Interview with Professor Erik Røsæg

In the first of a series of exciting interviews with experts in the fields of autonomous shipping and artificial intelligence, Project Leader Dr Melis Özdel and Project Editor Olivia Tolson interview Professor Erik Røsæg of the University of Oslo.

It was an honour to speak to Professor Røsæg who has extensive experience in the area of Maritime Law. He recently edited, with Professors Henrik Ringbom and Trond Solvang, the book Autonomous Ships and the Law (Routledge, 2020).  This cutting-edge work explores autonomous shipping from a range of legal perspectives.

Following some introductory questions, our interview focuses on Professor Røsæg’s chapter from the book, ‘Diabolus ex machina’. His answers are thought-provoking and we would encourage anyone interested to contribute to the debate by leaving a comment on this blog post or on the video embedded below.

Welcome to the UCL Autonomous Shipping Blog

It is expected that the maritime world will be significantly different by 2050, from smart ports through to blockchain-based shipping documents and autonomous vessels.

The UK Government has recently published a report setting out its Maritime 2050 strategic ambitions, one of which is to ‘legislate for a domestic framework for autonomous vessels to attract international businesses’.

As the shipping industry is preparing for a sea change from labour intensive to autonomous shipping, it is timely to start a debate on the liability regime to be adopted for the carriage of goods by autonomous vessels.

The purpose of our research team is not to suggest an “ideal” liability regime, as the lessons from the past have shown that a widely accepted liability regime usually manifests itself as a compromise, leaving little room for considerations of ideal frameworks in purely legal terms.

In our quest for a solution, we proceed on the premise that our role as legal academics, lawyers and policy groups is an important one, since the traditional concepts of maritime law will have to be revisited together with our understanding of maritime operations and navigation.

It is hoped that this website will start an open and diverse debate, while also giving us a public engagement platform to disseminate our evidence-led findings to the wider audiences.