- Modes of liability — Seafarers — Nationality of ships — Straits
This chapter covers navigation safety in and around harbours and ports by presenting the main legal aspects involved in port activities. It emphasizes civil liability, adopting a comparative law approach and taking as examples two countries which follow the common law system—the UK and the United States—and two countries under the civil law system—Spain and Brazil. Regardless of the law system used, the rule of law on harbours and pilotage is a critical topic, particularly in view of the amount of capital invested in maritime transportation and the large volume of legislation and officials regulating this important economic sector. A comparative analysis between the two system reveals a wide discrepancy; while in civil law countries, the harbour master has control of navigation and the pilot is considered merely as an advisor, in common law countries the master delegates the conduct of the vessel to the pilot.
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