The obsession of the international legislators during the preparatory period of forming the Rotterdam Convention in 2008 was to create a balance between the interests of both the carriers and the shippers,, in a way that none of them overwhelms the other so as to avoid the blame that was attributed to both Hamburg convention of 1978 and Brussels treaty of 1924 and their two related addendums, as well as updating the maritime transport rules in line with international developments in this field.
Throughout our study to the carriers' duties under Rotterdam rules compared to those contained in Hamburg and Brussels conventions and their two related addendums, we concluded that the picture was not so rosy for achieving the desired balance as sometimes they tend cuff for the benefit of carriers and sometimes tend to the interests of shippers. This conclusion directed us to raise a fundamental question, regarding the existence of effective interests for the carriers or shippers Countries to ratify the Rotterdam rules?
This question drove us to divide our research into two parts .In the first part we dealt the balance with the basics of the maritime responsibility : it's span and cases of exemptions .In the second part of our research we handled the balance for identification of the responsibility of the maritime carriers by treating the principle of the limited responsibility and the cases of which it is excluded, proving that by mentioning a lot of judicial opinions both old and recent and the practical practices which were controversial amongst the people of law and those who are interested in maritime transport . The Rotterdam rules, in turn, came to codify the maritime practices, to create new rules and to keep certain provisions enshrined in the Hamburg Rules and the Hague Regulations, Which was the subject of criticism or welcome by us and by the other concerned specialists when enacting the provisions of this Convention and even after it.
This approach enabled us to know the most recent and the renewals in the responsibility of the maritime transport through the comparison between the Rotterdam rules and the Hamburg and Hague ones to spot what is new and what was renewed and reproduced which was included in the two Conventions of Hamburg and Hague. It allowed us, on one hand, to identify the traditional duties of the carriers, those introduced by the Rotterdam Rules or contained in the two conventions of Hamburg and Hague and, on the other hand, to advance certain results and recommendations, which we consider beneficial in this study. Finally, we hope that the different Countries, whether be shippers or carriers, would ratify the Rotterdam rules since its new merits, compared with the past two conventions, exceed its demerits.
Abdel-Hai, Imad Al-Din
"Towards a balance in the liability of the maritime carrier between the interests of both carriers and shippers In accordance with the Rotterdam Convention of 2008,"
UAEU Law Journal: Vol. 2017:
72, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2017/iss72/3