Act Local, Think Global

Ms. Mavis Joseph, a Legal, Risks and Audit officer with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has been awarded a partial scholarship, through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) International
29 Oct 2014 15:41

Ms. Mavis Joseph, a Legal, Risks and Audit officer with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has been awarded a partial scholarship, through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

The scholarship is partly funded by MSAF and by Ms Joseph herself, to undertake the 26th Master of Laws (LLM) programme in International Maritime Law in Malta, which started on Monday, October 13.

During this academic year (2014/2015), there are 33 lawyers from 27 countries (Bahamas, Bahrain, China, Dominion Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Fiji, India, Italy, Jamaica, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam) who are pursuing the LLM programme.

Out of the 33 lawyers, there are 11 women. The participants were warmly welcomed by IMLI director, Professor Attard, the Faculty and Staff who wished them success in their studies.

These are a robust group of individuals in the programme so there is never a dull moment in class given the various experiences of States toward the common interest of International Maritime Law.

The lecturers have stressed that “no question is a wrong question” and they are very engaging and accommodating.

“In the first week of class, I realised that there is so much knowledge to be gained with the appreciation of the global perspective,” Ms Joseph said.

“I must thank the MSAF board, the chief executive officer Mr Neale Slack, management and staff, my mentors Mr Isei Tudreu, Mr John Tunidau and Mr Philip Hill, my friends and my mum, sister– Bianca, brother – Sylvester and my partner, Joeli Logavatu for the faith, continuous words of encouragement and support, and of course, IMLI, in getting me here.”

Furthermore, Ms. Joseph stated, “When submitting my application, there was a section where we had to write why we were interested in applying for the LLM programme in IMLI. I recall thinking this is so obvious – we need more specialist maritime lawyers.

Fiji has over 300 islands, with sea transportation being the common form of transportation.

With this, comes the responsibility on the State to ensure that there are laws that regulate sea transportation, laws that ensure the safety and security of its people and the protection of the marine environment and being in a position to understand and implement the State’s international obligations.”

MSAF CEO Slack stated that “The State is undergoing major legislative reforms with the transition of the regulatory services from a government department to a statutory authority- MSAF. There is a positive shift by the State towards introduction of and compliance with additional international maritime obligations.

The State needs expertise in maritime law to bridge the gap that we are facing in terms of being aware and understanding the State’s obligations to IMO, being aware and understanding the IMO Conventions and Protocols, and then implementing the same domestically.”

Mr. Slack further stated that Fiji is in a strategic position within the South Pacific, and this opportunity will also enable policy and legislative drafting assistance to our pacific neighbours should this be required.

The programme will also enable networking with participants from other regions and provide the impetus to exchange ideas and to work together.

MSAF acknowledges that staff training impacts our organisational service delivery, revenue and overall performance positively. It is for these reasons MSAF operates an effective organisation wide training plan. Ms. Joseph’s programme will conclude in June 2015.

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