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School of Law

Professor Hilton Staniland, BA (Natal), BA Honours (Natal), LLB (Natal), LLM (Southampton), PhD (Southampton)


Honorary Professor

Room Number: Lincoln’s Inn Fields


Hilton Staniland is Professor in Commercial Law, Shipping and Transport at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at Queen Mary University of London. He joined CCLS in 2018. He lectures in international shipping law. He is an Emeritus Professor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and is also Adjunct Professor at the World Maritime University (Sweden).

Hilton is very active in maritime law reform and policy and has drafted much shipping legislation, including acts, regulations and decrees, for many states, including common law and civil law jurisdictions around the world.  This work typically involves advice and legislation covering the safety of life and ships, the protection of the marine environment and the development of “Blue Economies”.  In respect of all these matters, he also provides some pro bono assistance to developing countries.

Hilton is also very active in marine casualty investigations and sits from time to time as a judge in courts of marine inquiry trials in different jurisdictions, dealing with the loss of lives and ships at sea. He is also involved in marine casualty investigations under various United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) instruments.

Hilton was appointed as the inaugural Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the South African Maritime Safety Authority during the tenure of President Nelson Mandela.  In this position, he was responsible for advancing the maritime interests of South Africa. He has represented South Africa at the IMO and has been consultant from time to time for several United Nations organisations dealing in particular with the implementation and enforcement of international legal instruments.

Prior to joining CCLS, Hilton was a Professor of Maritime Law and a former Director of the Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, a Visiting Professor of Maritime Law at the Greenwich Maritime Institute of the University of Greenwich, and the Director of the Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Natal.

Hilton has published books and numerous chapters and articles on maritime law, admiralty law, international trade law, law of the sea, carriage of goods by sea, marine insurance, seafarers’ law, and law reform.

Postgraduate Teaching

Professor Staniland lectures at CCLS in the areas of Admiralty Law, Wet Law and Seafarers’ Law.


Maritime law, admiralty law, seafarers’ law, regulation of international shipping, safety of life and ships, protection of the marine environment, development of “Blue Economies”, and law reform.






Various acts, regulations and rules dealing with maritime legislations, including Wreck and Salvage Act 94 of 1996;  Port Regulations 117 of 2001 and Port Rules 2009


The Law of Shipping Lexis-Nexus Butterworths 2006 pp 280  ISBN 0 409 01266 2

Books (co-authored)

Cabotage Laws of the World, 2018, pp 99 ISBN 978-1-9164166-1-1


“Legislating for the Recognition of Foreign maritime Liens in South Africa” in (Martin Davies editor) Jurisdiction and Forum Selection in International Maritime Law 2005 at pp 321-339

“Limitation of liability in South Africa” in Limitation of Liability for Marine Claims 4th ed (2005) by Patrick Griggs (general editor) Richard Williams and Jeremy Farr pp 395-408 

Recent articles

“An international proposal to ensure the fair treatment of seafarers” Journal of International Maritime Law 24(2) 2018 pp 106-121

“Admiralty law and imaginative precision in Lord Jim” Journal of International Law and Technology 8(4) 2013 pp 298-315

“Theory versus policy in the reform of admiralty jurisdiction” International Journal of Private Law 6(4) 2013 pp 418-437 

 “Protecting the wages of seafarers held hostage by pirates: the need to reform the law” International Journal of Public Law and Policy 3 (4) (2013) pp 345-366

“The enduring and evolving legal legacy of the Titanic: an enquiry into marine casualty investigations and self-incrimination” The Journal of Business Law 4 (2012) pp 299-318

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