The IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine
From the Co-Chairs – Maritime and Transport Law Committee – October 2022
This is our last message as Co-Chairs of the Maritime and Transport Law Committee. How time flies! It feels like only yesterday when we took over as Co-Chairs of the Maritime and Transport Law Committee.
It is with a mixture of sadness as well as excitement as we approach the last quarter of our term. It is with some regret that we have not been able to see through all of our contemplated projects. At the same time, we are excited to be handing over the reins of this Committee as we are confident that the incoming Co-Chairs will have fresh ideas and plans for all of us.
As you can imagine, the last 20 months have been a rather hectic period for us.
First, our Committee’s Commemorative Book was launched at the Mid-Term Conference in Singapore in June 2022. It took us many months to collate the various quotes and photographs from our various committee members, as well as reading up on the history and origins of Committee A. We are very proud of the end product. The video collage from those past chairs who were unable to attend in person in Singapore was an added bonus, which we decided to put together very close to the Singapore conference as the various Covid restrictions lingered on and affected the travel plans for many who would have otherwise joined us in Singapore for the book launch. For those who have watched the video, we are sure you will agree that it was quite an emotional experience. For those who have missed it, the video can be viewed online on our Committee webpage.
Second, we look back with pride, not least a lot of relief, at the Mid-Term Conference in Singapore in June 2022, which was a great success. When we started planning the Singapore conference, the Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. It was only at the end of April 2022 that the Singapore government announced the easing of some of the Covid measures for large gatherings, which also allowed us to include a performance by the Maritime Committee’s resident band, the SevenSeas. We had some contingency plans ready, but it would not have been the same. We hope that all committee members who attended in Singapore had a great time. It was certainly good to see, in person, so many friendly faces again. We are also grateful for the show of support from the Singapore community of maritime law firms, and would like to acknowledge and thank all the sponsors and members of the host committee for their contributions.
As of this writing we have just concluded our second big event of 2022 – the Valencia Conference, which was jointly organized with AIJA. This was our first joint conference in 12 years, since the Istanbul conference in 2010. This seminar involved an exciting programme with interesting topics, and we want to thank the organising committee, which includes Marco Remiorz and Giovanna Montanaro, for their great work.
We are concurrently also preparing for our annual conference in Miami in November 2022, which will formally mark the end of our term as Co-Chairs. We have very much enjoyed serving all of you during our tenure and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your encouragement and support during our term. To our group of officers, a big thank you. You are a great group and have provided us with so much support, without whom we could not have steered the committee through the last two years. Last but not least, we especially want to thank our Newsletter Editors, Tom Belknap and Bruce Paulsen for their work on this as well as the earlier newsletters.
In addition to the successful launch of our Commemorative Book and the various conferences, we are also proud that despite Covid-19 we have seen an increase in membership. This bears testament to the importance of networking and maintaining contacts with our colleagues across the globe, even during a pandemic and a crisis like the current one in Ukraine. We continue to keep all our Ukrainian friends in our thoughts and our prayers. We are fortunate to have been able to embrace technology in order to stay in touch with our Ukrainian friends, and we look forward to welcoming them back at one of our in-person events – hopefully in the not too distant future.
Corina Song and Johannes Grove Nielsen
Co-Chairs, IBA Maritime and Transport Law Committee