A shipowner will wish to use its ship to make as much profit as it can and will usually do so by chartering the ship either on a time charter or voyage charter basis. Semester one of this course will consider the basic obligations which you would expect to find in any charterparty such as the shipowner’s obligation of seaworthiness, the obligation not to deviate and the charterer’s obligation to nominate a safe port, before turning to consider time charterparties and voyage charterparties, and their differences, in greater depth. The standard form contracts in common use will be studied, as will the international conventions, such as the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, which may be incorporated voluntarily in to those contracts. The principles of general commercial contract law, such as frustration, remedies for breach, remoteness of damage, and assessment of damages have often been developed in the area of carriage of goods by sea. They continue to be developed in this area partly as a result of the market crash in the autumn of 2008.
Semester two of this course considers the bill of lading issued for the carriage of goods by sea. The three functions of the bill of lading as receipt, evidence of the contract of carriage and document of title, will be studied. Whether any of the international conventions such as the Hague, Hague-Visby or Hamburg Rules apply mandatorily to the bill of lading will be considered and if the Hague-Visby Rules do, the substantive rules as to liability, exceptions, limitation of liability and time bar are studied. Issues such as the identity of the parties to the bill of lading and whether they have title to sue are explored.
Aims and Objectives
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Identify and explain the main commercial, insurance and political policies and values underpinning the law relating to carriage of goods by sea
- Apply commercial law principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex practical problems
- Display clarity and objectivity in written discussion
- Describe and assess existing areas of debate about what the law is and what it ought to be, both in the U.K. and internationally
- Draft legal advice based upon such problems
- Analyse relevant legal materials, including international conventions, statutes, case law and standard form maritime contracts
- Appraise and criticise existing debates in U.K. and international maritime law, using appropriate legal research skills
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Be an independent and self-critical learner, managing your own requirements for continuing professional development
- Time Manage
- To deploy legal arguments in writing.
- Identify relevant bibliography
- Competently undertake research tasks with minimum guidance using the full range of learning resources
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- At the end of semester one of the module you will be able to understand the main principles which govern the contractual obligations arising under charterparties and at the end of semester two the main principles which govern bills of lading
1Introduction and Commercial background
2Basic implied obligations in carriage of goods by sea:
- Safe ports
3 Cancellation of charterparty
- The description of the ship
- The period of the charterparty: underlap and overlap
- Off hire
- Hire and withdrawal
5Remedies for breach of charterparty
- The commencement of laytime
- The calculation of laytime and demurrage
- The distinction between demurrage and damages for detention
- Liens for freight, demurrage and damages for detention and cesser clauses
1Introduction to bills of lading, the commercial background and their functions
2Bill of Lading functions: receipt
Typical bill of lading clauses:
- Weight and quantity
3Bill of Lading functions: Terms of contract
4Bill of Lading functions: Document of title
5Hague and Hague-Visby Rules: Liability scheme
6Hague and Hague-Visby Rules: Application
7 Typical bill of lading clauses:
- Limitation of liability
- Time Bars
8Typical bill of lading clauses:
9Hamburg Rules 1978 and Rotterdam Rules 2009
10Through and combined transport
- Identity of parties
- Identity of terms
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
You will be provided with detailed reading lists, containing references to textbooks, cases, Conventions, statutes and journal articles. There will also be problem questions to be used for discussion in class. You will also be provided with a volume of standard form carriage contracts, supplementing those in the recommended textbook by John Wilson, so that you can relate the law to current commercial practice.
The module will be taught by weekly seminars. You will be expected to prepare the written reading sheets in advance. This preparation will require you to read and assimilate a considerable amount of material. In particular, you will be expected to understand legal principles deriving from international Conventions, statutes, case law, journal articles and standard form contracts. This will develop your ability to read cases, to get quickly to the important subject matter, to spot issues which are important but not decided, to extract principles, and to use and apply those principles in practical case studies. Your study of standard form contracts used internationally will expose you to the operation of these contracts almost as quasi-codes of law. You will consider not only what the law is, but what it ought to be.
|Completion of assessment task||25|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||100|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
C. Debattista (2008). Bills of Lading in Export Trade.
Cooke, Young and Taylor (2014). Voyage Charters.
(2015). Scrutton on Charterparties.
D.Yates (1993). Contracts for the Carriage of Goods.
W. Tetley (1988). Marine Cargo Claims.
R.Aikens, R. Lord and M. Bools (2006). Bills of Lading. Informa.
N. Gaskell, R. Asariotis and Y. Baatz (2000). Bills of Lading: Law and Contracts.
Y. Baatz et al (2014). Maritime Law. Informa.
S. Baughen (2015). Shipping Law. Routledge.
G. Treitel and F. Reynolds (2012). Carver on Bills of Lading.
Y. Baatz et al (2009). The Rotterdam Rules: A Practical Annotation.
Coghlin, Baker and Kenny (2014). Time Charters.
J. Wilson (2010). Carriage of Goods by Sea.
J. Schofield (2016). Laytime and Demurrage.
Formative assessment descriptionEssay
Summative assessment description
Referral assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External