KU Leuven University – De lege ferenda

Four City PhD students presented papers at the Transport Law – De lege ferenda Round Table at KU Leuven University on 14-15 November 2013. The conference brought young academics together to discuss amendments to solve some of the current legislative and practical problems in transport law.

Carlo Corcione presented a paper entitled “The evolution of third parties protection in carriage of goods by sea. From the Himalaya clause to the Himalaya protection”. His paper argued that the shipping world has changed dramatically in the last century as risks have shifted from carrier and shipper to third parties in carriage of goods by sea. Although the industry seems to have accepted that “the shore is now an artificial place to draw a line”, the law lags behind.

Faizah Abd Rahman presented a paper entitled “Shipper Liability for Cargo under National Law”. In her paper, she debated current definitions of the shipper, how these can change from one national law to another. She highlighted the importance of defining who is the shipper on different contracts involved in the transport of goods by sea in order to determine his/hers liability.

Julia Constantino Chagas Lessa presented a paper entitled “MLC: Much Ado about nothing?”. Her paper highlighted the accomplishments made by the Maritime Labour Convention but also its possible flaws, in particular regarding abandonment of Seafarer. The paper raised the question of whether the new Convention would make a difference in practice, giving seafarers a wider net of protection. Julia also analysed the impact of the Convention on the shipping industry.

            Finally, Dimitrios Arvanitis and Julia Constantino Chagas Lessa, demonstrating the cooperation existing among the PhD Researchers at City University London, presented a joint paper entitled: “Offshore Platforms’ seafarers: An excluded group within an overlooked sector?”. Their paper explained the current position regarding whether offshore oil platform workers could be considered seafarers or not. Dimitrios and Julia highlighted the lack of legislation regarding offshore workers and argued that classifying workers as seafarers could allow them to benefit from the greater protection offered by the MLC.

The papers presented at the conference are expected to be published shortly on the European Transport Law Journal.

The ‘Transport Law: De lege Referenda’ Round Table was deemed such a great success that it will now become an annual event. City’s representatives have been invited back to present at the 2014 Round Table at the University of Zagreb.

We would like to thank City University London for their support, including the sponsorship granted for the Conference; our supervisor, Professor Jason Chuah, for his support, and his constructive criticism, in drafting our papers; Peter Aggar, whose assistance was fundamental. Finally, we would like to thank KU Leuven University for being such fantastic hosts.

Faizah Abd Rahman
Dimitris Arvanitis
Julia Constantino Chagas Lessa
Carlo Corcione


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