Spring 2017 Course Schedule

Admiralty Law (LAW-603-001)
Steven Snell

Meets: 01:00 PM - 02:50 PM (M) - Room C217

Enrolled: 17 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


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The course will examine both the scope of American admiralty jurisdiction and substantive maritime law through historical texts, modern case law and law review articles. Beginning with a look at the English High Court of Admiralty – a civil law tribunal – the course will explore the origins of unique doctrines of maritime law, such as general average and salvage, as well as the influence of the civil law on the development of modern substantive rules. The course is designed to appeal to students with an interest in comparative law – particularly in differences between the common law and the civil law. The course should also appeal to those with an interest in federalism, as overlapping state/federal maritime jurisdiction serves as an interesting case-study for the more general issue of concurrent jurisdiction under the Constitution. Familiarity with maritime law is also highly useful as an ancillary skill for the practice of international trade law. Modern case law will focus upon the current scope of federal admiralty jurisdiction – as well as upon the substantive rules governing cargo-carriage, leasing of vessels under charterparties, salvage, general average, towage, pilotage, marine insurance, ship-financing, and maritime liens. As much modern substantive law is governed by treaty and/or international business practices, the course should be useful for students who intend to practice either in the U.S. or abroad.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

The casebook for this course will be CASES AND MATERIALS ON ADMIRALTY (5th ed., Nicholas J. Healy, David J. Sharpe & David B. Sharpe eds., 2012) [ISBN: 978-0-314-27512-7] – which contains the excerpts of the cases listed on this syllabus. (Page numbers for cases listed on the syllabus are those of the 5th edition of the casebook.) In addition, the law review articles and excerpts from books that are listed on the syllabus will be available either through online services – such as Lexis, Westlaw, and Hein Online – or through MyWCL. Some of these supplemental readings will be assigned for discussion in class; most are provided as an introductory bibliography for those students who may wish to do research and writing in the field of admiralty law in the future.

Portions of the monograph COURTS OF ADMIRALTY AND THE COMMON LAW: ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT IN CONCURRENT JURISDICTION [ISBN: 978-1-59460-173-6] are assigned reading for the course. Copies will be for sale at the bookstore and online from the publisher, Carolina Academic Press - and two copies are on reserve in the library.

There will be a take-home examination at the end of the semester.

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):