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New book on
Places of Refuge for
Ships in Need of Assistance
hailed as "superb" and
"the standard on the subject"

Click to enlarge the picture

The environmental catastrophes caused by the Erika and the Prestige casualties have prompted regulatory action at various levels. In 2008, the CMI made the first attempt in history to codify international law on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance. The CMI Draft Convention contains, inter alia, clear-cut rules on the right of access and on liability in case of refusal of access. Issued by the world's leading association of maritime lawyers, the Draft Convention may serve as an authoritative codification of existing customary law, regardless of how IMO Member States respond to it. In 2009, the EU complemented the Traffic Monitoring Directive with detailed rules on the accommodation of distressed ships in EU waters, including on the right of access, intervention plans and financial securities. These new provisions, which are currently being implemented by national legislators, to some extent conflict with the interpretation of international law provided by the CMI. In accordance with the new EU Directive, the European Commission must also formulate proposals for a just compensation of economic loss suffered by EU port authorities.

The new book Places of Refuge. International law and the CMI Draft Convention by Portius Chairman Prof Dr Eric Van Hooydonk is an in-depth 524-page study of the places-of-refuge issue, providing an original, well-structured and detailed analysis of relevant international conventions, guidelines, case law and legal doctrine as well as new CMI and EU rules. In the foreword, CMI President Gombrii and CMI IWG Chairman Hetherington describe the work as a "timely and magnificent book" and honour the author as "the heart and soul" of the CMI International Working Group. Dr John A.C. Cartner, a maritime lawyer in Washington DC, USA and author of the recent work The International Law of the Shipmaster (2009) immediately hailed the new book on Places of Refuge as "superb" and as "the standard on the subject".

For a PDF preview and ordering information, go to the relevant web page of publisher Informa / Lloyd's List Law.