Maritime law is the body of law governing the activities of seafarers and mariners. The Mediterranean under Roman rule was the hub of the western world and the principal commercial highway. Under the guidance of the Romans, maritime law developed into a uniform, supranational body of law. This comprehensiveness was never lost despite the gradual decline of Roman rule and the arrival of barbarian invasions from the south. The principal Mediterranean seaports maintained their independence despite the barbarians’ influence, and the transition into the Middle Ages was gradual.
Under maritime law, the shipowner must provide maintenance and basic medical care to their injured crew members during their time at sea. This includes paying for wheelchairs and pain medication, as well as the wages necessary to keep the seaman’s health in good condition. In addition to the medical and financial support that these workers need, the shipowner is also responsible for their attorney’s fees and the cost of maintaining the ship while the seaman recovers. Punitive damages may also be awarded if the shipowner violates its maintenance obligations.
Admiralty law is another form of maritime law. This body of law governs navigation and commerce on navigable waters. It has jurisdiction over maritime relations between nations. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed on Dec. 10, 1982. The Maritime Law Organization (ITLOS) tribunal in Hamburg hears disputes involving maritime matters. Its goal is to promote the interests of seafarers while ensuring that all maritime activities are safe and legal.