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Uncitral (Draft) Convention On Contracts For The International Carriage Of Goods Wholly Or Partly By Sea: Mandatory Rules And Freedom Of Contract

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Chapter Summary

After years of deliberation, work on the text of a Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea has recently been completed by an UNCITRAL Working Group, which had been working on a draft legal instrument since 2002. The Draft Convention is to provide a modern successor to the Hague-Visby Rules and Hamburg Rules. This chapter concentrates on an important question, namely the degree to which the Draft Convention permits freedom of contract for some types of contract. Although in general contracts covered by the Draft Convention are, as in the position under existing maritime liability regimes, covered by mandatory minimum standards of liability, this is subject to an important exception. So-called "volume contracts" which, for the first time, would be regulated in an international convention will be subject to special rules providing for extensive freedom of contract.

Keywords: freedom of contract; Hague-Visby Rules; Hamburg Rules; mandatory rules; sea carriage; UNCITRAL Draft Convention



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