The work of the CMLA is primarily accomplished through committees. Below are the various committees currently active within the CMLA and the respective chairperson(s) of each committee. We encourage all members of the CMLA to actively participate in committee work.
Any member who wishes to join a committee should simply contact the committee chair.
The Arctic Issues Committee aims to identify for the CMLA membership the immense challenges and opportunities involved in shipping in and through Arctic waters which is now increasingly affected by climate change, to work with governmental and non-governmental organizations in addressing these challenges, and to study and propose to the Board of Directors on behalf of the CMLA membership at large progressive Canadian and international maritime law policies, conventions, laws and regulations to govern Arctic navigation, marine infrastructure development and the exploration and exploitation of Canada's offshore resources lying north of the 60th parallel.
The Arrest and Sale of Ships and Marine Bankruptcies Committee is the committee within the CMLA that addresses the substantive legal and procedural issues relating to the arrest and sale of ships and also to marine insolvencies and bankruptcy. The committee has been very effective in the past in obtaining legislative and regulatory amendments relating to arrest. At the present time the Arrest and Sale of Ships committee is preparing for the 40th Conference of the CMI which is to be held in Beijing in October of this year. One of the important topics to be covered at this conference is a possible convention dealing with Recognition of Foreign Judicial Sales of Ships. The CMI has done a good deal of work on this topic and the CMI's work product can be accessed from the link below. We welcome all members who wish to join our committee to assist with the preparation for the CMI conference or simply to be an ongoing member of our committee.
The Carriage of Goods Committee’s mandate is to inform the membership of developments about current case law and legislative initiatives concerning the various laws governing carriage of goods by sea and the participants in that venture.
The Carriage of Passengers Committee tracks judicial decisions arising from the Marine Liability Act and the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, as amended by the Protocol of 1990 to amend the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974 which has been incorporated into Canadian law, to inform the CMLA membership. The committee also participates from time to time in the elaboration of legislation and or regulations and provides input relating to issues concerning the carriage of passengers by water.
The Communications Committee's mandate is to administer the CMLA website to provide topical news and events relating to Canadian maritime law for CMLA members, and to maintain the CMLA's database of reports and educational materials.
The Federal Courts Act and Rules Committee is tasked with monitoring amendments/updates to the FCA/Federal Courts Rules and Practice Directions issued by the Courts, and in turn updating the CMLA membership of any changes/updates. It evaluates practice based issues, and identifies opportunities to suggest amendments to the Rules which could be beneficial to the practice before the Courts.
The Finance and Investment committee is tasked with investing the funds accumulated by the Association. It reports to the Board of Directors and recommends methods of investment in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Board.
The mandate of the CMLA Fisheries Committee is to monitor legislation and recent court decisions concerning Canadian Fisheries and to bring significant cases or changes in legislation to the attention of our members. When given the opportunity, we will sometime review and comment on pending legislation. We generally limit our review of pollution matters to pollution in the marine environment.
The Legislative and Regulatory Committee tracks statutory law relating to maritime law in Canada. The Committee reports on the main statutes, regulations and other notices published in the Canada Gazette, including notices of proposed regulations.
The Limitation of Liability Committee’s purpose is to identify and inform the CMLA membership of judicial decisions relating to the application of the limitation of liability provisions found in the Marine Liability Act and the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 (as amended) which has been incorporated into Canadian law. This includes both limitation of liability in the commercial shipping and recreational boating sectors. In addition, the limitation of liability committee provides input to the Government of Canada and the CMI on issues relating to limitation of liability for maritime claims, such as the need to increase limits or the scope of limitation, as necessary.
The Marine Insurance committee tracks statutory law relating to marine insurance in Canada (and the UK), and its interpretation by Canadian courts. The committee addresses not only statutes directly regulating marine insurance but also statutes that make it mandatory for some vessel owners to carry certain types of insurance or financial guarantees to satisfy potential liabilities.
The mandate of Maritime Labour and Immigration Committee is to monitor developments in the law as they relate to employment in the marine context, along with developments relating to immigration by sea and the rights of seafarers in Canada. The Committee identifies developments that may be of interest to CMLA membership and provides regular updates to the CMLA board.
The New Technologies Committee aims to identify for the CMLA membership technological developments that will impact the shipping industry’ evolution, such as Artificial Intelligence and autonomy. The Committee stays abreast of new developments, follows their progress, and reports to the membership and the Board of Directors. When required, the Committee will author position papers about and propose to the Board of Directors policies, conventions, laws and regulations to govern these new technologies.
The role of the Ports and Harbours Committee is to monitor and report on judicial decisions, policy development, legislation and regulatory changes, and commercial activity related to and impacting Ports and Harbours across Canada to inform CMLA and to support advocacy work by the CMLA on issues involving Canadian trade through the Port network.
The Tetley Award Committee sits in years when directed to do so by the Board to solicit papers on maritime subjects from Canadian law schools, Marine institutes and industry associations, to evaluate submissions and to recommend to the Board author to be awarded a cash prize in the name of Professor Willam Tetley in whose memory the award was established following his death in 2014.