Admiralty Court

DEFINITION of 'Admiralty Court'

Any court governed by admiralty law, whether the court is officially titled admiralty court, or is granted official jurisdiction over admiralty cases. Official jurisdiction for admiralty cases in the United States, for example, has been given to federal district courts, whereas England has a separate court system.

BREAKING DOWN 'Admiralty Court'

The principal matters arising in admiralty court concern shipping, boating, insurance matters, collisions at sea, civil matters involving seamen, passengers and cargo, salvage claims, and marine pollution. The most well-known action by an admiralty court is the issuance of a maritime lien against a ship, which allows the court or its appointees to arrest and seize the ship in satisfaction of claims against it. Whether it can be seized in other countries is governed by the admiralty courts of those countries and any treaties that may be in effect therein.