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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

About the Insurance, Shipping & Aviation Law Institute

The Insurance Shipping & Aviation Law Institute (ISALI) was founded as the Insurance law Institute in 2012 as part of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) to support high quality teaching and research in all areas of Insurance Law. It is being relaunched in the academic year 2019-2020 as the Insurance, Shipping & Aviation Law Institute better to reflect the fields of expertise of its widening academic membership.

 Emeritus Professor Philip Rawlings, Founder of the Insurance Law Institute
Emeritus Professor Philip Rawlings, Founder of the Insurance Law Institute

The Institute was founded by Professor Philip Rawlings in 2012. In the course of his career, Philip made major contributions to the study of insurance law. He retired in 2019, but remains actively involved in the Institute.

The Institute’s focus is knowledge creation through rigorous and cutting-edge research with real-world impact, and its dissemination through world-class educational programmes.

The Institute is active in engaging with, and drawing support from industry. Professor Miriam Goldby is on the Committee of the British Insurance Law Association (BILA), and she and Dr Arnold-Dwyer are the Editor and Deputy Editor respectively of the BILA Journal.

Dr Miriam Goldby, former Director of the Insurance Shipping & Aviation Law Institute
Dr Miriam Goldby, former Director of the Insurance Shipping & Aviation Law Institute

Dr Arnold-Dwyer is on the Drafting Committee of the UNIDROIT Principles of Reinsurance Contract Law project and recently attended COP27 as delegate from Queen Mary. Institute members specialising in insurance have been involved in research projects led by the Lloyd’s Innovation Department and the English Law Commission.  

Our experts in Shipping Law have been involved in work by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the Comité Maritime International (CMI), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Our expert in Aviation Law has been involved in work by the European Commission

Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Director
Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Director

and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Two of our academic members are former Lord Justices of Appeal and have decided multiple landmark cases in the Institute’s fields of expertise.

Our practitioner membership is actively involved in our work, with a number of members contributing to the teaching of our many specialist courses, including Julian Burling, barrister and former Counsel of Lloyd’s of London; Jonathan Moss, partner at DWF and Queen Mary alumnus; Kevin Lazarus, solicitor at Lloyd’s of London; Ian Gaunt, President of the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association and Struan Robertson, Head of Legal Services at Clarksons Platou.

Insurance has a key role in developed and developing economies, in international trade, international finance and in personal finance. It supports businesses and individuals by enabling risk transfer and by providing a significant source of investment. Trade and finance on any scale are impossible without insurance, and increasingly insurance steps in as governments become concerned about the ability of state welfare provision to cope. London is the largest global hub for commercial and specialty insurance risk and the seat of Lloyd’s of London, the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market. The UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. English insurance law is the backbone of the global insurance industry. It is one of the governing laws most frequently chosen in cross-border insurance and reinsurance transactions. Many Commonwealth countries have an insurance law that derives from English insurance law and other jurisdictions are looking to English insurance law for inspiration to reform their laws. Read Insurance Law and the City, Jonathan Moss, DWF: The importance of insurance to the UK economy, with reference to job creation, effects on the economy and the London market as a centre for insurance excellence.

Shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy and essential to the global trade in goods. In 2017, a total of around 10.7 billion tons of goods were loaded worldwide. The carriage of goods can be lucrative with the income generated by freight rates being estimated to represent about 5% of the global economy, but it is also risky and logistically and operationally complicated, meaning that loss-causing incidents at sea are not infrequent. The business is also subject to volatile markets, which can result in economically driven breaches of contract. Further, ships are high value assets and are becoming increasingly technically sophisticated meaning that shipbuilding contracts are highly complex and it is not unusual for disputes to arise. Hence it is an industry where legal advice is often required. Read the latest Review of  Maritime Transport of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Flying has captured human imagination since antiquity and is synonymous with freedom. Ironically, commercial aviation grew rapidly in the 20th century thanks to the technological innovation fuelled by the two devastating World Wars. Ever since, aviation has played a key role in connecting the world. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there were close to 4 billion origin-destination passenger journeys worldwide in 2018. According to the International Air Transport Association, air transport accounts for only a small, less than 1%, proportion of world trade by volume, but for a much larger share by value, of about 33%. However, despite aviation’s contribution to growth, air transport law is a field that has been neglected by legal scholars so much so that ICAO has been instructed by its 193 Member States to take all possible action to promote the teaching of air law. The Centre for Commercial Law Studies is one of the very few academic institutions globally that offer research-led teaching of public and private air transport law. Considering that aviation accounts for 3,6% of the world’s GDP, air law is not a niche field to specialise in, but a springboard to an exciting career.

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