Washington Law Review


After almost sixty years of change in the international commercial arena, the United States needs to revise its maritime law to reflect international practice. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Vimar Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A. v. MIV Sky Reefer, held that foreign arbitration clauses in maritime bills of lading will be enforced. In an attempt to reverse this decision, the Maritime Law Association included in its proposal to revise the Carriage of the Goods by Sea Act a clause that specifically denies the enforcement of foreign arbitration clauses. This Comment argues that Congress should not adopt the proposed revision because maritime commerce is not confined within national borders, and the United States should continue to align its practices with international expectations. In particular, this Comment asserts that, although as a whole the proposed revision would be beneficial, the Maritime Law Association should reconsider the issue of enforcing foreign arbitration clauses in bills of lading.

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