all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.This jurisdiction covers all maritime contracts, torts, injuries or offenses, and questions of prize. In cases of collision at sea, the parties may under the Judiciary Act of 1789 bring suits at common law; otherwise all maritime cases come to the federal courts. The jurisdiction extends to all navigable waters of the United States, and much of the law is now governed by federal statutes. Though maritime law is general in character, only those parts that determine the relations among nations—particularly those that deal with problems arising on the seas in wartime, such as questions of belligerency and neutrality—are part of the international law proper. See admiralty; blockade; piracy; privateering; seas, freedom of the; London, Declaration of; Paris, Declaration of. See also sea, law of the.
See H. Reiff, The United States and the Treaty Law of the Sea (1959); R. P. Anand, The Origin and Development of the Law of the Sea (1983); R. R. Churchill and A. V. Lowe, The Law of the Sea (2d ed. 1988).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: International Law