Oceanic Sun Line Special Shipping Company Inc v Fay [1998] HCA 32 | 30 June 1988

ON 30 JUNE 1988, the High Court of Australia delivered Oceanic Sun Line Special Shipping Company Inc v Fay [1988] HCA 32; (1988) 165 CLR 197 (30 June 1988).


The court found that a contract of carriage was made in Australia at the time of payment and that terms and conditions printed on a ticket later issued in Greece had no effect and could not alter what was already agreed in Australia.

The court held that in a contract of carriage:

  • a condition printed on a ticket has no effect to alter the contract if the ticket is issued after making the contract
  • an exemption clause (excluding liability of loss) on a ticket has no effect unless the carrier does all that is reasonably necessary to bring the clause to the passenger’s notice.

The court also held that when a defendant applies for a stay or dismissal of proceedings on the grounds of forum non conveniens (forum not appropriate), it must persuade the local court that the plaintiff’s claim should be brought in another court because the local court is a clearly inappropriate forum to determine the dispute.


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