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CHAPTER 9 Basic legal knowledge on charterparties

Shipbroking and Chartering Practice

Page 277


Basic legal knowledge on charterparties

Basic legal knowledge on charterparties

This chapter attempts to introduce the legal perspective of the charterparties. Some of the fundamental legal principles applying to charterparties are presented in the first part, where the reader is familiarised with the contracting parties, the applicable law and the legislation of the charter documents. Then, dispute settlement procedures are discussed, the pros and cons of arbitration are weighed against those of court proceedings, and relevant charterparty clauses are commented upon. Additionally, a section is devoted to highlighting the utmost importance to be given on the evidence of the facts and the burden of proof when a dispute arises, while the complexity of respective legal principles is also emphasised. Furthermore, critical rules and practices are examined in respect to the construction and interpretation of the charterparties. This includes various topics of interest, such as the design of a document, the importance of the implied terms and the most common rules applying to charterparty interpretation when wording is ambiguous. Above all, this section deals with the overwhelming application of English common law on charterparties, its differences against US law or other legal systems and, finally, focus is given to the legal aspects and implications of a very common, significant and controversial feature of charter agreements, namely the “subject” provisions.

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