IMLI Homepage

This page is still under construction! However, all pages may be accessed!


  1. The Institute
  2. Contibution by the Government Of Malta
  3. Why Malta?
  4. Administration and Finance
  5. Course in International Law - The needs met
  6. The Syllabus
  7. Students' Directory
  8. Visiting Fellows
  9. Email Section

                 The Institute

The IMO International Maritime Law Institute is an international
centre for the training of specialists in maritime law and the
development and dissemination of knowledge and expertise in the
international legal regime of merchant shipping and related areas
of maritime law and the general law of the sea.  Special emphasis
is given to the international regulations and procedures for
furthering the purposes and objectives of the International
Maritime Organisation as a specialised agency of the United

The Institute provides suitably qualified persons, particularly
from the developing countries, with high-level facilities for
advanced training, study and research in international maritime law
and legislation for the regulation of international shipping.  It
encourages research and other appropriate programmes for enhancing
the contribution of maritime law and legislation, and the effective
global implementation of treaties and other international
instruments, to the attainment of the international goal of
improved safety at sea, efficiency in maritime navigation and
related activities and the prevention of marine pollution.

Finally, the Institute encourages the improvement and dissemination
of knowledge and skills in international maritime law and maritime
legislation to deal with new demands in international shipping and
in maritime affairs in general. 

 Back To Contents 

  Contribution by The Government Of Malta        

Under an Agreement concluded between IMO and the Government of
Malta, the Government kindly agreed to provide facilities for the
establishment of the Institute in Malta.  In particular, the
Government agreed to make available to the Organisation, free of
charge, premises and related facilities for use  by the
Organisation for the purposes of the Institute or in connection
with such purposes.  The premises includes flats for the use of at
least 20 students and three visiting professors of the Institute. 
the premises and flats are equipped with supplies of electricity,
water and appropriate installations for toilets, hygiene and sewage

The Government also agreed, at the request of the Secretary-
General, to make available such additional premises and related
facilities (including the extension or adaptation of buildings,
building parts, facilities and auxiliary devices) as are reasonably
required for the legitimate needs of the Institute, on the same
terms and conditions.

The Government agreed to bear all costs of maintenance and repairs
of the building and facilities provided for the Institute.

The Agreement also regulates other matters, including the
privileges, immunities, facilities and courtesies to be accorded to
officials of IMO, the personnel of the Institute and other persons
performing functions for or on behalf of the Institute in Malta.

 Back To Contents 

                  Why Malta?        

Malta abounds in history and culture and is blessed by a mild and
congenial Mediterranean climate.  It is a small island of 300
square kilometers with a small population of 380,000 known for its
friendliness and hospitality.

Malta's numerous archeological sites bear witness to an intriguing
prehistoric era stretching well beyond Phoenician times interlacing
the cultures and civilisations that swept the Mediterranean and
which have all left their visible marks.  The Carthaginians, the
Romans, the Arab Empire, the Normans, the Knights of St.John of
Jerusalem, the French and the British have all left a legacy to
posterity and which altogether make Malta so unique.  Malta became
independent in 1964 and has always had its own Judiciary, its own
Laws, its own Civil Service and its own Medical School.

It is within easy reach of any country in Europe and the world. 
There are daily flights to Rome and London and several flights a
week to all major cities in Europe.  Sicily can be reached by a
fast hydrofoil and three times a week, by a passenger/ro-ro liner. 
All this makes Malta an ideal site for an international centre and
seat of learning.

From time immemorial, Malta's destiny has been intimately linked to
the sea.  Its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean
- coupled with its excellent, deep and sheltered harbours - has
been mainly responsible for Malta's development as a maritime
centre.  Its harbours provided a safe and useful haven on the major
sea-routes and established Malta as a major entrepot for trade and
an important bunkering station.

Within the Mediterranean, maritime navigation, trade and commerce
have flourished under the influence of widely accepted and
respected rules of maritime law, at times codified such as the
Consolato del Mare.  Malta's maritime role has ensured that the
study and practice of maritime law has flourished amongst the
island's legal profession.  Indeed, it is this legal tradition
which contributed to the formulation of the Maltese initiative at
the 1967 United Nations General Assembly that culminated in the
adoption of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea.  Malta also hosts the Regional Oil Combatting Centre,
established under the Mediterranean Action Plan of UNEP and
administered by IMO.

 Back To Contents 

          Administration and Finance        

The Institute is administered under the supervision, control and
direction of a Board of Governors.  The Resident Faculty consists
of a Director, a maritime law specialist of international renown
with considerable teaching experience, and a Deputy Director, a
maritime lawyer with specialised experience in the drafting of
maritime statutes, rules and regulations.  The Institute is
assisted by visiting professors who lecture in the subjects of
their specialisations.  The requisite administrative and
secretarial staff, small in number, is also provided.

The entire running costs of the Institute, apart from those covered
by the Government of Malta, in terms of the Agreement between that
Government and IMO, are met by voluntary funds.  These are
estimated at UKú 425,000 per annum.  No financial contributions are
made from the assessed budget of IMO.

In brief, the model of the World Maritime University were the basis
for the administrative and financial management of the Institute.

 Back To Contents 

Course in International Law - The needs met        

One of the essential requirements for operating a shipping or
maritime programme is the ability to implement international
conventions and instruments adopted by IMO and other relevant
international organisations.  For this purpose States need to have
appropriate legal infrastructure which incorporates the provisions
of the respective conventions and instruments into national law and
which has well-established procedures for applying and enforcing
the requirements of the applicable law in all relevant situations. 
The appropriate legal infrastructure in each State should consist
of an up-to-date legislative regime, with a suitable machinery for
the review, revision and modification of that legislation, to keep
it in line with changes in international maritime law and
developments in marine technology and shipping practices.  For this
purpose the State, as well as the shipping industry, requires the
services of well-trained legal personnel with specialisation in
maritime and shipping law.  There is also need for persons with
expertise and skills in the preparation and drafting of legislative
instruments, including the preparation of primary legislation
(codes, statutes, etc.) as well as the necessary subsidiary
legislation (regulations and rules) for implementing the principal
instruments at State and industry levels.

Although many developing countries have reasonable numbers of
legally trained persons, they do not always have the required
numbers of persons with the necessary specialisation or expertise
in maritime law.  To meet these needs, IMO has included, as a vital
part of its technical cooperation programme, projects for the
provision of technical advice and assistance in maritime law and
legislation.  Under this programme, advice and assistance have been
provided on request to States on the planning and preparation for
new or updated maritime legislation.  Such advice and assistance
have been provided by IMO's interregional advisers or, where
appropriate, by short-term consultants or experts recruited in
consultation with the Government concerned.  Interregional advisers
prepare their recommendations after one or several short visits to
the countries, while consultants and experts are recruited for
relatively longer periods, usually between three to six months'

While advisory services along these lines have been useful to many
States, it is generally recognised that such assistance can only be
of limited benefit and cannot provide an effective long-term answer
to the needs of these countries.  What each developing country
needs is not only a good maritime law regime, but also a reasonable
cadre of national legal personnel who are available to oversee, on
a systematic basis, the implementation of existing law, to review
and evaluate the provisions and arrangements for their
implementation, to advise on the need for new or revised laws and
regulations and, as necessary, to prepare suitable texts for
consideration and adoption by the relevant legislative bodies. 
This is a crucial role which must necessarily be discharged on a
continuous basis if it is to be effectively discharged.  It is
therefore a need which cannot be met by occasional visits of
advisers, or even by experts who can only stay for limited periods.

 Back To Contents 

You are visitor number to the IMLI Homepage.

These pages are maintained by Chris Attard Copyright © International Maritime Law Institute

Send Email at