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HiHonor Lawyers Attended the 9th International Conference on Maritime Law and Gave Lectures
Time:2018-11-05 23:27:49 From:HIHONOR

HiHonor Lawyers Attended the 9th International Conference on Maritime Law and Gave Lectures

The Ninth International Conference on Maritime Law was held from 28 to 31 October 2018 in Shanghai, China. This Conference was hosted by China Maritime Law Association, and was organized by Shanghai Maritime University, with the PRC Supreme People’s Court, Admiralty and Maritime Committee of the All-China Lawyers Association and other units as co-organizers. The theme of this Conference is “The Development, Reform and Innovation of the Ideas, Systems and Regimes of Maritime Law in the New Era” with ten topics, saying: 1) Reformulation of the lex maritima in the modern time & revision of the Chinese Maritime Code; 2) Protections provided by maritime law in the Belt & Road construction and in the economic globalization and trade liberalization; 3) New legal issues in shipping industry in the post-financial crisis era: ship financing security and cross-border insolvency; 4) Prospects of the Rotterdam Rules at its 10th anniversary; 5) Protection of cruise ship passengers’ rights and interests; 6) Fair treatment of seafarers; 7) New legal issues in marine environmental protection and sustainable shipping; 8) Legal issues in polar shipping and maritime safety; 9) Issues of maritime and shipping law and policy for facilitating transport: free trade ports and integrated transport; 10) Innovation of maritime dispute resolution mechanisms.

Three papers submitted by Hihonor Lawyers were included in the Collection of Papers of the conference, including the papers Applying Forum Non Conveniens doctrine PRC Court Dismissed Foreign Party’s Claim written by Xinwei Zhao & Wenjuan Li, Brief Introduction and Comments on A General Average Case written by Xinwei Zhao & Huanying Liu, and The IMO polar code: the emerging rules of arctic shipping governance written by our part-time lawyer, as well as the professor of Ocean University of China Jiayu Bai.

At the invitation of the conference host, Managing Partner Ms. Xinwei Zhao and Part-time Lawyer Ms. Jiayu Bai gave lectures respectively on the topics of their papers in different sessions of the conference.

Ms. Xinwei Zhao’s lecture was in the Session VII: Innovation of maritime dispute resolution mechanisms. Ms. Zhao pointed out that Forum Non Conveniens is not exclusive to common law nations, PRC courts, although not a common law jurisdiction, also have such power under more restrained conditions, as detailed in Article 532 of The Supreme People’s Court Judicial Interpretation on Application of the Procedure Law of PRC. Ms. Zhao introduced a reported appeal case that we HiHonor Lawyers involved on the defendant foreign ship owner’s behalf, in which foreign ship owner under Debtor Rehabilitation procedure in Korean court, raised objection to the jurisdiction of PRC court for unpaid bunker claims supplied to the Owner’s ship. Owner’s ship was arrested pre-proceeding by PRC court at the application of foreign bunker supplier for seeking security and forum shopping, and cash security was provided to PRC court by the owner. PRC court dismissed the case filed by the foreign bunker supplier, based on Forum Non Conveniens doctrine.  This case is a remarkable positive sign for Chinese court to decline lawsuit filed by foreign party against another foreign party under bankruptcy protection of the foreign court.  Although Chinese court would NOT recognize and enforce the foreign bankruptcy procedure, howsoever, if no Chinese interests are involved in such lawsuit, and if all the six conditions for application of the forum-non-convenience doctrine are met with, the defendant/respondent could invoke the forum-non-convenience doctrine as good defense point, applying to Chinese court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by foreign party.

Professor Ms. Jiayu Bai’s lecture was in the Session VI: Legal issues in polar shipping and maritime safety & Fair treatment of Seafarers. Professor Bai mainly introduced the formation, the underlying principles, the content, the unique characteristics, the development and the future practice of the Polar Code. From the perspectives of coastal states, the port states and the flag states, Professor Bai rendered her opinion on the future practice of the Polar Code that flag states are in the best position to ensure compliance with maritime conventions, while the port states play a supporting role, and the coastal state should provide legislative support to solve the conflict between the domestic law and the Polar code; the Arctic countries should cooperate to fulfill the port state control.

This conference has attracted around 350 attendees from the Mainland China, HK China, Japanese, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, India and other countries and districts, who are mainly practitioners working in universities, law firms, maritime consultant companies, shipping companies and insurance companies. In the conference, Hihonor lawyers had a reunion with many of our old friends, at the same time we got acquainted with a lot of new friends. Through participating this conference and communicating with experts from the shipping circles, Hihonor lawyers showed our profession and dedication in providing the best, most reliable and professional legal services. HiHonor lawyers will continue to be committed to uphold the honor of our clients and try our best to meet the needs and expectations of our clients.