BILLS OF LADING: PROPER LAW AND RENVOI

Authors

  • JOHN D FALCONBRIDGE

Keywords:

Bills of Lading, Conflict of Laws

Abstract

The case of Vita Food Products Incorporated v. Unus Shipping Company Limited (In liquidation) is of great importance in relation to the conflict of laws. In this article the author examines certain issues raised by the case, including the doctrine of renvoi and the extent to which the parties to a contract are at liberty to select, by express declaration in the contract, the proper law which is to govern the intrinsic validity of the contract. The author discusses the history prior to the Vita Foods Products case and the movement towards securing uniformity in the terms of bills of lading issued in connection with the carriage of goods by sea. The author then takes a closer look at the facts of the Vita Food Products case and critically examines the alleged principles of the conflict of laws expressed by Lord Wright. In conclusion, the author addresses the question of whether or not Lord Wright has added to the controversy surrounding the question of the freedom of parties to a contract to select the law which will govern it.

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Published

1940-02-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary