ECAC legal activities support the works in other fields of civil aviation such as safety, environment and security.
The Legal Task Force is chaired by Susanna Metsälampi (Finland) and composed of legal experts drawn from Member States.
Responsibility for legal matters in the ECAC Secretariat lies with the Air Transport Officer, Mara Keller.
Established in 1996, the Legal Task Force examines legal issues and develops proposals on various legal issues related to the role and various activities of ECAC. It mainly performs the following functions:
- To advise Directors General of Civil Aviation on matters relating to the interpretation and amendment of the ECAC Constitution, the legal status of ECAC and its relationship with other international organisations;
- To study and make recommendations on matters relating to public international air law;
- To discuss legal issues relevant to the work of ICAO with a view of facilitating and supporting the participation of ECAC Member States in the legal work of ICAO (e.g., ICAO Legal Committee) as well as coordinating ECAC common positions, where possible and appropriate, including but not limited to the preparation and implementation of international legal instruments (e.g. Conventions, Resolutions) and submit reports and recommendations thereon to Directors General of Civil Aviation; and
- To discuss other legal issues relevant to the work of ECAC or of interest to ECAC Member States, as appropriate. This includes, for example, the legal analysis of draft Cooperation Agreements with international partners.
The Legal Task Force holds two to three meetings per year and reports to Directors General. Consistent with the 2019-2021 Work Programme on legal matters, the Task Force currently focuses its works on the follow-up to decisions taken at the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly (A40, Montreal, September/October 2019), preparations for the Legal Committee meeting (LC/38, likely to take place early 2021) and the provision of legal advice on issues requested by Directors General and other ECAC working groups, such as on General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) in the ECAC Secretariat and legal implications stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for aviation.
Legal Task Force: Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure (February 2015)