Module code: LAWM088

Module Overview

The module explores the legal aspects of contracts for the carriage of goods by sea. Documents covered in-depth are charterparties, bills of lading, sea waybills, and delivery orders. Consideration is given to the rights and liabilities of the parties to the respective contracts – including the ship-owner, the charterer, the cargo owner and the lawful holder of the bill of lading. Common law duties, contractual duties and the position under international carriage of goods by sea conventions are discussed. Comparisons are made between the position under the different international conventions i.e. the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules, the Hamburg Rules and the Rotterdam Rules.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

HOLT R Mr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: M200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Co-requisite: LAWM090 - International Trade Law

Module content

Indicative content includes:

The implied obligations on parties to an international carriage of goods by sea contract, including seaworthiness.
Voyage and Time charterparties: The obligations on the charterer and the owner.
Bills of lading, sea waybills and delivery orders.
Title to sue under a contract of carriage.
The Hague and Hague Visby Rules including duties, exceptions and limitations.
The Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules – a comparision with the Hague/Hague Visby Rules.
The inter-relationship of the Carriage of Goods by Sea contarct with the international sale contract and other related contracts.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they both have understood coherently the key commercial concepts covered in the module and have met the listed learning outcomes.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

A take home assessment to be conducted in one week (as may happen in real life). The assessment will involve one or more problem and/or essay questions.
The answer will have a word limit of 3,000 words.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance in Seminars.

In addition, students will be asked to submit a written answer to a question. They will receive written feedback on their answer. This will take place during the course.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: familiarise students with the area of international carriage of goods by sea and to promote in them a critical awareness of the role of the law in regulating the conduct of the parties to an international carriage of goods by sea contract. The areas that students will engage with are the following:
  • The implied obligations on parties to an international carriage of goods by sea contract.
  • Voyage and Time charterparties.
  • Bills of lading, sea waybills and delivery orders.
  • Title to sue.
  • The Hague and Hague Visby Rules including duties and exceptions.
  • The Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules.
  • The relationship of the carriage of goods by sea contract to the international sale contract.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the significance of international conventions in respect of the carriage of goods by sea in addressing the problems encountered by the shipper or other party and the carrier KC
002 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key legal features of charterparties, bills of lading, sea waybills and delivery orders KCPT
003 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the duties and remedies on shipowners, charterers, shippers and others under different contracts of carriage by sea KCPT
004 Demonstrate a critical understanding of how a cargo owner can sue a carrier under a contract of carriage KCPT
005 Understand how carriage of goods by sea contracts inter relate with international sale contracts KCPT
006 Understand the important differences between the different international conventions on the carriage of goods by sea KCPT
007 Apply the knowledge acquired in solving problems reflecting actual commercial situations KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide an overview of the topics to enable students to understand the essential principles of each topic and their commercial significance. This enables students to deepen their knowledge of the topics through their own research and reading.

Provide occasions when students can demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge to questions and to raise questions.

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to stimulate private study using primary and secondary sources, both paper-based and electronic.  The aim of the strategy is to develop an understanding and critical awareness of the essential principles and underlying policies of international carriage of goods by sea.

The learning and teaching methods include:

One 2-hour Seminar over 11 weeks.  The seminars will involve a combination of overviews of topics and opportunities for interactive class discussion of areas and analysis of questions.
Studnets are expected to participate actively in class discussion and are expected to undertake substantial background reading and research prior to and after each seminar.
The course will be supported by a handbook including specimen questions.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Commercial Law LLM 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.