Limitation of liability in maritime law: an anachronism?
One characteristic of maritime law is the availability of limitation of liability for shipowners and some others connected with shipping. This article, besides discussing the law on limitation of liability, examines the arguments for and against the privileged status of shipowners, and concludes that there is no justification for such a system. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that recent Conventions and municipal statutes based on such Conventions have enhanced the right to limit liability; however, one American federal statute - the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 - has to an extent eroded the right to limitation of liability in cases of damage caused by oil pollution. It may be the case that this statute is indicative of future developments in maritime law.
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