This seminar will examine current issues in commercial maritime law, with a focus on the rules governing the carriage of goods by sea. In the spring 2009 semester, particular attention will be paid to the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, a new multilateral convention to modernize and unify international transport law. The U.N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) completed the final draft of the new convention in June 2008. The General Assembly is expected to give its final approval in October or November of 2008 and the formal signing is expected to take place in September 2009.
In the early weeks of the semester, students will be introduced to the commercial and legal background in this field, including a discussion of both domestic legislation (such as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and the Harter Act) and the existing international regimes (such as the Hague, Hague-Visby, and Hamburg Rules). Subsequent sessions will consist largely of discussions of ongoing student research and student presentations of the results of their original research.
A traditional seminar paper will be required and the student will be assigned a letter grade based on the quality of the paper and his/her participation in class.
Although students who have completed the Admiralty course will have some advantage, prior study of Admiralty is not a prerequisite.