Edited by Jason Chuah
Chapter 13: Maritime conflict of laws: zonal and jurisdictional issues in perspective
The topic of conflict of laws also referred to as private international law is discussed as a dual-purpose endeavour. Against the background of the fundamental premises of conflict of laws, the chapter examines how they apply to incidents in maritime zones and the high seas under UNCLOS. In the first part the basic theoretical principles of conflict of laws are reviewed. The traditional viewpoint is followed by an extrapolated modified version of the substance-procedure dichotomy demonstrated by reference to selected areas of maritime/admiralty law. The second part concerns a depiction of maritime zones and associated case law touching on international disputes involving torts and contracts. The case of Virgin Media Ltd v Joseph Whelan T/A M & J Fish is examined in detail. International criminal cases are also discussed. In conclusion it is opined that there is considerable room for further deliberation within the international maritime community to address relevant issues and gaps in the law by way of refining and streamlining the current international regimes involving considerations of conflict of laws principles respecting occurrences in the maritime zones and the high seas.
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