University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

Why we need Governance: Digitalisation and Contracts of Carriage

B55 Law & Social Sciences Building
Wednesday 28th February 2024 (14:00-15:00)
Prof Miriam Goldby

Speaker: Professor Miriam Goldby, Queen Mary University of London  

Chair: Dr Sanam Saidova 

One of the great benefits of digitalisation is the reduction of bottlenecks and delays in the performance of international trade transactions thanks to increased access to reliable information about goods in transit. Maritime carriers are the source of much of this information and liner carriers in particular have taken on a leading role in spearheading digitalisation initiatives, which are largely self-regulated. Self-regulation in this space can be problematic, however, due to the oligopolistic environment that prevails in liner carriage that could lead to anti-competitive behaviours. Amongst other things, carriers can use their competitively strong position to impose unfair contract terms on shippers and cargo owners. These outcomes are possible because of legal grey areas and gaps which will be analysed and discussed in this seminar.  

Note: Some of these arguments were initially made in M Goldby, ‘The impact of new commercial practices on liner contracts of carriage: new wine in old skins?’ Chapter 10 in J Chuah (ed) Research Handbook on Maritime Law and Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2019), 223-251. This seminar provides an updated discussion, one which takes into account more recent developments, to be included in M Goldby, Governing the Digital Transformation of International Trade (forthcoming: OUP 2024), Part 2: Self-Governance and its Limits, Chapter 4: Contract as Governance, Section B: The Contract of Carriage. 

Dr Miriam Goldby is Professor of Shipping, Insurance and Commercial Law and Director of Research at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. 

University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD