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Welcome to the website of the Canadian Maritime Law Association. Members of the public are invited to browse the public parts of our website to learn about us. If you have an interest in Canadian maritime law and are not already a member of CMLA, please apply for membership.

If you are a member of CMLA, it is recommended that you proceed directly to the Members Only section which contains additional News and Events relevant to members as well as the full database of CMLA reports and AGM documents. CMLA members may retrieve their passwords here.



 New CMLA President - Shelley Chapelski

At the CMLA’s AGM held on June 13, 2019, Shelley Chapelski, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in Vancouver, was elected the President of the organization. She is just the second woman to hold this position during the 68-year history of the CMLA (the other person being Madame Justice Johanne Gauthier of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada). Paul Harquail, a partner with Stewart McKelvey in Saint John, N.B., was elected as the National Vice President.

 Peter Pamel appointed to the Federal Court of Canada

On May 6, 2019, the Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the appointment of Peter Pamel, partner in the Montreal office of Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP, as a judge of the Federal Court of Canada and a judge ex officio of the Federal Court of Appeal, replacing Mr. Justice M.M.J. Shore, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 21, 2018. Peter Pamel obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from Concordia University in 1983 and graduated from the Faculty of Law of McGill University, with civil and common law degrees, in 1987. Admitted to the Barreau du Québec in 1988, he joined McMaster Meighen, a predecessor firm of Borden Ladner Gervais ("BLG"), and has practised maritime law for over 30 years, as well as working for a short time in the shipping industry. Peter has served as counsel to numerous Canadian and international marine stakeholders, dealing with all aspects of admiralty law and marine insurance. A longtime member of the CMLA, Justice Pamel was a founding member of BLG's Team North and head of its maritime law section. He is also past chair of the CMLA's Arctic Issues Committee. He has spoken at, and chaired, conferences on Arctic navigation issues around the world. He also contributed to the second edition of "Canadian Maritime Law" and is the author of numerous articles on maritime law and Arctic navigation. All CMLA members join in transmitting hearty congratulations to Mr. Justice Pamel on his well-deserved appointment to the Bench, as well as best wishes for success and happiness as he assumes the challenging responsibilities of a judge in Canada's Federal Court.

 Mr. Justice Harrington retires

After serving more than 15 years on the Federal Court bench, Mr. Justice Harrington has reached the Court's mandatory retirement age. At the time of his appointment, he was President of this Association. He is an Honourary Life Member and a Titulary Member of the C.M.I. He tells us he is available for consultation, mediation and arbitration. He can be reached at: 176 River Lane Ottawa, ON K1M 1T1 Tel.: 613-748-0501. We wish him every success.

 Death of Jerry Rysanek

The CMLA laments the recent and suddent death of Jerry Rysanek, one of its Honorary Members. Jerry was formerly Director of International Marine Policy at Transport Canada in Ottawa. In that capacity, he was a long-time and faithful supporter of the CMLA and worked with its officers repeatedly for many years on projects like the adoption of the Marine Insurance Act and the Marine Liability Act and its annual meetings with government officials. He was also deeply involved in the International Oil Pollutions Compensation Funds, especially the 1992 Fund. The CMLA Board designated Jerry as an Honorary Member in 2011. A man of great learning and humanity, with tremendous professional competence, integrity, and a delightful sense of humour, Jerry will be greatly missed by all who knew him. The CMLA membership joins in extending heartfelt sympathy to his widow, Marta, and the family. A memorial service in Jerry's honour will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at the Beechwood Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario.

 Christopher J. Giaschi - Appointment as Judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court

The Minister of Justice of Canada, on August 31, 2018, announced the appointment of Christopher J. Giaschi, partner in the firm of Giaschi & Margolis, Vancouver, and former President and Honorary Life Member of the CMLA, as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. All CMLA members join in expressing congratulations and best wishes to the Honourable Mr. Justice Giaschi, as he assumes his new and important judicial role.

 Two Distinguished CMLA Members to be Recognized for their Years of Bar Membership

On September 6, 2018, two distinguished members of the CMLA will be honoured in Montreal for their lengthy and successful careers as lawyers, on the occasion of the annual Rentrée judiciaire ceremonies of the Barreau du Québec, marking the re-opening of the courts for the autumn term. The two practitioners concerned are Trevor Bishop (with 60 years of Bar membership), now retired from Brisset Bishop, and Vincent M. Prager (celebrating 50 years as a member of the Bar), who continues to practice with Dentons. Trevor Bishop started working with the Montreal firm that now includes his name in 1958, immediately following his Bar admission. During some fifty years of practice, he achieved eight victories before the Supreme Court of Canada, including the seminal decision in ITO-International Terminal Operators v. Miida Electronics, and won the respect and admiration of his many clients and all members of the admiralty Bar and Bench. Vincent M. Prager, called in 1968, after many years working for another leading law firm, now practices as a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group at the Montreal office of Dentons Canada LLP. He has been repeatedly recognized, nationally and internationally, for his expertise in the fields of maritime and aviation law, as well as insurance. Both jurists have been faithful and active members of the CMLA for decades, and the Association is deeply grateful for their contributions down through the years. On this occasion, the CMLA wishes to extend hearty congratulations to both Trevor and Vincent on their impressive records of lawyering, as well as warmest good wishes to each of them in all their future endeavours.

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