Law and Rights
A brief look at one of the specialist branches of the law - Admiralty
English law has many specialist branches and, as an island nation, a system of courts developed to deal with disputes arising from shipping. These courts were known as Admiralty Courts and dealt with matters such as collisions at sea, cargo, chartering of vessels and marine insurance. In the late Victorian period the court structure was reformed by the Judicature Acts 1873-75 which created the High Court of Justice and brought within that court a considerable variety of jurisdiction previously dealt with by separate courts such as Admiralty and, from the ecclesiastical courts, probate and divorce.
Today, the High Court Queen's Bench Division has within it some specialist courts: the Administrative Court; the Admiralty Court; Technology and Construction Court and the Commercial Court.
Each year there is a small number of Admiralty cases heard in the High Court. Also, certain County Courts have some Admiralty jurisdiction. A recent Admiralty Court case was concerned with a collision between two ships and the apportionment of the losses - see here. The judgment of David Steel J extends to just 33 paragraphs and is a model of succinctness and clarity. The Judge sat with Captain Derek Richards, an Elder Brother of Trinity House, who acted as Nautical Assessor and advised the Judge on matters such as seamanship and navigation. The use of an assessor in the High Court is unusual and is a feature of the Admiralty jurisdiction. It helps to reduce reliance on expert witnesses. Could it be usefully adopted in other areas?
See also Careers at Sea and the Merchant Navy Training Board
Law Careers - Admiralty
The Honourable Company of Master Mariners
- Contributory Negligence ~ Supreme Court Decision
Here is an interesting case from Scotland. The legal principles involved will be much the same for England and Wales. The facts of the case arose 11 years ago - in 2004. A collision took place on an "A" road near the junction...
- Rolls Building Now In Use: Oligarchs Fighting In London: Premiership Football Viewing Etc
The Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, LondonUpdated High Court extension: The latest extension to the High Court's accommodation in London is the "Rolls Building" and it has come into use. Russell Conway, writing in the Solicitor's Journal...
- Reflections On Church And State
Westminster AbbeyThe Royal Wedding was held on Friday 29th April at the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster - normally simply referred to as ?Westminster Abbey.? The Abbey is part and parcel of the Church of England of which Her Majesty...
- Youth Court Trial
Persons under age 18 are normally tried in the Youth Courts which are based in Magistrates' Courts throughout England and Wales. Magistrates have to be specifically authorised to sit in the youth court and the authorisation is achieved by undertaking...
- Tribunals: A Major Reform Is Now Well Under Way
In England and Wales, criminal cases are heard before either the Magistrates? Courts or the Crown Court of England and Wales. Non-criminal cases ? referred to as CIVIL cases or matters ? are heard by the County Courts or by the High Court or by a TRIBUNAL....
Law and Rights