Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2016] All ER (D) 125 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2016] UKPC 20
Court: Privy Council
Judge:

Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption and Lord Toulson

Representation Peter MacDonald Eggers QC, Oscar Johnson and Tara A Archer (instructed by Clyde & Co LLP) for the appellant.
  Luke Parsons QC, Paul Henton and Kenra Parris-Whittaker (instructed by Reed Smith LLP) for the respondents.
Judgment Dates: 19 July 2016

Catchwords

Shipping - Limitation of liability - Limitation by reference to tonnage of ship - Appellant seeking damages from respondent shipowners following collision between vessel and sea berth - Respondents contending limitation of liability by reference to Special Drawing Rights - Appellant contending respondents having waived right to do so by having signed conditions of use - Judge finding respondents not being entitled to limit liability having contracted out of right - Court of Appeal of Commonwealth of Bahamas allowing respondents' appeal on basis it not being permissible to contract out of right to limit - Whether it being permissible for owner of vessel to contract out of or waive statutory right of limitation - Whether, on true construction of conditions of use, parties having agreed to exclude respondents' right to limit liability - Merchant Shipping (Maritime Claims Limitation of Liability) Act 1989 of the Bahamas - 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, arts 31, 32 - Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976, arts 1, 2.1, 2.2.

The Case

Shipping Limitation of liability. The Privy Council advised that it was permissible for the owner of a vessel to contract out of or waive their statutory right of limitation under the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Claims Limitation of Liability) Act 1989 of the Bahamas and the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976. In the present appeal, on the true construction of an agreement between the parties, the respondents had not contracted out of that Act and Convention.

Practice Areas

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