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Maritime Law

Definition - What does Maritime Law mean?

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is a unique body of law that controls maritime issues and crimes. It refers to international treaties and agreements that govern activities or rules at open sea or any part of the sea that is navigable. Maritime law falls in the jurisdiction of federal courts.

Even though each legal authority typically has its own enacted laws regulating maritime-related issues, admiralty law is represented by an important number of international laws developed in the past decades, including several multilateral treaties.

Justipedia explains Maritime Law

Maritime law became part of U.S. law, as it was progressively introduced through admiralty circumstances that arose following the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789.

Under maritime law, the ship carrying the flag of the country determines its source. For instance, if a U.S. ship is in the Persian Gulf with the U.S. flag, then it would be under the U.S. law of admiralty and would have to follow all of the relevant treaties and agreements.

Admiralty law is different to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law related to navigational rights, mineral rights, authority over coast waters, and international law regulating associations between countries.

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