The Malta Maritime Law Association (MMLA) was set up in 1994 with the aim of promoting the study and advancement of Maritime Law and its administration. The Association plays a key role in ensuring that the Maltese maritime legislative and regulatory infrastructure is constantly updated, amended and improved in order to enhance qualitative standards and consolidate Malta’s preeminent position as an international maritime service centre. The MMLA works in close cooperation with the authorities, acting as a consultant and adviser to the Merchant Shipping Directorate and fostering channels of communication between Government and industry.
Even though a law association, the MMLA is composed of members from the various sectors in the maritime environment and the Sub-committees provide a forum for discussion of arising issues and the drafting of national legislation or international legal instruments. At present the MMLA has 140 members.
Over the past years the MMLA has also become a forum for debate through the organization of seminars and conferences on topical issues in the maritime context under participation of national and international speakers.
The MMLA reflects a high degree of maritime legal expertise, also through its affiliation with the Comité Maritime International (CMI), the oldest international organization in the maritime field formally established in in 1897 and one of the first NGOs to be granted consultative status by the IMO. The CMI is responsible for the drafting of international maritime conventions and thus sends Observers to all meetings of the IMO Legal Committee.
In 2014, Dr. Ann Fenech, President of the MMLA was nominated and elected to the CMI Executive Council by the other national maritime law associations from around the world. This is the first time that a Maltese person has been elected to this highly prestigious international body. Dr Fenech has been re-elected to the CMI Executive Council in 2017 and was elected Vice President of the CMI by the General Assembly in November 2018 in London after having been suggested for nomination by Ireland and Sweden. Dr Fenech was re-elected unanimously by the member national maritime law associations of CMI during the CMI Assembly held virtually on 30 September 2021.