International Maritime Law Moot 2023 held at Wales by IISTL

It is a great pleasure to announce that famous “International Maritime Law Moot” is now coming to UK and Wales (Swansea) in the current academic year (1-6 July 2023)!

We shall be delighted to host mooting teams from all corners of the globe at HRC Law School at Swansea! This is promising to be a big one and how fitting it is that the main partner is the Institute of International Shipping & Trade Law– a global leader in terms of maritime and commercial law education and training!

We hope universities from all continents will put forward a team and details of the event can be found:
https://lnkd.in/ex7YNeCc

We are also grateful to HFW for agreeing to be the main sponsor for the event.

The preliminary rounds will be held at Swansea with the final in London. The award ceremony will be held in the offices of HFW (in London) on 6 July.

Please join us at Swansea!

Contribution claims are nothing special: UKSC

Today’s Supreme Court decision in SSAFA v Allgemeines Krankenhaus Viersen GmbH [2022] UKSC 29 on the applicability of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978, while eminently sensible, is not of enormous practical significance. Nevertheless it is still worth noting, especially by indemnity insurers.

As long ago as 2000 Harry Roberts, a British forces’ child, suffered a mishap at the time of his birth in Germany, owing allegedly due to the negligence of a midwife employed by SSAFA (behind whom stood the MoD). SSAFA, having been sued in tort, argued that the fault, or at least part of it, was that of the German hospital where Harry had been born, and sought contribution from it. At this point a problem arose. Under the then English conflict of laws rules the contribution claim, like the claim against SSAFA, was governed by German law; and whereas it would have been in time in England under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978, under the equivalent German law it was statute-barred.

Nothing daunted, SSAFA claimed over in England against the German hospital under the 1978 Act. Moreover, much to the discomfort of conflicts lawyers here, they succeeded, both at first instance and on appeal. The reason was a holding by Soole J and a and a majority of the Court of Appeal, that the 1978 Act by its wording was applicable as a matter of overriding law to all proceedings in England, however tenuous their connection with this jurisdiction, and to that extent excluded any reference to foreign law under what would otherwise be our rules of private international law. This conclusion, it was said, followed both from the fact that the Act provided for contribution arising out of liabilities arising under foreign law, and expressly superseded all other non-contractual rights to contribution.

Such an exercise in projecting the English private law of contribution willy-nilly onto foreigners involved in transactions abroad is of course theoretically possible, given Parliamentary sovereignty. But it seems, to put it mildly, hard to justify such exorbitancy. Moreover it certainly appears nowhere expressly in the 1978 Act, as pointed out by Lord Lloyd-Jones, giving the Court’s judgment. The Court were unanimous in discountenancing the holdings below, and confirmed, much to everyone’s relief (except that of the MoD, who may well now have to foot a much bigger bill than they thought) that there was nothing so special about the 1978 Act. It was simply an ordinary brick in the edifice of English private law, apt like any other to be pulled out where some other system of law fell to be chosen to govern a transaction under the rules of private international law.

Roberts was a pre-Rome II case: but as regards litigation today its upshot is that we are back to art.20 of Rome II, which says that claims for contribution are governed by the same system of law that controls the original claim out of which the contribution claim arose. This could be significant. Take, for example, the case where because of the negligence of one of the investor’s local advisers, a real estate transaction undertaken by an English investor in Ruritania fails or money is stolen from an account held in Ruritania. The indemnity insurers of the adviser now at least know where they stand. Even if they sue in England any claim against others in Ruritania, whether the fraudster or someone else, will fall to be governed by whatever passes for a contribution regime in Ruritania, whether this is more or less generous than the regime here. Simple. And right.

UNCTAD training course: implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for commercial contracts – International Sale of Goods on Shipment Terms and Carriage of Goods by Sea



IISTL Member, Professor Simon Baughen will be part of a team delivering UNCTAD’s forthcoming four-day virtual training course https://unctad.org/meeting/unctad-training-course-implications-covid-19-pandemic-commercial-contracts-international

The course will focus on the implications of the pandemic for some of the key commercial contracts in international shipping and trade, in particular contracts for the international sale of goods on Shipment Terms CIF and FOB and carriage of goods by sea under charterparties and bills of lading.

Each course consists of four daily sessions (am or pm CEST), covering: international sale of goods on CIF and FOB terms and related payment mechanisms; time and voyage charterparties; specialist standard form ‘pandemics’ clauses and force majeure clauses; bills of lading and related cargo claims, including special considerations applicable in the context of charterparty bills.

The course  will be offered on four occasions, to enable broad participation and accommodate participants in different time-zones.

03 – 06 May:      9:30 – 13:00 CEST – for participants in Asia, Africa, Europe

10 – 13 May:    15:00 – 18:30 CEST – for participants in Americas, Africa, Europe

16 – 19 May:    15:00 – 18:30 CEST – for participants in Americas, Africa, Europe

07 – 10 June:     9:30 – 13:00 CEST – for participants in Asia, Africa, Europe
 

IISTL Professor’s UNCTAD Report on “Legal and Practical Implications of Covid-19” Is Out

“CONTRACTS FOR  THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA AND MULTIMODAL  TRANSPORT KEY ISSUES ARISING FROM THE IMPACTS  OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMICA” is now available at https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Functad.org%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fofficial-document%2Fdtltlbinf2022d1_en.pdf&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGYpOUVQNY4G-u7Vkox_kWvDs8Nkw

This is a report for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and was  prepared by  Professor  Simon  Baughen,  with contributions  by  Regina Asariotis  and  Anila  Premti,  Policy  and Legislation  Section,  Trade  Logistics  Branch,  Division  on  Technology  and  Logistics  of  UNCTAD. The report forms  part  of  the  ‘International commercial transport  and  trade  law’  component of the  UN Development Account project (UNDA  2023X)  project on “Transport and trade  connectivity  in the  age  of pandemics”.  

This report examines some  of  the  key legal issues  arising from  the  pandemic  as  they  affect  contracts  for the  carriage  of  goods  by  sea, multimodal  contracts  of  carriage  that  (may)  involve  carriage  by  sea,  as well as voyage  and time  charters. 

Happy New Year!

It has been a challenging and in many ways difficult year for us all! But, the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law has continued its activities doing what it does best: publishing academic work, organising events and contributing to the development of law and policy.

We would like to wish all of our friends, colleagues and followers a happy new year and we hope everyone safely enjoy the festive season! It is our expectation that 2021 will be a better year for us all!

IISTL Celebrating Its 20th Anniversary with Sir Peter Gross!

This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary! Yes it has been 2 decades since the foundation of the IISTL in 2000 by Professor DR Thomas! The current Director Professor Soyer on behalf of every IISTL member and the School of Law wishes to invite you to join us to celebrate this great occasion that also coincides with our University’s Centenary!

7 December 2020 at 6.00 pm (online)

Book your place online: https://lnkd.in/daRxurN

Ship Operations- New IISTL Book Out

Delighted that our new book “Ship Operations- New Risks, Liabilities and Technologies in the Maritime Sector” has just been released by Informa Law.

This book covers all the major topics associated with ship operations. Part I offers a detailed and critical analysis of issues of contemporary importance concerning new liability regimes and developments. Part 2 discusses how parties, in particular ship operators, attempt in contemporary practice to allocate their risks concerning ship operations by utilizing contractual mechanisms.

Apart from members of the IISTL namely Dr Leloudas, Professors Baughen, Rainey QC, Sozer, Soyer, Tettenborn and Williams, the following excellent authors contributed to this book: Professor Ringbom, Professor Cachard, Mr Macfarlane, Mr Hunter, Associate Professor Stevens, Sir Bernard Eder, Mr Martin and Mr Weale.

The book provides an invaluable guide to recent legal and practical developments and offers a comprehensive, well-informed and thoroughly practical guide on what is a very complex and developing area of law. It will therefore be of great use to legal practitioners and administrators of ship operations worldwide, as well as students in this area and academics associated with maritime law generally.

IISTL Member (Simon Rainey QC) Has Argued in Historical Collision Case

Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited (Appellant) v Nautical Challenge Ltd (Respondent)

This is the first collision case to reach the highest court on land since 1976. This appeal concerns the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972, as amended (“the Collision Regulations”). The issues in the appeal are:

(1) The proper construction of the Collision Regulations. In particular whether the crossing rules are inapplicable, or whether they should they be disapplied where an outbound vessel is navigating within a narrow channel and has a vessel on her port (or starboard) bow on a crossing course approaching a narrow channel with the intention of and in preparation for entering it.

(2) On the proper construction of the Collision Regulations, in determining whether the crossing rules are applicable, whether there is a requirement for the putative give-way vessel to be on a steady course before the crossing rules can be engaged.

Facts

This appeal concerns a collision at sea between the appellant’s vessel (“EVER SMART”) and the respondent’s vessel (“ALEXANDRA 1”). The collision took place on 11 February 2015 just outside the dredged channel by which vessels enter and exit the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. ALEXANDRA 1 was inbound; EVER SMART was outward bound. The damage suffered by ALEXANDRA 1 amounted to over US$9.3 million and the damage suffered by EVER SMART amounted to over US$2.5 million.

The Admiralty Court determined that the appellant’s vessel, EVER SMART, should bear 80% of the liability for the collision and the respondent’s vessel, ALEXANDRA 1, should bear 20%. The judge held that the crossing rules (Rules 15-17 of the Collision Regulations) did not apply and therefore that ALEXANDRA 1 did not navigate in breach of Rule 16, the crossing rule which was said by the appellant to have applied to the ALEXANDRA 1. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Appellant’s appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 2173. The Appellant now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Damage to Alexandra 1’s bow