An international database of judgements on climbing and mountaineering accidents

Featured, Legal

Following a significant volume of work, the UIAA Legal Affairs Commission is delighted to announce the launch of its global database of climbing and mountaineering case-laws.

The Legal Affairs arm of the UIAA supports the federation in all areas concerning law, giving the best possible advice through its network of international law experts and collects and shares know-how in relation to mountains and sports. The database project was one of the main objectives of the Commission when it was formed in 2022.

The database includes judgments from courts, tribunals, and authoritative bodies. Users can search for cases based on the key activity, such as winter hiking, outdoor climbing, indoor climbing, the accident location, or type of a proceeding, e.g. civil, criminal, or disciplinary. Each entry includes a comment from the UIAA Legal Affairs Commission and links to the original case-law if available. The intention is for the database to serve as a live tool with regular updates.

“With the database, you can trace not only the facts of accidents that happened in the mountains, but also their legal consequences. Another added value of the database is the comments from the UIAA, which will help you to understand the broader context of the case. While the database has been launched with details of a number of important cases, its future impact is dependent on regular contributions. We welcome guest contributors with relevant case-law knowledge to contact us or to file a new case to the database directly.”
– Klara Dvorakova, Legal Affairs Commission President

The database will serve as a tool to increase knowledge amongst members and the climbing community regarding legal risks and consequences of mountaineering and climbing. Where appropriate, and in the report findings, the UIAA will highlight any important synergies with its other international standards, notably in climber safety and mountain medicine. The database focuses on cases decided by official authorities and doesn’t include every mountaineering accident.

To support the promotion of the database, the UIAA will publish findings from individual cases through a series of articles to feature in its monthly newsletter.

Click here to access the database.