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Marine Cargo Claims, 4 Ed., 2008, Vols. 1 & 2

by: Prof William Tetley, Q.C.


Professor D. Rhidian Thomas
(Professor of Maritime Law and Director of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Department of Law, University of Wales, Swansea)
[2008] 4 Journal of International Maritime Law at pp. 368-369

"So familiar and indispensable has this book been since its first appearance in 1965 that it is difficult to believe that the immediately preceding third edition was published as long ago as 1988. The first edition was a compact scholarly monograph which ran to 404 pages and reposed comfortably in the reader’s hands. The recently published 4th edition is a mighty and all conquering two volume work of reference running to 3231 pages. The expansion over the decades, which has been in the external reach and in the depth of enquiry of the text, has taken place without prejudice to the quality of the scholarship. The author has long held a leading position in the field of law relating to the carriage of goods by sea, with an established reputation for careful, conscientious and thorough research and erudition. All these qualities are again manifested in the clear, very readable and informed expoundation that is to be found on the pages of the two volumes of the 4th edition, access to which is absolutely indispensable for anyone with a serious interest in the commercial operation of shipping. Every area, doctrine, principle and rule relating to the subject is closely scrutinised, embracing international and national perspectives, and traversing different legal traditions.

"In his evocative Preface the author bemoans the problems that have emerged from the failure to achieve a true and effective internationalism over the course of the twentieth century. The emergence successively of the Hague Rules, the Hague Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules has failed to fulfil the ambitions of their promoters. The ultimate outcome has not been international harmonisation, rather we have witnessed the emergence of new conflict of laws problems and, in some instances, unilateral action by states intent on formulating hybrid laws. In other words, in attempting to solve the historical problem of fragmentation the international organisations promoting reform have succeeded only in cultivating new problems. The author is also less than optimistic about the more recent efforts by UNCITRAL to engineer a solution by the emergence of a new Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, in due course, probably, to be labelled the Rotterdam Rules. The author reflects sagely that the breadth and complexity of the proposed new convention ‘bodes ill for the rapid and widespread ratification of the document by States (particularly shipowner nations)’. Some might be tempted to drive the scepticism a step further and view the new convention as potentially possessing the capacity to aggravate the current problems. But whatever the author’s appetite for the new initiative, the new convention is not to be ignored. It is to be addressed and analysed in a new third volume which it is expected to be published before the end of April 2009.

"In the present edition, across the expanse of 46 chapters, the author analyses every conceivable aspect of the contract for the carriage of goods by sea and associated duties and liabilities. Attention is directed to the application of the international convention, the duties and liabilities of the principal parties and relevant third parties, procedural and evidentiary issues, exclusions of liability and rights of limitation, transport documentation, general average, letters of indemnity, through and combined transport, procedural provisions, such as jurisdiction and arbitration clauses, and much more. With regard to the chapter on Himalaya clauses, the author asks the question — heresy or genius? Most certainly it is not the former, but there might be hesitation in characterising the development that the law has taken in this regard as genius. A more appropriate word might be ‘innovation’ of which there are plenty of similar examples to be found in the development of commercial law within the common law tradition. In turn, the chapters are buttressed by 48 ‘National Summaries Inventory 2007’, ranging from Argentina to Venezuela and including the principal trading states, which have been contributed by individual authors with experience of the relevant jurisdictions. And, finally, the text is brought to a close by a number of valuable Appendices in which the international conventions are set out and the relevant legislative sources in the US, UK, France and Canada.

"Although the text is a range of peaks of excellence, one readily visible and identifiable peak is the depth and breadth of research which underpins the text. The abundant footnotes that adorn each page meticulously pinpoint the supporting primary and secondary sources and commentaries. The flow of citations from the international conventions, and of judicial authorities, legislative sources and scholarly books and articles published in the US, England, France and Canada is massively impressive. They not only support and give authority to the text, but also establish a platform, working from which the reader can seek an even fuller understanding of the individual sources which have influenced the author in the formulation of the text, and, thereby, also seek to arrive at an even more perceptive personal understanding of the subject.

"At every point of the compass the text exudes notions of industry, learning, comprehension and application. In its totality it illuminates an extensive and complex area and also provides its readers with a compass to chart a course yet further into the body of the subject. The author has long been the master of his field and craft, and he has, over the decades, established standards of scholarship which others can only endeavour to emulate. This new edition again reveals the full range of his commanding knowledge and comprehension, and the penetrative crispness of his intellect. This is truly a magnum opus — and an indispensable acquisition for anyone interested in the field."


International Maritime and Admiralty Law, 2003

by: Prof William Tetley, Q.C.


Professor D. Rhidian Thomas
(Professor of Maritime Law and Director of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Department of Law, University of Wales, Swansea)
[2003] 9 Journal of International Maritime Law at p. 583

"This is another book from the authoritative pen of Professor William Tetley who has every claim to be acknowledged an academic doyen in the fields of maritime and admiralty law. His publications and articles represent one of the pillars on which academic learning and comprehension repose with assurance, and they have provided steadfast guidance to the courts and practitioners for several decades. Professor Tetley is not to be regarded as a cosy academic who dutifully follows orthodox perceptions and the reasoning of judges. He has in the course of an illustrious career disturbed many preconceptions and ruffled the feathers of more than a few ostensibly settled theoretical concepts, such that his name resonates with contention and with the charting of the alternative approach.

"The present text is his most recent contribution to the impressive list of books he has authored, which began to appear in 1965 with the first edition of his acclaimed work on Marine Cargo Claims. In International Maritime and Admiralty Law Professor Tetley departs from the specialist-subject approach of his previous books, and embarks upon a broad survey of the subject he defines as international maritime and admiralty law. This is a vast undertaking requiring breadth of scholarship and the ability to compress substantial and complex topics into a limited scope. This Professor Tetley achieves with aplomb, with the broad canvas competently and clearly surveyed in 16 chapters which collectively straddle the principal elements of the subject. The chapters range from introductory chapters on the history and constituent parts of maritime and admiralty law, to chapters dealing with the major substantive and procedural subjects – carriage, towage, collision, limitation of liability, salvage, general average, jurisdiction and procedure, pollution, maritime liens and mortgages, carriage of passengers, personal injury and death claims and marine insurance. And the book ends, with a chapter on public international maritime law.

"The clear and well presented text of each chapter is supported by a comprehensive bibliography and extensive footnote citations, with the sources ranging across legal traditions and specific jurisdictions. Here is ample evidence of the scholarship underpinning the text and the skill of the author in presenting it systematically within a very limited compass.

"The entire text is complemented by 22 appendices, covering the principal international conventions, standard forms and the English Marine Insurance Act 1906. This is a remarkably useful inclusion, for familiarity with the primary sources is an exceptionally important aspect of the subject, for students, teachers and practitioners. It also contributes to the value of the volume, for there are publishers who would today charge in excess of £100 for a text of source materials less comprehensive than that set out in this book.

"In sum Professor Tetley has again authored a book which makes a significant contribution to the published materials and which will prove to be of great value to the interested readership. It provides an authoritative survey of all the significant topics that fall within the description 'maritime and admiralty law', and also offers a way forward to further enquiry into each. Its range and quality brings to mind the now dated Law of Admiralty by Gilmore and Black, the second edition of which appeared in 1975, with the absence of a subsequent edition widely bemoaned. Professor Tetley's International Maritime and Admiralty Law has now appeared to fill the void."


Graydon S. Staring
(Of Counsel, Nixon Peabody, LLP (San Francisco). A.B., Hamilton College; J.D., University of California Boalt Hall School of Law)
(2003-04) 16 University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal at p. 143

"William Tetley is a scholar, author and lecturer on maritime law who is well known to maritime lawyers who have been at their subject very long. After practicing in Montreal for 18 years and some years in politics – ultimately as Minister with various portfolios in the Government of Quebec – he has been in the Law Faculty of McGill University for a quarter of a century and lectured as a visiting professor at other universities in the United States, England and France. He has been President of the Maritime Law Association of Canada and is now Vice President of the Comité Maritime International and an Honorary Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, where he is a valued friend of many of us. He is well qualified to write books on his subject and this is only the latest of a number of them.

"Beginning in 1965, his earlier works, entitled Marine Cargo Claims, Maritime Liens and Claims and International Conflict of Laws – Common, Civil and Maritime, have gone through several editions, some in Russian, Japanese and Chinese. His career in the bilingual practice in Montreal and in the Civil Law of Quebec and the Common Law of Canada at large, and in Canada's federal system, has made him an obvious candidate to think and write on comparative law and conflict of laws. His early naval training and experience have conditioned him to look practically and, as I do, affectionately at the maritime law.

"His earlier works on liens and claims were enriched by his multi-legalism, which enabled him easily to point out comparisons among English, Canadian and French law, and also with United States law, with which he is very well acquainted. His work on conflict of laws therefore represented, to my mind, a logical intellectual step from the earlier works. This book may be viewed as the next logical step. It is not about conflict of laws, as we think of that subject academically, but about laws that may or may not conflict, about where they amount to the same ting and where they do not. The maritime law largely started out in the Civil Law and migrated into the Common Law system and therefore it has as a happy feature a large measure of uniformity. Nevertheless, national differences are attached to it, as the results of policy, differences of understanding, social and economic legislation and incidents of procedure.

"Of course, this book cannot be an encyclopedia of the whole world's law. It concentrates on the major maritime centers of the West, but not to the neglect of other regions, which are folded in by their inheritance of English law (in the Commonwealth) or adoption of the Civil Law (as in, e.g., Japan). The French law is most often used as the paradigm of the Civil Law. The several conventions, on the carriage of goods, passengers, collision, SOLAS, salvage, limitation, etc., are taken fully into account, and they bring together in their own topics the laws of parties from different systems and parts of the world. The conventions therefore form, as it were, another body of law to be compared with the national laws and the customary general maritime law.

"After a brief but useful history, the chapters are organized by the conventional topics of the maritime practice: carriage of goods and of passengers, towage, collision, salvage, general average, limitation of liability, injury and death, pollution, liens, marine insurance and, finally, the public international law of the sea. Within these topics, the author typically identifies the characteristic issues, in setting out the historical roots and common ground, and then takes up in sub-topics the major variations by systems, national laws or conventions. These are few in some topics, e.g., charters and salvage, and numerous in others, e.g., liens and limitation of liability. Not in every instance, but probably in most, the practitioner confronting two possible legal regimes will be readily able to tell whether and where it will matter which he invokes.

"The scholarly apparatus is excellent, represented by notes, tables and indices. There are tables of cases and statutes from numerous countries and of conventions, and an extensive bibliography. The topical indexes in the front and at each chapter are excellent, too. The footnote references are impressive in number and scope, including not only the many cases and statutes relied on but a rich assortment of scholarly English, French, American and Canadian books and articles. Following the text, the appendices include all the principal maritime conventions, the ISM Code, the York-Antwerp Rules, the Maritime Insurance Act 1906, a selection of charterparties and Lloyd's salvage terms.

"This book packs in small compass a wealth of well-organized knowledge and insight and should be on the desk of every maritime lawyer who deals with issues across our national borders. Come to think of it, it will be very useful in understanding how things are, and why they are that way, here at home."


Jacques Bonnaud
(Rédacteur en chef, Revue de Droit Commercial, Maritime, Aérien, et des Transports (la "Revue Scapel")
et avocat, SCP Scapel, Scapel-Grail Bonnaud, avocats, Marseille, France)
REVUE DE DROIT COMMERCIAL, MARITIME, AÉRIEN et des TRANSPORTS, 2003 at p. 193


«Nos lecteurs connaissent bien le Professeur William Tetley puisque c'est un des principaux collaborateurs de notre revue. Ils le connaissent encore mieux depuis qu'ils ont lu 'Comment devenir un avocat maritimiste sans le moindre effort', je n'ai donc pas à le présenter. Je dirai simplement que son dernier ouvrage comme les précédents, est un nouveau monument du droit maritime comparé.

«Le maritimiste français est toujours embarrassé pour définir 'L'admiralty law'(1). Le professeur TETLEY reconnaît lui-même que la distinction entre 'maritime' et 'admiralty law' n'est pas claire aujourd'hui: 'admiralty law' étant plus connue dans la tradition britannique alors que l'appellation 'maritime law' est plus continentale.

«Ce livre est une étude complète du droit maritime dans sa globalité et son internationalité.

«Après un chapitre historique où il est rappelé que si les transports maritimes ont été un important facteur de développement de la civilisation, le droit maritime a été aussi important dans le développement du droit positif sous tous ses aspects, dans les quinze chapitres qui suivent, tout le droit maritime défile.

  • les parties: navire, contrats, concepts, droit privé et public,
  • transport sous connaissement,
  • transport sous charte-partie,
  • remorquage,
  • abordage,
  • limitation de responsabilité du propriétaire de navire,
  • assistance,
  • avarie commune,
  • compétence et procédure,
  • pollution,
  • privilèges et hypothèques,
  • transport de passagers,
  • accidents maritimes corporels,
  • assurance maritime,
  • droit public de la mer

«Pour reprendre la question de l'auteur au début de sa préface, cet ouvrage est-il nécessaire ? La réponse est manifestement positive. Comme le dit l'auteur, cet ouvrage est original par son approche internationale car il est un vrai ouvrage de droit comparé.

«L'intérêt de l'ouvrage vient de l'exceptionnelle culture maritime du professeur Tetley, grand connaisseur du droit maritime international mais aussi des divers grands droits maritimes nationaux : droit anglais, américain et canadien bien sûr mais aussi droit français, suédois, chinois et autres.

«Pour le professeur Tetley, le droit maritime est un système juridique complet, comme il le rappelle: 'Maritime law is not a branch of law, like company law or matrimonial law or tax law, but a slice of all branches of law, maritime law, in other words, cuts through the whole sphere of law'.

«Les développements sont précédés d'une importante bibliographie et d'un index volumineux de jurisprudence et de textes et sont suivis d'importantes annexes où l'on retrouve les principaux textes.

«L'objet du CMI est de 'contribuer par tous travaux et moyens appropriés, à l'unification du droit maritime sous tous ses aspects', le professeur Tetley est désormais… un CMI à lui tout seul!

«Tous ceux qui considèrent – et comment faire autrement – que le droit maritime est pluridisciplinaire et sans frontière, ne pourront pas se passer de cet ouvrage et si celui-ci ne leur suffit pas… ils pourront se reporter comme le conseille l'auteur, à la fin de chaque chapitre à son site qui est tout un programme: 'Tetley's Law and Other Nonsense' (website: http://www.mcgill.ca/maritimelaw/).»


Jean-Michel Morinière
(docteur en droit et avocat, HPMBC Clyde & Co., Nantes, France)
[2003] Droit Maritime Français, at p. 1008

«L'un des précédents ouvrages de l'auteur, traduit en russe, japonais et chinois, avait été qualifié de 'bible du droit maritime'. A l'évidence, le même qualificatif devra être retenu pour cette œuvre, fruit de cinquante années d'expérience et constituant une synthèse de l'état du droit maritime international.

«L'auteur a commencé la pratique du droit maritime chez Martineau Walker en 1952. Il a diversifié sa carrière de juriste en entrant en politique. Député à l'Assemblée Nationale du Québec à partir de 1968 puis Ministre du gouvernement BOURASSA de 1970 à 1976, il est à l'origine de plusieurs lois importantes au Québec. Depuis 1976 il est professeur à la Faculté de droit de McGILL. Aujourd'hui William TETLEY est également professeur émérite invité de l'université de TULANE et exerce comme avocat conseil auprès du cabinet LANGLOIS GAUDREAU & O'CONNOR. Il a participé dans les instances internationales à l'élaboration du droit maritime international des dernières décennies.

«Les principales publications de l'auteur sont Maritime Liens and Claims, 1re éd., publié en 1985, 2e éd. en 1998, Maritime Cargo Claims, 1re éd., en 1965; 3e éd. en 1988 et International Conflict of Laws – Common, Civil and Maritime, 1re éd. en 1994.

«Son site web 'Tetley's law and Other Nonsense' (http://www.mcgill.ca/maritimelaw/) témoigne de sa jeunesse d'esprit, de son professionnalisme et de son humour.

«William TETLEY est un homme de cultures, d'expérience et de génie. Fin juriste comparatiste, amateur d'art et d'antiquités il est aussi un utilisateur audacieux des possibilités offertes par les nouvelles technologies de l'information.

«On retrouve l'ensemble de ces qualités dans la construction et la rédaction de International Maritime and Admiralty Law.

«L'ouvrage est composé de 16 chapitres (histoire du droit maritime; cadre juridique du droit maritime; transport et connaissements; affrètements, remorquage; abordage; limitation de responsabilité; assistance; avaries communes; juridictions et procédures; pollution; privilèges et hypothèques; transport de passagers; accidents et décès en mer; assurance maritime; droit international public de la mer). Les annexes sont constituées du texte des principales conventions internationale, des règles et usances maritimes ainsi que des spécimens des connaissements et charte-parties les plus utilisés.

«La jurisprudence est abondante et les références à la Doctrine vont à l'essentiel.

«Il s'agit de l'ouvrage d'un comparatiste et internationalite. Les comparaisons témoignent de la maîtrise de l'auteur tant en Common Law qu'en Droit Civil. Au-delà des systèmes de pensée juridique, les références sont au droit américain, anglais, australien, canadien, chinois, français, russe etc.

«A la présentation du droit positif et de son évolution s'ajoutent les propres critiques de l'auteur et la prospective.

«Le béotien y trouvera une approche complète de ce que représente aujourd'hui le droit maritime. La lecture est facile et agréable.

«L'étudiant en droit aura un manuel fort complet. La connaissance de l'ouvrage lui permettra d'aborder ses examens avec plus que l'essentiel.

«Les praticiens et professionnels qui réserveront une place à cet ouvrage à portée de main y trouveront les premiers éléments et références pour aborder toute question relative au droit maritime.

«Cet ouvrage fait parti des incontournables dans la bibliothèque des maritimistes.»


1

(1) L'excellent dictionnaire de Georges Figuière considère que c'est un synonyme de marine law, maritime law, shipping law et le définit comme l'ensemble des conventions internationales et des lois nationales relatives aux navires et au transport maritime.


Prof. William Tetley, Q.C.

Glossary of Maritime Law Terms, 2 Ed., 2004

Book Reviews


Jacques Bonnaud


(Rédacteur en chef, Revue de Droit Commercial, Maritime, Aérien, et des Transports (la "Revue Scapel") et avocat, SCP Scapel, Scapel-Grail Bonnaud, avocats, Marseille, France) REVUE DE DROIT COMMERCIAL, MARITIME, AÉRIEN et des TRANSPORTS, 2004 at p. 95

Glossaire des termes juridiques maritimes rédigé en anglais.

Glossaire : si cet ouvrage donne bien « l’explication des mots mal connus» (1), la précision et la richesse des définition est telle que les spécialistes eux-mêmes y apprendront beaucoup.

Les termes : on y trouve non seulement les mots ou expressions les plus fréquemment utilisés et dont le sens est mal connu mais aussi les principaux auteurs, les institutions, les abréviations, la législation.

Les auteurs sont cités avec l’indication de l’ouvrage – ou des ouvrages – certes leur bibliographie ne peut être exhaustive dans le cadre d’un tel livre… mais pour l’essentiel, nous approuvons la sélection faite par l’ auteur.

Les institutions sont présentes : de AAA (the American Arbitrators Association… ) à VMA (the Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association), on y retrouve les principales associations avec leur objet (lorsqu’il n’est pas évident) et leur adresse électronique.

Les abréviations citées sont nombreuses et là encore bien choisies.

Les publications, parmi lesquelles se trouve en bonne place notre revue, les centres de formation dont le CDMT que dirige Christian Scapel.

La législation : on trouve les principaux textes : notamment toutes les grandes conventions internationales maritimes de droit privé et de droit public, les règles internationales mais aussi les lois nationales.

Les mots importants ont la place qu’ils méritent. Ainsi, pour « connaissement », l’auteur a regroupé pas moins de 15 acceptions du terme (qui seront bien utiles aux praticiens).

Si cet ouvrage est rédigé en Anglais, il est avant tout international.

Après chaque mot et avant la définition, on trouve sa traduction en français, espagnol, italien et allemand.

En outre, l’ouvrage comporte de nombreux mots ou expressions français (code de commerce, faute lourde, saisie conservatoire…). L’aspect historique n’est pas négligé. Ainsi, l’histoire de l’assurance maritime est retracée depuis le XIIe siècle.

Nos lecteurs l’ont compris, ceux qui utilisent les termes juridiques maritimes ne pourront se passer de cet ouvrage. Celui-ci leur apportera outre des définitions précises et parfaitement à jour, le bénéfice, sous un petit volume, de l’immense culture juridico-maritime de son auteur.

Jacques Bonnaud

(1) Définition du Petit Robert de « glossaire »