Departure From Contract Voyage Is A Fundamental Breach

Departure From Contract Voyage Is A Fundamental Breach


Date Posted: 2018-09-20 13:00:00

The English Commercial Court in the case Dera Commercial Estate v Derya Inc (The SUR) decided that, despite the subsequent abandonment of the concept of fundamental breach in the general English law of contract, the decision in the House of Lords case of Hain Steamship Company v Tate & Lyle [1936] remained good law, unless and until it was over-ruled by the Supreme Court (as successor to the House of Lords). In Hain, the House of Lords had decided that, in the context of the carriage of goods by sea, a geographical departure/deviation from the contract voyage amounted to a fundamental breach of contract, disentitling the carrier from relying on exculpatory clauses in the contract of carriage.
Thus, in the circumstances of this case, the carrier was not entitled to rely on the one-year time limit for the presentation of cargo claims provided by Article III Rule 6 of the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules.

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