VOLUME
4:1
JUNE 2017
1-131
  • BOOK REVIEW

    Ruwantissa Abeyratne
Abstract

The first edition of Michel Milde’s book, International Air Law and ICAO was published in 2008, followed by its second edition in 2012, and, following its regular pattern of four-year intervals, the third edition was released in 2016. I was pleased to receive a copy of the third edition with a request from the publisher for a review. Milde served in various capacities at the Legal Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), retiring, after 25 years of service, as the Bureau’s director and is arguably foremost among others in his institutional knowledge of ICAO as it then was. His erudition is clearly reflected in the meticulous manner in which he expounds principles of air law as related to the Organisation. The book therefore is unquestionably substantial, particularly in the chapters relating to historical perspectives, the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and ICAO. I have seen no better discussion elsewhere on general principles — both of public and private international air law as they relate to the workings and functions of ICAO.

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Introduction

The first edition of Michel Milde’s book, International Air Law and ICAO was published in 2008, followed by its second edition in 2012, and, following its regular pattern of four-year intervals, the third edition was released in 2016. I was pleased to receive a copy of the third edition with a request from the publisher for a review. Milde served in various capacities at the Legal Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), retiring, after 25 years of service, as the Bureau’s director and is arguably foremost among others in his institutional knowledge of ICAO as it then was. His erudition is clearly reflected in the meticulous manner in which he expounds principles of air law as related to the Organisation. The book therefore is unquestionably substantial, particularly in the chapters relating to historical perspectives, the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and ICAO. I have seen no better discussion elsewhere on general principles — both of public and private international air law as they relate to the workings and functions of ICAO.

It is concerning, however, that Milde has addressed only aviation security and the legal regime applicable to air transport economics in all three editions of the book, neglecting to discuss aviation safety and environmental protection — two areas to which international air law unquestionably applies. Another neglected area, on which ICAO has had several deliberations with relevant organisations of the United Nations and ICAO member states, is the possible role of the Chicago Convention and its application/extension to sub-orbital flights, space tourism and the combination of air and outer space travel on which books and journal articles have already been written.