History in England
Eleanor of Acquitane, acting as regent for her son, King Richard the Lionheart, during the Crusades, established Admiralty/Maritime law in England
In England, special admiralty courts handle all admiralty cases.
These courts do not use the common law of England, but are civil law courts largely based upon Roman Law.
Difference between Common Law & Maritime Law
Littered throughout Law is the concept of "reasonable belief" (when detaining people or property) which is based on admiralty law, the law of the sea where the captain of a ship only needed reason to believe that his ship was in danger by those under his command to order that certain things be done to protect it's commercial goods and goals.
Everything in admiralty works backwards from due process common law. A person being guilty before being proven innocent.
In Common Law, crimes can only occur if there is there has been physical damage to someone or to property, AND if there was intent to hurt someone.
Accidents and "negligence" are not crimes.
But we can be charged and sued for negligence.
Suing is a function of the corporate world.
No longer does there need to be an existing flesh and blood injured party anymore to file a criminal affidavit to initiate criminal proceedings, just the breaching of a statute, a de facto corporate statute (breaching the peace), a by-law or regulation, where the 'injured party' is the state, or corporate entity.
Today in our law courts, all Commercial contracts that private parties enter into with each other that are under Maritime Jurisdiction, are now also under Admiralty: The reason is the beneficial use and re-circulation of Reserve Bank Notes makes the federal government an automatic silent third party to the arrangements.
Admiralty jurisdiction has in many respects, “come ashore”.
It currently affects almost every element of our inland commercial society.
In the USA, Admiralty jurisdiction rules are used to settle claims and grievances regarding cargo, international conventions, financing, banking, insurance, legislation, navigation, hazardous substances from nuclear power plants, stevedoring (the unloading of a vessel at a port), and undersea mining and development, the navigable rivers of the United States, as well as world-wide off-shore oil drilling activity.
Maritime Law on Land
The reason why Admiralty jurisdiction is of concern to us is because our government is using jurisdiction attachment rules applicable to an Admiralty jurisdictional environment to on-land-based citizens where Admiralty jurisdiction does not correctly belong.
The only ordinary land based people who should properly be under the government’s in personam Admiralty jurisdiction are government employees (federal and state), military service personnel, and those who specifically contract into Admiralty Jurisdiction (such as employees working for a Defense contractor with a security clearance, and private contractors hired by government to perform law enforcement related work).
Maritime / Admiralty Law in Australia
The Federal Court of Australia operates under Admiralty Law under the Blue Ensign.