The Importance of Maritime Law

Maritime law aims to protect the open seas and the people who use them. It covers 70% of the world’s surface and is one of the most important resources for transport and trade. Without maritime law, the open oceans would quickly become anarchic, and the global economy would eventually collapse. This article will discuss the importance of maritime law and the various areas where it applies.

While the federal courts have original jurisdiction in maritime cases, state courts also have jurisdiction. As such, maritime lawyers must be familiar with concurrent jurisdiction. This is the process where one court handles maritime issues and another court handles land-based disputes. State courts will also hear cases, such as those involving products liability and personal injury.

There are many international conventions that govern maritime law. These include the Salvage Convention and the Visby Amendments. These conventions govern the carriage of goods and passengers on vessels. The United Nations established the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1958. The IMO is responsible for updating existing international maritime conventions and developing new ones as necessary.

Injuries caused by maritime activities are also protected by workers’ compensation laws. While workers who do not qualify as seamen may have certain rights under maritime law, their employers are generally not responsible for these injuries. Employees, however, have other means of recovering compensation. For example, the “doctrine of unseaworthiness” requires ship owners to properly maintain and equip their vessels. Failure to do so will result in injury to crew members. In addition, the law of “maintenance and cure” requires employers to reimburse their employees’ expenses in the event of an injury.

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