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50 Bookreview Flying in the Face of-criminalization Schnitker

50 Bookreview Flying in the Face of-criminalization Schnitker

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Published by W.J. Zondag

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Published by: W.J. Zondag on Jan 06, 2013
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12/24/2013

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BOOK REVIEW
Flying in the Face of Criminalization
The Safety Implications of Prosecuting Aviation Professionals for Accident
Two parallel investigations take place after every aviation accident: one technical, one judicial. The former must be conducted with the sole intention of making safety recom-mendations to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents. The judicial investigation, how-ever, has the intention of identifying those parties that have been at fault and to apportionblameworthiness for criminal and civil liability.By Dr. Sofia Michaelides-Mateou and Captain Dr. Andreas Mateou
Two parallel investigations take place after every aviation acci-dent: one technical, one judicial. The former must be conductedwith the sole intention of making safety recommendations toprevent the recurrence of similar accidents. The judicial inves-tigation, however, has the intention of identifying those partiesthat have been at fault and to apportion blameworthiness forcriminal and civil liability.Because of concurrent investigations, the criminal inquiry coulddramatically interfere with the technical investigation, possiblyresulting in retarded detection and determination of the sequenceof events effecting the cause of the accident and examinationof evidence, most likely leading to the establishment of the(probable) cause of the accident. Fact is that the criminal in-quiry, which in most cases is focused on the question of guilt,will indeed hamper the technical investigation into the cause of an accident or consider the technical investigation as indifferentor irrelevant.The authors So
a Michaelides-Mateou and Andreas Mateou ex-plain in their new book,
Flying in the Face of Criminalization,
 how evidence and data acquired from an accident report maybe used in a court of law to apportion blame and liability. Theywarn that this intermingling of investigation and litigation can jeopardize the independence of the accident investigation, resultin a failure to learn from mistakes and even lead to miscarriagesof justice. The authors also maintain that when these reports areused in subsequent litigation they are applied inconsistently. Notonly do different jurisdictions have different legal systems, theyalso have different ways of using accident reports in criminallitigation. As the authors explain: ‘
The contradictory approachresults in a perilous situation where pilots, for example,
 fi
rst maybe faced with criminal charges in one country but not in another 
Book review by Dr. Ronald Schnitker

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