The President of the Malta Maritime Law Association (MMLA), Ann Fenech together with the President of Comité Maritime International (CMI) Stuart Hetherington represented CMI at the 51st session of UNCITRAL in New York on 29th June 2018. Also present was another CMI Executive Council member, Professor Alex von Zeigler who was the Swiss delegate representing Switzerland. Up for discussion was the Swiss Proposal to UNCITRAL suggesting that UNCITRAL should work on cross border issues related to judicial sales.
In February the MMLA together with CMI and the Ministry for Transport organized an international Colloquium on a Draft International Instrument on Foreign Judicial Sales of Ships and their Recognition, a convention drafted by the CMI, where international experts discussed the importance of having an international convention to deal with the issues of recognition of judicial sales of ships. Present for the Colloquium were representatives of the entire maritime and trading industry including ship owners, charterers, financiers, suppliers of provisions and bunkers, flag registries and representatives from BIMCO, FONASBA, the ITF as well as legal practitioners and maritime service providers from around the world. The conclusions of the Malta Colloquium formed the basis of a report attached to the Swiss Proposal requesting UNCITRAL to take on the work.
The CMI are delighted to report that notwithstanding a number of other proposals put to UNCITRAL for future work, the Swiss proposal for work on recognition of judicial sales was one of two proposals accepted by UNCITRAL. UNCITRAL therefore mandated one of its working groups to take on this project. It is expected that work on this will commence as soon as one of the working groups finishes its current assignment.