect to nuclear damages suffered in the territories, maritime zones, or ships and aircraft registered by another state if that state does not afford an equivalent amount of reciprocal benefits. This reservation is identical to those made to the same article by Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Ratification of International Treaties Under Turkish Law

According to articles 90 and 104(11) of the Constitution of Turkey and article 3(3) of Presidential Decree No. 9 on the Ratification of International Treaties, major international treaties are ratified by the publication of the president’s decision ratifying the treaty in the Official Gazette. The president’s decision must be preceded by a “ratification approval law” enacted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the country’s unicameral legislature.

Ratification Approval Laws

On October 17, 2021 two ratification approval laws were published in the Official Gazette. One concerned the ratification of the 2004 convention, while the other concerned the ratification of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention). While the president of Turkey completed the ratification process of the former, the Joint Convention is still pending the president’s decision necessary for its ratification. The Joint Convention sets up an international framework for the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.

According to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency’s website, Turkey is a party to the following multilateral treaties:

Nuclear safety and emergency response

  • Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
  • Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
  • Convention on Nuclear Safety
  • Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

Nuclear security, non-proliferation and nuclear safeguards

  • Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  • Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
  • Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
  • International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings
  • International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
  • International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism
  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Liability and compensation for nuclear damage

  • Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability
  • Protocol to Amend the Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability
  • Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention

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Chicago citation style:

Turkey: Country RatifiesProtocol to Amend Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-05/turkey-country-ratifies-2004-protocol-to-amend-paris-convention-on-nuclear-third-party-liability/.

APA citation style:

(2022) Turkey: Country RatifiesProtocol to Amend Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-05/turkey-country-ratifies-2004-protocol-to-amend-paris-convention-on-nuclear-third-party-liability/.

MLA citation style:

Turkey: Country RatifiesProtocol to Amend Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-05/turkey-country-ratifies-2004-protocol-to-amend-paris-convention-on-nuclear-third-party-liability/>.

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