Piracy and its Effects on Charterparty Contracts

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: Somalia piracy has its effects on the sea, off the coast of Somalia and in the wider Indian Ocean. However, the source of the problem has its roots on the Somali land. Economic hardship, absence of an effective government and law enforcement are the driving force of piracy. External interference to the Somali land by the colonial powers and some other African states urged the Somaliland into political wilderness and created a failed state. On the other hand, todays pirates are old fishermen and some of them argue that the vessels sailing through Gulf of Aden were taking advantage of the weak government and law enforcement and dumping their waste into the Somalia waters and causing harm to the ecologic life. It is a known fact that some fishermen from other states have also been exploiting their fisheries. Keeping these facts in mind, Somalia pirates cause great harm directly to maritime transport; also threaten the vital needs of the several countries across the continents, in a wider perspective, the international community. Security of the seafarers should also not be overlooked In this thesis, piracy is discussed in a private law perspective as an event that effects the contractual relations between the shipowners and the charterers. Under time charterparties, the risk of any delay is on the charterer while the shipowner bears that risk under voyage charterparties. The concepts of frustration and off-hire may relieve the parties to perform their duties if the circumstances allow them to do so. These issues are discussed in this thesis in the light of standard charterparty forms and the attention is drawn to the additional piracy clauses drafted by Bimco and Intertanko.

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