NSA 2511 International Maritime Law

NSA 2511 International Maritime Law

Course code: 
NSA 2511
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Iva Parlov
Course name in Norwegian: 
International Maritime Law
Product category: 
Bachelor - Electives
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course gives a thorough introduction to International Maritime Law and rules and contracts applicable to shipping. The students will learn about the national and international framework of shipping, jurisdiction and applicable law(s), and how conventions and standard contracts are created and implemented. The course covers flag state laws, port state laws and contracts used for shipping of goods and passengers. Important principles of salvage, collision, pollution and environmental aspects of shipping is covered. The students will learn about IMO and the importance of conventions when regulating the international shipping industry. Laws applicable to transportation at sea, cargo liability, passenger liabilities, collision and other third party liabilities are covered. Mandatory and non-mandatory rules relating to shipowners' and charterers' liabilities are covered, together with limitation rules and rules relating to maritime liens and mortgages.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The students will acquire an understanding of the rules relating to the maritime industry and shipping, including:

  • The national and international legal framework of shipping
  • Flag state, port state and contract rules
  • The impact of environmental considerations
  • Standard contracts commonly used in relation to ship, cargoes and passengers
  • Maritime law and international conventions
  • Shipowners' liabilities in contract and in tort
  • Oil and bunkers pollution
  • Shipowners right to limit liabilities
  • Salvage and collision liabilities
  • Maritime liens and mortgages
  • Jurisdiction and methods of dispute resolution
Learning outcomes - Skills

The course will enable the students to identify and use the laws and regulations in order to:

  • Identify and solve common legal problems related to the operation of ships
  • Understand the importance of jurisdiction and choice of law rules
  • Identify the shipowners legal liabilities in contract and in tort
  • How to measure and pay for various liabilities
  • Identify the liable party in a dispute
  • Decide on 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 and passenger contracts.
  • The extent of third party liabilities.
General Competence

The students will learn the complex legal nature of international shipping, and the laws and contracts applicable to ships and ships operations. They will understand why maritime law is considered to be international, and why international rules are important to world trade. The students will be able to reflect on practical cases of a marine nature, and to solve them using relevant laws. They will get an understanding of why we have limitation rules, and how these are applied to individual claims and disputes. The students will be able to understand and reflect on the importance of common international rules and regulations as a tool for limiting damage to the environment and for increasing the safety of ships. This includes important international maritime conventions, and how they are incorporated into national laws.

Course content
  • International Maritime Law - introduction and terminology
  • The Norwegian Maritime Code
  • National laws and international conventions
  • Ship registration and the importance of the flag
  • Shipowners liabilities in contract and tort
  • Carriers liability to cargo
  • Carriers liability to passengers
  • Limitation rules
  • Maritime liens
  • Salvage rules
  • Collision rules
  • Liability for oil and bunkers pollution
  • Liens and mortgages
  • Jurisdiction and dispute resolutions
  • ESG (Environment, Social and Governance)
  • Air and water pollution
  • Case work
Teaching and learning activities

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

As a part of lectures and interactions, assignments to be discussed in class 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 therefore consist of the students preparations, comparing their solutions to the class discussions and the lecturer.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

In the course, we will focus on international conventions as incorporated in the course material and the Scandinavian Maritime Law.


Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

No specific prerequisites required.

Exam category: 
School Exam
Form of assessment: 
Written School Exam - digital
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
  • The Norwegian Maritime Code (Norwegian or English version)
3 Hour(s)
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Feedback activities and counselling
3 Hour(s)
Participation at assignment reviews by lecturer
Company visit and/or Study trip
6 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
68 Hour(s)
(approx. 1.5 hours per hour of lectures or assignment reviews by lecturer)
Group work / Assignments
14 Hour(s)
Work on mandatory mini-exercises (approx. 1 hour per mini-exercise)
Student's own work with learning resources
73 Hour(s)
Preparation for exams
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.