University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Campus Map button


TITLE Maritime Safety and the Environment

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Mechanical Engineering

DESCRIPTION The law of maritime safety examines the wide array of rules designed to achieve higher standards of safety in shipping. Implementation of the safety standards, this topic discusses the role of classification societies, the State and other relevant actors.

The Flag & Port State Control (PSC) provides a framework to promote the global harmonisation and co-ordination for effective implementation and enforcement of the global maritime standards. The implementation of seaworthiness act, delegation of Flag State Control (FSC), Flags of Convenience (FOC), the effectiveness of FSC, Flag State Audit project and resolutions for the procedure for PSC are delivered.

Over 90% of international trade is carried by sea. The international maritime security law plays an important role and has become a major focus for governments, shipping companies, international organisations and authorities. Security law focuses primarily on two major threats to maritime security – piracy and armed robbery against ships and maritime terrorism, examining the salient features of these threats as well as the international legal framework used to fight and suppress these crimes.

Maritime Environment examines the basic international instruments on the marine environment, including Part XII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as other more detailed conventions dealing with, inter alia, marine pollution prevention, preparedness, response and co-operation to pollution incidents, as well as liability and compensation for pollution damage.

The practical implementation of SOLAS & MARPOL conventions for safety and the environment are discussed and delivered by experts from within the maritime industry.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit on Maritime Safety and the Environment introduces and describes the wide array of maritime safety and environmental protection rules which have been put in place in order to attain a higher standard of safety and environmental protections in shipping.

Flag & Port State Control is the international agreed regime for the inspection of foreign ships in other national ports by PSC inspectors. Knowledge on the remit of these investigators of compliance of vessels according to the international conventions are essential and considered. The practical implementation and the enforcement of the international standard are delivered by experts within the maritime industry.

The Security Law topic aims to provide an overview of the concept of maritime security and an understanding of its importance for the international community, offering an up-to-date picture of the current maritime security regime regulating the crimes of piracy and armed robbery against ships and maritime terrorism, with particular emphasis on the major international maritime security instruments.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify safety and environmental protection rules promulgated by the International Maritime Organisation and other international organisations;
- provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current legal regimes;
- contribute to the development of the legal framework when participating in various working groups drafting national legislation;
- explain the meaning of maritime security and its role in protecting the security of coastal States, vessels, persons, property and the maritime environment;
- identify the salient features of major threats to maritime security and their effects on the shipping industry;
- describe the international legal framework used to suppress maritime security threats;
- provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current legal regimes;
- identify and describe the role of the flag states and of port state control;
- recognise the different structures of flag and PS in place and interpret and discuss their modus operandi.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- be conversant with the rights and obligations of States, shipowners and other parties in relation to safety of ships and protection of the environment;
- apply the relevant rules when approving shipbuilding plans, inspecting ships, or conducting casualty investigations;
- demonstrate the learned knowledge to particular factual situations enabling effective utilisation of the international law to promote safety of life at sea and the protection of the environment;
- be conversant in critical reasoning with regard to the effective repression of maritime security threats;
- demonstrate the learned knowledge to particular factual situations enabling effective utilisation of the international law to combat maritime security threats;
- interpret, analyse and assess the international standards to ensure vessel compliance with the standards;
- demonstrate an understanding of the different role and position of the port and flag state control.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law, (Vol I: The Law of the Sea), David Attard et al. (Eds.), Oxford University Press (24 Mar. 2016), ISBN-13: 978-0199683932.
- Report of the Secretary General on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 10 March 2008, UN Doc. A/63/63,
- Modern Piracy - Legal Challenges and Responses, Douglas Guilfoyle (Editor), Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd (30 April 2013), ISBN-13: 978-1849804844.
- International Maritime Security Law, James Kraska and Raul Pedrozo, Martinus Nijhoff, (19 April 2013), ISBN-13: 978-9004233560, Chapter 12, 13, 21, 20, 22.
- Maritime Security and the Law of the Sea, Nathalie Klein, Oxford University Press, USA (25 Nov. 2012), ISBN-13: 978-0199668144, Chapter 4.
- The Merchant Shipping Act, Ch 234,
- Paris MoU on Port State Control,
- Procedures for Port State Control, 2012 Edition, IMO Publication IB650E, ISBN-13: 978-9280115505.
- SOLAS: Consolidated Text of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, and Its Protocol of 1988 Articles, Annexes and ... All Amendments in Effect from 1 July 2009, International Maritime Organization Publications, (2009), consolidated edition (December 1, 2009), 5th Edition, ISBN-13: 978-9280115055.
- MARPOL Consolidated Edition 2011, International Maritime Organization Publications, (2011), consolidated edition, 5th Edition, ISBN-13: 978-9280115321.

Supplementary Reading:

- IMO’s Contribution to International Law Regulating Maritime Security, Felicity Attard, Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce (2014), 45, 479.
- The Fight Against Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships off the Coast of Somalia, Patricia Mallia, in Norman Martínez Gutiérrez (ed), Serving the Rule of International Maritime Law – Essays in Honour of Professor David Joseph Attard, Routledge (January 28, 2010), Chapter 14. ISBN-13: 978-0415563987.
- Maritime Terrorism and the Illicit Trafficking of Arms, Riyaz Hamza, in David Attard et als. (Eds.), The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law – Volume III – Marine Environmental Law and Maritime Security Law, Oxford University Press (2016) Chapter 12. ISBN-13: 978-0199683949.
- Protection of Foreign Ships against Piracy and Terrorism at Sea: Legal Aspects, José Luis Jesus, International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (2003), 18, 363.
- Missing the Boat: The Legal and Practical Problems of the Prevention of Maritime Terrorism, Justin Mellor, American University of International Law Review, (2002), 18, 341.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Attur Tetty Lubis
Norman Martinez
Felicity Attard

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

Log In back to UoM Homepage