LLM Maritime Law

Module description:

Outline of seminar topics:

  • Ships
  • Collisions
  • Towage
  • Pilotage
  • Salvage

“VICKERS Line has chartered another ship to replace the Vickers Orient, which was badly damaged in a collision with the South Korean 3,700 gt bulker Blue Sea last month. An explosion that followed killed the first officer, while 13 crew members died on the second ship when it sank.  The year-old multipurpose Vickers Orient, deployed in Vickers Line’s round-the-world Orient Pearl String service, is now at an anchorage close to Shanghai and will need extensive repairs after having been salved by the Kumkho Salvage Co. The cargo is expected to be discharged later this week. The company has chartered in the 23,000 dwt Malacca, which is at present in drydock but should be available next week to slot into to the gap in the schedule left by the holed Vickers Orient.”

This short news report highlights the underlying issues which will form the basis of this course, which, in a nutshell, is about the law of marine casualties. The kinds of legal issues raised are ones which are often labelled as “wet” (as opposed to “dry”) by those maritime practitioners who do this kind of work. It will be of greatest benefit to those students who wish to work for law firms, P & I Clubs and other agencies and organisations active in the maritime law field.

In particular, this course will address the following issues:

  • How is a collision at sea, such as that between the Vickers Orient and the Blue Sea, regulated?
  • What happens when a salvage contract is signed between a shipowner and a salvor?
  • How, if at all, would this differ from a towage contract?
  • What is general average and when may it be declared?
  • What is the difference between an action in rem and an action in personam?
  • What is a maritime lien and when may it be exercised?
  • Can either ship limit its liability?