Related topics


Any other cause whatsoever
Last updated: 28-Nov-2015

Per Rix J in The Laconian Confidence [1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 139, at pp. 150 – 151:

In my judgment it is well established that those words [i.e., ‘any other cause’], in the absence of ‘whatsoever’, should be construed either ejusdem generis or at any rate in some limited way reflecting the general context of the charter and clause… A consideration of the named causes indicates that they all relate to the physical condition or efficiency of either vessel (including its crew) or, in one instance, cargo. There is, moreover, the general …that it is for the owners to provide an efficient ship and crew. In such circumstances it is to my mind natural to conclude that the unamended words ‘any other cause’ do not cover an entirely extraneous cause, like the boom in Court Line, or the interference of authorities unjustified by the condition (or reasonably suspected condition) of ship or cargo. Prima facie it does not seem to me that it can be intended by a standard off-hire clause that an owner takes the risk of delay due to the interference of authorities, at any rate where that interference is something beyond the natural or reasonably foreseeable consequence of some named cause. Where, however, the clause is amended to include the word ‘whatsoever’, I do not see why the interference of authorities which prevents the vessel performing its intended service should not be regarded as falling within the clause, and I would be inclined to say that that remains so whether or not that interference can be related to some underlying cause internal to the ship, or is merely capricious. That last thought may be controversial, but it seems to me that if an owner wishes to limit the scope of causes of off-hire under a clause which is deliberately amended to include the word ‘whatsoever’, then he should be cautious to do so.

Leave your comments

Form by