Maritime law is a distinct body of law that governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities that operate vessels on the oceans. It deals with matters including marine commerce, marine navigation, marine salvaging, shipping, sailors, and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea. Maritime law also covers many commercial activities, although land based or occurring wholly on land, that are maritime in character.
Why maritime law is important?
The origins of maritime law date back to antiquity as did trade between nations through sea transport. It thus became increasingly necessary to expand this scope of the law as no country may claim arbitrary jurisdiction over the seas. Consensus between nations also became vital in the face of disputes.
Maritime law regulates the enforcement of contracts and commonly makes provision for damages to parties who have suffered some form of loss at the hands of a contracting party that has failed to honour or perform in accordance with their agreement. Such a contractual clause must be distinguished from the principle of general average which contemplates the voluntary sacrifice made by the master of the ship in respect of cargo, equipment or funds in order to mitigate further losses or damage in an emergency. The loss suffered by parties is thus shared amongst other parties who have shared in the relevant venture.
How we can help you?
Our team can advise and assist in the following matters:
- Registration of ships and ships
- Time and travel charters
- Financing and security
- Execution of naval expenses and mortgages
- Machinery and helmet policies and claims
- Policies and claims of protection and indemnification associations
- Contracts for the construction and repair of ships
- Trailer agreements
- Claims for loss and damage to goods
- Pollution and personal injury