IMLLOG program

Interview with Prof. David J. Attard (Director IMLI)

Prof. Attard is the director of the international maritime logistics program. Here is his outlook on IMLLOG, which will kick off in September 2017.

Why is a master’s degree program on international maritime law and logistics necessary? Will our joint program be the first and only one of its kind worldwide?

 Though at first glance it may seem that there is no considerable overlap between the two disciplines, once you talk to maritime industry leaders you realize the importance of persons having an expertise in both international maritime law and maritime logistics. In fact we have received very encouraging responses as the need for professionals who not only understand the law but also the complex industrial uses of the sea for services and for the transportation of goods, and who are able to work globally and in multi-cultural environments. The new degree aims to meet the need of the shipping industry for highly educated personnel with knowledge of the law to take responsibility of operations. This is the goal that this program seeks to achieve.

Yes I believe that this joint program will be the first of its kind worldwide.

What will the IMLLog curriculum be like? Would you please explain what the students should expect?

The course structure is divided in two parts: law courses done primarily at IMLI in the first academic year, and logistics and leadership courses done primarily at KLU in the second academic year. The curriculum will also contain integrative material linking the legal and logistics aspects of the subjects and faculty of the two institutions. The curriculum is designed according to credits as defined by the “European Credit Transfer System”. Each ECTS is to be about 30 hours of work (classroom hours and self-study time). Thus, the two year M.Sc. comprises 120 ECTS.

The combination of law and logistics would fundamentally differentiate this course from others specializing in maritime transport. Another innovation is the focus of studies on the logistics of humanitarian aid.

Will all of the logistics courses be taught in Hamburg at KLU and the maritime law ones on Malta?

Law courses would be taught primarily at IMLI, and logistics and leadership courses taught primarily at KLU. In this regard, students will spend one academic year studying in Malta and one in Hamburg. However, there would be a number of courses in law that would be taught in Hamburg and also certain courses in logistic that would be taught in Malta.

What is the ideal student profile for the IMLLog program?

 Students will be required to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics or Law or a relevant field from a recognized university. Graduates of industrial engineering programs, with significant components in economics and/or business, are also eligible. In addition students from other related fields will also be considered. Further, as the medium of the course is English, students would also be required to demonstrate proficiency in oral and written English.

How did the partnership between IMLI and KLU come about?

 During a visit of Professor Thomas Strothotte, President of KLU to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, to meet the then President of the Court, Judge Shunji Yanai, the former stressed his wish to see closer links developed between the teaching of logistics and maritime law. The latter suggested my name as a potential partner in this project. I had subsequently intensive and rewarding meetings with Professor Strothotte. We soon decided that given the nature of our work our institutions should cooperate to set up an innovative post graduate degree in International Maritime Law and Logistics.

 Why do you think KLU is the best partner university for this joint degree?

 I believe that the common educational goals of both Institutions led to the proposed cooperation. Both institutions have a strong international reputation. KLU is a research-intensive university in the area of logistic. It is well noted that despite being one of the youngest institutions, KLU attained the 3rd position in research output per professor in Germany in the 2014 Handelsblatt Ranking of all 100 business faculties in German speaking countries. Further, we note that KLU achieved a top rating in the five criteria the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) examined in its current master’s student rankings for business administration. Finally, like IMLI, KLU’s students and professors hail from all over the world, thus fostering a multicultural environment. Taking all of these into consideration, KLU has shown itself to be an Institute worthy of cooperation with IMLI.

 What do the career perspectives for students who complete the IMLLog program look like?

 The expected goal for students successfully completing this course is to be able to occupy posts in the maritime sector requiring skills in legal, logistics and economic aspects of international shipping. It is further expected that students will acquire the knowledge and skill to deal with the challenges of moving goods and people by sea for and in cases of humanitarian relief. It is anticipated that students would be able to assume leadership roles in international projects and work with people from different cultures. Students will be enabled to work in international agencies dedicated to protecting the environment and maintaining human rights, having been equipped with knowledge of the laws that govern the sea and maritime operations. 

By Dr. Ulrich Vetter