Shipping Law

Shipping Law

A Group Two Subject/Course : NB This syllabus is based on International Conventions and English Law, except where otherwise stated.


  1. To provide an understanding of law relating to shipping business.
  2. To ensure that members are able to communicate intelligently with professional lawyers.

Legal Aspects Of Charter Parties

  • Concept and construction of a charter party; descriptive warranties, breaches and consequences; frustration; deviation; war risks and other protection clauses.
  • Safe port warranty; arrived ship; cancelling; notice of readiness.
  • Voyage charters – laytime, demurrage and despatch; damages for detention; freight, deadfreight and freight payment.
  • Time charters – payment of hire and remedies for non-payment; delivery, redelivery and offhire; responsibility for cargo; performance (speed and consumption).
  • Bareboat charters (newbuildings and second hand); lease charters; bareboat registry.
  • Time barring of actions; contractual time barring, statutory time barring.

Carriage Of Goods By Sea Conventions

  • International cargo liability conventions, rules and revisions. Reasons for the introduction of rules, their application and their relationship with insurance. Common and private carriers; carriers’ liabilities.
  • The areas of dispute and litigations arising from the interpretation of the rules.

Legal Aspects Of Bills Of Lading

  • The role and function of bills of lading and mate’s receipt.
  • Essential characteristics of liner bills including combined transport and through bills of lading.
  • Charter party bills of lading including difference between owners’ and charterers’ bills of lading.
  • Negotiability of title including Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 or equivalent national bills of lading acts.
  • Principal bills of lading clauses including identity of carrier, law and jurisdiction and Himalaya clause.
  • Standard protection clauses including Paramount, Jason, Both to Blame.


The application of International Conventions. Contract of carriage; rights and responsibilities of parties under Common Law and statute; limitation of liability for life injury and property claims.

Mortgage Law Applicable To Ships

Unlike other aspects of ship-owning structures mortgages are still covered under English law in many jurisdictions.

Admiralty Jurisdiction

  • Arrests; jurisdiction, types of claim, priority of claims.
  • Arrest conventions. Basic procedures of arrest; freezing orders.

General Average, Salvage And Towage

General Average; rationale, practice and rules. Salvage agreements; salvage arbitrations. Towage agreements.

Environment And Pollution

  • Conventions and applicable law including criminal and civil law.
  • Pollution as a nuisance.


International Conventions; areas of conflict; apportionment of fault; measure of damages.

Shipowners’ Limitations Of Liability

International Conventions. Those entitled to limit; methods of calculation and distribution; how limitation may be broken.

Dispute Resolution

  • Enabling clauses.
  • The procedures in litigation, arbitration and other systems of dispute resolution.
  • Arbitration locations and significant differences in procedures.
  • Acts and rules covering litigation hearings and arbitrations.
  • Damages – contract and tort.


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