75 J. Air L. & Com. 223 (2010)
Independence of Aviation Safety Investigation Authorities: Keeping the Foxes from the Henhouse

handle is hein.journals/jalc75 and id is 227 raw text is: INDEPENDENCE OF AVIATION SAFETY INVESTIGATION
AUTHORITIES: KEEPING THE FOXES FROM
THE HENHOUSE*
PAUL STEPHEN DEMPSEY
ABSTRACT
I.
A     MONG THE MOST important means of improving safety is
to objectively determine the causes of aviation accidents so
that appropriate action can be taken to prevent similar events
from recurring in the future. The determination of causation
can have an adverse political, economic, punitive, and reputa-
tional effect upon individuals, airlines, manufacturers, air navi-
gation service providers, airports, maintenance companies, and
governmental institutions. Hence, many institutions and indi-
viduals are motivated to try to influence the outcome of the
investigation.
Article 26 of the Chicago Convention requires a State in
which an aviation accident occurs (involving death or serious
injury, or involving a serious technical defect in the aircraft or
air navigation facilities) to investigate the event. The Chicago
Convention obliges the 190 ratifying States to implement the
* This study parallels a similar evaluation by the McGill University Centre for
Research on Air & Space Law and the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) on governance structures of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), of
which this author was the principal investigator: McGill University/ICAO, Air
Navigation: Fying Through Congested Skies (Paul Dempsey, ed., McGill/ICAO
2007). That study focused on governance structures of ANSPs in ten States. See
http://www.mcgill.ca/files/iasl/CongestedSkies.pdf.
** Tomlinson Professor of Global Governance in Air & Space Law, and
Director of the Institute of Air & Space Law, McGill University, Montreal,
Canada. From 1979 to 2002, Dr. Dempsey was Professor of Law & Director of the
Transportation Law Program, University of Denver College of Law, Denver,
Colorado. A.B.J. (1972), J.D. (1975), University of Georgia; LL.M. (1978),
George Washington University; D.C.L. (1986), McGill University. Admitted to
the practice of law in Colorado, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.

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