A Successful Substantivist Carve-Out?: The Athens Convention as Uniform International Law

NUS Law Working Paper No. 2018/019

NUS - Centre for Maritime Law Working Paper 18/06

29 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018 Last revised: 2 Aug 2018

See all articles by Paul Myburgh

Paul Myburgh

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 31, 2018

Abstract

This paper examines the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 and its 2002 Protocol through a private international law lens, to evaluate the extent to which it functions as a successful ‘substantivist carve-out’ achieving international legal uniformity, and to determine the degree to which conflicts problems still bedevil passenger claims brought under the Athens regime. The paper concludes that the Athens regime is not a particularly successful uniform international law instrument, largely because of uncertainties surrounding its scope of application and operation as a mandatory exclusive code, the ability to easily circumvent its jurisdiction framework and shop for a more favourable forum, a lack of clarity regarding coverage of ‘personal injury’, and a messy and complicated relationship with global limitation of liability regimes. The Athens regime would undoubtedly be more effective if it enjoyed more widespread uptake amongst maritime jurisdictions. However, for a range of economic and political reasons, that seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

Keywords: Carriage of passengers by sea, transnational litigation, Athens Convention, uniform law

Suggested Citation

Myburgh, Paul, A Successful Substantivist Carve-Out?: The Athens Convention as Uniform International Law (July 31, 2018). NUS - Centre for Maritime Law Working Paper 18/06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3224010 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3224010

Paul Myburgh (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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