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LAWS3143 Admiralty 1 (Liability)

Module Overview

Admiralty Law 1 (Liability) is an exciting course dealing with the laws applicable to shipping operations and the liabilities that may arise. Liabilities arising from shipping accidents, covering loss of life, damage to property, pollution as well as special liability regimes for salvage assistant and wreck removal are all discussed. The discussion includes the application of tort principles to collision accidents, contract law to contracts of towage, salvage and wreck removal as well as the introduction to international conventions providing for strict liability for the shipowner for some types of damage. This module can count as one of the Maritime Option modules that students on the LLB Maritime Law need to select from. The subject is continued in the Admiralty 2 module.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide you with: • a knowledge and understanding of the main principles of Admiralty Law and the commercial, safety and environmental policies and values which underpin it. • experience in dealing with legal principles deriving from variety of legal instruments, including international conventions, statutes, case law and standard form maritime contracts. • skills of legal analysis and problem solving at an advanced level in a commercial law subject with an international aspect.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main principles which govern Admiralty liabilities
  • the main commercial, safety and environmental policies and values underpinning Admiralty Law.
  • the existing areas of debate about what the law is and what it ought to be, both in U.K. and internationally.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse relevant legal materials, including international conventions, statutes, case law and standard form maritime contracts.
  • identify key legal and policy issues in their commercial, safety and environmental contexts.
  • apply Admiralty principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex practical problems involving multiple regimes of liability
  • draft legal advice based upon such problems being alert to issues of academic integrity while doing so
  • critically appraise and offer solutions in existing areas of debate in U.K. and international maritime law.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and locate relevant l materials
  • think critically in relation to policy issues
  • plan and manage your studying and see how this can engage with your personal and professional development


The main principles which govern Admiralty liabilities, including: • salvage and salvage contracts • collision • carriage of passengers, • towage and dock liabilities, • wreck removal • marine pollution

Special Features

This module is important for students wishing to work in firms specialising in maritime law. The Institute of Maritime Law runs a series of voluntary seminars on Wednesday afternoons given by brokers, insurers, judges, arbitrators, solicitors and others specialising in the maritime field to supplement and enhance the students understanding of the practical and commercial background to this subject.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include Teaching will be by one two hour seminar per week. Learning activities include Seminars will develop: • the structure of the subject and the presently applicable principles and policies • the major controversies and problems existing in relation to the interpretation of the legal provisions • draft legal instruments which are expected to change the law applicable

Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Completion of assessment task15
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hill, C. (2004). Maritime Law. 

Gault, S., et al, ed., (2014). Marsden, Collisions at Sea. 

Baughen, S (2012). Shipping Law. 

Aleka Mandaraka-Sheppard (2014). Modern Maritime Law (Volumes 1 and 2) (Maritime and Transport Law Library). 

Brice, G. (2012). Brice on Maritime Law of Salvage. 

Yvonne Baatz (ed.) (2015). Maritime Law. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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