Clarifying Foreign Arbitration in the Carriage of Goods by Sea – Vol. 10 No. 1

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Author: Jaipat S. Jain*

Published: March 1999

Arbitral Process
Choice of Forum/Place of Proceedings

Description: This article is about the law relating to choice of foreign forums for the resolution of disputes arising in the international carriage of goods by sea. Two recent developments have drawn attention to the subject. First, a U.S. Supreme Court decision appeared to give carriers a free hand to stipulate foreign forums in contracts of carriage. Second, a U.S. Senate subcommittee is considering a bill that would outlaw foreign forums, while overhauling the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.

Did the Supreme Court, and the lower courts, overlook material facts when deciding Sky Reefer? Have recent decisions tended to obfuscate the law in the area of foreign forum selection? This article reviews the Sky Reefer facts and restates established principles of law. Sky Reefer, reminiscent of The Isis, may produce a legislative reaction.

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*Jaipat S. Jain is a candidate for the degree of LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law at Fordham University, School of Law, New York. The author wishes to thank Professor Joseph C. Sweeney, Fordham University, New York.