International Trade and Carriage of Goods

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Consignees’ rights under the Rotterdam Rules

Consignees’ rights under the Rotterdam Rules

Professor Michael F. Sturley

5.1 Introduction

In this chapter, I will address a very specific topic - consignees’ rights under the Rotterdam Rules.2 Thus I will not discuss a consignee’s duties or liabilities and I will minimize any discussion of a consignee’s rights under legal regimes other than the Rotterdam Rules. To help balance the apparent narrowing of my topic, however, I will adopt a broad understanding of the term “rights.” Over a century ago, Professor Hohfeld taught us that lawyers, judges, and academics often use the term “rights” to include things that should better be described as “privileges,” “powers,” or “immunities.”3 Despite Professor Hohfeld’s argument for more precise definitions, I will follow the usage that he criticized (which remains common in current practice) and discuss consignees’ “rights” under the Rotterdam Rules that may not satisfy the strict Hohfeldian definition of the term.

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