Recourse claims between carriers: Another obstacle to intermodality?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The applicable legal regime for recourse and contribution claims between carriers is far from straightforward. It entails a mix of contract terms, domestic law and mandatory carriage convention provisions, accordingly resulting in a complex mixture of provisions and, in particular, of limitation rules. An example of their interaction is given by the English Court of Appeal in South West SHA v Bay Island Voyages where the court had to decide on limitation of a contribution claim for an incident falling under the Athens Convention for the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea. The case illustrates the critical interaction between convention rules and domestic law, which may differ in each case, depending on the applicable convention regime. The result is a complicated web of provisions and hierarchies offering a multitude of pitfalls for freight forwarders and carriers alike. This effect is showcased more broadly under English law where the domestic contribution act and the convention regimes as implemented in the different jurisdictions within the UK provide for an uneasy relationship. After detailed analysis of the current framework, which is argued to be inadequate, reform suggestions to implementing legislation of these international instruments are made, in order to limit the uncertainty created by their interaction with the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act, which purports to supersede any other rules providing for contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Issues in Freight Forwarding
Subtitle of host publicationLaw and Logistics
EditorsRhidian Thomas, Simone Lamont-Black
Place of PublicationWitney
PublisherLawtext Publishing Ltd
Number of pages42
ISBN (Print)9781999971007
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017
EventCurrent Issues in Freight Forwarding: Law and Logistics - Edinburgh Law School, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20154 Sep 2015


ConferenceCurrent Issues in Freight Forwarding: Law and Logistics
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • carriage of goods
  • recourse actions between carriers
  • Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978
  • carriage conventions


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