Determination of the Law Applicable to Bill of lading by the Courts of England and Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor at Shahid Beheshti University

2 International commercial law, Shahid Beheshti university, Tehran, Iran



Lawyers disagree about application of the Rome I to bill of lading .Under English Law, the law applicable is determined according to common law rules in case bills of lading are excluded from the Rome I.Both the Rome I and common law rules recognize the principle of freedom of parties.However, the principle of freedom of parties is restricted under the Hague-Visby Rules and the parties' choice of law could not lessen the liability of the carrier from what provided under the Hague-Visby.Under Iranian Law, the law of the place of conclusion of contract applies to the bills of lading unless the contracting parties are foreign nationals and have subjected their contract to another law.Nevertheless,, considering the restrictions upon the application of foreign law, in accordance with Hague rules to which Iran is a party, parties to a bill of lading issued in a contracting state cannot agree on application of law of other countries which would lessen the liability of carrier from what provided under the Hague Rules.
Bill of lading might contain an incorporation clause which incorporates charterparty clauses into bill of lading.Under English Law, the law applicable to the choice of law clause incorporated into bills of lading by reference is the law that is applicable in case of validity of incorporation clause.In Iranian legal system, there is no conflict of laws rule regarding the applicable law to the choice of law clause and courts in each case will seek to discover parties' true intentions.


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