Legal and institutional obstacles

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Research Proposal EFG Ajayi Abstract It is settled that of all the modes of transportation, viz., air, land and sea, carriage of goods by sea is the most economical way to take sizeable quantities of cargo over long distances. The development of special vessels of immense sizes and propulsion to carry various cargoes has continued to make transportation by sea more attractive. The economic principle of comparative advantage and globalization has given impetus to international trade and commerce and carriage of goods by sea is the means towards the actualization of international trade which of course, is indispensable to mankind; despite the advantages attributable to sea carriage, there are international concerns regarding the multiplicity of legal and institutional hurdles faced by cargo interests with respect cargo loss or damage; the myriad of rules that are impediments to equitable cargo claims is the issue which this study shall critically examine as well as proffer recommendations to frontally reverse the extant inequality between cargo interests, carriers and other stake holders in the global contract of ocean carriage. 1. Title: Legal and institutional obstacles to marine cargo claims against shippers, consignees and parties claiming under their title. 2. Background and outline of the research problem: The fact that the exchange of goods and services is an important aspect of human life is beyond controversy; that activity dates back to history as attested by “trade by barter” during the stone ages; in modern times, countries of the world are not equally endowed with human and natural resources, more importantly, the economic principle espoused by comparative advantage on one hand, the free market economy and globalization on the other, has made international trade and inter-governmental commercial transactions, an indispensable aspect of human life. The maritime industry could aptly be described as the “gate-way to the global economy” due to volume of goods carried by sea which accounts for the bulk of trade and commerce between nations of the world. To lend credence to the above assertion, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that Trade and Commerce have become internationalized which of course makes carriage of goods by sea, indispensable. The sea transport industry plays a major role in world economy; the industry is an engine for growth and a generator of quality human life, a fundamental element to maintain the vitality of sea transportation in order to reap the immense benefits thereof, is to ensure equitable and a balanced terms of contract to the parties and stake holders involved in the global transaction. The extant inequality amongst the parties in ocean transportation transaction is the principal issue which this research sets out to critically examine. 3. Literature review and reasons for choosing the topic As highlighted above to the effect that comparative advantage and globalization has internationalized trade and commerce, carriage of goods by sea is the veritable vehicle or conduit pipe towards the actualization of international trade, however, there are concerns across the globe regarding the almost insurmountable legal and institutional hurdles faced by cargo interests when cargo loss or damage arises;

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