9th International Conference of Maritime Law (2016)

The 9th International Conference that was held in Piraeus on 13-15 October 2016 dealt with Maritime Safety and Security: Legal implications to ships, cargo and the human element, a synthetic and modern subject of great theoretical and practical interest, not only for the shipping community of Greek interests but also for international community. The subject was divided into three main sections: The first section was dedicated to the institutional framework for safety in navigation, seaworthiness and safety regarding the operation of the ship during her existence. Several issues are integrated here, such as liability of classification societies, ports of refuge, the role of port services, the current EU and international legislation for the recycling, the adequacy of EU and international safety rules. The second one focused on issues regarding the consequences of defects in cargo safety and during the execution of charter-parties and contracts of carriage by sea, in general.

The relevant charter-party clauses, as well as the third parties claims for damages related to the execution of contracts of carriage by sea, shall be approached on theoretical and case-law basis.  The third section was dedicated to the human element at sea and dealt with the protection of passengers, crew and any other person on board.  Issues such as the ship owner’s liability for actions of armed guards, migration from the aspect of the rules of maritime law, the liability of passengers’ carrier after the recent deadly accidents, were examined in depth. Finally, 9th International Conference of Maritime Law program included for the first time a round table, where academics, legal practitioners and market representatives discussed with the participants certain issues in relation with the subject of the Conference. More precisely, the legal issues examined at the round table were those arising out of the phenomenon of piracy from the aspect of international law, maritime insurance law and maritime law (ship owner’s and carrier’s liability, general average etc.).

Following the opening ceremony of the Conference from the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, the first session, chaired by Leonidas Dimitriadis-Eugenides, President of the Eugenides Foundation, started with Andrew Cutler, Chief Executive Officer of Tindall Riley (Britannia) Limited, Managers of Britannia Club, who developed the mandatory rules imposed on shipping and their insurance cost. Next speaker was John Witte, President International Salvage Union (ISU), presenting the issue of salvage, safety and the regulatory environment and protection for the salvor, while Christine Berg, Head of Unit, Maritime Safety, European Commission (Directorate General for Mobility and Transport) presented the future challenges for the European Maritime Safety Regime. The next session, chaired by Marc Huybrechts, em. Professor, University of Leuven, started with the presentation of Aldo Chircop, Professor of Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Nova-Scotia, Canada, with regard to State responsibility and Places of Refuge for Ships and the emerging issues and prospects, while Thomas Schoenbaum, Professor of Law in George Washington University- School of Law presented the new regime for US port security and the legal implications for ships calling at US ports. The session ended with Nikolaos Konstantinidis, Dr.iur., Attorney-at-law, Legal Department of Piraeus Port Authority, presentation about the port services regulation as a tool of enhancing safety at sea. The afternoon session, with Giorgio Berlingieri, Attorney-at-law, President of Italian Association of Maritime Law and Vice-President of the CMI as Chairman, started with Andrew Tettenborn, Professor of Law School of University of Swansea, who presented the obligations and the liability of the bank/financier for unsafe vessel, while Professor of Commercial Law of University of Nottingham, Howard Bennett talked about the Insurance Act 2015 Reforms to Warranties. The session ended with the presentation of Henning Jessen, Professor of University of Hamburg - Institute for the Law of the Sea & Maritime Law, about the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, focusing on the obligations and liabilities under public international and EU Law. The last session of the first day of the Conference was held under the chairmanship of Dimitrios Kranis, Justice of the Supreme Court (Areios Pagos) and General Director of National School of Judges. First to talk was Klaus Ramming, Dr.iur., Co-Chairman in German Maritime Association, University of Hamburg, who concentrated in a comparative examination of Salvage vs. Wreck Removal and talked about the Qualification of the Contractor's Operations and some other Issues. Next speaker was Kyriakos Oikonomou, Judge-President in Piraeus Court of Appeal, who developed the liability and compensation for damages from ship-collisions, while Georgios Orfanidis, Professor of Law School in University of Athens talked about the claims arising from the wrecking and the auction of the ship.

During the first session of the second day and under the direction of the chairman Bϋlent Sözer, who is Professor at Yeditepe University, first to talk was Dimitrios Christodoulou, Ass. Professor of Law School, University of Athens who developed the safe port clauses in charterparties. Then Frank Smeele, Professor at Erasmus School of Law talked about the shipowner's responsibility for stowage in case of FIOs clauses. Next speaker was James Hu, Professor of Shanghai Maritime University, presenting the transport of dangerous goods and shipper's liability under Chinese Law and Rotterdam Rules. The next session, chaired by Pavlos Avrameas, Attorney-at-law, started with the presentation of Ralph De Wit, Professor of University of Brussels, University of Antwerp & Antwerp Maritime Academy, about the liability for damages in the context of the combined transport of goods. Then, the Attorneys-at-law Nikolaos Gerasimou and Antonios Koutsofios jointly presented the issues and prospects of liability for damages arising from the carriage of goods and vehicles by sea without bill of lading. The session ended with the presentation of Polychronis Tsiridis, Dr.iur, Attorney-at-law, concerning the penal jurisdiction in matters of safety rules infringements, with specific reference to the Norman Atlantic case. In the afternoon session, under the direction of chairman Evanghelos Perakis, em. Professor of Law School in University of Athens and President of the Association of Greek Commercialists, Kensuke Kobayashi, Legal Counsel of IOPC Funds, talked about the recent developments within the International Oil Pollution Compensation Regime, while Professor of Law School, University of Athens, Lia Athanassiou, analysed the charterer's liability for pollution damages. The session ended with the presentation of Olivier Cachard, Professor of Faculty of Law of Nancy about the classification society and CLC Convention in light of law as in force after the judgment concerning the case of the Erika (“Les sociétés de classification et la Convention CLC: le droit positif après l'arrêt Erika”). In the last session  academics, legal practitioners and market representatives discussed in the round table about issues related to the subject of the Conference, under the chairmanship of Grigorios Timagenis, Dr. iur., Attorney-at-law and President of the Hellenic Association of Maritime Law. First to talk was Rosalie Balkin, former Director Legal Affairs - Assistant Secretary-General IMO, presenting the IMO perspective concerning the phenomenon of piracy, while Grant Hunter, Chief Officer-Legal & Contractual Affairs BIMCO, talked about the impact of piracy on charter parties and transport contracts. Next was Professor of Maritime Law in the University of Southampton, Hilton Staniland who developed the issue of shipowner’s liability, while Alexandra Couvadelli, Senior Claims Director UK P&I Club, presented the insurance law issues that may arise through piracy. The session ended with Maria’s Gavouneli, Ass. Professor, Law School - University of Athens, taking about the consequences of piracy from a legal perspective. 

The first morning session of the final day, chaired by Georgios Michalopoulos, Professor of Law School,  University of Athens, began with Philippe Delebecque, Professor of Université de Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne talking about the damages in passenger transportation and round trips by sea (“L'indemnisation dans le cadre du transport des passagers et de croisières”). Next speaker was Cornelia Delouka Igglesi, Professor of University of Piraeus presenting the issue of the protection of passengers at sea as consumers, while the Legal Adviser of ILO, Georges Politakis, talked about MLC and its implementation & challenges. In the final session of the Conference, chaired by Evanghelos Tsouroulis, Attorney-at-law, former President of the CCBE, Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal and External Affairs IMO talked about the IMO regulatory framework vis-a-vis the migration by sea, while the session ended with the presentation of Francesco Munari, Professor of University of Genoa, concerning the issue of salvage and rescue of human lives and migrants.

Upon completion of the interventions and the discussion that followed the presentations, the Conference ended with the prize awarding of the winners of the organized contest in respect of the Conference under the title “Young Maritime Prize – Piraeus 2016”.

The publication of the reports in a special edition, as it is by tradition done for every Conference, was completed in 2017. The presentation of the Maritime Conference was directed by the President of the Organizing Committee of the Maritime Conference L. I. Athanassiou.

Piraeus Bar Association / Board of Directors:

George Stamatogiannis, President, Maria Floropoulou-Makri, Vice President ,Constantina Gourgarea, Vice President, Panagiotis Petropoulos, Secretary General, Ioannis Vrellos, Member-Treasurer, Members: George Athanassopoulos, Evangelos Anagnostou, Ioannis Voutas, Lazaros Giatrakos, Kimon Gioulistanis, Argirios Demovits, George Karamizaris, Ioannis Kardaras, Elias Klappas, Nikolaos Liapakis, Nikolaos Biliris, Panagiota Bourletidou, Maria Stamatogianni, Christos Tsallos. 

Members of the Organizing Committee:

Lia I. Athanassiou President, Michael A. Antapassis, Vassilis Vernicos, Nikolaos Gerassimou, George Theocharidis, George Iatridis-Ramantanis, Paris Karamitsios, Nikolaos Kountouris, Antonios Koutsofios, Manolis Konstantinidis, Nikolaos Konstantinidis, George Oikonomou, Ioannis V. Sarantitis, Vassilios P. Sioufas, George Skorinis, Paschalia Timageni, Polychronis Tsiridis, Dimitrios Christodoulou.


Information - Registrations: Elisavet Koulani

Τ: +30 210 3678891, E: koulani.elisavet@nb.org