From the Editors, April 2021
Patrick Michael Holloway
Webber Wentzel, Cape Town
Thomas H Belknap Jr
Blank Rome, New York
Welcome to the newsletter
It was just a little over a year ago that the entire world shut down, virtually all at once, with little warning. Terrible tragedies have played out all around the globe, with families losing loved ones, businesses and, indeed, entire industries decimated, and world travel – both internationally and even within our own neighbourhoods – drastically curtailed. We felt this particularly, first with the cancelling of the 2020 IBA Annual Conference in Miami in October, and more recently with the cancelling of the 2021 Annual Conference in Paris.
And yet, this last year has simultaneously provided fuel for great innovation. Most importantly, perhaps, is the lightning speed with which the world managed to develop and deploy Covid-19 vaccines – at a pace unthinkable just a few years ago. Meanwhile, remote working and videoconferences suddenly became the norm for lawyers and many, many others, including for court hearings and client meetings (and IBA conferences). And the long-term effects on shipping and transportation are likely to be analysed in these pages for years to come.
In the face of everything that has happened over the past year, however, the story of this issue is that life goes on: cargo must still be shipped, out of which necessity agreements are made, disputes arise, and accidents happen. Maritime lawyers are there at every stage, and this issue of the IBA Maritime and Transport Law Committee newsletter contains a widely diverse selection of articles – whether measured by subject matter, geography, or otherwise – that bear this common theme. We thank Committee members for their excellent submissions, and we hope you will enjoy reading them as much as we did.
We also hope you will consider making a submission for our next edition of the newsletter. In the meantime, stay well and stay safe.