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The University of Southampton

LAWS6075 Admiralty Law

Module Overview

This subject considers a practical aspect of Maritime Law which was developed by the Admiralty Court in England and which has been exported to many countries in the world. It is designed for an audience which may itself be international, with students having a wide variety of legal and commercial experience. Students are expected to investigate and analyse the many International Conventions in the area as well as to handle traditional statutory and case law materials.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • salvage and collision liabilities;
  • liability for passengers;
  • towage and port liabilities;
  • wreck liabilities;
  • limitation of liability;
  • admiralty enforcement procedures and security measures.
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, insurance 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;
  • 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:

  • display clarity and objectivity in written discussion;
  • write legal reports with appropriate referencing;
  • approach new problems in an analytical way.


This course concerns a practical aspect of maritime law which was developed by the Admiralty Court in England and which has influenced many countries in the world. Students will be expected to investigate and analyse the many international conventions in the area as well as to handle the traditional statutory and case law materials as found in a major common law jurisdiction. In addition, students will be introduced to a number of standard form contracts used internationally. Students will need to develop a feel for the maritime commercial context and how Admiralty Law will impinge upon it. To assist your contextual knowledge a visiting speakers' programme has been arranged for Wednesday afternoons. You will be expected to consider what the law is, and what it ought to be, and to be able to detect trends in the law and to point to reforms which are likely or necessary. The course would be of interest to any student interested in practical commercial law and public law. To that extent it has natural affinities with subjects such as Carriage of Goods by Sea, Law of International Trade and the Law of the Sea, although all four stand on their own. Topics covered in the course 1. Introduction to course 2. Salvage 3. Collisions 4. Limitation of liability 5. Wreck Liabilities 6. Passenger Liabilities 7. Towage and Harbours Liabilities 8. Introduction to Enforcement 9. Arrest and Freezing injunctions 10. Maritime liens and priorities 11. Ship sale and purchase (outline)

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • seminars • tutorials Learning activities include: • Class discussion • Practical problem solving activities • Individual research • Use of web based sources

Independent Study260
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

2-3 Volumes of Admiralty materials. 

Mandaraka-Sheppard. Modern Admiralty Law. 

Baughen. Shipping Law. 



Essay or problem question


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay or problem question  (2500 words) 25%
Examination  (3.5 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay or problem question  (2500 words) 25%
Examination  (3.5 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (3.5 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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