Kate Lewins  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Professor Kate Lewins
    B.Juris, LLB (W.Aust.), LLM (S'ton.), PhD (Murd.)


    About me

    I joined the Law School at Murdoch University in July 1997 after almost a decade in private practice. I am a graduate of University of Western Australia (B.Juris 1987, LL.B 1988) and practised law in WA for several years before studying a Master of Laws degree at University of Southampton, UK, specialising in Maritime Law.On my return to Western Australia, I resumed practice at the national firm Phillips Fox (now DLA Piper), specialising in transport and insurance advice and litigation.  I was appointed a senior associate in 1993 before joining the Law School in July 1997.

    In 2009 I was awarded a Ph.D (Murdoch University) for my thesis entitled “The Trade Practices Act (Cth) 1974 and its Impact on Maritime Law in Australia“.

    I hold various University Committee administrative positions. I recently completed a term as Associate Dean Learning and Teaching for the School of Law.

    Teaching area

    I currently teach:

    LLB120 Legal Writing for Lawyers (semester 1)

    I also teach electives:

    LLB339 Shipping Law

    LLB319 Insurance Law

    LLB355 Admiralty Law.

    The elective units do not run every year.


    I teach in areas that are all within my sphere of interest. I  am part of the first year teaching team, responsible for teaching the first year unit LLB120 Legal Writing for Lawyers (semester 1).

    I also teach elective units: Shipping Law, Insurance Law, Admiralty Law. I have taught Commercial Law, Torts and Civil Procedure.

    In 2015 I was proud to be voted the MSLS Lecturer of the Year.

    Research areas

    Kate has written numerous peer-reviewed papers on maritime and related topics including  carriage of goods by sea, and the effect of the Trade Practices Act /Australian Consumer Law on contracts for the carriage of goods, towage contracts, contracts for the carriage of cruise ship passengers, crimes at sea, sub-bailment on terms and maritime liens in Australia.

    Kate makes submissions to government on matters within her expertise. She was invited to give evidence at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Arrangements surrounding Crimes at Sea in 2012, and her submission was widely quoted in the 2013 Report. She has recently made submissions to Treasury concerning the Australian Consumer Law as it applies to passengers by sea.

    Kate is also active in the field of general insurance and marine insurance. In 2012 she was invited to address a conference on Insurance Law in London concerning the law reform proposals in England and Wales. In September 2015 she was invited to give the Australian Maritime and Transport Arbitration Commission Annual Address.

    Kate is regularly invited to give conference presentations on aspects of insurance and maritime law. Some of her presentations are listed below.

    Current projects

    Kate has completed her book on Carriage of Passengers by Sea. It outlines the law in England Australia and Singapore. It is to be published by Sweet & Maxwell towards the end of 2016.

    Conference presentations

    Here is a selection of conference papers and presentations delivered by Kate:

    ‘Crimes on Board Ships at Sea’ Centre for Maritime Law at National University of Singapore, 25 January 2018.

    ‘Re-arrest and Multiple Arrest of Ships’ Ship Arrest Convention Colloquium, Centre for Maritime Law, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 28 November 2016.

    ‘Cruise ship passengers and Australian law’ MLAANZ Annual Conference, Noosa 29 September 2016.

    ‘Legal challenges for cruise ship operators in Australia’ RMIT Faculty of Law research seminar (Melbourne) 1 September 2016

    ‘Legal challenges for cruise ship operators in Australia’ – MLAANZ evening seminar (Melbourne) 1 September 2016

    ‘The cruise ship industry in Australia – are our laws fit for purpose?’ WISTA breakfast seminar, Perth 29 October 2015

    ‘A view from the crow’s nest: maritime arbitrations, maritime cases and the common law’ AMTAC Annual Address, Perth 16 September 2015

    ‘The cruise ship industry in Australia – are our laws fit for purpose’  Women in Shipping and Transport Association, November 2015

    ‘Cruise ship law - hot topics’ at Cruise Ship Tourism Economic Forum, China 15 November 2013 (Shanghai, PRC)

    ‘Crime and the Cruise Liner Industry’ at MLAANZ Annual Conference 13 September 2012 (Brisbane)

    ‘Going walkabout with Australian Insurance Law: the Australian experience of reforming utmost good faith’ at Insurance Contract Law Reform Academic Conference organised by University of Southampton 16 April 2012 (London).

    ‘Piracy, Ransom and Marine Insurance’ MLAANZ Annual Conference 14 October 2010 (Melbourne).

    ‘Considering the merits of a liability regime for passengers carried by sea – a regional perspective’ Hong Kong Centre for Maritime and Transportation law Inaugural Conference March 19 2010 (Hong Kong).

    ‘Insurance law – back to basics’ Australian Insurance Law Association (WA) 26 May 2010 (Perth).

    ‘Mandatory law and Maritime law’ Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (WA) Seminar 23 April 2009 (Perth).

    ‘2008 – the year in review’ Australian Insurance Law Association (WA), 17 December 2008 (Perth).

    ‘What’s the TPA got to do with it? Safety, quality and towage contracts’ MLAANZ Annual Conference 6 October 2005. (Auckland)

    ‘Teaching and Learning using Technology’ Australian Legal Education Forum; 5 July 2005 (Perth).

    ‘The Groupwork Experience and Civil Procedure’ Civil Litigation Symposium, Flinders University, 15 April 2005 (Adelaide)

    ‘Translators and the Law’ WA Institute of Translators and Interpreters Professional Development Workshop 29 May 2004 (Perth)

    ‘The cruise ship industry – liabilities to passengers for breach of s52 and s74 Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)’ Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, 2 October 2003 (Brisbane).

    Events and speaking engagements

    Kate regularly speaks at conferences and other events. These are listed under the previous heading.




    Professional and community service

    Kate is active in the maritime law sphere. She has been:

    • Director, International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (2006 – ongoing)
    • General Editor of the ANZ Maritime Law Journal (a MLAANZ publication) from 2006 – 2013 

    Kate is active in university administration, sitting on various university committees. She has held a number of administrative roles within the School of Law including Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, and Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee.

    Kate is currently involved with the MLAANZ campaign to encourage the Federal Government to update its ratifications of international maritime conventions.

    Kate is called upon by media to discuss aspects of law relating to cruise ships.


    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    PhD Completions:

    Shaw, Stephen: The assessment of disputes about legal costs: A comparative analysis of the Western Australian and New South Wales Regimes (2014)

    Kate is currently supervising one PhD student.



    • Lewins, K., (2016),International Carriage of Passengers by Sea,Thomson Reuters.


    • Lewins, K., (2018), CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS AND AUSTRALIAN LAW: KNOWN PROBLEMS AND SOME NEW ANSWERS, Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Maritime Law Journal, 2018 (32), , pages 1 - 16.
    • Lewins, K., Nair, A., (2018), International Recent Developments: Australia (2018), Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 42, Mar, pages 533 - 568.
    • Lewins, K., (2018), SHORE TRANSFERS AND CARRIER LIABILITIES UNDER THE ATHENS CONVENTION : ANALYSIS AND COMMENT, The Journal of International Maritime Law, 24, 2018, pages 173 - 177.
    • Lewins, K., (2017), 'Carrier' under the Athens Convention 1974, The Journal of International Maritime Law, 23, 5, pages 336 - 337.
    • Lewins, K., (2017), In the Course of Disembarkation under the Athens Convention, The Journal of International Maritime Law, 23, 2, pages 95 - 99.
    • Lewins, K., (2016), Maritime Arbitration, Maritime Cases and the Common Law: The Early Development of the Doctrine of Frustration, Journal of Business Law, 1, 7, pages 589 - 606.
    • Lewins, K., Nair, A., (2016), International Recent Developments: Australia (2016), Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 40:455, , pages 455 - 482.
    • Lewins, K., (2016), CRUISE SHIP OPERATORS, THEIR PASSENGERS, AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW AND CIVIL LIABILITY ACTS - PART 2, Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal, 30, 1, pages 12 - 27.
    • Lewins, K., (2015), CRUISE SHIP OPERATORS, THEIR PASSENGERS, AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW AND STATE CIVIL LIABILITY ACTS - PART 1, Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal, 29, 2, pages 93 - 110.
    • Lewins, K., Nair, A., (2015), International Recent Developments: Australia (2015), Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 39, 2, pages 613 - 644.
    • Lewins, K., Nair, A., (2014), International Recent Developments: Australia 2014, Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 38, Number 2 Summer 2014, pages 583 - 611.
    • Walker, S., Lewins, K., (2014), Dashed expectation? The impact of civil liability legislation on contractual damages for disappointment and distress, Australian Business Law Review, 2014, 42, pages 465 - 475.
    • Lewins, K., Nair, A., (2013), International Recent Developments: Australia 2013, Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 37, 2 Summer 2013, pages 559 - 589.
    • Lewins, K., Gaskell, N., (2013), Jurisdiction over criminal acts on cruise ships: perhaps, perhaps, perhaps?, Criminal Law Journal, 37, 4, pages 221 - 245.
    • Lewins, K., (2013), Going Walkabout with Australian Insurance Law: The Australian Experience of Reforming Utmost Good Faith, Particularly in Relation to Late Payment of Claims, and Fraud, Journal of Business Law, , 1, pages 1 - 22.
    • Lewins, K., (2012), International Recent Developments: Australia, Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 36, 1, pages 1 - 25.
    • Lewins, K., (2012), An insurer's pre-contractual duty of disclosure under the Marine Insurance Act 1909 (Cth), Insurance Law Journal, 35, , pages 35 - 50.
    • Lewins, K., Merkin, R., (2011), MASEFIELD AG v AMLIN CORPORATE MEMBER LTD; THE BUNGA MELATI DUA PIRACY, RANSOM AND MARINE INSURANCE, Melbourne University Law Review, 35, 2, pages 717 - 734.
    • Lewins, K., (2010), Australian cruise passengers travel in legal equivalent of steerage - considering the merits of a passenger liability regime for Australia, Australian Business Law Review, 38, 2, pages 127 - 142.
    • Lewins, K., (2009), Australian Insurance Law Cases 2008, Journal of Business Law, , 6, pages 543 - 568.
    • Lewins, K., (2008), Maritime Law and the TPA as a "mandatory statute" in Australia and England: Confusion and consternation?, Australian Business Law Review, 36, 2, pages 78 - 136.
    • Lewins, K., (2008), Reforming Non-disclosure in Insurance Law: The Australian Experience, Journal of Business Law, 2008, 2, pages 158 - 178.
    • Lewins, K., (2006), The Groupwork Experience in Civil Procedure, ELaw - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 13, 1, pages 225 - 241.
    • Lewins, K., (2006), What's the Trade Practices Act Got To Do With It? Section 74 and Towage Contracts in Australia, ELaw - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 13, 1, pages 58 - 76.
    • Lewins, K., (2006), Breach of Warranty in Marine Insurance: Allison Pty Ltd t/as Pilbara Marine Port Services v Lumley General Insurance Ltd [2006] WASC 104 (Pilbara Pilot), Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal, 20, , pages 54 - 57.
    • Lewins, K., (2004), The Cruise Ship Industry - Liabilities to Passengers for Breach of s52 and s74 'Trade Practices Act 1974' (Cth, Maritime Law Association of Australia & New Zealand (MLAANZ) Journal, 18, , pages 30 - 54.
    • Lewins, K., (2004), British Business Law: Insurance: Drawing a Line in the Sand (or the Seabed) - Just Where is the Boundary Between Marine Insurance and General Insurance? The Australian High Court Decides, Journal of Business Law, March Issue, , pages 262 - 271.
    • Lewins, K., (2004), Corporate morality and commercial maritime contracts: considering the impact of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Australia), s52 on carriage of goods by sea, Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, Part 2, , pages 197 - 218.
    • Lewins, K., Lo, S., (2003), Striving for Equilibrium: A Critical Analysis of Section 54 of The Australian Insurance Contracts Act, ELaw - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 10, 2, pages 1 - 101.
    • Lewins, K., (2003), Where is the boundary between marine insurance and general insurance? Gibbs v MMI reaches the High Court, Insurance Law Journal, 15, 1, pages 89 - 98.
    • Lewins, K., Davies, M., (2002), Foreign Maritime Liens: Should They Be Recognised in Australian Courts?, Australian Law Journal, 76, 12, pages 775 - 782.
    • Lewins, K., (2002), Sub-Bailment on Terms and the Australian Consumer, ELaw - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 9, 3, pages N/A - N/A.
    • Lewins, K., (2000), Are the 1998 Amendments to COGSA Holding Water?, Australian Business Law Review, 28, 6, pages 422 - 427.