SRI has hosted the latest in a series of initiatives to educate maritime law graduates and post graduates, and practising lawyers, on priorities and challenges around promoting and advancing the legal rights of seafarers.
The seminar, held on Monday June 9, 2014 at SRI’s London offices, was attended by around 70 graduates and lawyers, and it presented a programme discussing the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), and industry perspectives on the future challenges for seafarers’ rights.
Speakers from the SRI Advisory Board included Judge Thomas A. Mensah, international legal consultant and arbitrator; Brian Orrell OBE, Chairman of SRI’s Advisory Board; Rear-Admiral (Maritime Affairs) Jean-Marc Schindler, former head of the French Marine Accident Investigation Office (BEAmer); Father Bruno Ciceri, representative of the Apostleship of the Sea International; David Cockroft, former General Secretary of the International Transport Workers federation (ITF); as well as Executive Director of SRI, Deirdre Fitzpatrick.
In a second panel discussion, Stephen Cotton, Acting General Secretary of the ITF presented future priorities of the ITF for seafarers, and participants had the opportunity to hear about the role and work of welfare agencies and the image of the maritime industry, including lawyers within the maritime industry.
Speaking after the event, Deirdre Fitzpatrick said: “We were delighted to deliver a programme on the context of seafarers’ rights in law, the process that delivered the MLC, and the challenges ahead for the MLC to bring meaningful changes in the maritime industry. The MLC probably ranks as the most important Convention passed by the ILO. But the challenge ahead is for effective and uniform implementation of the MLC.”
She added: “Knowledge of the law is crucial if seafarers are to be adequately protected. But a knowledge of the players in the industry, such as the unions and welfare agencies, and specifically their roles and priorities, is also essential if lawyers are to deliver the best service for seafarers. Knowledge starts with awareness and our event was geared to raise awareness in young professionals of the role of seafarers in one of the most dynamic industries in the world.”