Institute of Maritime Law

Professor Hilton Staniland


Professor Hilton Staniland

Professor Hilton Staniland

Professor of Maritime Law



B.A. (Hons); LL.B.; LL.M.; Ph.D.

Hilton was formerly a Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, Head of the School of Maritime Studies University of Natal, and former director of the Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Southampton. Hilton is also an Adjunct Professor at the World Maritime University in Sweden and a Visiting Professor of Maritime Law at the Greenwich Maritime Insititute of the University of Greenwich. 

Hilton is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and of the High Court of Lesotho and a member of the Advisory Board of Seafarers’ Rights International. He has represented South Africa at the IMO, and has drafted many maritime Acts, Regulations and Decrees for many states, which include common law and civil law jurisdictions. He has sat with different judges as an assessor in many murder, rape and robbery trials, and been heavily involved in salvage, collision and wreck cases. He has personally presided over a major trial in a Court of Inquiry dealing with the loss of a ship and 19 lives at sea.  Hilton is very active in maritime law reform and policy and in drafting shipping legislation for different maritime states around the world.

Hilton's interests are in the practical implementation of the law, with particular regard to forms, precedents and pleadings in several different jurisdictions; the enforcement of maritime claims and statutory and maritime liens; pre-judgment security; and sister ship arrest.   He is active in the administration, implementation and enforcement of IMO and ILO International Legal Instruments, as well as the education and training of seafarers and their rights, particularly with regard to international safety, pollution, labour, and marine casualty conventions and codes. 

He has abiding research and work interests in salvage, seafarers’ claims, collision, towage, limitation of liability, and civil claims and criminal prosecutions relating to piracy. 

The extent to which great literature can provide case studies for law enforcement and reform is a matter of some occasional research.


Stay in Touch


Contact Details

  • Professor Hilton Staniland
    Institute of Maritime Law
    Southampton Law School
    University of Southampton
    Highfield Campus
    Southampton SO17 1BJ
    United Kingdom

  • Phone
    +44 (0) 23 8059 2436

  • Fax
    +44 (0) 23 8059 3789

  • Email



  • Professor Staniland has written an analysis of new shipping legislation and case law in the 'Annual Survey of South African Law' (2008).

  • Recent publications by Professor Hilton Staniland.