Gold

Thus, under the 1976 Convention, it appears that it is harder to ‘break’ limitation because the instances of recklessness or intention to cause loss must by their very nature be more scarce than the former idea of personal fault, negligence or privity. In The Bowbell (1990) Sheen J stated that the effects of Articles 2 and 4 was that specified claims were subject to limitation of liability unless the person making the claim proved that the loss resulted from a personal act or omission of the shipowner, committed with intent to cause such loss or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss could probably result. This is a heavy burden on the claimant. Article 5 provides that counter-claims by the party seeking to limit against the parties claiming against him shall be set off and the provisions of the 1976 Convention shall apply only to the balance. This echoes the previous Convention and can be best seen illustrated when two ships collide and cross-claims against each other follow. Their claims are set off against each other and payment of the balances made upon the basis of a single liability – limitation being applied only to the remaining balance after set off. These are expressed in units of account which are the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as defined by the International Monetary Fund (Article 8). This is a change from the 1957 Convention whereby there was a flat rate of Pointcaré Gold Francs (3,500) multiplied by the ship’s tonnage. As in the 1957 Convention, a measure of priority is given to loss of life and personal injury claims and a calculation for those is given separately to the calculation for loss or damage to property claims. The limitation funds are calculated on a sliding scale according to the ship’s tonnage.