Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM067: Carriage of Goods by Sea

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the law and practice of carriage of goods by sea, explaining the types and significance of charterparties, the role of bills of lading, the duties of the parties to a contract of carriage and the operation of international regimes, including the Hague Rules, the Hague Visby Rules, the Hamburg Rules and the Rotterdam Rules.


Carriage of goods by sea has been developed by the interaction of numerous judicial decisions, market practices and attempts to harmonise the law through international convention. There are many different forms of charterparties in use, and the course will examine which are used and in what circumstances. One of the key issues is to examine the various approaches to allocating rights and responsibilities between owners and charterers, and between carrier and shipper. Also, as the law in this area combines case law and statutory law, during the LLM year you will be expected to understand and digest both case law and written law, of them and the connections between them. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate a detailed and systematic knowledge of the operation of bills of lading and charterparties, and the relationship between them;
2. Demonstrate a detailed and systematic knowledge of the rights and liabilities arising under a contract of carriage;
3. Advise accurately and comprehensively on the operation of international rules for the carriage of goods by sea, and critically assess the advantages and disadvantages of the various different regimes.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. Demonstrate detailed and comprehensive understanding of the interaction of the complex web of case law, standard form contracts, shipping documents and international conventions.
5. Demonstrate flexible ability to analyse the operation of the different forms of contract of carriage, the problems that may arise from them and to advise on the outcome of disputes between owner and charterer.
Personal and Key Skills6. Communicate key legal concepts to both legal and market audiences effectively, confidently and autonomously, orally and in writing;
7. Identify, retrieve and use the full range of library-based and electronic resources efficiently and autonomously.