The Institute for the Development of Commercial Law and Practice (ICLP) in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has launched the ICLP-CCC Certificate Course on Shipping Law and Practice.
The inauguration of the first course was held last week at the ICLP premises and the organisers hope to make this a regular course in the future with the experience from the first and keeping with the demands of the sector.
Sri Lanka is on its way to becoming a shipping hub for South Asia. The Sri Lankan shipping industry has the capacity to expand and grow into a major international hub, facilitating global trade and transportation. Thus, implementation of mega infrastructure projects such as harbors in Trincomalee, Oluwil, Hambantota and Colombo port expansion will definitely make Sri Lanka, Asia’s new shipping hub.
With this rapid growth comes the need of enhancing the knowledge on shipping law and practice, which is hardly given any importance in any training program. Therefore, building interest and knowledge on the legal and practical aspects in the shipping industry is of vital importance to enhance the capacity and skills of the interested personnel in the Shipping Industry.
The course structure and the syllabus are designed to provide the candidates detailed knowledge of the shipping industry with special reference to the legal and practical aspects. The main topics include maritime law, carriage of goods by sea, admiralty law, port operations, marine insurance, customs formalities, etc.
For the convenience of those employed, the three to four month course will be conducted on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the ICLP Auditorium at No. 61, Carmel Road, Colombo 3.
The members of the faculty have been drawn up from leading personalities in the field shipping law and practice and include Justice P. A. Ratnayake, Judge of the Supreme Court; K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC; Dr. Harsha Cabral, PC; Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Director Aitken Spence Shipping; Vijith De Costa – Ship Broker; Parakrama Dharmawardena – Professional Banker; Dr. Malika Gunasekere – Attorney-at-Law; Sarath Gunawardena – Attorney-at-Law; Chulante Jayasooriya – Chartered Transportant; Chandaka Jayasundara – Attorney-at-Law; Upul Jayatissa – SLPA; Capt. Parakrama De Lannerolle – Master Mariner; S. M. Niyas – Freight Forwarder; and Anoma Ranasinghe – FICS UK.
At the inauguration, S.S. Wijeratne, Secretary General of the ICLP and the Course Director, in his welcome address raised the importance of and the need of such a programme in the present situation of the country.
He said that it was high time that professionals get such training in order to cater to the growing demands in the shipping industry with the implementation of new harbours around the island.
Justice P.A. Ratnayake and other members of the panel highlighted the importance of the knowledge of law relating to the shipping industry, which most professionals lack in the present system. He further mentioned that the developments in this area, especially in admiralty litigation such as ship arrest, etc., could create lot of commercial activities which would benefit the hotel industry and so on.
Harin Malwatte, speaking of the ICLP-CCC collaboration for the course, said that CCC was able to involve the shipping-related associations affiliated to the chamber to ensure that the practical aspects were also included within the course curriculum to bring in a balance between law and practice.
The Chamber of Commerce will utilise the extensive network of members and trade associations to further strengthen cooperation between the CCC and ICLP.
Kanag-Isvaran insisted that the programme should not be confined to lawyers but to professionals from areas such as logistics, freight forwarding, customs, etc. He further mentioned that when compared to a few decades back, at present we have little admiralty cases in courts.
However, with the upcoming developments in the shipping industry, there is a large possibility of an increase of admiralty litigation. He also welcomed the new Commercial High Court which has been specially brought in to hear admiralty and arbitration cases.
The panel appreciated the diversity of presence of the participants registered so far for the programme, which included lawyers, freight forwarders, legal officers, bankers and a journalist.
Gehan Kuruppu, addressing the gathering on behalf of the Sri Lanka Shippers Council, mentioned that they welcomed the programme as it catered to the needs of the industry. He also mentioned that there were issues in the industry due to the lack of legal knowledge in this area, where he personally had to obtain the views of experts to resolve matters.
The number of participants will be limited for effectiveness and interested students who wish to equip themselves with a good knowledge of shipping law and practice in the sector that has a tremendous future for professionals could contact the ICLP on 2346163/4 or by emailing ICLP@eureka.lk.