The thesis focuses on party autonomy and its limitations in relation to jurisdiction and arbitration clauses included in contracts for the carriage of goods by sea in case of any claim when the cargo is damaged, lost or delayed. The study takes the shipping companies perspective, and the ship owners´ in concrete, due to their strategic importance as the driving force of the shipping industry.
The thesis has two objectives. The main one is to provide an analysis of the existing law on recognition and validity of jurisdiction and arbitration clauses in the contracts for the carriage of goods by sea – ´de lege data`. The second objective is to provide conclusions and extract lessons for the future of the non-recognition and the non-enforcement of the clauses in the existing fragmented legal framework at an international, European Union, and national level. The interface between the different legal regimes reveals the lack of international harmonisation and the existence of ´forum shopping` when a cargo interest sues the ship owner or the party to whom the ship owner charters the vessel. The thesis follows the legal dogmatic and comparative method.