Most maritime lawyers evaluate the Rotterdam Rules by reference to the Hague, Hague-Visby, or Hamburg Rules. Making such comparisons, however, focuses too much attention on the liability aspects of the new convention and overlooks more important aspects that are only tangentially related to a carrier’s liability for lost or damaged goods. After a brief introduction – which will include a summary of recent developments on the ratification front, the speaker, Professor Michael Sturley, will explain why the non-liability provisions of the new convention are not only central to the Rotterdam Rules but will ultimately have a greater impact on the 21st century shipping industry than the more familiar liability provisions.
Capt. Frederick James Francis
Frederick Francis first went out to sea four decades ago. He took command at the age of 29 with Neptune Orient Lines before joining the Singapore Maritime Academy. Under a scholarship, he read law at Cardiff University, earning a distinction in his dissertation and was admitted to the Degree of Master of Laws. He has presented numerous papers on maritime law and written widely, including contributions to Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore. Capt. Francis serves on the committees of the Maritime Law Association of Singapore, the Singapore Maritime Arbitration Association and the Missions to Seafarers (Singapore Branch). He is the current President of the Singapore Nautical Institute and the Founding Commodore of the Youth Skipper Flotilla. Capt. Francis has won numerous awards including the USCG (United States Coast Guard) Public Service Commendation award, the USCG Certificate of Merit, the PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) Commendable Act award.
Professor Michael F. Sturley
Michael Sturley is the Fannie Coplin Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School, where he teaches inter alia maritime law and commercial law courses and directs the Supreme Court Clinic. He received his undergraduate education at Yale, and has law degrees from Yale and Oxford. Professor Sturley is a member of the American Law Institute; a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (where he is active on several committees); a Titulary Member of the Comité Maritime International (where he served as the Rapporteur for the CMI’s International Sub-Committee on Issues of Transport Law); the Senior Advisor on the U.S. Delegation to Working Group III (Transport Law) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL); and a member of the UNCITRAL Experts’ Group on Transport Law. Professor Sturley has written extensively on maritime subjects, including The Rotterdam Rules: The U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (2010) (with Tomotaka Fujita & Gertjan van der Ziel). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas Law School, Prof. Sturley was associated with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York.