Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly


ARNOULD’S LAW OF MARINE INSURANCE AND AVERAGE (17th edn). Edited by Jonathan Gilman, QC, MA, Robert Merkin and others. Sweet & Maxwell, London (2008) cxxviii and 1606 pp, plus 138 pp Appendices and 64 pp Index. Hardback £355.
When it comes to longevity and status, Arnould shines brightest in the ever-crowded firmament of textbooks on the English law of marine insurance. This would have pleased Sir Joseph Arnould (1813–1886), first an Oxford academic, then a barrister on the home circuit, and later a colonial judge in Bombay. His two-volume Treatise on the Law of Marine Insurance and Average first appeared in 1848 and, given the nature of its subject matter and the copious references to American jurisprudence, it immediately became the leading work on the law of marine insurance on both sides of the Atlantic: the first American edition appeared in Boston in 1849. Despite a number of other published works of poetry (eg, Memorial Lines on Sir Robert Peel (1850)) and biography (eg, Memoir of Thomas, First Lord Denman (1873) and two continuation volumes to Campbell’s Lives of the Chief Justices of England (1876)), the appearance of regular further editions has ensured that it is for his Marine Insurance and Average that Arnould is best remembered today. And not undeservedly so.
Arnould has in many respects played an important role in shaping and solidifying the principles of the law of marine insurance. That is shown not only by its purposive attempts to extract principles from the mass of often conflicting judicial decisions (my copy of the two-volume seventh edition of 1901, purchased a few years ago from a charity shop for the equivalent of £3 (!), is replete with paragraphs headed “Result of the cases”), but also by the undoubted authority it carried and continues to carry in courts of law all over the common-law world.
The seventeenth edition was long overdue. The sixteenth had appeared in two volumes in 1981 and, despite the publication of a third volume in 1997 that contained not only a supplementary update but also detailed commentary on (the new) forms and clauses (something earlier editions had foregone in preference to an authoritative statement of principles rather than practice), it was clearly in need of revision. The new edition had to consider all three of the main legal pillars of marine insurance—legislation, judicial decision, and contract—in an integrated fashion. It had to take account of the radical changes that had been effected to the terms of the contract of marine insurance in common use in practice, while a large number of influential judicial decisions on the topic required a reconsideration and reformulation of many fundamental principles of the subject matter.
The first thing that strikes about the seventeenth edition is that the three volumes comprising the previous edition has become a handy, single volume, something made possible by more compact typesetting and the use of thin, opaque printing paper known as Bible or India paper. Yet almost all that was there before still remains, and much, much more.
There are new chapters (on jurisdiction and applicable law; the general principles surrounding the pre-contractual duty of utmost good faith; the post-contractual duty of utmost good faith and fraudulent claims; double insurance and contribution; and reinsurance); some rearrangement and consolidation of other chapters (eg, concerning premiums; and the omission of a separate chapter on


The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, click Log In button.

Copyright © 2024 Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address 5th Floor, 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD, United Kingdom. Lloyd's List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited.

Lloyd's is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd's.