NSA 2511 International Maritime Law


NSA 2511 International Maritime Law

Responsible for the course
Cathrine Bjune

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Law

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

The course gives a thorough introduction to International Maritime Law and commonly used contracts in shipping. The students will learn about the national and international framework of shipping and how conventions and standard contracts are made and developed. The students will also learn the the importance of jurisdiction and applicable law clauses in contracts, as well as how contracts are negotiated and entered into. The course covers commonly used contracts dor chartering of vessels, transsportation of cargo and passengers and long term contracts. General contract law in shipping is covered, as well as mandatory and non-mandatory rules relating to shipowners' and charterers' liabilities. This includes liability for environmental damages, salvage, general average, cargo liability, salvage, collision, passenger liabilities and the general and specific limitation rules that apply to such liabilities.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge:
The students will acquire an understanding of the rules relating to shipping, in particular:
  • Laws and Contracts commonly used in shipping
  • Maritime laws and international conventions
  • Registration of vessels
  • Shipowners' liabilities in contract and in tort
  • Shipowners right to limit liability
  • Salvage and general average rules

Acquired skills:
The course will enable the students to identify and use the laws and regulations in order to:
  • Identify common legal problems within the above areas and to solve them using applicable laws and contracts.
  • Identify the shipowners legal liabilities in contract and in tort
  • Identify the liable party in a dispute
  • Decide the relevant laws applicable to a dispute involving a shipowner and or carrier
  • Solve practical cases of a maritime nature
  • Interpret commonly used standard contracts such as Bills of Ladings, Charter Parties and contracts used for the sale and purchase of ships

The students will learn the complex legal nature of international shipping, and the particular rules that are common for many countries through international conventions. They will be able to reflect on a practical case and to solve it using relevant laws - and to form opinions about the use of limitation rules and environmental concerns relating to shipping. They will be able to understand and reflect on the importance of common international rules and regualtions as a tool for enhancing world trade.


Compulsory reading
Falkanger, Thor, Hans Jacob Bull and Lasse Brautaset. 2011. Scandinavian maritime law : the Norwegian perspective. 3rd ed. Universitetsforlaget. Chapters. 1,2,3,6,8,9,10,11,13,14,18,19,20. (Norwegian edition: "Innføring i sjørett")

Recommended reading
Branch, Alan. 2007. Elements of shipping. 8th ed. Routledge

Course outline
  • International Maritime Law - introduction and terminology
  • The Norwegian Maritime Code
  • National laws and international conventions
  • Charterparties and Bills of Ladings
  • Shipowners liabilities in contract and tort
  • Carriers liability to cargo
  • Carriers liability to passengers
  • Limitation rules
  • Maritime liens
  • Salvage
  • Collision
  • General average
  • Liability for oil pollution
  • Case work

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
The course is conducted through a total of 45 hours of lectures, field trips and casework.

As a part of lectures assignments will be placed on It’s learning. Students are expected to be prepared for class by working with the assignments, as the lecturer will review these assignments in class. Feedback will also consist of the students comparing their solutions with the one that is explained by the lecturer.

Recommended workload in hours
Participation at lectures
Participation at assignment reviews by lecturer
Preparations for lectures (approx. 1.5 hours per hour of lectures or assignment reviews by lecturer)
Work on mandatory mini-exercises (approx. 1 hour per mini-exercise
Preparation for exams
Total recommended time use

    A three-hour individual written examination concludes the course.

    Examination code(s)
    NSA 25111 - Written exam, counts 100% to obtain final grade in NSA 2511 International Maritime Law, 7.5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    The Norwegian Maritime Code and BI-approved exam calculator, TEXAS INSTRUMENTS BA II Plus™
    Support materials at written examinations are explained under exam information in our web-based Student Handbook. Please note use of calculator. http://www.bi.no/studiehandbok/hjelpemidler

    Re-sit examination
    At the next ordinary examination.

    Additional information