UG Alumnus Receives International Maritime Prize for 2012

An alumnus of the University of Ghana, Dr. Thomas A. Mensah has received the most coveted International Maritime Organization (IMO), award for 2012 at the 27th Extraordinary Session of the IMO Council in London.

Dr. Thomas A. Mensah receiving his award from Mr. Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General. Dr. Thomas A. Mensah graduated from the University of Ghana and later studied Law at the University of London, graduating in 1959. In 1961, he joined Yale University Law School, United States, obtaining a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in 1962 and a Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) title in 1964.

Dr. Mensah then embarked on an International Legal Career, first working as Associate Legal Officer, at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna from 1965 to 1966 before joining the IMO Secretariat, in London, in 1968, as Director of the Legal Office. In 1981, he was designated Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the expanded Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, IMO, posts which he held until 1990.

He was also a visiting Professor of the World Maritime University (WMU), in Malmö, Sweden, from 1981 to1990. On leaving IMO, Dr. Mensah became Special Advisor on Environmental Law and Institutions, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, from 1991 to 1992. He was Cleveringa Professor of Law, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, from 1993 to 1994 and Professor and Director, Law of the Sea Institute, University of Hawaii, from 1993 to 1995.

Dr. Mensah was then appointed as the first High Commissioner of Ghana to the Republic of South Africa, from 1995 to 1996.

In 1996 he was appointed the first President of ITLOS, and continued to serve as an ITLOS Judge from 1999 to 2005.

He has been a Member of the Institut de Droit International since 1989, a Titular Member of the Comité Maritime International, a Member of the Advisory Council of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a Member of the Standing Committee on Maritime Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

Presenting the 2012 International Maritime Prize, the IMO Secretary-General Mr. Koji Sekimizu stated that Dr. Mensah was nominated for the prize by the Government of Ghana and has been recognized for his contribution to the aims and objectives of IMO throughout his distinguished career in International Maritime Affairs.

Dr. Mensah has published numerous articles, monographs and papers in the field of public International Law, Law of the Sea, Maritime Law and International Environmental Law.

Dr. Mensah poses with Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo (L) and Mr. Koji Sekimizu. (R)

The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of the Organization. It consists of a sculpture and includes a financial award, upon submission of a paper written on a subject relevant to IMO.

Among the high powered government delegation present at the well organized and well attended ceremony were the Honourable Mrs. Dzifa Attivor, Minister for Transport and Ghana’s High Commissioner to UK, His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo.