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Sub-Bailment on terms and the Australian consumer

Lewins, K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5276-2777 (2002) Sub-Bailment on terms and the Australian consumer. E-law Journal, 9 (3).



Bailment has been described as an "amorphous hybrid" of the law of voluntary and involuntary obligations, and a law with "its own trajectory".[1] Before the decision of the Privy Council of "Pioneer Container"(KH Enterprise (cargo owners) v Pioneer Container (owners)(Pioneer Container),[2] both the basis and the trajectory were unclear. That decision clarified that it was the bailee's consent that was the keystone to the formation of a bailment relationship. More significantly for the purpose of this article, the judgement outlined the circumstances when a sub-bailee will be entitled to rely on its terms and conditions against the owner of the goods - the bailor.

There has been much said about the Pioneer Container case, regarding the significance of the judgement in bailment and the doctrine of sub-bailment on terms. [3] However there seems to have been little consideration of the effect of the doctrine on consumers. In a sense this is ironic, as one of the founding cases of sub-bailment on terms could be termed a consumer case.[4] This article examines whether the safeguards in the doctrine, as incorporated by the Privy Council, compares with protection afforded to a consumer in contract.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: Murdoch University. School of Law
Publisher's Website:
Other Information: Paper presented at the Australasian Law Teachers' Association annual conference hosted by Murdoch University School of Law, Perth, Western Australia September 29 - October 2 2002
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