The 7th International Conference of Maritime Law (30 September to 2 October 2010) examined the comparative and international aspects of the legal status of seafarers. This topic is of great interest not only on national but also on international level especially because of the ongoing increase of the flags of “convenience” in open registries, the employment on the ships of seafarers who are less and less connected with the flag of the ship’s state, as they originate from other countries, the creation of traditional maritime countries with a second register, where there are registered ships performing international voyages. On these ships as well as on those which are registered in Greece as foreign capitals, are employed on a broader scale, seafarers paid according to the salaries of their country of origin. These factors have weakened the significance of the law of the flag of the ship, they have practically influenced the legal status of the seafarers on an international level as well as the relevant social welfare and insurance, a fact that has caused many reactions.
In this context, the issue was examined in five thematic sessions. The first one was about the sources (national and international) of the maritime labour law. In the second one the applicable law in the maritime labour relationships was examined. The third one had as an objective the flag of the ship and its impact on the recruiting of the seafarers and the provided services, as well as the relevant reactions. The fourth one was about the agreements between shipowners and the representative organizations of the countries of origin of the seafarers, as well as between the shipowners and the International Transport Workers’ Federation. Τhe fifth and final session included issues concerning the illness, the work accident, the abandonment of seafarers in foreign countries, their social welfare and insurance and generally their protection.
The publication of this Conference, following the decision of the Piraeus Bar Association and the Organizing Committee of the 7th International Conference of Maritime Law, was dedicated to the memory of Professor of Civil Procedure Law Stelios Kousoulis, as a tribute to his contribution to the science of law and the activities of the Piraeus Bar Association.
First speaker, Ioannis Chamilothoris, Judge-President in the Court of Appeal in Athens, presented his lecture “The legal evolution of the Greek maritime labour law”. Subsequently, Francesco Munari, Professor of EU Law in Genova University, developed the topic “Recent EU developments on maritime labour standards”, Antonios Bredimas, Professor of International Law in the Law School of Athens, analysed the issue of “The protection of the seafarers’ health especially under the consolidated International Maritime Labor Convention of ILO” and Iliana Christodoulou-Varotsi, Attorney-at-law, Dr.iur., Professor in ACG Deree College, completed the session with the examination of “Critical Review of the Consolidated Maritime Labour Convention (2006) of the International Labour Organization: Limitations and Perspectives”. In the second session the chairman Hugues Fulchiron, Professor in Jean Moulin University in Lyon, first gave the floor to Kyriakos Oikonomou, Judge in the Court of Appeal in Piraeus, who analysed “The applicable law in the individual labor contracts- Legislation and application by the Greek courts”. Patric Chaumette, Professor of Labour and Social Security Law in the University of Nantes, lectured on “Les rattachements du travail maritime international. Le marin entre le navire, le port et sa résidence” and Ioannis Korotzis, f. Judge at the Court of Appeal of Piraeus, on “The Regulation 864/2007 (Rome II) regarding the applicable law to non-contractual obligations and its impact on the maritime labor law”. The second day of the Conference the chairman of the morning session Charalampos Machairas, Judge in the Court of Appeal of Piraeus, gave the floor to the first speaker Antonis Alapantas, Judge in the Court of First Instance of Piraeus, who lectured on the “Change of the flag of the and its impact on maritime employment”. Subsequently, Manolis Perakis, Attorney-at-law, Dr.iur., Special Researcher in the Law School of Athens, presented a paper under the title “Current tension of loosening of the bond between the flag of the ship and the applicable law on maritime employment” and Konstantinos Papadimitriou, Professor of Labour Law in the Law School of Athens developed the topic “The Viking case, CJEC regarding the seafarers right to strike due to change of the flag of the ship and its significance for the evolution of social Europe”. Last but not least, Deidre Fitzpatrick, Legal Counsellor of the International Transportation Federation, made a presentation on “Advancing seafarers rights”. In the afternoon session the chairman Stelios Stylianou, Attorney-at-law, gave the floor to Antonios Antapassis, Professor Emeritus of Commercial Law in the Law School of Athens who examined “The legal issues relating to the liability of the master of the ship”. Antoine Vialard, Professor Em. in the University of Bordeaux, developed the topic “La nationalité du capitaine d’ un navire sous pavillon français” and up next Athanassios Alikatoras, Attorney-at-law, presented an issue regarding “Abandoned crew: The Greek exrerience”. Thomas Mensah, f. President of the International Tribunal in Hamburg for the Law of the Sea, presented the topic “Abandonment of seafarers: Problems and Possible Solutions” and Vassileios Tountopoulos, Associate Professor of Commercial Law in the University of the Aegean, gave an approach on “The protection of seafarers in case of bankruptcy of the shipowner company”. On the last day of the Conference, Evangelos Tsouroulis, Attorney-at-law, chairman of the session, gave the floor to the next speaker of the Conference, Panagiotis Papatheodoropoulos, Attorney-at-law, who examined the “Exploring the protection provided to the seafarers in the event of illness. Proposal of essential legislative interventions”, Georgios Kontoseas, Attorney-at-law, on “Some issues arising out of the application of Greek law in work accident on ships”, Lia Athanassiou, Associate Professor of Commercial Law in the Law School of Athens, who examined “Maritime Labour and Piracy”. An intervention followed by Markos Karavias, Attorney-at-law, Dr.iur. on “Special maritime crimes of the Code of Public Maritime Law under the international prohibition of forced labor”. The Conference closed with the conclusions made by Grigorios Timagenis, Attorney-at-law, Dr.iur.
The minutes and reports of the Conference were published in a special edition under the title “Comparative and international aspects of the legal status of seafarers”, published with the care of the Piraeus Bar Association, by A. Sakkoulas in 2013 and was dedicated to the late Professor and member of the Piraeus Bar Association Stelios Koussoulis.
Piraeus Bar Association Board of Directors
Stylianos Manoussakis President, A. Alexandropoulou-Alevromiti- Konstantinos Resvanis Vice-Presidents, Georgios Stamatogiannis Secretary General, Dimitrios Pollalis Treasurer-Member, Members: Georgios Athanassopoulos, Evangelos Anagnostou, Maria Galanopoulou, Ioannis Giatrakos, Konstantina Gourgarea, Argyrios Dimovic, Elias Klapas, Emmanouil Kotsonis, Polychronis Perivolaris, Konstantinos Petalas, Kalliopi Sarigianni, Dimitrios Stathakopoulos, Evangelos Tsouroulis, Maria Floropoulou-Makri.