The Arctic Ocean, which emerges from melting ice, promises access to and exploitation of natural and biological resources and exploration of new shipping routes, but also brings new hazards to the environment. The article analyses freedom of fishing in the open sea in light of international law. The author discusses rules on fishing within open sea enclaves, namely Barents Sea Loophole and Bering Sea Donut Hole. The Greenpeace is campaigning to establish a natural sanctuary in the Arctic Ocean and introduce a strict prohibition on commercial exploitation of natural resources, including on fishing, and imposition of certain limitations on naval activity. This idea was endorsed by the European Parliament in their resolution of 12 March 2014 on the EU Strategy for the Arctic (2013/2595(RSP)). Finally, the article reviews negotiations between five arctic states and their initially agreed positions on commercial fishing in the open sea in the central Arctic Ocean (the Nuuk Meeting, February 2014).
The article reviews European Union case law on ship registration and sea-faring in EU member states. The EU, aside from encouraging ship registration in member states, enacts choice of law rules in order to mandate the EU lawor domestic law of member states as proper law for seafaring. Today, the larger number of major Polish shipowners fly a flag of convenience (such as Greece or Cyprus), which means Polish merchant ships do not carry Poland’s civil ensigns.
‘Harbourmaster’ is a legal term, albeit without a proper legal definition. Sub-statute regulations refer to it as person in charge of ‘harbourmaster’s office’ (whichitself is a component of maritime office), and who is instrumental in the head of the maritime office’s exercise of authority in ports. However, statute-level laws give harbourmasters duties and powers which the head of the maritime office does not have. The author discusses the issue and formulates conclusions of academic nature and de lege ferenda.
International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (the ISM Code) has been adopted in light of increased number of accidents occurring due to human element. This article reviews the allocation of safety duties between the crew and the shipowner with respect to implementation of safety procedures and shaping general safety culture. The author discusses both parties’ perspectives on effectiveness of ISM implementation, in particular on excessive bureaucracy.
The article examines mandatory (compulsory) nature of maritime civil liability insurance associated with seafaring. The key question is whether maritime civil liability insurance is indeed a type of compulsory insurance and, if so, whether it falls under the 2003 Law on Compulsory Insurance. The author analyses different maritime civil liability insurance schemes in context of their conformity with legal definition of compulsory insurance and its requisite legal features. Finally, the article reviews the amendments to the Maritime Code as proposed by the Maritime Law Codification Committee, in particular those relating to the unification of rules on financial security.
The article discusses new developments in law controlling carriage of goods by sea, namely — the effect of phenomena such as slot charter or volume contract on drafting carriage contract terms. The analysis of carriage contract definitions as set out in Hague-Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules and Rotterdam Rules is offered in context of carriage contracts by modes other than the sea. The author concludes that present-day maritime trade calls for revision of common views on traditional dichotomies such as charter/booking contract or liner/tramp services in favour of a new, broader concept of a maritime carriage contract.
On 23 April 2014 the 2002 Protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by the Sea (PAL 2002) entered into force. The purpose of the Protocol is to improve legal standing of the passenger. The author discusses legislative options as to the future shape of Articles 181 and 182 of the Maritime Code if PAL 2002 is to be ratified by Poland. The first option is to make the 2002 Athens Convention control domestic carriage of passengers, which currently remains outside of the scope of Regulation (EC) No 329/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents, and to exclude compulsory insurance or other financial security within limits prescribed by the Convention. The second option is to apply the Convention liability mechanism to carriage by Class C, Class D and Class B vessels.
The article discusses issues relating to outer limit of continental shelf within the meaning of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and investigates the role of the Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (CLCS). The CLCS is a scientific and technical body with advisory duties. The author examines, as an example of difficulties arising in delimitation of continental shelf, the territorial dispute surrounding the Lomonosov Ridge.
The article gives an account of a legally unprecedented instance of utilisation of offshore platform ‘Odyssey’ and her accompanying ship ‘Sea Launch Commander’ for launching satellites into orbit. The platform is operated by an international partnership company called ‘Sea Launch’, which unites commercial undertakings within space and maritime industries from USA, Russia, Ukraine and Norway. The article discusses selected legal issues arising in areas of law of the sea, admiralty and space law, as well as issues relating to coordination of partners’ efforts in legal and administrative spheres. The company eventually went through bankruptcy (Chapter 11) procedure; the author investigates legal and economic causes of this matter. Finally, the article iterates proposal for a new international convention on space transport, which would include a comprehensive regulation on launching objects into space from offshore facilities.