William Tetley Lecture in Maritime Law delivered by Hon. Justice Sarah Derrington at Tulane Law School on April 3, 2024

In its commitment to excellence in legal scholarship and its role as a leader in maritime law education in the USA, Tulane University Law School traditionally hosts the William Tetley Lecture on Maritime Law every year. The Maritime Law Center inaugurated this esteemed lecture series in honor of a distinguished Canadian maritime lawyer, professor at the McGill Law School in Montreal, the author of several influential books and numerous widely acclaimed articles that have become important resources for academics, practitioners and students in the field of maritime law.


Professor William Tetley’s remarkable career spanned academia, politics, and legal practice. His deep engagement with maritime law was matched by his practical experience and academic rigor. His work has had a lasting worldwide impact on maritime law. In a generous act of dedication to education in the field of maritime law, Professor Tetley endowed the lecture series himself, ensuring its longevity and impact.


Hosted under the auspices of the Tulane Maritime Law Center, the lecture series continues to thrive, shedding light on the importance and complexities of maritime law and attracting the most distinguished speakers from around the globe.


This year, the William Tetley Lecture on Maritime Law was held on April 3rd, 2024. The lecturer was the Hon. Sarah Derrington, a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia since 2018. The title of her address was “Has National Idiosyncrasy Trumped International Uniformity?”


Justice Sarah Derrington is one of the most prominent maritime lawyers and academics today. Her extensive contributions to maritime law, through both her academic work and her judicial decisions, have established her as a leading figure in this specialized field.


Justice Derrington started her journey in law at the University of Queensland, where she got her law degree in 1990, followed by a Master's degree. Her doctoral studies led her to specialize in marine insurance law, a field in which she has since established herself as an international authority. She became a professor at the University of Queensland in 2008 where she served as a Dean of Law from 2013 until 2018. She also acted as a barrister specialized in maritime and shipping law, general commercial law and arbitration. In 2018, she was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia.


Justice Derrington served as the president of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and was a board member of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from 2012 to 2017. Since 2006, she has been a part of the Admiralty Rules Committee. She served as the president of the Australian Law Reform Commission. She also contributed her expertise to the Council of the Australian Maritime College (AMC) from 2012 until 2023. She is actively involved with the Council of the Australian National Maritime Museum.


Her professional accomplishments have been recognized through her election as a Fellow to several prestigious organizations including the Academy of Law in 2009, the Nautical Institute in 2013, and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018. She was honoured as an Honorary Bencher by Gray's Inn in 2021 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2022.