Admiralty Court

Definition of Admiralty court

The Admiralty court is any court having jurisdiction under the law of the sea, who hear shipping, ocean and judicial Affairs of the sea, whether or not the court is officially titled Admiralty court, or is granted official jurisdiction of Admiralty business. While historically the Admiralty courts were separate courts, in modern times official of the jurisdiction for Maritime law generally falls under the part of the General judicial system as a rule, in Federal or superior court.

Breaking down the ‘Admiralty court’

Admiralty courts are those that exercise jurisdiction over all Maritime contracts, torts, injuries or offences relating to the law of the sea and events at sea. As a rule, Admiralty courts hear civil actions. The court may then hear a series of cases relating to shipping, boating, insurance matters related to either of the vessels or their cargoes, collisions at sea, also in civil cases of sailors, passengers and cargo, salvage claims, claims for damages by the courts, a dispute over the ownership of ships and pollution of the marine environment. Admiralty courts can also issue a Maritime lien against the vessel, which allowed the court or its appointees to arrest and seize the ship to settle the claims against him. Can be seized in other countries is governed by the Admiralty courts of these countries and any agreements that may be in force.

History of Admiralty courts

Historically, Admiralty courts comes from the depth of centuries. In England, for example, Admiralty courts date back to the mid 1300 years. At that time they were under the jurisdiction of the admirals, hence their name. In the United States, which has a much shorter history of Maritime law than in Europe, the founders stipulated that the Federal courts will have jurisdiction in respect of Admiralty law, because marine issues often relate to issues of national importance, and it was enshrined in the Constitution.

More recently, and, as a rule, jurisdiction over matters under the Admiralty courts was transferred to another judicial systems in most countries, usually at the Federal or superior court. In the jurisdiction of the United States is under Federal district courts, in Canada at the Federal court, and in the UK in the high court. When such courts consider issues relating to the law of the sea, however, they are still commonly referred to as Admiralty courts. In the US, when Federal courts serve as the courts of Maritime Affairs, they do not use a jury and have unique rules of court.

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