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Yvonne Baatz

This chapter considers the principle of party autonomy and how far it is given effect to under English law as regards jurisdiction clauses in bills of lading and marine insurance contracts for the cargo carried under them. Both bills of lading and marine insurance contracts may involve third party issues where the bill has been transferred to a consignee or bill of lading holder and that party has claimed on its cargo insurance and the cargo insurer exercises subrogated rights against the person causing the damage or pursues a direct action against its liability insurer. This chapter will consider first the global position and the fact that there is not yet a well established worldwide approach to jurisdiction clauses in bills of lading and marine insurance contracts; secondly the system developed by the European Union in which the principle of party autonomy is given great weight, but it will be argued that there is much occasion to revert to national law in the arena of maritime law and the national laws may differ; and thirdly the approach of the English common law to jurisdiction agreements will be critically examined to give a concrete example of such a national law and the areas where different approaches may arise will be highlighted.