The 5th International Conference of Maritime Law on maritime pollution was held from 29 September to 2 October 2004. The examination of the issue of liability to pay damages under Greek and International maritime law which was the subject of the 4th International Conference of Maritime Law, organized by the Piraeus Bar Association- proved that the compensation for damages of third parties arising from pollution caused by ships or other floating constructions and especially the environmental damage, as well as the matter of sanctions (penal and administrative), should be subjected to more thorough research and dialogue, especially because the relevant decisions of the judicial and administrative authorities often cause complaints from the ship interests and the maritime industry interests.
The program of the Conference included two sessions. The first one was generally about the civil liability and more particularly the compensation for damages arising from pollution. The attention of the speakers and generally the participants focused, following relevant proposal by the Organizing Committee, on the national and international relevant provisions, also on pointing out their weaknesses and on submitting recommendations for their improvement. It was pointed out that the increase of the compensation for the damages should also satisfy the need for its prevention and that from this point of view, other matters regarding the urgent measures and the provision of places of refuge are of great interest.
The second session was about penal and administrative sanctions and especially the relevant decisions and their execution. It was clarified to the speakers and the participants that it was necessary to examine the applicable law in the major maritime countries, to search for the current weaknesses, to suggest measures for the improvement of the situation especially by systematizing and refining the international provisions, to examine the necessity as well as the possibility for the establishment of an international court for the prosecution for crimes of marine pollution, the empowering, or not, of the coastal state’s authority to taking and imposing administrative measures and sanctions, not only fines, but also other measures such as the prohibition of the vessel’s departure, the obligatory towing and generally the salvage of the ship in danger, the elimination of the consequences of the wreck etc.
The purpose of the 5th International Conference was to contribute, through fruitful academic dialogue, to the establishment of a belief of those who are engaged in maritime business that they could be the best allies to the State and the Environmental Organizations.
In the context of the Conference, the following issues were presented: Georgios Theocharidis “The significance of fault for the imposition of sanctions for marine pollution”, Nikolaos Konstantinidis “The disputing of the limitation of compensation for marine oil pollution”, Rea Mitropoulou “Insurance practices in cases of oil pollution-especially in case of accident”, Panagiotis Petropoulos “Administrative sanctions for oil pollution under Greek law”, Ioannis Rokas “The significance of the insurance of civil liability for the establishment of special civil liability of pollution offenders and of compensation for marine pollution”, Georgios Samiotis “The establishment of strict liability as fundamental instrument of policy against pollution in the international and national law”, Polychronis Tsiridis, Attorney-at-law, Piraeus Bar Association “The penal protection of sea environment in the EU”, Patrick Holloway “Civil liability arising from oil pollution in South Africa and this country’s attempts at prevention, including the policy on ports of refuge”, Mans Jacobsson “The international liability and compensation regime revisited”, Jean – Jacques Lavenue “Pour une responsabilité du propriétaire de la cargaison et de sacteurs engages dans l’ activité de transport par mer des hydrocarbures?”, Sarah Mathiopoulou “Places of refuge; indemnification and sanctions”, Jean – Serge Rohart: «L’ application des critères du fonds sur l’admissibilité des demandes: l’exemple et l’ “Erika”, Erik Rosaeg “Conflicts of Marine Liability Conventions”, Luis de San Simon “Ports of refuge. Recent legislation enacted in Spain after the disaster of “Prestige”, Francesco Siccardi “Pollution Liability and Classification Societies; is the system a fair one?”, Chan Leng Sun “Singapore legislation on Oil Pollution”, Greta Tellarini “International regulation on places of refuge”, Michael Tsimplis “A commentary on the Bunker Pollution Convention 2004”, and Antoine Vialard “Responsabilité limitée et indemnisation illimitée en cas de pollution des mers par hydrocarbures”. During the last day of the Conference, after the completion of the presentation of all the papers, were also elaborated the following interventions: of Michail Malermpas: “Establishment of an international institution for the imposition of sanctions in cases of extended and dangerous pollutions of international territorial waters, as well as of territorial waters and coasts”, of Iliana Christodoulou-Varotsi: “The sanctions in case of marine pollution from the aspect of Community law” and of Taco van der Valk: “Civil (third party) liability for marine pollution in the Netherlands”.
The minutes and reports of the Conference were published in 2004, with the care of the Piraeus Bar Association, by the publishing house “A. Sakkoulas” in a special volume entitled “Marine pollution: The problem of damages and penalties”.
Board of Directors - Piraeus Bar Association
K. Petalas President, E. Kotsonis- P. Iliadis Vice-Presidents, P. Papatheodoropoulos Secretary General, K. Resvanis Treasurer, Members: A. Alexandropoulou, G. Apostolidis, M. Galanopoulou, K. Gkaveras, K. Gourgarea, L. Theodorou, I. Karkoulias, N. Liapakis, S. Manousakis.
A. Antapassis President, Members: L. Athanassiou, D. Astras, N. Gerasimou, N. Gogios, Th. Zafeiras, I. Iriotis, G. Theocharidis, M. Kountouris, S. Kousoulis, N. Konstantinidis, K. Markakis, G. Bairaktaris, N. Baltazanis, I. Oikonomidis, G. Oikonomou, P. Pappas, A. Papadimitriou, G. Ramantanis, D. Rediadis, I. Sarantitis, P. Sioufas, N. Skorinis, P. Timageni, P. Tsiridis.
Direction of conference topics and material
Antonis M. Antapassis, M. Papadaki.