This paper reviews the legal and institutional frameworks associated with the use of compensation funds, insurance and other forms of security as part of the broader liability scheme for environmental damages. The compensation funds designed and implemented in the fields of oil pollution, nuclear accidents, hazardous and noxious substances transport, and the Antarctic have been summarized and examined. Possible applicability of these compensation mechanisms to deep seabed mining activities is considered.
The Liability Issues for Deep Seabed Mining project was developed by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to assist in clarifying legal issues of responsibility and liability underpinning the development of exploitation regulations for the deep seabed. CIGI, in collaboration with the ISA Secretariat and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in 2017, invited leading legal experts to form the Legal Working Group on Liability for Environmental Harm from Activities in the Area (LWG) to discuss liability related to environmental damage, with the goal of providing the Legal and Technical Commission, as well as members of the ISA with an in-depth examination of potential legal issues and avenues.