The Federation Press

Australian Maritime Law


The third edition of Australian Maritime Law by Michael White follows on from the first and the second editions of which he was the editor and wrote some of the chapters. In those earlier editions many eminent Australian maritime lawyers contributed chapters from their own point of view but in this new edition the author has tried to bring a consistency of treatment of the topics which flows from the one author writing the entire work.

There are 17 Chapters and they start with Australian Admiralty Jurisdiction and Constitutional Law and work through the Arrest of Ships and the Admiralty Act 1988, Charter Parties, Carriage of Goods, Carriage of Passengers and Marine Insurance and General Average. The chapters then move on to cover Registration of Ships and Securities, Navigation and Ship Safety laws, Maritime Labour Law before then covering the ‘wet side’ of shipping. These chapters cover the topics of Collisions, Marine Inquiries, Salvage and Wreck, Underwater Cultural Heritage, Towage and Pilotage. The last chapters deal with the Australian international conventions and legislation covering Limitation of Liability, Marine Pollution, Criminal Jurisdiction and ends with the law of Prize and a recommendation that Australia needs to have suitable laws and courts for detaining the ships, cargo and crews in time of conflict.


Reviews of previous edition:

Some 10 years ago I welcomed into Australian legal literature the first edition of Australian Maritime Law, edited by Michael White. Now, as any successful legal text should do, it has experienced a re-birth in this second edition, which not only brings the text up to date but includes much new material in this dynamic area of law. It includes one entirely new chapter all about no less than 37 international maritime institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, ranging from the well known International Maritime Organisation to the International Maritime Lecturers Association.... - Foreword by The Rt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen AC, GCMG, GCVO, KBE

The preface states that the book aims to fill the need for an up-to-date Austrlaian general text which covers the major distinct areas of maritime law, summing up the publication very well.
... The second edition is a timely update and follows the same formula as the first. All chapters have been reviewed or completely rewritten to incorporate changes in the law over the past nine years.
The authors of the various chapters are well known and respected ...
The second edition of 'Australian Maritime Law' will be a valuable acquisition for students of maritime law and for practitioners ... Indeed, all those in the maritime industry whose duties or activities include an involvement with maritime law will find the book of great practical assistance. - Proctor (Queensland Law Society), March 2001

This is the second edition of a well-known, indeed classic, Australian textbook. ... a new edition of this book is welcome. Notwithstanding that it is the work of many hands, this book gives a comprehensive and thorough coverage of the main areas of maritime law from an Australian perspective. ...For the new edition, every chapter has been updated. Some have also been substantially reworked and some largely rewritten, including much new material. The result is a book which is significantly longer than the first edition and which leaves even fewer gaps in its coverage of the area. This is in line with the editor's aim to produce a comprehensive text treating every major aspect of the subject, rather than just a collection of essays about various parts of it. For that reason it can safely be used by practitioners as a textbook, notwithstanding the diversity of authorship.I think this second edition is likely to have as devoted a following as the first. The eminence of many of the authors and the thoroughness and clarity of their treatment of the subject matter make it a place which practitioners with maritime or admiralty problems will want to visit early in their research. It is a useful complement to other Australian works in the field, and an excellent stand-alone text. - Law Institute Journal (Victoria), June 2001

The elite of Australia's maritime academics have gathered under Michael White's editorship …
[His] second edition clothes the dry bones of legislation with the sparkling robe of insight into how cargoes are shipped, their insurance, finance, navigation and, unfortunately, their salvage. Marine environment and international law of the sea are not included, however, White's work on oil spills - Marine Pollution Laws of the Australasian Region [Federation Press], 1994 - is a most useful reference.
Of particular note in the revisions to Australian Maritime Law are Alexander Street SC and Blake Larkin's amendment of the chapter on collisions and groundings to include a broader discussion of liability and maritime inquiries. …
Peter McDermott expands his work on ship mortgages to include finance issues and the application of general law principles. This comprehensive chapter includes mortgages, discharge, transfers, priority, caveats and deregistration, indeed, all matters where the Shipping Registration Act 1981 has relevance to securities. The chapter concludes with admiralty's perennial controversy: the cargo securities and liens that often pose problems in practice. …
White has produced yet another successful maritime law text that should be in the libraries of all commercial lawyers. - Law Society Journal (NSW), Vol 39(7), August 2001

Simply to read this review does not automatically give one an appreciation of the depth of this book. I found it immensely interesting and educational. - Law Society of Tasmania Newsletter, September 2001

[Despite being a specialised area of practice, maritime law] is a fun subject to read about. The chapters of this work are filled with maritime and admiralty language so vivid ... that it conjures Hornblower-like imagery of life and the law on the high seas.
However, for those who practise in this important area, or are caught in its controversies, this work is a most valuable reference. - Ethos (Law Society of the ACT), December 2001

Table of Contents

About the Author
Table of Acronyms
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

1. Admiralty Jurisdiction and Australian Constitutional Background
2. Admiralty Jurisdiction; Admiralty Act 1988; Actions in Rem; Arrest of Ships; Maritime Liens; Priorities
3. Charter Parties and Contracts of Affreightment
4. Carriage of Goods
5. Carriage of Passengers
6. Marine Insurance; General Average
7. Ownership; Registration; Securities
8. Navigation; Shipping; Safety
9. Maritime Labour Law
10. Marine Collisions and Groundings; Marine Inquiries
11. Salvage; Wreck; Underwater Cultural Heritage
12. Towage
13. Pilotage
14. Limitation of Liability
15. Marine Pollution: Ships and Offshore Platforms
16. Criminal Jurisdiction; Piracy
17. Prize, Prize Salvage, Bounty and Ransom


Of interest...