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Merchant Shipping Law: Development of National and Customary Law for Safety of Life at Sea


Title: Merchant Shipping Law
Subtitle: Development of National and Customary Law for Safety of Life at Sea
Subject Classification: Law and Legal Ethics, History 
BIC Classification: LBBK, LBDM, HBTM
BISAC Classification: LAW066000, HIS057000, LAW060000
Binding: Hardback, Paperback, ebook, pp.556
Publication date: 6th September 2023
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-80441-274-9
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-80441-472-9
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-80441-275-6

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This unique book charts the regulation of British ships throughout the nineteenth century, from no regulation in 1800, to enactment in the 1890s, of a model of customary and national maritime law adopted by many States. Primary issues addressed include unseaworthiness, overloading, under-manning, lack of qualifications, dangerous cargoes, loss of life, collision avoidance, lifesaving appliances, marine insurance and maritime administration.

These matters are analysed in the context of the societal, political, technical and historical issues of the day, including an entrenched laissez faire attitude amongst politicians to any regulation of ships. Regardless of the huge loss of life at sea throughout the nineteenth century, recalled through accounts of many long-forgotten shipwrecks, loss of life finally waned towards the very end of the century.

The primary audience will be academics, maritime lawyers, maritime training institutions, students of international maritime law, law libraries, international maritime organisations, maritime and legal historians, book agents and all those interested in maritime history, safety of life at sea and the development of maritime law. The author is a widely experienced Chartered Master Mariner, shipmaster, maritime administrator and academic.


Author: Captain John N.K. Mansell, PhD, is a Chartered Master Mariner and Fellow of the Nautical Institute of London; former General Manager, Maritime Operations with Maritime New Zealand; and an independent maritime regulatory advisor to New Zealand and South Pacific Governments and the private sector.


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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