Deficiencies of the Warsaw Convention

Warsaw convention was the first rule in international air transport and successfully unified the regulations among many countries. It was a good rule to satisfy a passenger, flying between two countries who are party to the convention, that he will be treated with a same rules and regulations both at origin and destination.

There were some deficiencies in this convention as well, for example:

  • The amount of French Franc based on gold with pureness of 900, was not a considerable amount few years after the convention is implemented.
  • The liability of the carrier was based on “guilt theory” i.e., if the carrier can prove that he is not guilty for zthe fault, he could exempt himself from the responsibility.

Article 20 of the convention states that;

“The carrier is not liable if he proves that he and his agents have taken all necessary measures to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for him or them to take such measures.”

“In the carriage of goods and luggage the carrier is not liable if he proves that the damage was occasioned by negligent pilotage or negligence in the handling of the aircraft or in navigation and that, in all other respects, he and his agents have taken all necessary measures to avoid the damage.”

  • The other point was, the convention has not talked about any Charter flights. It may due to the fact that in 1929 there were not much or any charter flight.
  • Warsaw Convention does not contain particular rules relating to international carriage by air performed by a person who is not a party to the agreement for carriage. This regulation later agreed in Guadalajara Convention in 1961


10 years after implementation of the convention a committee started to review the particulars. USA was one of the countries who did not satisfy with the amount of liability and considered that the amount is quite low. In year 1945, ICAO established and a committee of ICAO started to review the Warsaw convention.

ICAO prepared a protocol in 1955 to review the rules. In this conference 45 countries and 8 representatives of IATA have participated that placed in Hauge/The Netherlands. The Hauge Protocol approved by 31 countries and implemented in August 1963.