A ship

A ship is defined as a vessel used in transport of people and goods. The ship is regarded to be bigger or larger than the boats and is distinguished from them on the basis of size, cargo, shape and the passenger capacity. The ships are mostly used on seas, lakes, and rivers for different activities, i.e. transport of people, goods, entertainment, public safety, fishing, and warfare(Thomas, 1999). Ships were traditionally made for sailing people and goods, but today there is a lot of activities the ships are involved in. The different activities the ships has been involved and the different representations that have to be made makes the maritime or admiral law look into ships in a different way than we do. This paper discusses the reason lawyers fuss about ship despite our understanding of the word ship.

According to the lawyers, the liabilities involved with the ship requires there to be different understandings and definition of the word ship. The vessels carryout different activities, and the shipping laws requires representing each and every aspect of the ship operations. The legal definition of the word ships and shipping brings the excitement expressed by the lawyers into the light. The words ships and shipping refer to the rights, liabilities and duties relating to the use of navigable waters while transporting people or ships commercially or non-commercially (USLEGAL, Inc., 2014). Maritime law involves a number of enactments relative to the authority and control of maritime matters. Shipping law that the lawyers deduce their arguments from is an area concerned with the ship, the people employed in or around it and the goods being shipped by the vessel(Duhaim.org, 2014).

When it comes to answering of any issues related to the vessel the lawyers are more concerned with representing their clients, and this are the times they try and bring out the distinctions of the vessels. Cargo ships are then to be treated as cargo ship, those sailing people will be treated same and there is the representation of the ship’s owner (Bundock, 2013). We as individuals we view a ship as a vesselbut lawyers will apply different meaning of the same even as the process someone sends goods to another place, all to bring about arguments in several cases. However, the lawyers try to apply distinct terms regarding the vessel in question trying to support the side they have taken and win their cases(Nordquist, et al. 2014). Ships carry a lot of wealth with it and maritime lawyers are expected to represent the ship owners and the activities in the best way possible worth the price to be paid. Every event and occurrence has to critically evaluated making sure that law has been followed and if any compensation is to be made the law has to be followed(Gold, et al, 2003).

Under the admiralty or maritime law limitation of liability is one of the distinctive features which accords ship owners and other individuals at times limit to the amount of liability under the different circumstances involved regarding the contract claims and respect of tort involved (Gauci, 1995). This liability depends on the type of breach or negligence of the law mostly in damages caused by the ship. The limit granted by countries requires proof that there was no direct fault or fault emanating from negligence or ignorance(Matison, 2014). The lawyers in such situations will come up with different meanings and definitions of the ship regarding its operations trying to defend or incriminate for the sake of finding justice. Limitation of liability in countries like the United States is equal to the value of the ship plus the earnings of the voyage that the ship was involved in during the casualty time(Percy, 2006). This situation as seen can bring up different claims as the lawyers try to defend and proof some points regarding the ships operation at the time of thecasualty. Due to the different charters involved the lawyers get excited with ship issues or maritime law as they can argue their cases in many ways due to lack of limitations or specific laws (Mejia, & Mukherjee, 2013).

In the United Kingdom, the limit of liability is £28 or its equivalent then multiplied by adjusted net tonnage of the ship irrespective of its actual value. This limit is drawn from the limitation of liability convention of 1957 by nations that have ratified Brussels convention, (Healy, 2014). The limitation of liability depends on the country the vessel is charged, and the courts view on the casualty. The events related to limitation of liability varies and at times when vessels were involved in disasters ship-owners could be required to give up the ownership under what is known as abandonment theory. Abandoning the vessel to the claimants is advice offered to ship-owners a way out as at times the ships were wrecked beyond repair and others were sunk which only means the claimants got nothing(Baatz, 2014). Having the lawyers today specialize in maritime law makes the decisions made fair as the case will follow the charters made by the courts or the parliament and in countries like United States enactments by the congress. This subject becomes of excitement as the lawyers get to apply different terms and claims to justify payment or non-payments of the claimants as well as trying to defend the ship owner(Schoenbaum, 2001). However, the laws passed in the respective country depend on the route under which the case will take for the countries without aclear law. This difference in the international maritime law’s makes the lawyers bring up different arguments regarding ships(MCLEOD, MW 2014).

Ships are less compared to other forms of transport, but their capacity and money value is higher than other forms of transport. In the United Kingdom maritime sector earns the country a total of £31.5 billion to the (GDPMaritime UK, 2014).  When lawyers get involved with the ship operations, they take the process a big deal depending on the part they represent. Crew members have to be represented, ship owners, passengers and the owners to the goods the ship holds. The issue here is the ship commercial activity and differentiating that from other activities. Lawyers want to have ships regarded for good transport have only the goods and crew members and when representing the ship judgment be made on regards to its operations as a goods transport vessel(Baughen, S., 2009). When representing passenger ships the ship is required to be defined only in terms of passenger transport operations. Winning cases related to ships is crucial and beneficial as they acquire a lot of money from the cases(International directory of shipping lawyers, 2002).

Ships are known to be bigger boats due to their large capacities but for lawyers the ships can be differentiated according to their operations. Ships or vessels operate in bigger water bodies, and the value of their voyages is very high making the maritime law field lucrative. Lawyers apply every mean to satisfy their clients not only as a job but also to benefit from the large amounts of cash involved. It is logical in away to try and judge cases regarding the ships depending with the operations a ship is involvedin.


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Matison K., Comparison of Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Schemes, Lloyd’s Maritime Training Programme, http://lanepoweel.com/pdf/pubs/matisonk_002.pdf (Accessed 20th Dec. 2014).

Nordquist, M. H., Moore, J. N., Soons, A. H., & Kim, H., 2012. The Law of the Sea Convention: US accession and globalization. Leiden: Nijhoff.

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