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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Roundtable Event - The Continued Development of Shipping Law: The Role of Arbitration

8 July 2014

Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: The Baltic Exchange, 38 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BH

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The event is generously sponsored by:

20 Essex Street Chambers

The Baltic Exchange

Oxford University Press 


The rules governing shipping, known as the lex maritima, developed transnationally over a number of centuries. They were founded on the practices and usages of the mercantile community and were developed on the basis of the judgments of merchant courts set up along trade routes and presided over by merchant decision-makers. The lex maritima was eventually absorbed into domestic laws through legislative processes, and/or, in the case of the common law, through judicial decision-making (for example by the Court of Admiralty of the United Kingdom). Specialist dispute resolution mechanisms catering to their specific needs remain popular with traders to this day and arbitration has emerged as the dominant choice for resolving disputes in the world of shipping, with the establishment of maritime arbitration centres in major cities such as London and New York. At the same time, the immense advances that have been made and continue to be made in engineering, technology and communications have led to the emergence of innumerable new trade practices, common understandings and usages within the framework of which goods are carried by sea across the world, but which, in view of the widespread use of alternative fora for the resolution of disputes, may be invisible to and unrecognised by domestic laws.


What are the implications of widespread use of arbitration for the continued development of shipping law? Are national laws on shipping destined to become ossified and obsolete? Has a new lex maritima come into being? And would it be beneficial to introduce a system of 'soft precedent' in maritime arbitration to bring emerging rules to light?


The event is intended to serve as an intellectual platform to communicate cutting-edge research on issues relevant to the theme and to facilitate dialogue between experts, including both academics and practitioners, from different jurisdictions.


Opening Speech: Mr Ian Gaunt, Arbitrator and Hon Secretary, LMAA

The event will feature a number of high profile participants from a number of jurisdictions, including:

Closing remarks: Professor Sir Roy Goode


Download the event programme [PDF 199kb].

CPD Points

This event has been accredited for 7 CPD Points.

How to Book

A limited number of seats will be made available at a fee for members of the public wishing to attend. As availability is limited, you are encouraged to register as soon as possible via the Queen Mary eshop. Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. A waiting list will be made available once the event is fully booked.


  • Standard rate - £150
  • QML alumni, students, academics, public sector organisations, NGOs, Baltic Exchange members and London Maritime Arbitrators Association members - £100


For more information, please contact Ms Katherine Zaim on

Photography, video and audio recording

Please note that CCLS events may be photographed or video and audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by Queen Mary University of London. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email CCLS Events Manager, Katherine Zaim, on in advance of the event that you are attending.