5th International Colloquium of the ISTL was Hailed as a Great Success

The Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law Engages in the Debate on the Rotterdam Rules

In addition to the increased amount of charterparty disputes facing the sector in recent years as a consequence of the global financial crisis, vigorous debates as to the potential impact of the new Carriage Convention, also known as the Rotterdam Rules, are currently taking place in various parts of the shipping industry. The Rules, if adopted, will bring about significant changes for all parties involved in the carriage of goods by sea. Against this background, it was natural for the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, as an institution that prides itself in bridging the gap between practice and academia, to devote its Fifth Annual International Colloquium to this highly topical matter. The focus of the event was the Rotterdam Rules, although it also provided an excellent opportunity to address significant legal issues arising out of cargo disputes from the perspective of other international regimes, such as Hague, Hague-Visby and Hamburg.


The quality of papers presented by the distinguished speakers carefully selected from practice and academia was very high, providing an opportunity to the delegates to engage in lively debates.  The delegates, who constituted a lively and varied mixture of academics, legal practitioners and representatives from the Government (Department for Transport) and P&I clubs, found the event and the social programme to be excellent. It was especially pleasing to see that the Colloquium was successful in attracting a significant number of delegates from the Continent- an indication of the further international recognition of the Institute's activities.

Dr Theodora Nikaki (ISTL, Swansea University) presenting her paper on the impact

Dr Theodora Nikaki (ISTL, Swansea University) presenting her paper on the impact of the Rotterdam Rules on Himalaya clauses

The following experts in the field delivered papers at the Colloquium:

  • Mr Simon Baughen, University of Bristol- "Duty to Deliver Cargo and consequences of Misdelivery"
  • Mr Julian Clark, Holman Fenwick and Willan- "Exclusions of Liability"
  • Professor Ralph de Wit, Van Dooselaere Advocaten, Antwerp; University of Antwerp- "Multimodal Transport under the Rotterdam Rules"
  • Dr Michael Harakis, UK Government Legal Services- "From Treaty to Trial – The Implementation of the Rotterdam Rules"
  • Dr Susan Hodges, Cardiff University- "Deck Cargo"
  • Professor Marc Huybrechts, University of Antwerp- "Limitation of Liability"
  • Mr Robert Gay, Hill Dickinson LLP- "Jurisdiction Clauses and Arbitration Agreements"
  • Mr David Glass, Cardiff University, "Deck Cargo"
  • Dr Nick Margetson, University of Amsterdam- "The Division of the Burden of Proof"
  • Mr David Martin-Clark, Stone Chambers- "Electronic Documents under the Rotterdam Rules"
  • Mr Andrew Nicholas, Clyde & Co- Duties of Carriers – "Care and Seaworthiness"
  • Dr Theodora Nikaki, IISTL, Swansea University- "Himalaya Clauses – The Impact of the Rotterdam Rules"
  • Mr Simon Rainey Q.C., Quadrant Chambers- "Interpreting the International Conventions"
  • Emeritus Professor Francis Reynolds Q.C., University of Oxford- "Transport Documents"
  • Mr Frank Stevens, Roosendaal Kezer Advocaten, Antwerp- "Duties of Shippers"
  • Professor Andrew Tettenborn, Exeter University- "Freedom of Contracts within the Province of the International Conventions"
  • Professor D.Rhidian Thomas, IISTL, Swansea University- "The Application of the International Conventions"

Members of the audience attending the Colloquium

Members of the audience attending the Colloquium

Informa Publishing has published the papers presented at the Colloquium in a book format entitled "The Carriage of Goods by Sea Under the Rotterdam Rules". The next annual coloquium of the Institute will take place in September 2010 and details will follow.