Maritime law is highly complex, in major part because it is essentially a complete system of law developed to deal with the almost unique problems of a multi-faceted industry, but also because it must continuously evolve in order to comprehend unceasing advances in technology and consequent challenges to and changes in commercial practice.
As part of efforts to promote and protect the interests of shippers in relation to international trade and transport logistics, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has over the years been organizing seminars, conferences and workshops for import and export shippers as well as stakeholders of the shipping industry to update them on developments in the dynamic international shipping environment.
In 2004, the Authority in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute commenced organizing a series of annual Maritime Law Seminars for Judges of the Superior Courts of Ghana. The first seminar was held from 14 – 15 May 2004 at the Crestal Royale Hotel, Accra.
The purpose of the Maritime Law Seminar series is to:
- Create awareness for the bench and bar in the areas of maritime law to enable a better appreciation of this specialized area of law.
- To strengthen the nexus between maritime commercial interests and the judiciary.
- To explore avenues for institutionalizing this seminar, and to ensure that it becomes an avenue for updating judges on developments in maritime law.
- To serve as a forum for bringing out the peculiarities of the practice of maritime law in Ghana.
The Authority has from the maiden seminar in 2004 published the papers delivered at the seminars under the publication name The Admiral. Following from this, the publications of the papers presented at second to the fourth Maritime Law Seminars were christened The Admiral II, III and IV respectively.
It is important to note that in 2011, the Authority was compelled to combine the papers presented at the 5th and 6th Seminars into one publication (The Admiral V) this normally should have been The Admiral V and The Admiral VI respectively.
In view of this joint publication, the papers presented at the 7thÂ and 8th Seminars were christened The Admiral VI and VII respectively, in order to maintain the chronology of the publications.
The Authority is in the process of publishing a compendium of all the papers presented at the first ten Maritime Law Seminars, to serve as a reference material for Judges and Academia.
The Admiral has provided the much needed reference for updating the knowledge of Judges/Justices of superior Courts of Ghana and Law practitioner and has yielded tremendous fruit in quality judicial interpretations and adjudication of disputes in admiralty claims.