HRAS is very pleased to announce that its interests have been expanded into Argentina through its new South American correspondent, Dr. Agustín Blanco-Bazán.
Agustín Blanco-Bazán was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1949. After his graduation as a lawyer at the University of Buenos Aires he studied Philosophy, International Law and Political Sciences at the University of Vienna, Austria.
In 1984, Dr. Blanco-Bazán joined the IMO (International Maritime Organization as Interregional Adviser in Maritime Legislation. In this capacity he travelled extensively to developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America providing advice on the adoption and implementation of IMO treaties. He was promoted to Senior Legal Officer in 1987 and Senior Deputy Director and Head of the Legal Office in 1999. Until his retirement from IMO in 2010 he was the Organization´s Focal point for Maritime Law and Law of the Sea, including regular consultations with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); He was in charge of the preparation of the yearly IMO contribution to the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the Law of the Sea and the IMO´s Study on the Implication of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the IMO. In consultation with other international organizations, he coordinated the preparation of the comprehensive report on the subject of the “genuine link” between vessels and their flag State submitted to the consideration of the UN General Assembly in 2006.
During his tenure at IMO Dr. Blanco-Bazan was actively involved in the organization of the travaux preparatoires of many diplomatic conferences, as well as in the drafting of multilateral instruments in the field of liability and compensation for environmental damage and other maritime claims, including the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions, the 1996 HNS Convention and the LLMC Protocol 1996, as well as the Nairobi Convention for the Removal of Wrecks. In the field of crimes at sea he participated in the drafting of the 2005 Convention on suppression of unlawful acts against safety of navigation (SUA), as well as the Djibouti Code of Conduct for the suppression of piracy. He has organized national and regional seminars and workshop to promote the implementation of these and other IMO treaties.
He assisted at all meetings of the IMO Legal Committee from 1987 until 2009. During the same period he also provided legal advice in the elaboration and implementation of other IMO rules and standards in the field of safety and security of navigation and prevention of marine pollution, including the Protocol to the London Convention on the Prevention of Pollution by Dumping of Wastes, amendments to the SOLAS and MARPOL Convention, and the interpretation of global antipollution treaties in their relationship with EU directives. He has extensively lectured on these issues at several academic venues and is the author of articles and essays on maritime law and the law of the sea published in specialized media.
Before joining IMO, Dr. Blanco-Bazán acted as legal consultant in the negotiation of insurance and reinsurance contracts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. During the South Atlantic Conflict (1982), he provided advice on the operation of sanctions and the application of war clauses to contract of reinsurance between UK and Argentina. After cessation of hostilities, he negotiated the reestablishment of reinsurance relations between both countries.
At present, Dr. Blanco-Bazan works as international lawyer and consultant and lecturer specializing in maritime law and law of the sea; crimes at sea (piracy and maritime terrorism), maritime environmental law (prevention of pollution from vessels); and liability and compensation in the field of maritime law. As a consultant he has worked for IMO, UNODC, drafted maritime legislation for developing countries, and advised non-governmental institutions and private companies on issues such as environmental maritime law, and piracy. He is also a visiting professor at the School of Higher Studies of the Argentine Coastguard and legal advisor to the Argentine Government at IMO meetings. Has also lectured several academic venues. Resides in London.