Term Paper on a Comparative Analysis of The Hague, Hague-Visby and the Hamburg Rules

It is wise surprising that who rules the sea rules the world .The history of various glorious civilization shows that it is the sea which contributes in building the civilization. Two great civilizationsi. eGreek and Shinducivilization were just the contribution of the sea. In today’s world we observe that world powers are sincere to dominate the sea, it might be wrong if we see this aspect only from military perspective. The reality is the commercial opportunities of the sea are enormous. This is primarily because sea carriers are most commonly used transports to transfer the bulk of goods across the international frontiers. The subject matter of present assignment is the comparison among Hague, Hague-Visby and Hamburg rules which are dealt with the transfer of bulk of goods by sea. Before analyzing their differences, it will be shortly discussed the rules.
There are fundamental differences between Hague-Visby and Hambur g rules. The limitations of one rule were the cause of breeding another rule. More clearly to say shortcomings of the Hague rules was the cause of adopting the Hague-Visby rules and limitations of the Hague-Visby rules paved the way of introducing Hamburg rules. Initially I will discuss the fundamental differences between Hague and Hague –Visby rules and then the differences between the Hague-Visby rules and Hamburg rules will be discussed elaborately.
The quest for an internationally recognised, uniform liability regime which allocates the risk of loss or damage to cargo carried by sea has been a dominant theme of maritime law. After a number of false starts, the International Law Association and the Comit’e Maritime International (CMI) held a series of diplomatic conferences in the Hague, London and Brussels from 1921 to 1924 which culminated in the signing of the Hague Rules 1924.[1]
Later, due to the prominent weaknesses of the Hague Rules, they were later replaced by the Hague-Visby Rules 1968[2]. Nonetheless, the Hague-Visby Rules do not stand alone but are amendments to the Hague Rules. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the weaknesses of the Hague Rules and then to examine the extent of reforms.
[1] International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading, signed at Brussels, August 25 and entered into force June 2, 1931. Although the Convention was adopted in Brussels in 1924, it was based on an earlier draft adopted by the International Law Association at the Hague in 1921, as amended at a diplomatic conference held in Brussels in 1922 and at a meetings of a sous-commission of that conference in Brussels in 1923.
[2] The Hague-Visby Rules refers to the Hague Rules 1924, as amended by the “Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading” adopted at Brussels, February 23, 1968 and entered into force June 23, 1977.
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