In a recent decision in the English high court Mr Justice Popplewell held that a clause in a charter party listing the ways in which a ship owner could give notice of readiness to the charterer did not allow notice to be given by email.
The 'Port Russell' charter party said that "…Notice of Readiness may be given either by letter, facsimile transmission, telegram, telex, radio or telephone…"
The judge said that only those methods which "may" be used were permissible. Since email was not a permitted method, notice given by email was invalid. This just goes to show the value of a keen risk manager in shipowners' and charterers' offices.
This is just one of many instances where age-old clauses are used time and again that do not fit the modern era. What next? Facebook? Twitter?