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The University of Southampton

LAWS6173 The Law on Charterparties

Module Overview

This module introduces you to the law governing charterparties which are maritime contracts between shipowners and charterers for the hire of a ship for the carriage of cargo (or passengers) and as such form a critical part of the law governing the carriage of goods by sea. Charterparties may be voyage charters, time charters or bareboat/demise charters, and often go hand in hand with bills of lading, which in turn may import the application of the Hague-Visby Rules to the charterparties by paramount clauses. The study of this module involves an application of general principles of English (contract) law to the specific context of charterparties.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The legal principles governing time, voyage and bareboat charterparties.
  • The commercial and public policies underlying legal principles on charterparties and areas of current debate and development.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse relevant legal materials, including statutes, case law and standard charterparty clauses.
  • Identify and explain the main internationally-accepted principles underpinning the law relating to charterparties.
  • Apply the legal principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex problems.
  • Appraise and criticise existing debates in charterparties law, using appropriate legal research skills.
  • Locate and analyse relevant legal and other primary and secondary source materials including standard contracts.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Distinguish relevant from irrelevant materials.
  • Identify and analyse key issues.
  • Think critically, develop coherent arguments in writing.
  • Display clarity and objectivity in written discussion demonstrating an awareness of issue of academic integrity.


The following is indicative of the module content: Legal principles governing different aspects of voyage charters, in particular: * vessel and voyage; * cargo and freight; and * laytime and demurrage; Legal principles governing time and bareboat charters, in particular: * employment and indemnity; * period of charter; * payment of hire; and * off hire. The interaction between bills of lading and charterparties

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module is taught through lectures (8x2hours) and seminars (3x2hours). Lectures will introduce the principles and structure of the subject. You are expected to provide the main input to the seminars where the principles introduced in the lectures are applied to hypothetical scenarios. The most important part of learning is your own independent study. This will, however, be closely guided, and firmly tied into the lectures, seminars and assessment. In the seminars you will have the opportunity to present arguments orally to a group of peers and defend your position under challenge.

Blended Learning22
Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Mark Davis (2005). Bareboat Charters. 

Julian Cooke, Andrew Taylor, John D. Kimball, David Martowski, LeRoy Lambert (2014). Voyage Charters. 

Sir Bernard Eder; David Foxton; Steven Berry; Christopher Smith; Professor Howard Bennett (2019). Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading. 

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

Terence Coghlin, Andrew W. Baker, Julian Kenny, John D. Kimball, Tom Belknap (2014). Time Charters. 



Formative Assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 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:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase them as appropriate. The main textbook was written for the student market and is not particularly expensive (under £50). All recommended sources, apart from the main book, are available to students free of charge, either on the Internet, or on Blackboard, or on the legal databases.

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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