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Contracts of Carriage: Legislation and Case Law in Estonia

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For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

On 1 July 2002, the new Law of Obligations Act (LOA) entered into force in Estonia regulating inter alia contracts for the carriage of goods and contracts for the carriage of passengers. This article highlights these new regulations as well as relevant Estonian case law.

The article demonstrates that, in respect of contracts for the carriage of goods, German legislation and case law have exerted considerable influence on the drafting of relevant provisions in the 2001 LOA as well as Estonian case law in this field. In addition, the importance of the the 1956 Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR Convention) cannot be overlooked: it serves as a model for drafting domestic legislation and, also, has a role in case law and national practice.

That part of the 2001 LOA regulating contracts for the carriage of passengers has been drafted on the basis of Book 8 "Vehicles and Carriage" of the 1991 Dutch Civil Code; but, contrary to the Dutch Code, the LOA does not distinguish among types of carriers. In particular, with regard to carriers' liability for the carriage of passengers, the provisions have been modeled, to a large degree, upon the 1929 Warsaw Convention, the 1961 Guadalajara Convention, the 1974 Athens Convention and the 1990 German Law on the Carriage of Passengers (Personenbeförderungsgesetz). The authors consider the choice of statutory models for contracts for the carriage of goods and passengers to be fully justified as they ensure the compliance of relevant Estonian legislation with modern standards.


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