European Union
Human Rights, Marine Pollution, Damages, Criminal, Liability, Polluter Pays, Prevention, Civil, Inspections, Remedies
A ship sailing off the Spanish coast released 70,000 tons of fuel into the Atlantic Ocean. The captain of the ship, Apostolos Ioannis Mangouras, was held on criminal charges in Spain and his bail was set at 3,000,000 €. He was detained for 83 days before his bail was paid. Mr. Mangouras argued that the bail imposed upon him was excessive and did not take his personal situation into consideration, thus violating Article 5 §3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court found that there was no violation of Article 5, acknowledging that “new realities” such as the growing international concern over environmental offenses must be taken into consideration when interpreting the requirements under Article 5 §3. “In view of the particular context of the case and the disastrous environmental and economic consequences of the oil spill, the courts were justified in taking into account the seriousness of the offences in question and the amount of the loss imputed to the applicant."