Jackson v Union Marine Insurance Co

An exhaustive analysis of all aspects of Time Charter parties within the limited confines of this course is not possible thus in-depth analysis of only certain aspects will undertaken. This Lesson will cover some specific clauses and/or features and will take as specimens the Baltime and the New York Produce Exchange charter party forms: Circumstances which delay the performance of a charter party or render its performance impossible may discharge the parties from their obligations under the charter party. This is commonly referred to as the “frustration of the commercial purpose of the adventure” but is really a particular application of the more general principle that a contract which, by supervening and unforeseen circumstances arising without default on the part of either party, becomes impossible of performance may cease to bind either party to it. Frustration may arise from delay, impossibility of performance or subsequent change in the law. This is defined as the happening of some unforeseen delay, without the fault of either party, of such a character as that by it, the fulfilment of the contract was so inordinately postponed that its fulfilment when the delay is over will not accomplish the object of the contract. In Jackson v Union Marine Insurance Co. (1874) the chartered vessel was stranded on the rocks and the charterers repudiated the charter before the ship was refloated. The Court held that the time necessary for repairing the ship would be unreasonably long and the charter was frustrated. However in The Angelia (1972) a cargo of phosphate rock was not available at the loading port due to lack of transport, which had existed at the time the charter was entered into. The charterers cancelled the contract on the ground that the charter was frustrated as no cargo would be available before the expiry of the frustrating event. The Court held that on the evidence the delay was not sufficient to frustrate the charter.