English statutes which give effect to international conventions need to be interpreted with the international origin of the rules well in mind. The Act only applies to contracts of carriage of goods outwards from ports in the United Kingdom, and the rules will often have to be interpreted in the courts of the foreign consignees, and should be read according to their own meaning without too great reliance on earlier cases.
The Hague Rules are an international convention. Their interpretation is ‘not to be rigidly controlled by domestic principles of antecedent date but they are rather to be construed on broad principles of general acceptation.’ – Lord Macmillan.
Because the rules of an international convention will be applied in the courts of many countries with differing domestic legal systems, our courts have adopted an approach to interpretation which respects the international character of such a document. Lord Macmillan stated: ‘As these rules must come under the consideration of foreign Courts it is desirable in the interests of uniformity that their interpretation should not be rigidly controlled by domestic precedents of antecedent date, but rather that the language of the rules should be construed on broad principles of general acceptation.’
Lord Atkin, Lord Macmillan
 AC 328, (1931) 2 KB 48, (1931) 41 Lloyds Rep 165
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1924
England and Wales
Cited – Daewoo Heavy Industries Ltd and Another v Klipriver Shipping Ltd and Another CA 3-Apr-2003
The carrier had loaded the cargo on the ship’s deck, despite a clause requiring it to be stowed in a hold. The charterparty sought to use the breach to remove the carrier’s limit of liability. The older form of Hague rules applied.
Held: It . .
Cited – James Buchanan and Co Ltd v Babco Forwarding and Shipping (UK) Ltd HL 1978
A consignment of whisky was stolen whilst on consignemt from a bonded warehouse under CMR terms for Teheran. In bond, it was worth 7,000 pounds, and on export no excise duty was to be paid. Being stolen in the course of transit, excise duty of . .
Cited – Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel Group Litigation HL 8-Dec-2005
The appellants had suffered deep vein thrombosis whilst travelling on long haul air flights. The defendants said that their liability was limited because the injuries were not accidents.
Held: The claimants’ appeal failed. The definition of . .
Cited – Gard Marine and Energy Ltd and Another v China National Chartering Company Ltd and Another SC 10-May-2017
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .
Cited – Warner v Scapa Flow Charters (Scotland) SC 17-Oct-2018
This appeal raises a question about the interpretation of article 16 of the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 (‘the Athens Convention’) and its application to the Scots law of limitation of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 27 September 2021; Ref: scu.181888