Saturday, 19 February 2011

ARTICLE: The Difference Between Admiralty, Marine, Maritime, Shipping Law etc.?

There are many terms to describe the law of ships and shipping; some of which have broad, and others quite specific, meanings. A brief guide to the correct uses and distinctions follows:


Admiralty - Traditionally 'admiralty law' referred only to contractual and tortious disputes arising from the operations of ships (named after the typical work of the Admiralty Court in England). It would not, for instance, cover governmental or international shipping regulations. However, the description has become more loosely used over time and today it is interchangeable with 'Maritime Law' as a term describing all law related to ships.

Boating Law - This is a US term, which essentially means the same as 'admiralty law', although it is often used to describe smaller level admiralty law (yacht fees, radio requirements etc.).

Carriage of Goods Law - This specifically relates to the law of moving cargo. It is not restricted to marine cargo (unless referred to as 'Carriage of Goods by Sea Law') and will cover goods being moved by sea, road, rail, air and multimodal (by more than one means).   

Law of the Sea - This is an area of public international law (deals with relationships between countries, rather than private people or companies). It provides rules on sea borders, pollution, ownership of natural resources at sea etc. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides much of the law in this area. 

Marine Law - This is perhaps the most broad of the terms and encompasses all law related to the sea or waterways. It would cover international agreements on sea borders, laws on fishing quotas and the law governing transport of goods or the operation of ships (i.e. it is a catch-all term for Law of the Sea and Maritime Law).

Maritime Law - Describes all law related to ships and shipping; including the building, navigation, crewing, operation and other activities and incidents related to ships. Although now used interchangeably with the term 'Admiralty Law', Maritime Law is preferable as the more common term.

Shipping Law - This is perhaps the best term to describe the law relating to ships. Shipping law covers the building and operation of ships and is split into two categories: wet and dry. 'Wet' shipping law involves things happening on water, like ships sinking, colliding with other ships or objects and other casualties at sea. 'Dry' shipping law refers to things happening on paper like disputes about charterparty clauses or shipbuilding contracts. Many lawyers who deal with wet shipping matters only consider that dry shipping disputes can be boring as they are not linked to any real wolrd event.

Trade Law (aka ´International Trade Law´) - This refers to the law of trade between countries and the international conventions governing that trade. It is only loosely related to ships, via international conventions like UNCITRAL (United Nations Convention for International TRAde Law).

Transport Law - This is a catch-all term for the laws covering all types of transport, incluing sea, road, rail and air transport. It may proscribe something like that a certain product must be carried by sea, and not by air.

A diagram laying out the main distinctions above:

3 comments:

Maximiliano Navas 7 February 2013 at 03:22  

Excellent work in your blog! Seaworthiness is "the obligation" in Maritime Law, Shipping Law and Admiralty Law. It is the exe of maritime industry.

I am pleased to offer my personal Maritime Law & Marine Management experience to your professional blog and Firm. Above find enclosed a link to my curriculum vitae and cover letter (http://www.linkedin.com/in/maxnavas/en).

I am PhD in Commercial and Maritime Law (thesis on "Seaworthiness of Vessel within International Maritime Law", pending out to be published as a book, 1,250 pages; very important in the marine insurance field and in all Maritime Law contracts, as you well know!) and Master's Degree in Maritime Law (LLM).

My practical work experience as a Qualified Spanish Solicitor (LLB), Maritime Law Arbitrator (High Court of Justice of Andalusia and Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Spain), Master Mariner (BSc, Captain Merchant Marine, Kingdom of Spain, unlimited) and Average Marine Surveyor, gives me an insight and hands-on perspective in this particular maritime field.

It is my hope that my experience and background can be utilized by an outstanding organization such as yours.

In the meanwhile, do you want to exchange links and articles on Maritime Law (vid. infra our blogs and websites)? Is always good for Google and for both of us!

I look to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


Maximiliano F. Navas
Maritime Solicitor (PhD, LLM, LLB) | Master Mariner (BSc, unlimited)
GMM Maritime Law Firm | Marine Management
Rico, 33 - 3ยบ A | E-21001 Huelva | Spain
mnavas@gmm-abogados.com
www.gmm-abogados.com | www.derechomaritimo.net | www.uk.gmm-abogados.com | www.maritimelaw.es
T: +34 959 251 323 | F: +34 959 251 315 | P: +34 959 249 318 | M: +34 607 799 224

Please, visit our sites:
www.derechomaritimo.net
www.maritimelaw.es
www.gmm-abogados.com
www.uk.gmm-abogados.com

sea law 7 May 2013 at 06:31  

Valuable information and excellent design you got here!I appreciate your professional way of writing this post thanks.

Diane Cain 7 October 2015 at 00:53  

Thank you for your great job. This is the info I have been looking for!
Title Insurance miami

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP