Current Affairs
The 30th anniversary of the Institute of International Maritime Law commemorated

Over the last 30 years a Malta institute of one of the specialised United Nations agencies has seen the graduation of over 1,000 professionals in the maritime sector, persons who are sought for their legal advice by Governments and various industries worldwide.

The anniversary was commemorated by the Institute of Maritime Law at its International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters in London in the presence of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Dr Muscat extended the Government’s commitment and collaboration in the work of the institute from the University campus and said more facilities and resources will be made available for its work.

With a strong and lengthy tradition in the maritime sector, Malta has built a reputation in the sphere and today has the largest maritime register in Europe and the sixth largest in the world. Under the mantle of one of the UN’s main agencies, the IMO in Malta operates a Response Centre to deal with emergency cases of pollution in the Mediterranean under the Institute of International Maritime Law.

Prime Minister Muscat was invited to tour the IMO’s headquarters and addressed a plenary session for countries worldwide.

The Prime Minister said, “This is to commemorate IMLI’s 30th anniversary which I believe is a very important milestone in our efforts to create a just and equitable international maritime legal order which will promote the peaceful uses of the oceans and the efficient utilization of its resources.”

Dr Muscat said the institute, under the leadership of Professor David Attard, has developed a centre of excellence which is internationally recognised and has produced over 1,000 professional graduates and constitutes an important tool in the IMO’s mission.

“The hundreds of lawyers who have graduated at IMLI are trained to provide Governments with the national expertise to incorporate and implement IMO rules into their domestic legal system. It is noteworthy that IMLI graduates hail from 152 states. In my view, this widespread representation contributes greatly to the process of ensuring the universal and uniform application of IMO rules”, said Dr Muscat.

He mentioned the contribution given by Malta as a result of its participation in the operations and works of the IMO and he expressed his hopes that in the next assembly Malta is once more elected to serve on the organisation’s Council. He referred to the challenges in ocean governance and he expressed his understanding this should be treated at a high political level and involving the IMO which has a vast experience in safeguarding the seas and the maritime environment. Dr Muscat identified new challenges forthcoming from new technological opportunities and artificial intelligence to be used to give maritime industries greater sustainability.

Accompanied by Transport Minister, Ian Borg, discussions were held with IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim.

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