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The Hague-Visby Rules and Its Alternatives

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Hague-Visby Rules 1968
  3. Background
  4. Carrier Liability and in particular, the Nautical Fault Exemption
  5. Overall Drafting Style
  6. Language
  7. The ?Reasonable? Standard
  8. Burden of Proof
  9. Scope of Application
  10. Conclusion

?The Hague-Visby Rules 1968 built upon the Hague Rules 1924 and the United States Harter Act 1893. They were intended to balance the competing interests of both carriers and shippers. However, it could be argued that the Hague-Visby Rules 1968 failed to achieve this balance as the rules were drafted to protect the carrier and, consequentially, failed to protect shippers adequately. Examples include the breadth of exclusions available to the carrier and the difficulties for the shipper in establishing a breach by the carrier. This is unsurprising, given that it is in the national interest of western states to protect ship-owners. The Hamburg Rules have gone some way towards creating a fair balance between the shipper and the carrier.' Critically discuss the statement with reference to appropriate cases, the above Rules and academic literature.

[...] the contrary, they ought to be happy that the ambiguity in the Hague-Visby Rules has been eliminated. This is especially since Annex II of the Hamburg Rules even goes so far as to reiterate: is the common understanding that the liability of the carrier under this Convention is based on the principle of presumed fault or neglect. This means that, as a rule, the burden of proof rests on the carrier but, with respect to certain cases, the provisions of the Convention modify this rule.? Moreover, with regard to substance, Hamburg does is shift the burden of proof to the party best able to garner the facts. [...]


[...] At best though, they are reasonable, flexible and up-to-date. The same, however, cannot be said about the Hague-Visby Rules. Accordingly, perhaps it would be fairest to say that the Hamburg Rules not perfect rules but they are, perhaps, the best which could be obtained in an imperfect world?.50 I (Student Reference Number 1053314) declare that this piece of work contains 3,994 words See e.g., Articles and where ?[contractual] carrier? and ?actual carrier? are defined respectively. See Grönfors, supra note 16, pp.335-336. [...]


[...] in Gosse Millerd Ltd. v Canadian Government Merchant Marine Ltd. even stated that if the exemption provisions in Article of the Hague-Visby Rules were interpreted in their widest sense, they would practice reduce to very small dimensions the obligation carefully to handle, carry, keep and care for the cargo?.45 In the same vein, ?Hamburg's elimination of most of the Hague defenses and adoption of a unitary fault standard, coupled with simplified burden of proof rules, will likely reduce litigation and other ?friction' costs?.46 So, if, as far as the ?reasonable? standard is concerned, the charge against the Hamburg Rules is ambiguity, these same critics cannot then complain about the Hamburg Rules when it comes to the burden of proof; on 43 Article states: ?[Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage arising or resulting from] Any other cause arising without the actual fault or privity of the carrier, or without the fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the carrier, but the burden of proof shall be on the person claiming the benefit of this exception to show that neither the actual fault or privity of the carrier nor the fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the carrier contributed to the loss or damage.? See Werth, supra note p.68. [...]


[...] Bibliography International Conventions International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading August 1924, as amended by the Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading February 1968 (The Hague-Visby Rules The Hague Rules as Amended by the Brussels Protocol 1968). United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea March 1978. Cases - Electro-Tec Corp. v. S/S Dart Atlantica 598 F. Supp at p AMC 1606 at p (D. [...]


[...] Den U.S (1932). Gosse Millerd Ltd. v Canadian Government Merchant Marine Ltd. (1927) 29 Ll. L. Rep at page 197, [1928] 1 K.B at page 743 (C.A.). Academic Opinions Collins, D ?Admiralty?International Uniformity and the Carriage of Goods by Sea' (1985) Tulane Law Review. [...]

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