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Irish Maritime Law Association

21st July 2009

The Irish Maritime Law Association was formed at a meeting in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin on 23 May 1963.  Ireland had sent observers to the XXI Conference of the Comite Maritime International (CMI) in Amsterdam in 1948 and seven years later had attended a meeting of the Bristol Maritime Law Association as they prepared for the XXIII Conference of CMI in Madrid but these initial steps to join the CMI were not pursued at that time.

The Government came under increasing pressure from Irish Shipping Limited throughout the 1950’s as it was felt Ireland was having no input into important international conventions.

Once the Association was formed it applied to become a member of the CMI.  The IMLA was invited to the XXVI conference in Stockholm and admitted as a member of the CMI on 9 June 1963, the first day of that conference.

The Association takes a very active part in CMI conferences and has been represented at every Plenary Conference of CMI from 1963 in Stockholm to date.

At these conferences international conventions were drafted to attempt to bring about conformity in private international maritime law.  These included draft conventions on Maritime Liens and Mortgages, Civil Liability for Oil Pollution, Combined Transport, Carriage by Sea of Passengers and Off-shore Mobile Craft, Salvage, and Arrest of Ships.  Thus many of those CMI drafts were later adopted by governments meeting in diplomatic conferences forming a uniform international law in certain maritime matters.

Since its foundation the Irish Maritime Law Association has made a contribution to the work of the CMI which is altogether out of proportion to its size or to Ireland’s status as a maritime state.  This is evidenced by the fact that when the constitution of the CMI was revised in 1972 its new five-man Executive Council was composed of an American, an Englishman, a Frenchman, and Italian and an Irishman, namely Niall McGovern.  Later when the CMI Charitable Trust was established, Niall McGovern of the IMLA was appointed one of the Trustees.  The Association also provided at the request of the Executive Council lecturers at CMI seminars in Bangkok, Malta and Vienna.  The IMLA has been happy to assist the Irish Government from time to time, drawing on its vast experience in the area of private international maritime law.  Indeed the Association has been honoured on occasions by invitations to join the Irish government’s delegation at diplomatic conferences on maritime law.

The association provides a valuable forum for those who are engaged in international maritime trade whether merchants, shipowners, underwriters, bankers or lawyers advising these disparate interests.

If you have any queries about the Irish Maritime Law Association, please contact Helen Noble, email: [email protected]

Irish Maritime Law Association , National Branch of the Comite Maritime International

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