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The University of Southampton
Institute of Maritime Law

The 39th IML Annual Donald O'May Lecture

Published: 2 December 2021
Simon Rainey QC
Simon Rainey QC delivering the 39th IML Annual Donald O’May Lecture


On Wednesday 3rd November, the Institute of Maritime Law hosted the 39th Annual Lecture at the Ince headquarters in the Aldgate Tower, London. We were delighted to be able to host our Annual Lecture in-person, after last year’s online format due to the circumstances of the pandemic at the time. The IML Director Dr Alexandros X.M. Ntovas opened the Lecture by remarking among other that “while we cannot say that the pandemic is yet over, as we still encounter challenging circumstances and numerous adversities, we can now derive confidence and become more optimistic by the simple fact of being able to gradually return, subject to all necessary precautions and restrictions, to some sort of normality with small-scale in-person events. Although we do have in front of us for sure a brave new world, let us hope that we will not forget ever again that handshaking is not a mere a professional conventionality but a fundamental gesture symbolising trust in personal interaction”. In closing his introduction, the IML Director wished “to acknowledge with appreciation and express the gratitude of the Institute for the generosity of our sponsors, Ince and Informa Law”.

The Lecture was delivered by Simon Rainey QC, Quadrant Chambers, with the title Bull’s Eyes or Broad Principles? Modern Treaty Interpretation and the Sea-Carriage Conventions. With the recent and continuing crop of cases at appellate level on the Hague and Hague Visby Rules, the Lecture considered to what extent the English Court adopts a special approach to their interpretation rather than one of systematic adherence to the principles of the Vienna Convention, especially when viewed in the light of its approach to other, non-maritime, conventions and treaties. The Lecture was masterfully chaired by the Julian Clark, Global Senior Partner, and the Vote of Thanks was offered by Richard Lord QC, Brick Court Chambers.

We now look forward to the 40th IML Annual Donald O’May Lecture in November 2022.

The panel stood in a row
From left: N. O’May, R. Lord, S. Rainey, J. Clark, A. Ntovas
Fred Kenney Director of Legal and External Affairs, International Maritime Organization.
Fred Kenney Director of Legal and External Affairs, International Mari
The panel of the 39th IML Annual Donald O’May Lecture
The panel of the 39th IML Annual Donald O’May Lecture
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