The course covers the laws dealing with all aspects of ocean transportation as applied in the United States and, to a certain extent, in England and other jurisdictions. The course starts with an overview of the background and development of admiralty and maritime law in the United States, the scope of admiralty jurisdiction, and some of the procedural problems that are common to the resolution of disputes by admiralty courts and maritime arbitrators. Issues relating to the uniformity of maritime law and preemption of state law will be discussed.
The course will cover most substantive areas of maritime law, including marine insurance, carriage of goods, charterparties, maritime casualties, salvage, limitation of liability, personal injury, and marine pollution and protection of the environment. The role of the major international maritime law conventions and government regulation of ocean shipping will be considered.
Students may, if they wish, supplement the classwork and final examination with a short paper aimed at developing skills in researching the maritime law of the United States, England, and/or civil law jurisdictions.