Time Charters


Glossary of English Legal Terms

Absolute obligations

G.1 Many contractual terms are what are called ‘absolute’ obligations. If a certain state of affairs does not exist or is not brought about, as the case may be, a party that has undertaken an absolute obligation in that regard is guilty of a breach of contract. It does not matter whether he was careless or worse in causing or allowing the promised state of affairs not to occur. A promise that the ship is in a certain class when the charter is concluded is an absolute obligation of this kind: Routh v. MacMillan (1863) 9 L.T. 541. Absolute obligations are often to be contrasted, especially in maritime contracts, with ‘due diligence’ obligations (see paragraph G.12, below).

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