Maritime ( Admiralty) Laws Govern International Waters

We all know that each sovereign nation is allowed to set up laws that they see fit to help keep its people safe. There are even international laws that keep sovereign nations from passing laws that violate basic human right. But what keeps the people safe while out at sea?

Maritime law, also known as Admiralty law is are the laws that govern international waters, nautical issues, marine commerce, marine navigation, salvage, maritime pollution, seafarers' rights, and the carriage by sea of both passengers and goods, this law also covers land-based commercial activities such as marine insurance.

A few of the more known areas of Maritime law include Negligence. A shipowner owns a duty of reasonable care to its passengers. Similar to a passenger on a bus or airplane, if there is an injury caused due to negligence on behalf of the owner of the vehicle, the injured passenger may be able to bring a suit against them so long as they can prove the negligence.

Another well-known area that maritime law deals with Maritime liens. This, similar to liens on a house, means that a ship can have liens placed against them to help recoup losses such as from seamen who have not been paid, vendors who supply fuel and other necessary stores to the shipowner, or even a bank who issues the loan used to initially purchase the ship. These liens can cause the ship to be seized in order to get the due payments.

Finally, there is the issue of marine salvage. The seas are unpredictable. Cargo is lost at sea all the time. When property is lost at sea and rescued by a different party, the rescuing party is entitled to a claim to the salvaged property.

This does not mean that the rescuing ship can just stand by and watch a ship sink and watch its passengers drown. All mariners have a duty to save the lives of other people at sea. Even if there is no reward expected. People are not property and cannot be salvaged to lay claim on.

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