In June 2013, the ICAO Council decided to hold a Diplomatic Conference whereby ICAO Member States would adopt a Protocol to the Tokyo Convention of 1963.This Conference will be convened from 26 March to 4 April 2014. It will be required to consider draft text prepared by the Legal Committee and approved by the Council over a period of seventeen years. Some of the text is in square brackets, meaning that they will be finally resolved by the Conference. The 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly was shown the draft text of the Protocol in the form of a progress report on legal work relating to unruly passengers, merely for the information of the Assembly. The text of the draft Protocol is riddled with unanswered questions and inconsistencies that need at least to be considered before the text is placed before the Diplomatic Conference.
This article addresses the ambiguities and inadequacies of the text in the hope that, prior to the Conference in March/April 2014, the Council of ICAO, if not the Legal Committee or both, would take another look at the meaning, purpose and nature of the document and its survival as an enduring instrument that would not be open to criticism, and, like many other such treaties, remain unsigned by the majority of the ICAO Member States.Air and Space Law