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Interrogating maritime law, practice in Nigeria

By Guardian Nigeria
23 October 2022   |   2:45 am
Title of Book: Modern Maritime Law and Practice in Nigeria Publisher: University of Lagos Press Year of Publication: 2020 Place of Publication: Lagos, Nigeria Author: Ajuzie Chizoba Osondu Pages: 473 (excluding Preliminary Pages) Number of Chapters: 12 Reviewer: Professor Paul C. Ananaba (SAN) The book, in 12 chapters, looks at topical issues in maritime regulations…

Title of Book: Modern Maritime Law and Practice in Nigeria
Publisher: University of Lagos Press
Year of Publication: 2020
Place of Publication: Lagos, Nigeria
Author: Ajuzie Chizoba Osondu
Pages: 473 (excluding Preliminary Pages)
Number of Chapters: 12
Reviewer: Professor Paul C. Ananaba (SAN)


The book, in 12 chapters, looks at topical issues in maritime regulations in Nigeria. The first chapter interrogates the meaning and brief history of maritime law.

It discusses issues such as the meaning of maritime law; the reason for its emergence; the distinction between maritime and admiralty law; the origin and development of international maritime law; the history of English maritime law; the origin and development of Nigerian maritime jurisdiction; establishment of the Federal Revenue Court, admiralty jurisdiction controversy and resolution of the controversy; the bases of the present exclusive admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court and the extent thereof.

The second chapter looks at the Domestic Legal and Institutional Framework. It ex-rays topical issues such as a constitutional and legislative framework for maritime regulation in Nigeria; domestic maritime regulatory institutions, such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), et cetera; admiralty jurisdiction regulatory statutes, such as NIMASA Act, Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act; Merchant Shipping Act, et cetera; domestic marine pollution prevention statutes; maritime cabotage, amongst other topical issues.

Chapter three dwells on the International Legal and Institutional Framework. It features such topics, as international maritime regulatory instruments, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); instruments for the protection of the marine environment from pollution, such as the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC Convention), International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (the Fund Convention), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), et cetera; instruments relating to the safety of life at sea, such as the United Nations Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), International Convention on Marine Search and Rescue (SAR), and a host of others.

Chapter 4 discusses issues related to Maritime Zones and Boundaries, with particular reference to the definition of maritime boundary; applicable laws, such as UNCLOS; delimitation of international maritime boundaries with particular reference to Baseline, Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone, Continental Shelf, High Seas, The Area, International Straits, Archipelagic States, Regime of Islands, and Enclosed and Semi-Enclosed States, and the Land-locked States, Nigeria’s land and maritime borders, and economic potentials derivable from Nigeria’s maritime zones, such as the continental shelf and the seabed resources thereof.

Chapter 5 dwells on International Conventions Applicable to Carriage by Sea Contracts with particular reference to the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading 1924 (The Hague Rules), its First and Second Protocols 1968 and 1979 (The Hague/Visby Rules), the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea 1978 (Hamburg Rules), comparison of the Hague/Visby and Hamburg Rules, and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (The Rotterdam Rules).

In chapter 10, the book looks at the Ship Ownership and Management Process, while Chapter 11 dwells on the Elements of “SalTowPil”. “SalTowPil” is a short form for salvage, towage and pilotage coined by the author. Discussions in this chapter centre on Salvage operations; Towage operations; Pilotage operations and Wreck operations and Chapter 12interrogates Practice and Procedure in Admiralty Courts.

I highly recommend that the book will be of immense benefit and aid to Legal practitioners in the area of Maritime/Admiralty Law, Lecturers, students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Maritime Practitioners, Administrators and Agencies, Judges and Federal and States Ministries of Justice, officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ship-owners Associations, Nigerian Shippers’ Council; maritime training institutions, such as the Maritime University of Nigeria, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, as well as the general interest reader.

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