MARITIME law mavens gathered last week in Perth to discuss ideas and hear from different sectors of the industry at the 48th annual conference put on by the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand.

The conference theme was “the future of shipping” with sessions covering digitalisation, automation, future trends, and the energy transition.

Conferencegoers also attended sessions on sanctions and security – an apt topic in these turbulent times – carriage of cargo and emergency.

As the 2023 Deathridge Memorial Speaker, the Honourable James Allsop AC gave the keynote speech at the beginning of the conference.

He spoke on the history of maritime law in Australia and the importance of developing that body of law.

He proposed to call his address, “not a land girt by beach and the importance of seeing maritime law as the law of an activity”.

“Maritime law should not be viewed as antiquarian, but as vibrantly contemporaneous,” he said.

“It should not be viewed just as the fabric of national law, drawing its principles only from domestic sources of constituent conception … It should be views as the national manifestation of common heritage of principle, drawing its content from such maritime and international sources as are appropriate to maintain its place as part of the regulation of rights and duties for international seaborne activity and commerce.”

For more detailed coverage of the MLAANZ conference, see the forthcoming November issue of the DCN magazine.