Lecture in Memory and Honour of the Honourable Justice Richard Cooper: 'Australian Admiralty and Maritime Law - Sources and Future Directions'

By Allsop, James | University of Queensland Law Journal, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Lecture in Memory and Honour of the Honourable Justice Richard Cooper: 'Australian Admiralty and Maritime Law - Sources and Future Directions'


Allsop, James, University of Queensland Law Journal


I INTRODUCTION

It is a great honour to be asked to give the second Annual Richard Cooper Memorial Lecture, especially following such an eminent scholar, teacher, practitioner and seafarer as Professor Edgar Gold.

This is not the time to express fully the loss to maritime law and scholarship that the untimely passing of Richard Cooper caused. It is necessary to say, however, that it was, and is, a national tragedy.

Richard Cooper was intimately involved in the law reform of the 1970s and 1980s which produced the Australian Law Reform Commission Report on Civil Admiralty Jurisdiction which led to the enactment of the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth). (1) He had a strong belief in the need for a clear and coherent body of maritime law in this nation. He recognised the significant steps required to achieve that aim, not the least of which was the breaking of the colonial bindings of our thinking in a field where Australia's interests are so vital.

This evening, 1 seek to give a perspective on the Admiralty and maritime grant in s 76(iii) of the Australian Constitution and to emphasise the rich and diverse sources of this branch of the general law. Section 76(iii) is a Constitutional recognition of the existence of a rich and fascinating body of law of singular importance to this nation. The scope of s 76(iii) and the consequences of its place in the Constitution are important elements in the future development of maritime law in this country.

I was privileged to have the benefit of discussion and debate with Richard Cooper on this topic. Whilst the errors that may exist in this evening's lecture are mine alone, I am indebted to him for his inspiration about this topic. I must also recognise the illumination on this topic from the 1981 Dethridge Memorial Address by the Hon. Howard Zelling (2) and the article by the distinguished American judge the Honourable John R Brown in 1993. (3)

During the process of reform of the 1970s and 1980s, considerable intellectual energy was expended upon illuminating the nature and extent of colonial and Australian Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. Some of that work expressed a justifiable lamentation at the stunted complexity of the then position governed by the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act 1890 (Imp) under the shadow of s 76(iii) of the Australian Constitution. (4)

Many of these difficulties and complexities were cured by the clear terms and simple structure of the Admiralty Act. There remain, however, dormant questions of a basal character which, at some point, will need to be addressed if this nation is to have fully coherent and robust national Admiralty and maritime arrangements. These questions were recognised by the Law Reform Commission, (5) but its approach was not to recommend steps into potentially controversial territory; rather, its avowed aim was to reduce Australian Admiralty jurisdiction into simple, clear and coherent terms, upon its Australian Constitutional, rather than a colonial and Imperial, foundation. This aim was amply and luminously achieved.

There is a tendency, understandable given our colonial past, to examine Australian Admiralty and maritime law from an exclusively English or Imperial historical perspective. The nature and development of Australian maritime law must, however, be assessed and approached by reference to Australia as a fully independent member of the community of nations. Two elements are important in the last sentence: independence and membership of the community of nations. These two elements reflect the ever-present necessity in maritime law to balance domestic national interests with the interests of harmony in the wider world of participation in the community of nations. As a colony, these strands of interest were mediated through the institutions, law and interests of a great imperial power. Now, we must strike our own balance.

Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction is not just a collection of suits found to have been within the cognisance of, and administered by, the English Admiralty Court (exemplified by the action in rem against a ship itself and the capacity to arrest the ship irrespective of the presence within the jurisdiction of any party said to be personally responsible for any claim). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Lecture in Memory and Honour of the Honourable Justice Richard Cooper: 'Australian Admiralty and Maritime Law - Sources and Future Directions'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.