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Maritime Law Research Guide
This guide is intended as a starting point for research in maritime and admiralty law at Georgetown Law Library. Contents of this guide include sources for primary and secondary law, in both print and electronic formats, as well as relevant government agencies and professional associations.
As one of the oldest bodies of law, Maritime and Admiralty Law began long before the United States existed. Most generally speaking, this area concerns regulation of activities involving transport of cargo and passengers over water. Today, the U.S. federal courts have been granted exclusive jurisdiction over this field, which covers all matters related to waters navigable within the United States for interstate or foreign commerce. The following treatises are considered the leading texts on Maritime and Admiralty Law and can be valuable resources when beginning research in this area.
- Three volume reference to the special procedures, rules, jurisdiction questions and remedies of American admiralty and maritime law, regularly updated with pocket parts
- The authorative multi-volume looseleaf treatise on admiralty and maritime law; all aspects of maritime law are discussed - includes practice and procedure forms
- This treatise provides coverage of maritime law governing rights and obligations of merchant seamen; it includes statutes, rules, and case law
PRIMARY LAW SOURCES
Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants the federal courts jurisdiction over cases involving admiralty and maritime issues. Federal admiralty decisions authorized for publication are available through the West Federal Reporter system. Because admiralty cases may be removed to state courts, some decisions are available in state court reporters.
American Maritime Cases (AMC) is a reporter devoted to maritime cases. It maintains its own headnotes and digesting system. It is available in print in the library at KF1100.A2 A4 or online via Lexis (Browse Sources > Search Sources > American Maritime Cases) or Westlaw.
There are three titles of the U.S. Code primarily relevant to the area of Admiralty and Maritime Law:
- Title 14: contains all laws about the U.S. Coast Guard, both regular and reserve
- Title 33: concerns Navigation and Navigable Waters; includes Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (from HeinOnline) codified in Ch. 18
- Title 46: addresses Shipping, contains three major laws
There are four sections of the Code of Federal Regulations most relevant to Admiralty and Maritime Law:
- Title 33 - Navigation and Navigable Waters
- Title 46 - Shipping
- Title 47, Part 80 - Stations in the Maritime Services
- Title 49, TSA, Subchapter D - Maritime & Land Transportation Safety
Books & Treatises
In addition to the treatises listed above, you may also find the following sources useful:
- This volume published by the Federal Judicial Center is intended to introduce lawyers and judges to the area of maritime and admiralty law; it covers major statutes, including the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the Pomerene Act, the Harter Act, the Jones Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act
Grant Gilmore & Charles Black, The Law of Admiralty (1975), KF1104 .G47
- Although Gilmore and Black has not been updated since 1975, it is still one of the leading treatises on the subject of maritime law
- A guide to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea at the regional and national levels; covers maritime laws and regulations addressing issues such as piracy, fishing, shipping, navigation, environmental protection, and boundaries
Academic Journals and Bibliographies
There are a few journals devoted to maritime law issues:
- Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, K10 .O58
- Loyola Maritime Law Journal, K12 .O92
- Tulane Maritime Law Journal, K25 .U44
- University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, K25 .N734
From 2003 to 2009, the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce published an annual annotated bibliography of maritime articles published in non-maritime journals.
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya & Melanie Oberlin, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2008), 40 J. Mar. L. & Com. 149-184 (2009).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya & Melanie Oberlin, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2007), 39 J. Mar. L. & Com. 229-273 (2008).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya & Melanie Oberlin, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2006), 38 J. Mar. L. & Com. 229-258 (2007).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya & Melanie Oberlin, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2005), 37 J. Mar. L. & Com. 589-614 (2006).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2004), 36 J. Mar. L. & Com. 405-423 (2005).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2003), 35 J. Mar. L. & Com. 405-429 (2004).
- H. Kumar Percy Jayasuriya, Admiralty and Maritime Law Articles Published in Non-Maritime Law Journals (2002), 34 J. Mar. L. & Com. 511-526 (2003).
News & Current Awareness
Benedict's Maritime Bulletin: quarterly serial focused on the maritime law field; includes articles on current topics, legislation, and decisions of interest - available on Lexis > Browse Sources > Search Sources > Benedict's Maritime Bulletin
The Maritime Executive: digital version of a business journal focused on maritime news, jobs, events, and industry analysis
Admiralty and Maritime Law Blogs
Frank L. Maraist et al., Admiralty in a Nutshell (6th ed. 2010), KF1105 .M34 2010
- Offers a concise overview of admiralty law
- Regulates common carriers by water and other persons involved in the foreign commerce of the U.S. under provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 [46 U.S.C. app. 1701-1720]; section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 [46 U.S.C. app. 876]; the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 [46 U.S.C. app. 1710a]; sections 2 and 3, Pub. L. 89-777, Financial Responsibility for Death or Injury to Passengers and for Non-Performance of Voyages [46 U.S.C. app. 817d and 817e]; and other applicable statutes
- Governs U.S. transportation and infrastructure. Of the many subcommitees on transportation the one most focused upon maritime issues is the Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation
- Governs U.S. commerce, science & transportation
Maritime Administration - Department of Transportation
- MARAD programs promote the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced United States merchant marine, sufficient to carry the Nation's domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of service as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency; seeks to ensure that the United States maintains adequate shipbuilding and repair services, efficient ports, effective intermodal water and land transportation systems, and reserve shipping capacity for use in time of national emergency
- The United States Coast Guard is a military, multimission, maritime service within the Department of Transportation and one of the nation's five armed services; its core roles are to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways
Associations and Organizations
- Professional organization concerned with improvements in the maritime law; membership consists of lawyers involved in maritime matters, judges active in matters involving admiralty issues, admiralty law professors, and non-lawyers who are selected because they hold responsible positions in the maritime field and have rendered distinguished service in the advancement of maritime law or its administration
- Publications Library contains: Amicus Briefs; Articles & Speeches; Board Minutes; Committee Agenda; Minutes & Materials; Committee Reports & Newsletters; Forms for Membership; Directory Updates; Meeting Information; MLA Administrative Guides; Position Papers; President's Newsletters; Resolutions; Seminar Papers and Materials; Transcripts of Meetings
- Nonprofit organization with mission to educate maritime industry and general public about alternative dispute resolution procedures and encourage the use of ADR in the industry
- Provides access to arbitration, mediation, and salvage rules, model documents and clauses, and the archives of The Arbitrator, a quarterly newsletter about recent developments in the field
- This ABA Committee is focused on providing programming and events geared towards attorneys practicing in the area of Admiralty and Maritime Law
FURTHER RESEARCH TOOLS
The following subject headings will be useful when searching library catalogs for materials on the subject of U.S. Maritime and Admiralty Law:
Admiralty and Maritime Law Guide: from WWW Virtual Library
- Includes over 1,500 annotated links to admiralty law resources on the Internet and a growing database of admiralty case digests, opinions and international maritime conventions.
Admiralty: from Cornell University Legal Information Institute
- General overview of admiralty law with links to primary sources and other online resources
Admiralty and Maritime Law Bibliography: created and maintained by law librarians at University of Richmond School of Law
- Comprehensive bibliography organized by subject; includes links to primary and secondary materials in print and online
Updated 4/9/2010 (sas)
Updated 3/19/2014 (SG)
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