Vasiliy N. Gutsulyak. Maritime Law as a conventional academic discipline

UDK: 341.24

Vasiliy N. Gutsulyak - Doctor of Law, professor, head of the department ‘Maritime law’ of the of the Law Institute of the Russian University of Transport, honorary worker of the Navy, president of the International Maritime Law Association

Abstract. One of the features of training future transport fleet commanders in higher education programs is that, along with educational diplomas, they must also receive professional diplomas/certificates for occupying a particular position on the vessel. The content of these programs, qualification requirements, the procedure for issuing such diplomas (certification), minimum standards of competency and other related issues are regulated not only and not so much by Russian legislation as by International Law, which are present in special international treaties, in transport conventions. The main role among them belongs to the International Convention on the Training and Certification of Sailors and Watchkeepers in 1978, substantially amended and supplemented in 1995 and 2010. This Convention is known among experts under the acronym TCSW (sometimes TCW). The Russian Federation is also a member of the Convention. In this regard, the Federal State Educational Standard for Higher Education in the specialty “Navigation” of 2018 has established that the specialization program in this area is implemented taking into account the requirements of the TCW Convention and the Maritime Labor Convention 2006. According to the requirements of the TCSW Convention, one of the most important disciplines that should be studied by future professional sailors is Maritime Law. Without a deep knowledge of the provisions of Maritime Law, a future transport officer cannot be awarded with a professional diploma. First of all, it is in this sense that Maritime Law is a conventional academic discipline. The current paper has examined the genesis of conventional requirements for the level of training of sailors, including those related to Maritime Law. The current paper has focused on the TCSW Convention, which has undergone a major evolution from its issue in 1978 to subsequent amendments in 1995 and 2010. The author has analyzed the provisions of the TCSW Code, which are connected with the requirements for the qualification of fleet commanders in the field of Maritime Law, and there has been considered the basic minimum competency standards in this regard. As a result, there has been summarized that the requirements for knowledge of the provisions of Maritime Law stand out when assessing the qualifications of candidates for professional maritime diplomas/certificates both at the management level (captains and senior command personnel of the vessels) and at the operational level (watchkeeping officers and watchkeeping mechanics). The final part of the current paper has presented the main conclusions on the studied issue.

Keywords: maritime law; international law; sea vessel; captain; certification; qualification; minimum standard of competency.


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