ADMIRALTY LAW. The system of law and procedure relating to maritime transactions. It owes its name to the fact that originally it NV:1 S Wdmiuisteted in England by the lord high admiral. Not only its rules of substantive law but its procedure were adopted from the civil law, and from such sea codes as those of Rhodes (q.v.) and GIC.ron This fact, and its adaptability to new causes of action, which led suitors to resort to the admiralty rather than to the common law conrts, aroused the hostility of the common law bench and bar. The contest between the partisans of the two systems which followed resulted in contracting the jurisdiction of English admiralty courts to very narrow limits. Modern statutes have extended it, and have also made the Court of Admiralty a part of the Supreme Court of Judicature, forming it. With the courts of probate and divorce, into the probate, divorce, and admiralty divisions. At present the ordinary jurisdiction of English admiralty courts embraces actions to recover possession of a ship, to recover damages for injuries to shipping. to recover seamen's wages. for salvage. for necessaries supplied to a ship, for bottontry,tespondentia (q.v.). and mortgage, for pilotage and towage. for restoration of goods taken by pirates, and for assaults or batteries on the high seas.
By the l'nited States constitution (Article §2), the cognizance of "all cases of alty and maritime jurisdiction" is granted to the Federal judiciary. The limits of this grant of judicial authority were in doubt for many years. 011 the one hand it was insisted that
the admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal courts was confined to the cases cognizable by the lish admiralty when our Stales separated front the mother country. On the other hand. it was argued that the broad language of the eonstitu tion extended this jurisdiction to all eases of maritime law. The latter view has prevailed, and to-day the Federal courts of admiralty have cognizance of all maritime eases arising, not only on the high seas and great lakes, but on almost all navigable rivers and canals within the United States. While the United States have no court whose duties and jurisdiction are con fined to admiralty cases, the district courts possess exclusive original jurisdiction over all admiralty and maritime eases. From their final decisions appeals may be taken to the Circuit Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court. The Federal courts sitting in admiralty have criminal as well as civil jurisdiction; but their practice in criminal eases is similar to that of common law courts, including trial by jury. The State courts of this country have no admiralty jurisdiction. Consult: Benedict. The American Admiralty, Its Jurisdiction and Prac tice (Albany, 1900) ; and Roseoe, Treatise on the Jurisdiction and Practice of the Admiralty Divi sion of the High Court of Justice (London, 1882).