The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in conjunction with the Judicial Training Institute has held its 11th Maritime Law Seminar, in Accra to update the knowledge of judges on current developments in international maritime law.
The seminar, which is specifically held for judges of the Superior Courts of Ghana, annually, was also to strengthen the nexus between maritime commercial interests and the judiciary.
Delivering his opening address, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Dr. Kofi Mbia, suggested the widening of the scope of the maritime seminar for judges to keep the participants abreast of issues relating to maritime law and its legal ramifications.
This, he believed, would strengthen and affirm their knowledge within the maritime industry to enable them to effectively arbitrate disputes in the area.
He said while world sea-borne trade reached an all time high of 10 billion tonnes in 2015, Ghana had recorded an increase of 14.2 million tonnes this year, as against 12.7 million tonnes in 2015, representing an increase of 11.8 per cent.
Dr. Mbiah said the growth in commence had introduced a huge potential for disputes in areas of electronic commerce, oil and gas, transboundary pollution damage, international sale of goods, cross-border insolvency and international maritime arbitration.
He noted that the seminar over the decade had positioned judges to meet the yearning desires for quality justice delivery, not only from the business community in the maritime sector, but also from the society at large.
The Chief Justice, Mrs. Theodora Georgina Wood, noted that since the commencement of the maritime law seminar for the judges, a number of maritime trade and transport-related cases had been expertly handled by the courts with the judges relying on the knowledge gained from the seminar.
“It is therefore important for us to ensure that these seminars continue to provide the needed platform for introducing new concepts and refreshing our minds on novel areas of laws governing shipping, international trade and admiralty matters,” she said.
Minister of Trade, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, said that addressing the menace of maritime insecurity in Africa’s waters was of great concern, as it had been given the centre stage in the recently held AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security.
He expressed confidence that regional counter-piracy cooperation among the affected states would go a long way to curb such criminal acts that breach the peace, security and navigation of the African seas.
Mr. Kwetey reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring the continuous provision of infrastructure in the transport sector to make Ghana a transport hub of West Africa.
By Dennis Kwame Amegede