An empirical study on uniform seaborne cargo rules

Zhao, Lijun ORCID: (2016) An empirical study on uniform seaborne cargo rules. IX European Colloquium of Maritime Law Research 2016: Bilbao conference proceedings. In: IX ECLMR 2016: 9th European Colloquium of Maritime Law Research (ECMLR): Maritime Liens, Mortgages and Forced Sale, 14-15 Sep 2016, Bilbao, Spain. .


In the area of seaborne cargo rules, there have been the Hague, Visby, and Hamburg Rules, as well as the UN latest relevant convention – the Rotterdam Rules. All tried to promote uniform rules, but none of them have fulfilled that task yet. This empirical study attempts to examine these existing rules and their impact on legal uniformity on seaborne cargo rules. This survey involved in Chinese and some European maritime professionals. To assess the uniform law in practice, a semi structured survey was designed and utilised. A list of questions was addressed to professionals to examine their understanding of this area of law. Some choices had been provided to be potential answers, but all questions were kept open for further comments and revisions from respondents. Inherited from a previous pilot study, this study maintained the use of the paper-based and face-to-face survey. A new approach – the introduction of online counterpart survey, has been introduced, because this is a user friendly way to submit responses. Regardless of varied numbering of questions, online survey included the same questions of the paper-based survey. After analysing all responses, this study found that the Rotterdam Rules were diversely understood and could potentially cause further legal fragmentation in practice rather than unifying law. The Rotterdam Rules faced a dilemma. Though attempting to update the legal regimes to accommodate changing commercial realities, the Rules would jeopardize uniform law if they were not being widely ratified. This dilemma might come true given a number of negative factors in their ratification. Even so, the contemporary commercial and shipping realities still call for rules on electronic commerce and multi-modal transport.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper listed in conference programme under an earlier title: "Survey on Uniformity of Seaborne Cargo Conventions: The Scope of Application"
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 20977
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Depositing User: Liz Lijun Zhao
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 10:19
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 16:47

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