The Law of the Sea: A Manual of the Principles of Admiralty Law for Students, Mariners, and Ship Operators - Jasper Yeates Brinton

The Law of the Sea: A Manual of the Principles of Admiralty Law for Students, Mariners, and Ship Operators

By Jasper Yeates Brinton

  • Release Date: 2018-08-26
  • Genre: Law
  • Size: 1.02 MB

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Navigation and commerce by sea are regulated by maritime law. This is a branch of jurisprudence which developed out of the necessities of the business with which it has to deal. It is, therefore, as old as navigation itself and many of its rules can be traced back to antiquity. It extends over all navigable waters and is enforced by courts of admiralty.
This law is to be found in the statutory laws of different countries, the decisions of the courts and text-books on the subjects involved. Back of the laws of each particular country is what is termed the general maritime law or common law of the sea, which, like the common law of the land, consists of that general mass of usages and customs which exists by the universal consent and immemorial practice of those doing business by sea. It is effective within particular countries only so far as they consent to follow it, as is the case with international law, of which it is really a part. In general, however, it is recognized and enforced wherever the local laws are silent in regard to maritime transactions.
In the United States, the maritime law is to be found in the Statutes or Acts of Congress and decisions of the Federal Courts. These decisions are published in the United States Reports, Federal Cases and Federal Reporter. In addition there are numerous text-books, among which may be mentioned Parsons onShipping and Admiralty; Benedict's Admiralty; Hughes on Admiralty; Desty on Shipping and Admiralty; Spencer on Collisions and Flanders on Maritime Law. The highest authority is, of course, to be found in theDecisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Constitution provides that the judicial power of the United States shall extend to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; this jurisdiction is confided to the District Courts, of which there are several in each state; appeals lie from their decisions to the Circuit Courts of Appeals; there are nine of these, corresponding to the nine judicial circuits into which the nation is divided; the Supreme Court has a general supervisory jurisdiction over all other courts. While parties having maritime controversies may resort to state courts in cases where the common law affords a remedy, the admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts is so much more effective in all matters pertaining to the ship that they handle practically all the litigation on the subject.