Institute of International Economic Law

Merits and tasks of the research Group

Dr. Juris Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson, University of Helsinki
Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson will be the research manager of the project. She is currently running the transport law research team at the Institute of International and Economical Law at the University of Helsinki, which has organised several seminars and workshops. She also holds a part time research position at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law in Oslo. In both universities she teaches international transport law and contract law. Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson is a member of the steering committee of the Institute of Maritime and Commercial Law at Åbo Akademi University. She did her doctoral dissertation in January 2005 on the remuneration system in commercial agency contracts in a comparative and historical perspective. The doctoral thesis was accomplished when she was employed by the Centre of European Law at the University of Oslo. She has published two monographs in the field as well as several articles, also in referee journals. Recent publications have been on international intermodal transport in the European Union. Her main research interest lies in the interface between the political development of a European Transport Policy and the legal development of a new liability regime for multimodal transport mainly in Europe, but also globally. She will particularly concentrate on the theoretical question of to what extent societal (e.g. environmental) policies can and should be pursued through the means of private law, using the invention of Freight Integrators and the question on liability as an example.

Dr. Econ Anu Bask, Aalto University School of Business
Anu Bask is Research Manager of the logistical part of the InterTran project. She is currently an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Information and Service Economy at the Aalto University School of Business. She is Leader of the Aalto Service Factory’s SERMO thematic group, Director of the Finnish Graduate School of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (L&SCM) (, and Visiting Researcher at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.  She has published several articles in international journals, and her research interests include supply chain management, supply chain relationships, business models, modularity, services, service processes, intermodal transport, and sustainable transport and supply chains. Her doctoral dissertation, defended in December 2006, on “Preconditions of Successful Supply Chain Relationships”, was selected as the best logistics study of the year by Finnish Logistics Forum.  It also forms the first article format doctoral dissertation in logistics at Helsinki School of Business. She has also been a reviewer for international journals and conferences, and been a co-author in a special issue of International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. She has taken part of several research projects concerning transport logistics. In the InterTran project her research interest is connected to the effect of the modularity, business models, services and environmental issues on intermodal transport flows to and from Finland. Empirical studies questioning the effect of the changing legal framework will be performed both towards the users of the transport industry as well as towards the service providers. Key issues are: what are the most applicable current and future intermodal transport modes and business models for service users and providers? Is sustainability becoming a competitive advantage for the door-to-door service providers, and are the liability issues among the most important barriers slowing down the process for new innovative and sustainable service solutions? Can modularity offer (and how) new innovative business models with improved service efficiency, customer service, agility of services and sustainability?

LL.M. (trained on the bench) Jan Aminoff
Jan Aminoff has practiced law for some 38 years specialising in all aspects of maritime and transport law, marine insurance, litigation and arbitration. He has recently retired from active practice and commenced studies at the University of Helsinki in order to take a licentiate´s degree in law. His studies will primarily focus on jurisdiction and international carriage of goods by at least sea, road and air. This work will inter alia involve an analysis of the relationship between the various international conventions governing the carriage of goods, Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 (the Brussels I Regulation) and provisions on jurisdiction contained in national law. The various provisions on jurisdiction of these conventions, the Regulation and of national law will also be considered. The applicability of jurisdiction and arbitration clauses will form part of the work. Further, issues concerning conflict of laws will be examined.

LL.D. (trained on the bench) Lalli Castrén, University of Helsinki
Lalli Castrén will be a post doc researcher in the project. He matriculated from the French-Finnish School at Helsinki in 2000, was Master of Laws in, Licenciate of Laws 2007, and has previously worked both as a district prosecutor and trainee district judge. Master’s and Licentiate theses focus on the cargo liability of air carriers according to the Montreal convention. This type of liability, a combination of strict liability and an unbreakable limit of liability, differ considerably from what would be considered the norm in transport law and general contract law in European countries. The international character of the Montreal Convention and transport law in general mean that this independent system of liability needs to function in a large number of varying environments. The objective of this research is to see how this very special form of liability can function in a multimodal transport environment, by looking at closely related transportation forms, such as road transport, and the important European and international attempts at the unification of multimodal transportation.

Katja Heikkinen, University of Helsinki
Katja Heikkinen is a fourth year law student in the University of Helsinki. She has a previous BBA degree in accounting and financial management from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. This degree and related work experience has given her a valuable commercial understanding of the business world. At the moment she is writing her Master’s thesis as an InterTran group member. Her research questions are closely linked to the project.
The topic of her thesis is a multimodal electronic waybill and the legal issues related to the use of it. The topic is very current because EU is developing a single transport document to be used in an electronic form. At the moment the document is called a multimodal e-waybill. Without any new conventions or regulations, this document has to adjust to the existing legal patchwork of rules covering liability in transportation of goods. The aim of her thesis is to analyze the legal functions of transport documents, can these functions be maintained in an electronic form and how. On what conditions could the multimodal e-waybill function properly and serve its purposes?
Currently she is studying at the University of Sheffield as an exchange student. While studying in UK, her main intrests are commercial law and maritime law.

Jenni Hirsto, University of Helsinki
Jenni Hirsto is a student in the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law. She is currently writing her Master’s thesis in international law and focusing on the research questions also relevant for the InterTran project. She has a polytechnic degree (BBA) in international trade and logistics (2002). Before she started to study law in 2009, she worked in logistics for over 10 years. Her working experience includes both forwarding and shipping. The focus of this research is international transport conventions from an EU member state’s perspective. Jenni Hirsto is focusing her research on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (the Rotterdam Rules). She will particularly concentrate on the competence of an EU member state versus the European Union in the field of multimodal transport. She will also take a look at the implications for previous, existing or later treaties if should the Rotterdam Rules enter into force. Also the possible consequences if the Rotterdam Rules fail to enter into force will analyzed.
The main objective of this research is to examine whether there is a possible conflict between the competence of an EU member state and the EU when it comes to concluding international treaties governing multimodal transport. Based on the European Transport Policy the European Commission has launched a discussion on the need of an international or regional regime on multimodal transport. The Rotterdam Rules is one option, a regional legal instrument another. One question to discuss is how to avoid a treaty conflict if the European Union should choose to legislate in the area of multimodal transport.

Lotta Laukkio, University of Helsinki
Lotta Laukkio is a master student in the Faculty of Law since 2012. She studied in Tallinn Law School 2007-2010 and obtained her Bachelor degree there. Since then she has been working as an assistant lawyer in a law firm that practices in the field of transportation law. Lotta is going to start her master thesis fall 2013 focusing on cargo insurances and/or insurances generally in transportation. She will also analyze insurances in relation to the Rotterdam Rules.

Pinja Raitasuo, Aalto University School of Business
Pinja Raitasuo is a doctoral student in Department of Information and Service Economy at the Aalto University School of Business. Before starting her doctoral thesis, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master’s degree in Logistics from Aalto University School of Business.
Her main research interest is environmentally sustainable logistics. Furthermore, her research topic “intermodal transport including rail leg” is closely linked to the themes of Intertran project. Intermodal road-rail solutions have been promoted as a promising way to reduce emissions and other negative externalities from freight transport. Still, the share of train transport is relatively low within European Union. Therefore, her interest is to find out, what are the challenges limiting the use of rail transport. This is studied in the InterTran project by conducting interviews with logistics service providers and users of these services.

LL.M., M.Sc. (Tech) Mervi Rajahonka, Aalto University School of Business
Mervi Rajahonka will start as a doctoral student in the InterTran research project, but from the end of 2012 she will work as a post doc researcher. She earned her Master of Laws degree from the University of Helsinki in 1984. Furthermore she matriculated from Helsinki University of Technology in 1995 and holds a Master of Science in Technology in Industrial Management. Her master’s thesis from Helsinki University of Technology focuses on the logistics processes of a purchasing firm where she draws up a process description of the firm’s logistic processes. At present she works as a project researcher at Aalto University School of Business, in the Department of Information and Service Economy, Logistics, and the Small Business Center. Her dissertation will be essay based and focuses on modular logistics services and processes as well as modular business models. In the InterTran project her research interests are sustainable, efficient and effective (i.e. customer responsive) logistics chains, and how these can be implemented in multimodal transport alternatives. These issues will be studied in the InterTran project with literature reviews and empirical studies of both logistics service providers and users of these services.

Binling Zhou, University of Helsinki
Binling Zhou is a master student at the University of Helsinki, where she is studying international business law. Before pursuing her master degree in Finland, she was studying in the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in China and obtained her Bachelor’s degree there in 2010. She used to do internship in both Chinese law firm and courts. She is currently writing her Master’s thesis which will be a comparative study of the Chinese legal regime on multimodal transport and the system in the Rotterdam Rules.
Mainland China neither signed nor ratified international conventions concerning international sea transport and road transport such as Hague Rules 1924, Hague Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules 1978 (Hong Kong and Macao signed the Hague Rules 1924), and CMR. At present China is considering whether to sign and ratify the Rotterdam Rules. However, when China was making its own Maritime Code, lots of principles and rules of these international conventions have been adopted.
Binling Zhou’s study will focus on the current Chinese legislation relating to the international multimodal transport, emphasizing on the rules on carrier’s liability and the applicable law in international multimodal transport. A comparison with EU legislations and Rotterdam Rules will be made as well. In addition, her study will also concern China’s attitude towards the Rotterdam Rules, both from legal and political perspective.