Home Associations Just what authority and responsibility does the Master have when he is under attack?

Just what authority and responsibility does the Master have when he is under attack?

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Dr Aleka Sheppard

Dr Aleka Sheppard

The shipping industry’s concerns about the significantly evolving changes in the shipmaster’s traditional role over the years is the basis of this year’s renowned Cadwallaader Debate.

Dr Aleka Sheppard, Maritime Arbitrator, Founder and Chairman of the London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC), expressed these thoughts following the announcement of the 14th Cadwallader Debate and Dinner, to be held at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London on October 26th 2016.

“With the present-day shipmaster becoming increasingly subjected to extensive, onerous and unpredictable demands both on board and ashore, his authority is perceived by the industry as being seriously eroded.

“Further modern, legal developments and communication technology indicate that the role of the shipmaster in relation to maritime law and practice needs to be revisited,” Dr Sheppard said.

The event is titled ‘The Master under Attack? Authority and responsibility in an age of instant access’.

The Debate will be chaired by Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony and the panel consists of Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager; Michael Kelleher, Director, West of England P&I Club; Faz Peermohamed, Partner and Global Head of Shipping at Ince & Co; Michael Chalos, Partner at K&L Gates (New York); and Jeff Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards at the US Coast Guard.

The Cadwallader event, often referred to as the ‘Cad,’ was established by Dr Sheppard in 1998 to address topical and high profile issues arising from ship practices, maritime law and regulation. It has been staged in various lecture, panel discussion and debate formats – as the LSLC’s flagship event.

The ‘Cad’ commemorates the exceptional contribution of Professor Francis Cadwallader to the teaching of Maritime Law.  He was the mentor of many Greek students, including Dr Sheppard, when they came from Greece to London to study law at University College London (UCL).

“I felt it was very important to have a high quality event in his name to advance maritime education and   encourage maritime professionals to forge links and successful careers,” she explained.

Dr Sheppard established the Centre in 1994, while head of the Shipping Law Unit and Teacher of Maritime Law at UCL, with widespread support including that of members of the judiciary, shipowners, law firms and barristers’ chambers.

The LSLC provides an industry forum for extending awareness, knowledge and understanding of maritime subjects, facilitating the development of professional links among maritime professionals, and promoting London as a leading centre for both commercial and legal services.

Dr Sheppard has expanded its remit in recent years by setting up the Young Maritime Professionals group – to assist the younger generation in their shipping careers – and by encompassing the Maritime Business Forum to enhance the Centre’s activities.

The Centre operates from offices at Quadrant Chambers in Fleet Street, which have been generously provided by the members of those chambers.

The LSLC has senior professionals on its education panel to advise on seminar topics.  Leading lawyers and other industry figures from the UK and overseas contribute to the regular seminars held at barristers,’ solicitors,’ and insurers’ premises in London.

Dr Sheppard concluded: “The Centre has built up a strong following and reputation in advanced maritime education and risk management  by being alert to ever-changing legal, commercial and technical developments in shipping. We have far exceeded expectations.  I am very proud of what we have achieved.”


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