‘Critically discuss the common law duty of seaworthiness’

It is also used as a shipment receipt after the goods have been delivered. This receipt is mandatory for the shipment process and it is required that an authorized individual from all three parties, i.e. carries, shipper, and receiver, signs this document as it serves as an evidence of receipt of goods in the desired condition (Schmitz). This bill is very useful in situations where the good received are damaged while they were in good condition when loaded on to the vessel or when the receiver does not receive the goods at all. The process of carrying goods by the sea can be somewhat complicated with reference to defining the parties involved and their position in the entire process (Low). The contract begins between the shipper and the carrier who takes the responsibility of delivering the good from one port to another. Since the bill of lading receipt is issued by the carrier, the responsible party in case of any discrepancies in the quantity, quality, or condition of the good delivered would be the carrier. It must be noted that the receiver of good is in more cases not the shipper but the consignee. It can be said that the bill of lading is the prima facie evidence between the shipper and carrier and conclusive evidence between the carrier and the consignee (Andersson). In the entire process of shipment, the ship owner has certain obligations to the shipper and the consignee. These obligations can be divided in to three parts of before commencement of the voyage, during the voyage, and after the voyage has been completed (Baughen). These obligations include providing a vessel which seaworthy, a reasonable dispatch of cargo, protection of cargo, not deviating from the route and delivering the cargo in time, at the right destination, in the desired condition (Baughen). Providing a Seaworthy Vessel The obligation to provide a seaworthy ship for the voyage is understood between all parties even when it is not explicitly agreed upon. There has been much debate regarding the definition of the term seaworthiness. Though it generally implies that the carrier provides a ship which is physically fit to stand any perils of the sea and complete the journey. Not only is it settled that the ships provided by the carrier will be seaworthy in the general sense but it will also strong and sit enough to make it through any perils that might come across on the voyage along with strong furniture and other equipment in order to receive the cargo (Dockray and Thomas). Though different branches of Maritime law make use of the same definition of the term seaworthiness, this definition is little broad to explain the condition of the ship in this context. Seaworthiness under Carriage of Goods by Sea Even though the definition of seaworthiness has been changed a number of times under common law, Harter Act, and Hague/Hague-Visby rules, the term is still based on the same principles. It has been stated under common that the ship must be fit enough to meet and undergo perils of the sea and other incidental risks which of necessity she must be exposed in the course of the voyage (Kopitoff v. Wilson 380). Moreover, seaworthiness has