8 Austl. & N.Z. Mar. L.J. 3 (1991)

handle is hein.journals/ausnewma8 and id is 1 raw text is: Frank Stewart Dethridge
Memorial Address 1990
Rt Hon Sir Owen Woodhouse*
In this address to the 1990 Annual Conference of the Maritime Law
Association of Australia and New Zealand Sir Owen notes the effort
being made in various parts of the world and by various means to keep
laws abreast of contemporary social and commercial needs at both the
domestic and international level, and the Australian and New Zealand
Closer Economic Relations Agreement in particular.
It is now fourteen years since the death of the founding President of
the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. It says a
great deal about the quality of the man that each year since then he
has been directly remembered by a memorial address delivered at
your annual conference. It says something, too, about the steady
affection of his friends and colleagues and their continuing apprecia-
tion of his work. Be sure that the invitation to deliver the 1990 Frank
Stewart Dethridge address is a compliment which I value.
It would be superfluous and even unwise if I were to attempt this
morning to shed new light on any of those arcane areas of maritime
law which are the natural bread and butter of members of this
Association - perhaps I might add, and their natural bedtime reading.
So I put aside such fascinations as salvage and bottomry and deviation
and the navigational rights of the yacht under sail as against the stolid
claims of the dumb barge under tow. Instead, I would like to say
something about two topics which in a way are related.
The first concerns the efforts being made in various parts of the
world and by various means to keep laws abreast of contemporary
social and commercial needs. These movements are at work both at
the domestic level, within the jurisdiction of various countries; and
also on a wider basis where the task is to achieve unified laws across
national boundaries. Their importance cannot be overstated since good
law provides the kind of assurance by which people and nations are
able to live and to work comfortably together.
* KBE, DSC, President of the New Zealand Court of Appeal 1981-1986; President of the
Law Commission 1986-1990.

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