LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE RESOLUTION OF AVIATION DISPUTE (CASE STUDY NIGERIAN AIRLINES)
1.1 Background to the Study
The topic of this research is “Legal framework for the resolution of aviation dispute.” Aviation is basically a transnational and border-crossing phenomenon, without which globalization (the flow of people and goods and the mixing of cultures) would have been difficult and the awareness that we all live on one planet could not have been established. The difference between this awareness and the ancient organizational principle of humans, the principle of national sovereignty is not completely clear. A group of people (a nation) live on a particular part of the earth (the national territory) and claim that this area is for them, and exercise legal power (government) over this area. This principle is known as „Sovereignty of Nations‟ or „Self-Determination of the Peoples‟ and is based on the notion that human beings are organized into groups or communities that have settled, but that such settlement is the reason why they claim exclusiveness of all powers for themselves on that part of the earth area which they occupied.
This ancient organizational principle results to the point that although there are so-called areas of international sovereignty in the world, that is, areas that are not claimed by anyone like the high seas, there are no areas in the air space that are considered „mutual property for all of mankind‟. This notable principle in customary international law is known as „the principle of territorial sovereignty‟ was confirmed in the Paris Convention of 1919 and reiterated in the Chicago Convention of 1944 and it gives each state to the exclusion of all others, a unilateral and absolute right to permit or deny entry into its territory and to control all movements therein. According to Milde, this principle is “a cornerstone of international air law and … declaratory of general international law.” Specifically, this state authority (also referred to as „national interest‟ principle) precludes the operation of scheduled international air services over or into the territory of a state without its permission or special authorization. Moreover, such authorization is required for state aircraft, pilotless aircraft, and aircraft carrying munitions, with an exception carved out for a restricted freedom of civil, non-scheduled flights8.