The Foundation welcomed 31 participants from 24 different countries. Five of these were selected by the Tribunal within the framework of the ITLOS NIPPON Program on Dispute Settlement; 26 were chosen by the Foundation in close cooperation with the Tribunal out of more than 90 applicants from 54 nations. There were not only considerably more applications than in 2007 (70) with a notable increase of applicants from African countries but also a higher degree of academic qualification and professional achievements amongst the applicants. The foundation noted continued interest from DOALOS and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The sponsors made it possible to award 17 scholarships for applicants from developing countries, i.e., for more than half of the available places at the Academy.
As its predecessor, the 2008 Academy covered a variety of Law of the Sea, Maritime Law and related topics from other disciplines and dealt extensively with specific subjects of interest, namely marine environmental protection, climate change and the oceans, the resources of the continental shelf, oil pollution and its consequences, fisheries and – last but not least – ship-building and vessel-financing. The participants took also part in a workshop on maritime delimitation (held by experts from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office) where they could actively pursue the solution of practical problems, a visit to the laboratory of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) in Hamburg-Sülldorf and a visit to the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. A copy of the schedule is attached.
During the four weeks of the program, the participants had the opportunity to meet an impressive faculty composed of about 40 renowned personalities who travelled to Hamburg from many different corners of the world to share their expertise and experience with the participants. The Foundation is especially grateful for the valuable contributions by the members of the Tribunal represented by former Presidents Judge Thomas A. Mensah, and Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum, Vice President Helmut Türk, Judges Tafsir Ndiaye and Vladimir Golitsyn as well as the Registrar Philippe Gautier. Many members of the Faculty of 2007 – legal and economic experts from the maritime domain, natural scientists, and experienced practitioners in maritime affairs – (in particular those having received favourable feedback from last year’s participants) could be won to return to Hamburg. We should like to mention that all members of the faculty were engaged in teaching at the Summer Academy on an pro bono basis and the Foundation appreciates their commitment. A copy of the List of Lecturers is attached.
Open Event – Panel Discussion
As a new part of the Summer Academy, the Foundation organised a panel discussion, chaired by Prof. Dr. Doris König on the topical subject “Ship Air Emissions” with a high-profile group of participants which draw considerable interest from a numerous and active audience.
Open Event – Guest Lecture
Participants and many guests had the privilege of listening to a distinguished guest lecturer, Professor David Caron from the University of California at Berkeley on “The Oceans in the Nuclear Age”.
Four teams of five participants each competed in the Moot Court Tournament on the “Fryxell Case” (based on the Tribunal’s Saiga II decision) held in the Court Room of the Tribunal and gave an impressive performance. Although there was not much time to prepare the memorials and the hearings, the participants came up with well-prepared arguments and sharp answers to the questions put to them by the moot court bench consisting of Judge Helmut Tuerk from the Tribunal, Prof. Dr. Alexander Proelß, Mr Hartmut von Brevern and Prof. Dr. Doris König. As suggested by the Class of 2007, the moot court judges this year chose a winning Team and awarded 3 special recognitions for oral argumentation.
A group of 11 participants drafted a Final Resolution on the results of the Summer Academy in English and French, highlighting the achievements of the first Summer Academy and giving valuable proposals for possible future improvements. Fiona Bloor (United Kingdom) and Christophe Bertrand Bitse Ekomo (Cameroon) read the Resolution at the Senate Reception; copies of both versions are attached.
Although the schedule was tight, there was some time reserved for extra-curricular activities. The participants had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing in Hamburg and its vicinity during a very informative bus tour (including the harbour), they walked through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval city of Lübeck and made a stop at the beach of Timmendorfer Strand. Furthermore, the participants visited the Aker Ship-building yard and the Hanseatic City of Wismar where the mayor held a reception for them.
The Foundation also managed to organise an excursion to Berlin where the group was invited to the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs and met by the Parliamentary State Secretary Karin Roth. Following a lively discussion, Ms Roth spontaneously invited the group to a private tour through the Reichstag including rooms which are normally not open to the public. A walk through the capital and a visit to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded this highlight.
At the close of the Summer Academy, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg held an impressive reception in the Town Hall, hosted by Senator of Justice Till Steffen, where the participants received their certificates.
A Growing Network
Although the participants came from very diverse legal and cultural backgrounds they got along with each other very well and formed a wonderful, very active and interested group. With their help, the Foundation will try to keep track of all of them to further facilitate networking and add to the Alumni circle founded by the Class of 2007. The feedback given by the participants was in every sense overwhelmingly positive, especially concerning the consistency of the group and the quality of the lectures delivered. Finally, the Foundation would like to wholeheartedly thank President Wolfrum, the Registrar Mr. Gautier, the Deputy-Registrar Mr. Kim and all the staff members of the Tribunal who have supported the team of the Foundation so well before and during the course of the Summer Academy.