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Deviation Justified



Law and Sea.

Foundation of the carrier’s liability to provide seaworthy vessel originated, so far as the earlier evidence goes, from the law of bailment where the duties of a common carrier were equal to those of bailees in general, i.e. to return the goods entrusted to him in same condition as they were initially delivered under implied absolute responsibility for loss, even when happening without fault on the part of the person intrusted.

Necessity Caused by Unseaworthiness
Last updated: 21-Jun-2015

J. & E. Kish v Charles Taylor, Sons & Co [1912] AC 604 per Lord Atkinson:

… So that the question decision resolves itself into this: Is it the presence of the peril and not its cause which determines the character of the deviation, or must the master of every ship be left in the dilemma, that whenever, by his own culpable act, or a breach of contract by his owner, he finds his ship in a perilous position, he must continue on his voyage at all hazards, or only seek safety under the penalty of forfeiting the contract of affreightment? Nothing could, it would appear to me, tend more to increase the dangers to which life and property are exposed at sea than to hold that the law of England obliged the master of a merchant ship to choose between such alternatives.

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