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Title: Containers in the law of carriage of goods
Author: Shachar, Yoram
ISNI:       0000 0001 3395 0393
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1976
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Container transport is not a new mode of transport. It is only a more efficient method of using the three main conventional modes, namely sea, rail and road transport. As the international community has as yet failed to achieve agreement about a uniform set of rules to deal with the legal problems arising in connection with the new method, it has become necessary to attempt to solve these problems on the basis of existing legal rules governing the conventional modes of transport. The present work analyses attempts made in that direction in English, American, Canadian and French law, and generally studies the feasibility of applying the old rules of transport law, both the local ones prevailing in the above-mentioned legal systems, and the rules of existing international transport conventions, to the new realities of containerisation. Such an application would have been a mere mechanical operation if containers could be defined in such a way as would have enabled them to be uniformly classified within the conventional concepts of either 'goods', 'package' or 'vessel/vehicle'. But the container is a hybrid. Indeed, its ability to change functions in rapid succession, and even perform several functions at the same time, as a mobile part of the ship, a storage compartment of a vehicle, a warehouse and a package, is the very reason why it has been brought into use. The categorisation of all aspects of container transport within traditional terms and concepts of transport law can therefore be done only piecemeal, deciding in each legal context which facet of the container is relevant to the issue at hand. This has led to classifying the container in different parts of the thesis as 'part of the ship', as 'goods' and as 'package' within the meaning of the same statute. The aim of the present thesis is to show that, inconvenient as this manner of solving the legal problems of container transport may seem to be, it is the correct one. Simple solutions to these problems are theoretically easy to conceive, but only legislation can give them the force of law. Attempts to achieve similar solutions through judicial interpretation by uniform, but arbitrary, classification, would achieve relative simplicity in some aspects, but only at the cost of distorting the structure of existing rules and producing unacceptable solutions in other aspects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available