Nuances of Maritime Law
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  • Nuances of Maritime Law

    Maritime law which is also known as the shipping law encompasses in its ambit a vast array of subjects in its scope including goods carriage through sea, marine insurance, laws and regulations regarding the registration and ownership of ships, building of marine contracts and sale of shops, financing for ships, ship mortgages, laws pertaining to collisions, aspects related to ship manning and control, liability limitation, salvage etc. The law also treats such elements like   maritime liens, priority and claims of maritime liens, laws regarding port and customs, etc.

    We can trace the origin of such maritime laws in India to the British period.

    Hence a number of legislations were made in this regard and such laws were adopted by the Indian parliament with timely adoption and amendment.

    The maritime law in India had its origin in the English statues. It can be stated for certain that the maritime law in India has its prime thrust on the English statues regarding the admiralty jurisdiction. The maritime law in India has also been influenced by the legal authority and power exercised by the English courts over the foreign ships at that time. Different types of statues going along with different types of maritime laws which were prevalent at that time have contributed to the high level of jurisdictional powers enjoyed by the English courts during the ancient time. These statues contained the spirit and clauses from many international conventions and render a format of law which is similar to many international countries. However, despite its heavy dependence on the international law, we cannot dismiss its indebtedness to local laws as well. 

    This is equally true to the context of maritime laws in India as well. The legislations applicable to the Indian maritime context include Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, the Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act, Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.


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