Titanic

There are serious concerns among governments and legal practitioners that the original Hague Rules concept of common and standard international rules and limitations relating to liability for carriage of goods by sea have been lost and in addition, there are many individual national enactments and statutes which bear on the carriers liability. In 2000 The Comité Maritime International  (CMI) a body of international maritime lawyers, with the support of UNCTAD and OECD examined this subject and within two years, they had produced a final draft of a proposed convention to replace all the existing conventions and rules for port to port and combined transport where the main leg is by sea.  It remains to be seen whether and how this might move forward. Without a doubt the most important set of conventions are those within the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).  Some Safety of Life at sea conventions were, however, implemented well before the advent of IMO.  The first version was adopted in 1914 in response to the “Titanic” disaster.  The second version was in 1929 and the third in 1948. The fourth version was in 1960 which was adopted on 17th June 1960 and entered into force on 26th May 1965. This was IMO’s first major task after its creation and it was hailed as a considerable step forward in modernising regulations.  The 1960 version incorporated a mechanism for periodic amendments in order to keep it up to date but in the event, this procedure proved too slow.