A Vintage Laureate: Prof Attard Bags In International Maritime Prize For 2021


  • International Maritime Prize for 2021. Was awarded recently.
  • Professor David Attard, former Director of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute wins it.
  • The prize was presented at the annual IMO Awards Ceremony, held in London on 2 November.

This was the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic that those attending the Awards were together in-person. 

An Arduous Journey

Professor Attard has had a distinguished career with IMLI since he proposed IMLI’s creation 35 years ago. It was established in Malta in 1988. He became a Member of the IMLI Governing Board in 1989 and was appointed Director of the Institute in 1992.  Several international bodies including the IMO Assembly, Council,  Technical Cooperation Committee and the United Nations General Assembly have recognised the work of the Institute under Professor Attard, which has supported IMO’s goals of promoting safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation.

Professor Attard was the first Chair of the Legal Committee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has been praised for spearheading the 1988 Maltese UN Initiative. This led to the recognition of climate change as a major threat to the prosperity and wellbeing of humankind. 

Since October 2020 Professor Attard has served as President of the Chamber for Marine Environment Disputes. He has also been a judge for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea since 2011.

Well Deserved

Professor Attard was nominated for the award by the Republic of Malta. The prize has been presented annually since 1981 to the individual or organization judged to have made a significant contribution to the work and objectives of IMO. 

Presenting him with the International Maritime Prize silver dolphin award, IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, congratulated Professor Attard, telling him, “Your long stint at IMLI’s helm has been instrumental in turning IMLI into the world-wide known center of academic excellence that it is today and has ensured that its work has been recognized by many international bodies…” Professor Attard reflected on the long journey since the idea for an international maritime law institute was formulated in the 1980s. “I remain amazed how our ideas were translated into the creation of a programme of studies which brought about a dramatic change to my life and the lives of hundreds of government officials worldwide.” 

Professor Attard expressed his appreciation to all those who had supported him in his capacity as IMLI Director. “I would like to record my appreciation to all those who supported me in my capacity as Director. I am grateful to the continuous generous funding which IMLI has received from governments, particularly the government of Malta, NGOs, and the industry…”

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Source: IMO


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