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Australian Maritime Law

4th edition





Publication date




Page extent


AUD $245.00 gst included

SKU: 9781760022501 Category:

Justice Sarah Derrington joins longstanding author, Dr Michael White OAM QC, for the fourth edition of this leading maritime law text. There has been much legislative change and development in the case law in the six-year period since the third edition, and the authors have thoroughly updated the text to capture the state of the law as it stands in 2020. Justice Derrington has principally contributed the chapters on the ‘dry’ aspects of shipping, while Dr White has mostly contributed the chapters on the ‘wet’ aspects of shipping.

There are 16 chapters, starting with Admiralty jurisdiction and the Australian constitutional background, then to the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth) and related matters. The chapters move on to cover the ‘dry’ shipping topics: carriage of goods by sea (in two parts); carriage of passengers; marine insurance and general average; ownership, registration, and securities; and navigation and shipping safety. The chapters addressing the ‘wet’ aspects of shipping concern: navigation, shipping, and safety; maritime labour law; collisions; salvage, wreck, and underwater cultural heritage; towage; pilotage; limitation of liability; marine pollution; and criminal jurisdiction. This fourth edition also includes a new section addressing some of the competition law issues relevant to shipping in Australia.

Australian Maritime Law remains a must-have reference work for all practitioners with any involvement in shipping in Australia.


Table of Acronyms
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

1 Admiralty Jurisdiction and Australian Constitutional Background
2 Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth); Actions In Rem; Arrest Of Ships; Maritime Liens; Priorities
3 Carriage of Goods by Sea Part A: Charterparties and Contracts of Affreightment
4 Carriage of Goods by Sea Part B: Sea Carriage Documents and Cargo Claims
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

About the Authors and Research Assistants

Reviews of previous edition:

This edition has been re-written from the second edition published in 2000. Inevitably in that 14-year period there has been statutory change and developing case law.
These matters and others are skillfully interwoven in this 700 odd page edition.

Cahal Fairfield, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, November 2014

The Third Edition of Dr Michael White’s Australian Maritime Law provides a long over due re-write of a text that has become a ‘must have’ for any Australian practitioner with an interest in legal matters associated with shipping operations in the Australian maritime environment.
The book contains ample reference to both Australian domestic legislation and relevant international legal instruments with helpful instruction regarding the effect of the differing legal regimes.
Overall, Australian Maritime Law reflects the author’s careful attention to detail … The book is an authoritative publication that fills a unique place in the Australian maritime legal arena.

David Letts, Ethos, ACT Law Society, September 2014

Michael White has produced a very important “new” treatise on Australian maritime law as it operates today.
It is anticipated that the book will become required reading in maritime law classes, and maritime law and shipping industry offices both nationally and internationally. In particular, maritime lawyers overseas with an interest in the Australian maritime sector will find this succinct reference text to be especially helpful. The law set out is up-to-date and very clearly presented. In particular, the inclusion of newer areas, such as the legal aspects of the offshore energy sector, and underwater cultural heritage, is of great importance. Even the coverage of historical areas, such as prize, bounty, and ransom will be of interest to many readers.

Edgar Gold, Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce, July 2014

This does not read as a dry text book. Michael has injected a lot of information about shipping practices and trade. There is also a lot of very interesting history covered in some of the chapters.
… it is a practical and readable discussion on aspects of shipping law that will cross most lawyers’ desks. Michael is to be complimented on his hard work and dedication in this area.

Matthew Harvey, Semaphore (Newsletter of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand), July 2014

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