Also called “maritime law” or “the law of admiralty,” the laws and regulations, including international agreements and treaties, which exclusively govern activities at sea or in any navigable waters. In the United States, federal courts have jurisdiction over maritime law
The law of admiralty is a complex area of law which, goes back to antiquity. It is a classic discipline and, it is said to be the only true body of international law, a lingua franca through which people of different nations can come together to deal with the promise, profits and perils of voyages at sea. It also includes, however, some recent developments borne out of the economic and environmental challenges of the late twentieth century. In addition to traditional commercial topics, admiralty can be said to include the laws which regulate the ever increasing recreational boating activities such as cruising, fishing and racing.