Approximately 90 per cent of the international trade in goods by volume is currently carried by sea, despite the development of other means of transport. When it comes to transport, it is maritime transport which undisputedly provides the principal means of carriage of goods. Likewise, globalisation means that sea transport will continue to play a pivotal role in trade particularly in the European Union. No other continent has such a long and diverse shoreline in relation to its total surface area to serve its trade. Also, the concentration of ports in the European Union is the highest in the world and the EU-controlled commercial fleet is by far the largest in the world. Cyprus, as an established EU Member, is among the top maritime countries in the world and is already an established maritime business hub.
Despite its international character, the shipping sector is highly regulated compared to other sectors of the economy that also operate in a global business context. In reality, the shipping sector needs legal advisors and managers who are well equipped with knowledge on both legal and business subjects, capable of functioning in different jurisdictions and dealing with a plethora of legal and business challenges.
Therefore, understanding the interrelation between regulations, transportation business, economic growth and globalisation has become an even more demanding and complex task. Against this, any advocate or business professional has to be an expert in both disciplines: Law and Shipping Business – in order to establish himself as a credible consultant. It is therefore the ambition of this Programme to provide students with a thorough understanding of the integration of Law & Business. This practically means that the modern shipping professional, either jurist or manager, will be educated on the detailed international regulatory framework as well as the specialised managerial and business practices, the economics that govern this sui generis industry; and this will be their competitive advantage.
Accordingly, the Programme covers all legal subjects that are necessary for a maritime lawyer; at the same time, it prepares students to become maritime business executives. The proposed Postgraduate Degree aims to develop this combination of essential knowledge and skill-sets, much needed today in the maritime sector.
The programme includes, among others, the subjects of:
Maritime law, Law of Carriage of Goods by Sea and other Modes, Marine Insurance Global Trade Regulations, Banking and Shipping Finance, Ship Management and Economics of Sea Transport, Jurisdiction issues and Alternative Dispute Resolutions, and International Trade Patterns. The aforementioned subjects are at the heart of the programme and constitute an outstanding curriculum of academic credentials that is useful for any law and business practitioner who wishes to specialise in the shipping industry.
A wide range of opportunities, in demanding and challenging posts, is available to prospective graduates. The diversity of the maritime sector and subsector activities (forming the maritime industry), as well as of the world trade and transport includes many hundreds of large, medium and small firms (and many thousands operating internationally) all of them relying in varying degrees upon skilled and versatile professionals. In this context, our programme has been carefully considered and designed to produce professionally competent and skilful lawyers and managers that are able to work at high executive levels.
Indicatively, the sectors of society and the economy that will benefit from the added value of this programme’s graduates are: 1) Public sector agencies with regulatory responsibilities and other public interest national and international organisations, 2) Onshore and offshore personnel of maritime companies, 3) Legal and judicial sector, 4) Banking and finance sector, 5) Trade business sector, even 6) Research and academic sector.
All those need to be able to draw upon the same pool of well-educated people. It is also worth mentioning that the Programme is unique in Cyprus and one of the few offered worldwide.