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Carriage of Goods by Sea (LAWS0241)

This module offers an in-depth study of the two main forms of contract of carriage, namely charterparties and bills of lading.

English law enjoys a long-standing predominance in the international shipping market, as it is frequently chosen by the parties to govern their contracts of carriage. A vast amount of goods is carried around the world under contracts of carriage governed by English law. In this module, you will study the key facets of English law relating to carriage of goods by sea, focusing on two main forms of contract of carriage, namely charterparties and bills of lading. The law relating to charterparties, which you will study in the first term, is based on case law as this is an area which is not principally regulated by any statute. In the second term, we will look at the law relating to bills of lading based on the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971 and Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992.

We will run through five basic issues:
-    Contract law and tort law relevant to carriage of goods by sea
-    Voyage charters
-    Time charters
-    Bills of lading

This module will provide you with a framework to analyse and solve real life legal problems in this area and will demonstrate the interaction with other commercial law areas which you may also study during your LLM. 
The aims of the module, in essence, are:
•    to ensure a thorough understanding of the key aspects of the English law of carriage of goods by sea and their practical implications in light of the commonly used standard form charterparties and bills of lading;
•    to give students the ability to examine the ways in which this field of law interlinks and operates with other areas of commercial law, such as international trade and commercial conflict of laws and jurisdiction;
•    to develop students’ ability to navigate through real life legal problems by covering various key issues ranging from contract formation to remedies; and
•    to raise awareness of the major mandatory sea carriage regimes, as well as the recent discussions and attempts to bring uniformity in this area.

The English law of carriage of goods by sea has a long history. It is one of the oldest and most developed branches of English commercial law. A lot of the law, especially contract and tort law in this country, is developed out of judicial decisions on carriage of goods by sea. Despite its global application, most shipping disputes are governed by English law, and London is still the place for dispute resolution. For all these reasons, the course brings together students from all over the world.

The curriculum reflects the ever-evolving legal landscape in this field. In this module, we will cover all major recent developments, ranging from significant judicial decisions through to revised forms of contracts of carriage. We also bring our students’ awareness to the emerging maritime technologies and their possible legal implications.

Module Syllabus

•    Introduction to the law of carriage of goods by sea
•    Voyage Charters
•    Time Charters
•    Functions of bills of lading and other shipping documents
•    Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971 and Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992
•    The Hague-Visby Rules

Recommended Materials

•    Wilson J.F. (2010) Carriage of goods by sea (7th edition) (Harlow: Longman)
•    Cooke J. et al (2014), Voyage Charters (4th edition) (Informa)
•    Baker A. et al (2015), Time Charters (7th edition) (Informa)
•    Aikens R. et al (2021), Bills of Lading (3rd edition) (Informa)
•    Treitel G. et al (2017) Carver on Bills of Lading (4th edition) (Sweet & Maxwell)
•    Eder B. et al (2019) Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading (Sweet & Maxwell) 
•    Bennett H. et al (2020) Carver on Charterparties (2nd edition (Sweer & Maxwell)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment.

Preliminery Reading

•    Wilson J.F. (2010) Carriage of goods by sea (7th edition) (Harlow: Longman), Part I
•    Cooke J. et al (2014), Voyage Charters (4th edition) (Informa), Chapter 1
•    Coghlin T. et al (2014), Time Charters (7th edition) (Informa), Chapter 1

Key information

Module details
Credit value:45 credits (450 learning hours)
Convenor:Melis Ozdel
Other Teachers:None
Teaching Delivery:Face to Face Seminar
Who may enrol:LLM Students Only
Prerequisites:None
Must not be taken with:None
Qualifying module for:

LLM in International Commercial Law;
LLM in Maritime Law

Assessment
Practice Assessment:TBD
Final Assessment:24 Hour Take Home Examination (100%)