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LAWS3145 Carriage of Goods by Sea 1 (Charterparties)

Module Overview

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. This module considers 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 into 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. This module can count as one of the Maritime Option modules that students on the LLB Maritime Law need to select from. The subject is continued in the Carriage of Goods by Sea 2 module.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To give you a thorough knowledge and understanding of the main principles of the law relating to charterparties and the commercial, insurance and political policies and values which underpin it, • To provide you with experience of analysing legal principles deriving from a variety of legal instruments, including international conventions, statutes, case law, journal articles and standard form maritime contracts. • To enable you to develop your skills of legal analysis and problem solving in a contract-based commercial law subject with an international aspect. • To allow you to identify relevant bibliography and competently undertake research tasks with minimum guidance using the full range of learning resources;

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • understand the main principles which govern the contractual obligations arising under charterparties and the remedies for their breach.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse relevant legal materials, including international conventions, statutes, case law and standard form charterparties,
  • Identify and explain the main commercial, insurance and political policies and values underpinning the law relating to charterparties.
  • 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.
  • apply commercial law principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex practical problems.
  • draft legal advice based upon such problems.
  • appraise and criticise existing debates in U.K. and international maritime law, using appropriate legal research skills.
  • deploy legal arguments in writing.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • manage your time effectively
  • work as an independent and self-critical learner, managing your own requirements for continuing personal and professional development;
  • display clarity and objectivity in written discussion demonstrating an awareness of issues of academic integrity.


1 Introduction and Commercial background 2 Basic implied obligations in carriage of goods by sea: • Seaworthiness • Deviation • Safe ports • Frustration 3 Cancellation of charterparty 4 Time Charters • The description of the ship • The period of the charterparty: underlap and overlap • Off hire • Hire and withdrawal 5 Remedies for breach of charterparty 6 Voyage charters • Freight • 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

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will be provided with a detailed reading list, 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 lectures. You will be expected to prepare in advance making use of the reading list. 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 to the important subject matter quickly, to spot issues which are significant 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.

Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

J. Wilson (2010). Carriage of Goods by Sea. 

The US Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce. 

Coghlin, Baker and Kenny (2014). Time Charters. 

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly. 

The Shipping and Transport Lawyer. 

P. Todd (2015). Principles of Carriage of Goods by Sea. 

J. Schofield (2016). Laytime and Demurrage. 

Y. Baatz et al. (2014). Maritime Law. 

S. Baughen (2015). Shipping Law. 

Cooke, Young and Taylor (2014). Voyage Charters. 

J Wilson (2010). Carriage of Goods by Sea. 

G. Treitel and F. Reynolds (2012). Carver on Bills of Lading. 

Eder, B. et al (2015). Scrutton on Charterparties. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/recommended text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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