Maritime law is a collection of laws and understandings that control and exercise the seas. The locale of law manages how people collaborate and cooperate on the waters of the world. Called the admiral’s office law, maritime law basically regulates practices on international waters. Regardless, there are extra laws that apply to the waters in and approach each country. Generally, every country applies its own laws to inland waters like lakes and streams.
In particular, these laws are alluded to as maritime laws. They go back to the antiquated occasions when transportation of merchandise and individuals by water was one of the oldest kinds of business. The early Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks, carried a lot of business in the Mediterranean Sea. It was back then when there was a need to create maritime rules. It is said that the oldest maritime code in the book was created on the island of Rhodes, Greece.
As indicated by Marine Insight, Jones Act went in 1920, alludes to maritime law for labourers and denoted a significant occasion in maritime history. The initiative was set to empower American sailors, as before this, they had no security or rights on the waters.
Over time, the principles of maritime laws were developed and refined. Although there are general maritime laws, every individual country operates under its own auspices and laws as each nation bases its own maritime law on the general international regulations with some modifications and qualifications that are deemed necessary as per the particular needs.
These maritime laws are not limited to the transportation of goods or people. They also involve how companies treat their workers, how the workers get paid or even how their protection is ensured while working onboard a vessel.
The four principles of maritime law are:
- Maritime Safety
- Navigation Security
- Commercial Spirit and Preventing Contamination
- Environmental Protection
In addition to the above, maritime law directs the implementation of agreements and normally makes arrangement for harms to parties who have endured some type of misfortune on account of a contracting party that has neglected to respect or act as per their understanding. Such a legally binding statement must be recognized 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 alleviate further misfortunes or harm in a crisis. The misfortune endured by parties is therefore shared among different parties who have partaken in the pertinent endeavour.
The exception of force majeure in contracts usually also exists which relieves a party from any liabilities or obligations whenever an extraordinary or unpredictable event occurs, such as a war, strike, or an “act of God.”