Following the decision of the Piraeus Bar Association and the presidency of Vasileios Venetis, the 1st International Conference of Maritime Law was held on 28-30 May 1992 and dealt particularly with the protection of maritime creditors.
The choice of this subject was made in a period when the matter of the revision of the Greek maritime legislation had been agitated, the elaboration of new international conventions regarding the arrest of ships and the maritime liens and mortgages was already in progress within the International Maritime Organization, while in the context of the former European Economic Community, the debate on the regulation of the regime regarding the liens and the study of the institutions which provide for the protection of maritime creditors, had been activated. These parameters made the subject of the protection of maritime creditors an appropriate choice for an International Conference of Maritime Law, especially during that period so that its examination was based on scientists of significant legal speech from various countries, who responded with overwhelming enthusiasm.
The protection of maritime creditors as a legal matter is interesting both for shipowners and for the persons who fund the shipbuilding or the sale of ships - as the shipbuilding and the sale of a ship creates obligations – and for those who become creditors at the stage of the economic operation of the ship.
The 1st International Conference of Maritime Law aimed to give information about the various institutions of maritime credit in Greece and in other maritime countries, to explain the reasons justifying them, to examine their functioning and effectiveness in the national and international field, to explore the relevant regulations of international conventions and the level of adjustment of national legislation to them, to point out solutions that meet the modern conditions in the function of commercial shipping market.
In the context of the Conference the following papers were presented:
The late Professor Leonidas Georgakopoulos analyzed the modern problems of protection of the creditors of the ship. Professor Aliki Kiantou-Pampouki examined the matter of the protection of the creditors in shipping companies through the lifting of the corporate veil. The first session was completed with the presentation of Professor Foivos Christodoulou, who dealt with an issue regarding the ship as a special asset of the shipowner’ s property. In the second session the speakers dealt with the subject of the Conference from the aspect of private international law. Two lectures were presented, the one by Professor Spyridon Vrellis titled “The protection of maritime creditors and the Greek private international law” and the other by William Tetley titled “Special legislative rights, maritime liens, mortgages, claims and conflicts of law”. The morning session of the second day of the Conference was chaired by Nicolas Healy. In this session Α. Philip presented the “European Judgement convention from the aspect of maritime law, in particular, maritime creditors”, Professor Emmanuel du Pontavice examined the “Applications récentes de la saisie conservatoire de navires: théorie de l’émanation et navires apparentés”, Professor Martine Rémond-Gouilloud presented the paper under the title “L’abus des procédures de saisie - conservatoire de navires”, N.J.J. Gaskell elaborated the subject “Topics related to the mareva injuction” and J.D. Kimbal who closed the session with the paper “Protection P&I Clubs in maritime bankruptcies”. The afternoon session was chaired by J.F.F. Cadwallader. The issue of the protection of maritime creditors in national law was particularly approached in the papers of J.C. Schultsz “The protection of maritime creditors in the new Netherlands code” and H. Lange “The protection of maritime creditors in Belgian law”. The last day of the Conference and under the session which was chaired by Ioannis Schinas, certain issues regarding the protection of maritime creditors were examined. Professor Filippos Doris gave an approach of the legal position of the ship’s creditors in case of transfer of its ownership, Rolf Herber presented his paper “Protection of maritime creditors by maritime liens”, while Panagiotis Sotiropoulos dealt with matters relating to the mortgage on ships. Professor Ioannis Rokas raised the issue of security and insurance of maritime creditors. The 1st Conference of International Maritime Law was completed with the paper presented by the President of the Organizing Committee, Anthony M. Antapassis, the subject of which was the operation of the ship by a third party and the protection of maritime creditors.
The minutes and reports of the Conference were published in 1994 by the publishing house “A. Sakkoulas” in the special volume titled “The protection of maritime creditors”, with the care of the Piraeus Bar Association.
Board of Directors of the Piraeus Bar Association
V. Venetis President, G. Georgatos Vice President, K. Gkaveras Secretary General, K. Petalas Treasurer, Members: A. Alexandropoulou-Alevromyti, G. Apostolidis, M. Vrachnou, I. Iriotis, L. Theodorou, L. Kaltsas, I. Karkoulias, E. Kotsonis, I. Lymperopoulos, M.-A. Malikoutis, N. Triantafyllos.
Organizing Committee of the Conference
A. Antapasis President, M. Kargakou, A. Lampropoulos Secretaries, Members: S. Giannakakis, G. Georgakarakos, N. Gogios, S. Kousoulis, V. Lykouris, G. Bairaktaris, A. Nikolaras, D. Rediadis, G. Savvopoulos, K. Sampson, N. Skorinis, G. Timagenis.
Anthony M. Antapassis, Paris A. Asanakis, Giolanta Vasileiou, Olga Vlavianou, Deukalion G. Rediadis.