Adriatic Institute is a scientific research unit of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, dealing with the scientific research of maritime and transport law, and the law of the sea. It is one of rare legal scientific institutes in Europe specialised in the aforementioned branches of the law.
Scientists at the Adriatic Institute follow and analyse national, European and international sources of maritime and transport law and the law of the sea, including legal acts, judicial and arbitral practice, and scientific and professional literature. They regularly publish results of their research in domestic and foreign publications. Employees of the Institute participate in domestic and international scientific and professional assembling, seminars and conferences with presentations and lectures from the field of their narrower scientific and professional interest. As guest lecturers, employees of the Institute participate periodically in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in our country and abroad. Where appropriate, the Institute provides professional assistance to the state bodies in the creation of legal acts and making decisions regarding the accession to international instruments in the field of shipping; transport; the law of the sea, and the implementation of the law of the European Union, including their translations and interpretations. It is especially important to emphasize the cooperation with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and the contribution of the employees of the Institute in the creation of the Draft Maritime Act of the Republic of Croatia in 1994, its novella from 2004, and all its subsequent changes and supplements.
The Adriatic Institute further closely cooperates with economic operators from the field of shipping, transport, and insurance, and also professional associations, especially the Croatian Maritime Law Association and the Croatian Association of Insurance Law. Employees of the Institute occasionally participate in Croatian delegations at diplomatic conferences from the field of shipping, transport and the law of the sea and through the Croatian Maritime Law Association in the work of the International Maritime Committee.
The specialized library of the Adriatic Institute professionally processes literature from its own collections (more than 20,000 units of positive law, history of law, and the political history of the Adriatic coast). In 2012, the Library joined the realization of the digital repository of the Croatian Academy in order to connect the Europeana – Europe's largest digital library. In addition to the employees of the Institute, the Library is available to other interested scientists and students.
The Adriatic Institute has for more than 50 years been continuously publishing a scientific magazine, which had initially been entitled Uporedno pomorsko pravo i pomorska kupoprodaja, and as of 1992, it has changed its title to Poredbeno pomorsko pravo = Comparative Maritime Law. The magazine publishes scientific and professional papers from the fields of maritime and transport law; insurance law and the international law of the sea; as well as original texts of the maritime and transport conventions and other international unification instruments and its professional translations, reviews of the domestic and foreign judicial and arbitral decisions, reports from the scientific and professional conferences, and reviews of the recently published books from the relevant fields. Authors of papers and readers are eminent domestic and foreign legal experts, college professors, and associates from other scientific institutes, commercial court judges, legal experts in the field of insurance, and young authors being introduced in the scientific work. The magazine has international redaction, and it has been exchanged with 12 domestic and 9 international magazines. It is indexed in the Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) database and on portals and services Hrčak, Google Scholar, and Scientific Commons.
Scientific research activities of the Institute take place through long-time continuous work on scientific projects. Since 1991, the Adriatic Institute has successfully conducted seven perennial scientific projects with the support of the Ministry of Science (four from the field of international law and three from the field of maritime law). On the basis of a public tender, the Croatian Science Foundation has agreed to finance one 'installation research project' of the Adriatic Institute, whose duration is planned for the period 2015–2018. The Installation Research Projects programme was developed by the Croatian Science Foundation with the aim to establish independent research careers of young scientists.
Every three or four years since 1995 the Adriatic Institute has been organizing traditional scientific conferences on the current topics from the fields of maritime and international law; they gathered eminent scientists from Croatia and the neighbouring countries.
Many scientists have been raised at the Adriatic Institute. From 1985 onwards, seven junior staff members have achieved their LL.M. degree, while eleven have achieved their doctor’s degree in law. Among them, some have subsequently got positions at faculties and other institutions, in Croatia and abroad. Currently, there are four employees with academic grades; one junior research assistant; head librarian; and administrative secretary working at the Institute. The Director of the Institute is Vladimir-Đuro Degan, Professor Emeritus.
In 2011 the Adriatic Institute was awarded a prize from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure for special contribution to the promotion of maritime science and education.