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Part VII Charterparties, 35 Frustration

From: Carriage of Goods by Sea (3rd Edition)

Stephen Girvin

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 June 2024

Carriage of goods — Frustration and contract — Burden of proof and damages

This chapter highlights the doctrine of frustration, which is a doctrine of general contract law, but one in which many of the leading cases have been charterparty cases. It considers the doctrine in contracts for the carriage of goods by sea where, read as a whole, few cases invoke the doctrine because of the presence of force majeure clauses, which deal with subsequent events. The chapter then looks at the essence of the doctrine of frustration. The issue of whether or not the contract has been frustrated is a question of law but ‘that conclusion is almost completely determined by what is ascertained as the mercantile usage and the understanding of commercial men’. Thus, it has been said in the same case that the doctrine is ‘not lightly to be invoked to relieve contracting parties of the normal consequences of imprudent commercial bargains’.

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