SOSREP delivers the Law School's Public Lecture
Mr Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP), delivered the School of Law's most recent public lecture on 4 February 2009. The lecture attracted substantial interest both from the student community and also from the public despite adverse weather conditions affecting the region.
In his lecture, Mr Shaw explained his role and involvement in maritime casualties in United Kingdom waters giving illustrations from recent incidents such as the MSC Napoli, which was beached in Lyme Bay (Devon) in January 2007.
Mr Hugh Shaw delivering the Public Lecture
The SOSREP is responsible to the UK government for marine emergencies within UK waters involving vessels or fixed platforms when there is a significant risk of pollution, and is tasked to oversee, control and, if necessary, to intervene and exercise 'ultimate command and control' in the overriding interest of the UK. The role was created in 1999 as part of the Government's response to Lord Donaldson's review of salvage and intervention and their command and control. Mr Shaw indicated that the need to co-ordinate salvage response in pollution cases became clear following the Sea Empress incident in 1996, which had catastrophic consequences for the Welsh coastline.
At the end of his lecture, Professor Andrew Halpin, the head of the Law School, thanked Mr Shaw for his stimulating presentation and introduced an open discussion on some of the key issues that had been raised.