Revisiting Freedom of Contract in the Contract of Carriage of Goods by Sea under the Rotterdam Rules: Service Contracts in Disguise?
Keywords:volume contract, liner conference, party autonomy, mandatory rules
The historiography of international legal regimes regulating freedom of parties to the contract of carriage of goods by sea is replete with uncertainties and enmeshed in disarray thereby deflecting the much desired effort to have a uniform and acceptable convention. This article examines the issue starting from the era of unfettered “one sided” freedom of “leave it or take it syndrome” down to the regulated hegemony under the Hague/Hague-Visby, as well as Hamburg Rules. This raises the question: to what extent should the freedom of parties be regulated under the proposed Rotterdam Rules? In an attempt to answer this question, the article apprises the antecedents of parties’ freedom under the existing anachronistic regimes in juxtaposition with the practice under the Rotterdam Rules with a view to promoting development of global commerce. The article further observes that the mechanism provided under the canopy of “volume contract” suggests a better package but with its attendant consequences. The article suggests the need for a holistic approach towards ratification of the Rotterdam Rules albeit, subject to some certain amendments with a view of eschewing the egocentric syndrome that pervaded the success of the Hamburg Rules by the major maritime players.
How to Cite
- Consent to publish: The Author(s) undertakes that the article named above is original and consents that the IIUM Press publishes it.
- Previous publication: The Author(s) guarantees that the article named above has not been published before in any form, that it is not concurrently submitted to another publication, and that it does not infringe anyone’s copyright. The Author(s) holds the IIUM Press and Editors of IIUM Law Journal harmless against all copyright claims.
- Transfer of copyright: The Author(s) hereby transfers the copyright of the article to the IIUM Press, which shall have the exclusive and unlimited right to publish the article in any form, including on electronic media. The Journal in turn grants the Author(s) the right to reproduce the article for educational and scientific purposes, provided the written consent of the Publisher is obtained.