Maritime and Transport Law Committee – From the Co-Chairs – September 2023

Thursday 7 September 2023

Ulla von Weissenberg
Procopé & Hornborg Attorneys Ltd, Helsinki, Finland

Henrik Hagberg
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS, Oslo, Norway

Dear officers, members of the committee and readers of this newsletter,

We hope this message finds you well. As the new Co-Chairs of the IBA Maritime and Transport Law Committee, we want to briefly introduce ourselves and give you an update on the committee's activities in the coming period.

Ulla is a partner in the Finnish law firm Procorpé & Hornborg Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, Finland. Henrik is a partner in the Norwegian law firm Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS in Oslo, Norway. Both of us have been members and officers of the committee for a number of years.

First of all we want to express our gratitude to Corina Song and Johannes Grove Nielsen, the immediate past Chairs, for all their remarkable efforts during their tenure as Co-Chairs and for passing over the baton with the committee in such a good shape. Corina and Johannes took over as Co-Chairs from Richard Singleton and Godofredo Mendes Vianna amid of the pandemic, and they all did a tremendous effort in keeping the committee active even with severe restrictions on travelling and meetings in person. Fortunately, these restrictions are now largely history and words like ‘social distancing’ are not part of the everyday vocabulary anymore.

The main focus of our work this year will be the IBA Annual Conference in Paris from 29 October to 3 November 2023. The conference was originally scheduled for 2021 but cancelled due to the pandemic. In the ordinary fashion we will have one Hot Topics session addressing current legal topics. This year we will focus on the decarbonisation of the maritime industry and legal questions arising in relation to the so-called ‘shadow fleet’ which is transporting oil and oil products originating from Russia. Additionally, there will be sessions covering (i) digitalisation and cybercrime in the maritime industry; (ii) arrest, attachment and judicial sale, with a particular focus on the newly adopted Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships; and (iii) the new silk road and other hot topics around land transport. Please visit the IBA website for a full overview of the programme and the planned social functions.

In addition to the academic programme in Paris, the committee will also have its traditional day out together with the Insurance Committee (on Tuesday 31 October), a dinner (on Wednesday 1 November) and – if we are not mistaken – the famous Seven Seas band will play during the Law Rocks (on Thursday 2 November). More information on these will be posted on the IBA website as soon as everything is finalised.

Another key priority is the preparation for the IBA Maritime and Transport Law Committee Conference in Hamburg from 12 to 14 June 2024. This is the first specialist conference for our committee since the successful specialist conference in Singapore in 2022 organised by Corina and Johannes. Together with the IBA, we are currently working on the practical arrangements for accommodation, conference venue and social functions, etc. We must already thank Marco Remiorz, our Senior Vice-Chair for his help on the ground.

We hope many current and new members of the committee will attend both conferences and actively participate in the discussions. And if you are interested in speaking or moderating any of the sessions in Hamburg, please let us know and we will see what can be done.

As previously advised, the IBA has decided that committee newsletters will be available to everyone, including non-IBA members, worldwide. Our newsletter will therefore have a much wider audience than before. We encourage all to submit articles for the next edition to take advantage of this enhanced exposure. The next edition is planned to be published in connection with the Annual Conference in Paris.

Finally, for anyone who is interested in learning more about the committee's past and future activities, we recommend visiting the IBA website for the Maritime and Transport Law Committee or contacting us for further information.

That's all for now. We hope to see all of you in Paris in October – if not before.

Ulla and Henrik