|Admiralty & Maritime
Admiralty and Maritime Laws govern navigation and shipping not only in U.S. tidal waters, but also any waters within the United States used for navigation (navigable waters). These generally include the oceans of the world as well as large lakes or rivers that can be used for commercial shipping. Navigable waters are divided into territorial waters and the high seas. Territorial waters are close to land while the high seas are waters that are further away from land.
Maritime law, admiralty law, marine law, the law of marine insurance and the law of the sea, barges, ships, shipping, commercial vessels, fisheries, offshore oil and gas rigs, semi-submersible drilling rigs, jack-up drilling rigs, commerce, seamen, passengers and cargoes, salvage, towing and towage, wharves, piers, docks, insurance, maritime liens, canals, pleasure and recreation water craft, and even piracy (ship hijacking) all fall within the admiralty/maritime law area.
What laws govern Admiralty and Maritime?
There are state admiralty and maritime laws. But, the general federal maritime law as set down in United States statutes and decisions of federal appellate courts and United States Supreme Court pre-empt and take precedence over all state laws. The source of federal maritime law is the United States Congress in the U.S. Code and also in written case decisions announced by the United States Courts (federal common law).
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