Maritime Law

Introduction to Maritime Law Maritime Law, branch of law relating to commerce and navigation on the high seas and on other navigable waters. Specifically, the term refers to the body of customs, legislation, international treaties, and court decisions pertaining to ownership and operation […]


A shallow draft, walled-in marine conveyance used to haul cargo, usually in bulk. A barge may be self-propelled, although it is more commonly pulled or pushed by a tug or other vessel. Barges are used principally on inland waterways, although some oceangoing vessels are specially equipped to carry b…

Jones Act

Summary of Jones Act

A provision of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 designed to clarify the law by which a seaman could recover for injuries sustained in the course of employment. An earlier act (38 Stat. 1164 [1915]) had permitted seamen to recover more than cure and maintenance for […]


Summary of Salvage In maritime law, the compensation allowed to persons through whose assistance a ship or its cargo is saved in whole or in part. Four elements are essential to validate a salvage claim: (1) a marine peril must have existed; (2) the service must have been voluntary; (3) the […]

General Average

Summary of General Average

An ancient principle in international maritime law requiring a contribution by the vessel and cargo interests to pay for "extraordinary expenses and sacrifices"incurred in saving the vessel and its cargo. The term average derives from an Arabic word […]


Summary of Adventure

In marine insurance, any maritime enterprise. The term is most commonly used to denote the risks undertaken by a vessel and her cargo in the course of transiting the seas.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Description of Adventure Resources See Also Joint […]

International Maritime Organization

Summary of International Maritime Organization

A specialized agency of the United Nations concerned with maritime safety and protection of the marine environment. The IMO was created as the result of the United Nations Maritime Conference of 1948; the convention creating the IMO did not, […]

War Risks

The risks borne by a cargo owner or shipper that his goods will be lost or damaged owing to hostile actions at sea. Marine cargo policies exclude war risks from coverage, responding only for marine perils such as sinking, fire, collision, and various perils of the sea. War risks are covered in a sep…