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Shipping expert Frederick Kenney set for Tulane’s Tetley Lecture Feb. 15

January 20, 2017


Retired Rear Adm. Frederick Kenney of the International Maritime Organization is set to give Tulane Law School’s William Tetley Memorial Lecture in Maritime Law Feb. 15.

Realize it or not, American consumers rely heavily on maritime industry: for that French designer purse, those tropical bananas for breakfast, the made-in-China party favors and much more. And U.S. companies ship tons of products across the globe by sea.

But it’s not just about moving goods: ships can create pollution and could be used for terrorists attacks, and unscrupulous operators exploit workers if left unregulated.

Retired Rear Adm. Frederick Kenney, an authority on international shipping safety, will discuss how the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency, brings predictability to the industry at Tulane Law School’s William Tetley Memorial Lecture in Maritime Law Feb. 15.

Kenney’s lecture on “Global Regulation of Ships: the Future of Development and Implementation at IMO” starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room 110 of John Giffen Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret St., with a reception to follow. The event is open to the public.  

Kenney, once the U.S. Coast Guard’s top lawyer, has been director of the Legal Affairs and External Relations Division of the London-based International Maritime Organization since 2014. That puts him “at the forefront of the monumental global task of ensuring that a vital part of global trade — ships — is kept safe, secure and environmentally friendly,” said Professor Martin Davies, director of the Tulane Maritime Law Center.

The IMO’s main role is to create a fair and effective regulatory framework for the shipping industry and covers areas ranging from ship design and construction to compensation for pollution caused by ships.

Before joining the IMO, Kenney was Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Coast Guard. In that role, he oversaw some 300 attorneys and 100 legal support personnel around the world. During his 33-year military career, he obtained the rank of Rear Admiral. He served assignments as the Coast Guard’s Chief of Maritime and International Law, in U.S. State Department’s Office of Ocean Affairs and as a judge on the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals. Experienced as a prosecutor, defense counsel and appellate counsel in criminal cases, he also was lead Coast Guard counsel in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in litigation stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. 

Kenney has represented the United States on numerous IMO committees and was the head of the U.S. delegation to the IMO Legal Committee. He spent almost five years at sea, including serving as a deck watch officer on a polar icebreaker. He holds a JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he was editor in chief of the USF Maritime Law Journal, and a BA in Economics from Michigan State University. He lectures widely and has been an adjunct professor of maritime law at Georgetown University Law Center and the U.S. Defense Institute for International Legal Studies. 

Since 2000, the Tulane Maritime Law Center’s annual public lecture has been named in honor of the late William Tetley, a longtime professor at Montreal’s McGill University who also taught a mini-course at Tulane in 1984-98 and remained an avid friend of the law school. In 2011, he endowed the lecture series that bears his name. 

Tetley’s career included 36 years teaching at McGill, 18 years practicing commercial and maritime law, eight years as a member of the Quebec National Assembly and six years as a cabinet minister. He was named an honorary member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and honorary life vice president of the Comité Maritime International. He died in 2014 at age 87.



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