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Limitation of shipowners’ liability and constitutional issues.

The issue of the compatibility of the limitation of shipowners’ liability with the Italian Constitution was raised in the context of proceedings before the Court of Appeal of Palermo. The proceedings concerned the limitation in respect of a ship with a gross tonnage of less than 300 t. and were therefore governed by artt. 275-276 of the Italian Code of Navigation (rather than Decree no. 111/2012, incorporating the limitation figures of the LLMC). The claimants argued that the relevant provisions of the Code of Navigation were in contrast with the Italian Constitution because i) there was an unreasonable reduction of the compensation payable to the injured parties, ii) there was no justification for the different treatment of ships with different tonnage, iii) the right to limitation would be lost in case of gross negligence or wilful misconduct of the owner only (and not also of his servants or agents). The Court of Appeal dismissed all the complaints and declined to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court, stating that the provisions of the Code of Navigation on limitation of shipowners’ liability are a reasonable compromise between conflicting interests and, as such, in line with Italian Constitution.

ANIMP Seminar – Milan, 7 November 2019

On 7 November 2019, ANIMP (National Association of Industrial Plant Engineering) organised a seminar entitled “Sustainable and green transport: we accept the challenge!” in San Donato Milanese (MI). Marco Lopez de Gonzalo gave a presentation on the legal principles of sustainability in transport, while Enrico Salvatico has been a moderator for the day. A summary of the event can be found here.

Untying the knot of Italian ship arrest law

Michele Mordiglia, partner of the Mordiglia Law Firm and member of the IR Global network, published an article on Trade Winds magazine, in which he analyzes the issue of arrest of ships in accordance with Italian law. Here the link and the comment published on Trade Winds along with the full article: https://www.tradewindsnews.com/legal/1810055/untying-the-knot-of-italian-ship-arrest-law; Trade Winds, 19 June 2019; Trade Winds, IR Global, 3 June 2019.

The West Tankers judgment is still “good law” after the recast of Brussels I Regulation?

Marco Lopez de Gonzalo, partner of Studio Legale Mordiglia, published an article on the recent Nori Holdings v. Bank Otkritie case, regarding the role of the anti-suit injunctions as protection of arbitration proceedings, raised before English courts for the first time after the entry into force of Regulation (EU) n. 1215/2012. In fact, with the introduction of the aforementioned Regulation, and in particular with its recital 12, we were led to wonder if something had changed in the context of the exclusion of the arbitration pursuant to art. 1.2.b), with reference to the admissibility of anti-suit injunctions, so as to question again the conclusions reached in this regard by the Court of Justice with the West Tankers judgment, issued when the previous Regulation 44/2001 was in force. With the sentence “Nori Holdings”, Mr. Lopez highlighted in his article how the English High Court has nevertheless confirmed what was held in the “West Tankers” judgment, empathizing the essential steps, including in particular the fundamental principle of mutual trust between the jurisdictions of the Member States, stating that the West Tankers judgment “remains an authoritative statement of EU law”.

COSTA CONCORDIA F.A.Q. – Propeller of Monaco

On Thursday 16 May 2019, Pietro Palandri, partner of Mordiglia Law Firm, will give a lecture at the Propeller Club of Monaco entitled: “Costa Concordia FAQ“, related to the tragic accident occurred at Giglio Island on January 13th 2012. The event, arranged by Propeller Club of Monaco, will see the participation of numerous representatives of the maritime world.

Blue Economy Summit 2019

On 13 and 14 May 2019, the “Blue Economy Summit – II edition” will be held in Genoa. Studio Legale Mordiglia has been a sponsor of this event since its first edition (www.besummit.it ). During the session “Technological evolution: development of open innovation and start up paths” on Tuesday, May 14, in the Hall of Representation of Palazzo Tursi, Marco Lopez de Gonzalo will give a lecture on “Maritime law and technological evolution: the case of autonomous ships”.

Tort claim against the actual carrier: the claim is subject to the same regime applicable to the contractual carrier

SLM recently assisted a shipowner sued by a cargo insurer who claimed the reimbursement of the salvage compensation, amounting to euro 6 million, paid by the insurer in favor of the salvor who assisted the vessel and the cargo after a fire broke out in the engine room. The Tribunal of Genoa with judgement dated 22.1.2019 rejected the claim declaring it time barred. The Tribunal held that the claim in tort against the actual carrier (shipowner) other than the contractual carrier was subject to the same regime, the Hague Visby Rules, governing the liability of the carrier including the one year time bar period. Such decisions was rendered on the basis of a non-recent decision of the Court of Cassation, according to which the HVR applies both to the actual and the contractual carrier, and under the Himalaya clause included in the bill of lading which gave the shipowner the benefit of all contractual and law provisions applicable to the carrier.

Master degree course on Marine and Transport Insurance (MASMET)

On 19th September 2018, Mirko Scapinello and Filippo Pellerano gave a lecture during the master degree course on marine and transport insurance (MASMET) organized by the Genoa University in cooperation with various operators and practitioners in the shipping market. The lesson, which has taken place at P. L Ferrai & Co. premises in Genoa, focused on the interactions between the insurance covers in the context of big casualties like the Costa Concordia and the Norman Atlantic.

Partial delivery of cargo: the consignee is entitled to act against the carrier

The Court of Appeal of Milan recently held that the general rule consisting in the recognition of the right of action for damages to cargo exclusively in favour of the consignee who asked the carrier for delivery (art. 13 CMR and art. 1689 of the Italian Civil Code), also stands in case of  partial delivery. The right of action is, in fact, transferred to the consignee upon delivery (or upon request of delivery) and it is irrelevant that delivery then only takes place partially, being the obligation of delivery an indivisible obligation.