Rotterdam Institute for Shipping & Transport Law
Director: Prof. dr Frank Smeele
Located in Rotterdam, the main port of Europe, the fourth busiest port in the world, and a major transport hub, it is only natural for Erasmus School of Law (ESL) to take an active interest in shipping and transport law. After all, as a leading commercial centre Rotterdam is also a place where Courts, arbitrators and attorneys provide specialist and high quality legal services to the shipping industry, traders, banks and underwriters.
For decades already, legal scholars working at Erasmus University and its predecessor the Nederlandsche Economische Hogeschool (NEH) have dedicated their attention to lecturing and researching shipping law and transport law and have contributed to its continuous development (see under Tradition). As a result, Erasmus School of Law is widely acknowledged to be the leading player in these fields within The Netherlands.
Now (in 2009) the board of Erasmus School of Law has decided that the time has come to give a new boost to these efforts through the founding by Erasmus School of Law of the Rotterdam Institute for Shipping and Transport Law (RISTL). RISTL aims to provide a better and more transparent structure for the various Master level courses in these fields provided by Erasmus School of Law (see under Courses). RISTL will also be instrumental in organizing seminars, colloquia, and conferences on topical subjects where possible in close collaboration with partner universities, institutes and associations both at home and abroad.
RISTL is also intended as a centre for both academic and practical research in shipping and transport law. Through its network of members and associated members, RISTL will bring together legal scholars in these fields and stimulate both junior and senior researchers from The Netherlands and abroad to contribute to the international academic debate on issues in shipping and transport law through high quality publications both in the English and Dutch language. Finally, RISTL will prove a useful instrument in achieving closer international co-operation between Universities and Research Institutes active in the fields of shipping and transport law.
No better way to launch RISTL, but through the organization of an international conference on a topical issue. And what could be more topical these days then the new United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, aka the Rotterdam Rules 2009 to be signed on our doorstep here in Rotterdam at 23rd September 2009. ESL and RISTL have seized the occasion to host a two day international conference under the title “The Rotterdam Rules Appraised” at 24th and 25th September 2009 at the campus of Erasmus University at Rotterdam.