Tribunal

Additionally, the Article goes on to provide that if the Tribunal deems it ‘fair and just’ it may increase the special compensation up to 100% of the expenses. The extent of the uplift under the Convention should be contrasted with the 15% increment provided for in LOF 80. The provisions of the Convention apply whenever judicial or arbitration proceedings relating to salvage are brought in a country which is party to the Convention (Article 2). The salvage operation itself, however, clearly does not have to have been undertaken in the country concerned. The relevant salvage operation is defined in Article 1 (a) as including activities undertaken in ‘navigable waters or in any other waters whatsoever’ although it is open to a ratifying State not to apply the provisions of the Convention to salvage operations in inland waters if either all vessels involved ‘are of inland navigation’ or no vessel is involved at all. It should be noted that the above definition within Article 1 (a) altered the law of England which previously excluded the principles of salvage from operations taking place in inland non tidal rivers as held by House of Lords in The Goring (1988). Life salvage independent of property is a rare occurrence and there are few, if any, recently reported cases. As it is impossible to value human life in terms of ‘hard cash’, life cannot be a distinct and separate subject of salvage within the accepted sense of the word. For this reason, Admiralty law does not recognise the claim for a salvage reward where life alone is the subject of the rescue. Where, however, as is more usually the case, life and property are saved in one and the same operation, it is the custom and practice to award a greater remuneration than if property alone had been saved. Life itself, or the saving of it, does not entitle the salvor to a reward except where legislation has qualified this customary rule (within the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894). If there has been a saving of life at some point of time in the salvage operation, then ship and/or cargo owners as owners of the salved properties may find themselves liable to pay life salvage, but where life only is saved there is no binding legal obligation. Perhaps a secondary reason for there being no legal obligation is that the saving of human life should not need financial incentive. It should be instinctive in all human beings to behave reasonably.