The vast majority of worldwide imports and exports are carried by sea, whether in bulk form, for example, oil, grain and coal, or as containerised cargo. This course covers the contracts for the carriage of such goods by sea, including charterparties and bills of lading, as well as the legal problems facing shipowners, charterers, shippers and receivers of goods in a commercial context. Students will consider the solutions adopted in the standard form contracts used worldwide, and the interpretation of them by the courts in the context of mandatory international conventions such as the Hague-Visby Rules (as enacted in national legislation).

The course is designed for domestic and international lawyers wishing to understand more about international trade and shipping. Many of the legal principles involved are not restricted to shipping, but serve the wider area of international commercial law generally. For those wishing to specialise in maritime and international trade law, this course can be combined with any of the other courses in the International Trade and Maritime Law streams.

Topics covered include:

  • maritime and commercial background
  • negotiating a charterparty – shipbrokers
  • basic obligations in the carriage of goods by sea
  • time charters
  • voyage charters
  • bills of lading: functions
  • bills of lading: standard clauses and cargo claims
  • multimodal transport issues
  • Hague/Hague-Visby rules  
  • reform: the Rotterdam rules

Professor Craig ForrestProfessor Craig Forrest

Professor Craig Forrest is the Director of the Marine and Shipping Law Unit, and Fellow of the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law. Professor Forrest teaches and undertakes research in the areas of maritime law, private international law and cultural heritage law. He has published widely in these areas, and contributed directly to national and international public policy development through advice and workshops provided to the United States, United Kingdom, South African and Australian governments, and directly to the drafting of national legislation and international law. In maritime law, Professor Forrest has provided advice to both government and the industry in relation to the law of the sea and wet maritime law. He supervises United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea Nippon Fellows.

Profile photo of Rosemary GibsonRosemary Gibson

Ms Rosemary Gibson is also an experienced commercial litigator. Ms Gibson practised as a commercial lawyer for many years, most recently in the Shipping & Transport team at a leading Queensland law firm, where she advised clients on a range of matters including cargo and wharf damage claims, ship groundings, charterparty disputes and marine insurance matters. In 2016, Ms Gibson was one of the primary lawyers in the high profile Shen Neng 1 litigation.

Ms Gibson is actively involved in the maritime law community. In July 2018, Ms Gibson presented a paper at the Global Shipping Law Forum hosted by the University of Queensland. Ms Gibson has acted as a volunteer arbitrator for the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (IMLAM) and is the Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ).

    Professor Nick Gaskell

    Professor Nick Gaskell Nick Gaskell is a Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law at the TC Beirne School of Law. Professor Gaskell has nearly 40 years’ experience teaching maritime law to students, legal practitioners and maritime professionals, both in Australia and throughout the world. He was previously Director of the Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, UK, and has participated in many diplomatic conferences which have produced international maritime law conventions. He has wide experience of the practice of maritime law as a barrister in Quadrant Chambers, London, and his book Bills of Lading: Law and Practice has been referred to by courts and academics internationally.

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    This course may also be taken as a CPD course or a non-award course. 

    CPD details and applications