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Julia Constantino Chagas Lessa

PhD student Julia Constantino Chagas Lessa

Julia's focuses on seafarers' employment rights and human rights in her research, in particular, the definition of 'abandonment of seafarer'.

PhD title: Transnationality of "abandonment of seafarers"


School/Centre: The City Law School

Julia's PhD focuses on

Her research focuses on the Transnationality of "abandonment of seafarers. Her research covers maritime law and policies and explores Shipping Industry Private Actors' role in the prevention and in the aftermath of "abandonment of seafarer".

Her supervisors are Professor Jason Chuah and Anthony Rogers.

During her PhD, Julia was invited to assist conducting a five days IMO accredited course on Oil Spillage to Shell employees in Port Harcourt - Nigeria. The course included, among other things, international and national liability of oil spillages from offshore platforms.

Julia completed her law degree in Brazil and became a qualified lawyer after successfully passing the Brazilian Bar exam. Before moving to London to pursuit her master's degree, she practiced law for a couple of years in Brazil. Having interning since the first year of Law school, Julia had the opportunity of getting to know all the practical aspects of law; and started dealing with clients since such an early stage allowed her to obtain knowledge of the needs of the most different client (Julia has dealt with clients such as Citibank, HSBC, BNL - Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Nike, among others).

In 2010, Julia completed her masters in International Commercial Law at University of Westminster, with a dissertation on Intellectual Property Law. In 2011, Julia was selected for an internship at Seafarers Rights International, where she had the opportunity to expand her research on maritime labour and work with great researchers of this particular area.


  • Abandonment of seafarers following a piracy attack - breach or no breach of the employment contract? -  MarIus nr. 424 pp 523 - 546,  2013
  • MLC: Much Ado About Nothing? European Transport Law Journal -  2014, pp 119-132
  • Offshore Platforms' Seafarers: an excluded group within an overlooked sector? (joint article) European Transport Law Journal -  2014, pp 133-151
  • 'How wide are the shoulders of a Flag of Convenience Country?' In New Comparative Perspectives in Maritime, Transport and International Trade Law, edited by M. Musi (Libreria Bonomo Editrice: Bologna, 2014) pp. 227-252 
  • An Overview of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 - article written for the Insight section of Westlaw UK  - available at west
  • Book Review -  The Maritime Labour Convention 2006, International Labour Law Redefined, edited by Jennifer Lavelle  (Informa Law: London, 2014) -  Journal of International Maritime Law - Journal of International Maritime Law Vol.20 Issue 4 (2014), pp. 303-305
  • Repatriation and financial security for seafarers: amendments to Maritime Labour Convention (Joint article with Johanna Hjalmarsson)- Shipping & Trade Law: September 2014, available on ilaw.

Julia has presented papers at the:

  • KU Leuven Round Table on Transport Law - De Lege Ferenda, November 2013 at University of Leuven 
  • The City Law School Post-Graduate Forum, City University, 9 May 2013 at City University London;
  • LUMLPG Research Group Conference 2013 held on April 2013 at City University London;
  • VII European Colloquium of Maritime Law Research held on September 2012 at the University of Palermo;
  • LUMLPG Research Group Conference 2012 held on March 2012 at City University London;
  • University of Westminster LLM International Commercial Law Residential Weekend held on May 2011

Julia has also actively participate on the organization of the following seminars and conferences:

  • Seminar on 'The proliferation of domestic and regional air passenger rights regimes: a global regulatory response on the horizon?' at City University London - November 2013. Speaker: Dr. Steven Truxal, leading academic on Aviation Law and Regulation.
  • The City Law School Post-Graduate Forum 2013- City University London- 9 May 2013.
  • LUMLPG Research Group Conference 2013- City University London- April 2013.
  • Seminar on 'Chartering tankers at difficult times: Description and the Waller test' at City University - February 2013. Speaker: Filippo Lorenzon, Senior Lecturer at University of Southampton and Director of The Institute of Maritime Law.
  • Seminar on 'Developing Countries: An Expanding Role in Maritime Business' at City University London- November 2012. Speaker: Richard Scott, managing director of an independent ships' consultancy firm and visiting lecture at the Greenwich Maritime Institute.
  • LUMLPG Research Group Conference 2011, University of Westminster, April 2011.

Teaching Experience

Julia is currently a visiting lecturer at the University at Westminster, where she teaches Law Relating to Payment Trade and Finance to Master Students. She also takes part teaching criminal law at City University London and is a member of the London Universities Maritime Law and Policy Research Group (LUMLP)

Her research interests include:

Shipping Law, Marine Insurance, Maritime Labour, Commercial Law and Intellectual Property Law.