Carriage by Air Act
Commenced on 11 May 1934
[Up to date as at 31 December 2016]
[Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
AN ACT to enable effect to be given to the Warsaw Convention of 1929, as amended by the Hague Protocol of 1955, concerning international carriage by air; to enable effect to be given to the Convention supplementary to the Warsaw Convention, for the unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air performed by a person other than the contracting carrier; to enable the rules contained in those Conventions to be applied, with or without modification, in other cases and, in particular, to non-international carriage by air; and to provide for matters connected with or incidential to the foregoing.
1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Carriage by Air Act .
(1)In this Act—“Convention” means the Warsaw Convention of 1929, as amended by the Hague Protocol of 1955, concerning international carriage by air;“court” includes, in an arbitration allowed by the Convention, an arbitrator;“Supplementary Convention” means the Convention supplementary to the Warsaw Convention, for the unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air performed by a person other than the contracting carrier, signed at Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1961;“wrongdoer” means a person who has been or might be held liable in delict for loss or damage.(2)In the Supplementary Convention, “the Warsaw Convention” means the Warsaw Convention of 1929, as amended by the Hague Protocol of 1955, concerning international carriage by air.
3. Conventions to have force of law
The Convention, a translation of which is set out in the First Schedule, and the Supplementary Convention, a translation of which is set out in the Second Schedule, shall, so far as they relate to the rights and liabilities of carriers, carriers’ servants and agents, passengers, consignors, consignees and other persons, and subject to the provisions of this Act, have the force of law in Zimbabwe in relation to any carriage by air to which those Conventions apply, irrespective of the nationality of the aircraft performing that carriage.
4. Designation of High Contracting Parties
(1)The President may from time to time, by proclamation in a statutory instrument, declare who are the High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in respect of what territories they are respectively parties and to what extent they have availed themselves of the Additional Protocol at the end of the Convention.(2)Paragraph (2) of Article 40A of the Convention shall not be read as extending references in the Convention to the territory of a High Contracting Party, except such as are references to the territory of any state, whether a High Contracting Party or not, to include any territory in respect of which that High Contracting Party is not a party.(3)A proclamation under this section shall, except in so far as it has been superseded by a subsequent proclamation, be conclusive evidence of the matters so declared.(4)A proclamation under this section may contain such transitional and other consequential provisions as appear to the President to be expedient.
5. Fatal accidents
The reference in Article 17 of the Convention to the liability of a carrier for damage sustained in the event of the death of a passenger shall be construed as including liability to such persons as are entitled, apart from this Act, to sue the carrier in respect of the death.
6. Division of amount recovered
Subject to section eight, in any action brought in Zimbabwe to enforce liability under Article 17 of the Convention in respect of the death of any one passenger the amount recovered shall be divided between the successful claimants in such manner as the court may deem just.
7. Limitation of liability
(1)It is hereby declared that the limitations on liability in Article 22 of the Convention apply whatever the nature of the proceedings by which liability may be enforced and that, in particular—(a)those limitations apply where proceedings are brought by a wrongdoer to obtain a contribution from another wrongdoer; and(b)the limitation for each passenger in paragraph (1) of that Article applies to the aggregate liability of the carrier in all proceedings which may be brought against him in Zimbabwe together with any proceedings brought against him outside Zimbabwe.(2)A court before which proceedings are brought to enforce a liability which is limited by Article 22 of the Convention may at any stage of the proceedings make any such order as appears to the court to be just and equitable in view of that Article, and of any other proceedings which have been, or are likely to be, commenced in Zimbabwe or elsewhere to enforce the liability in whole or in part.(3)Without prejudice to subsection (2), a court before which proceedings are brought to enforce a liability which is limited by Article 22 of the Convention shall, where the liability is, or may be, partly enforceable in other proceedings in Zimbabwe or elsewhere, have jurisdiction to award an amount less than the court would have awarded if the limitation applied solely to the proceedings before the court, or to make any part of its award conditional on the result of any other proceedings.(4)The Minister may from time to time, by statutory instrument, specify the respective amounts which for the purposes of Article 22 of the Convention, and in particular of paragraph (5) of that Article, are to be taken as equivalent to the sums expressed in francs which are mentioned in that Article.(5)References in this section to Article 22 of the Convention include, subject to any necessary modifications, references to that Article as applied by Article 25A of the Convention, and references in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and in subsections (2) and (3) to Article 22 of the Convention include, subject to any necessary modifications, references to Article VI of the Supplementary Convention.
8. Time for bringing proceedings
(1)No action against a carrier’s servant or agent which arises out of damage to which the Convention relates shall, if he was acting within the scope of his employment, be brought after more than two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived or from the date on which the carriage stopped.(2)Article 29 of the Convention shall not be read as applying to any proceedings for contribution between wrongdoers, but no action shall be brought by a wrongdoer to obtain a contribution from a carrier in respect of a delict to which that Article applies after the expiration of two years from the time when judgment is obtained against the person seeking to obtain the contribution.(3)Subsections (1) and (2) and Article 29 of the Convention shall have effect as if references in those provisions to an action included references to an arbitration; and for the purpose of this subsection an arbitration shall be deemed to be commenced when one party to the arbitration serves on the other party or parties a notice requiring him or them to appoint an arbitrator or to agree to the appointment of an arbitrator or, where the submission provides that the reference shall be to a person named or designated in the submission, requiring him or them to submit the dispute to the person so named or designated.(4)In this section, references to a carrier include references to an actual carrier as defined in paragraph (c) of Article I of the Supplementary Convention as well as to a contracting carrier as defined in paragraph (b) of that Article.
9. Power to exclude aircraft in use for military purposes
(1)The President may from time to time, by a statutory instrument, direct that this section shall apply, or shall cease to apply, to Zimbabwe or any other state specified in the proclamation.(2)The Convention shall not apply to the carriage of persons, cargo and baggage for the military authorities of a State to which this section applies in aircraft registered in that state if the whole capacity of the aircraft has been reserved by or on behalf of those authorities.
10. Actions against High Contracting Parties
Every High Contracting Party to the Convention who has not availed himself of the Additional Protocol at the end of the Convention shall, for the purposes of any action brought in a court in Zimbabwe in accordance with Article 28 of the Convention or Article VIII of the Supplementary Convention to enforce a claim in respect of carriage undertaken by him, be deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of that court, and accordingly rules of court may provide for the manner in which any such action is to be commenced and carried on; but nothing in this section shall authorize the issue of execution against the property of any High Contracting Party.
11. Application to carriage by air not governed by Conventions
(1)The President may, by statutory instrument, apply any provisions of the Convention or the Supplementary Convention and any of the provisions of this Act, to carriage by air, not being carriage by air to which those Conventions apply, of such descriptions as may be specified in the proclamation, subject to such exceptions, adaptations and modifications, if any, as may be so specified.(2)A proclamation under this section may contain such transitional and other consequential provisions as appear to the President to be expedient, and may confer any functions under the proclamation on a Minister, including a power to grant exemptions from any requirements imposed by such a proclamation.
12. Application to State
This Act shall bind the State.