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Abstract

Marine engineer Willard Stewart filed suit against the Dutra Construction Company in the US District Court of Massachusetts, USA. He was suing for compensation for a work-related accident. Stewart based his claim on the Jones Act and the principles of maritime law. Responsibility is based on the principle of risk in the Jones Act and applies to seamen employed on vessels. In order to obtain compensation, Stewart had to prove that the dredge on which the accident occurred was a vessel. I f proved, he would be regarded as a seaman since he worked on it. The district court declared that a dredge was not a vessel. Stewart appealed and the appellate court upheld the first verdict. Stewart fs case was appealed to the Supreme Court in order to define the idea of vessel* in the Jones Act and to decide if a dredge can be regarded as a vessel. The Supreme Court has yet to hand down a verdict. The author believes that the Jones Act should be interpreted narrowly and should not be applicable to all workers at sea, even those who work on immobile platforms in ports. The concept of 'vessel' in the Jones Act must be interpreted in a narrow sense.
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Abstract

The Third Maritime Safety Package, also known as Erica III, consists of 7 pieces of European Union legislation adopted by the Parliament and the Council in 2009. The EU member states are to implement them by bringing into force law, regulations and administrative provisions. The level ofcommitment on the part of Commission of the EU to the issues surrounding safety packages is measured by the amount of actions brought before the Court of Justice for states’ failures to comply with them. Currently the Commission has delivered a reasoned opinion under the Article 258 of the Treaty concerning failure to implement Directive 2009/16/EC of 23 April 2009 on port State control by Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
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Abstract

In the nineteenth century a clause concerning civil liability was attached to insurance documents in maritime transport. Concretely, this confirmed the insurer's acceptance of three-quarters of the liability for any collision. The ship owner accepted one quarter of the liability. Ship owners, wishing to spread the material risk of damages connected with the collision of vessels, began to join together in so-called mutual insurance clubs. Thirteen of the largest mutual insurance clubs formed a society called the International Group of P and I Clubs. This insures and reinsures more than 90% of world tonnage (and almost 100% of the cargo of European tonnage). The author discusses the decision of the European Commission (1999/329/WE) which grants the International Group of P and I Clubs exemption from the prohibition of cartel collusion and from two agreements: the International Group Agreement and the International Pooling Agreement, to both o f which it exclusively applies. The first agreement limits competition between clubs and the possibility of bringing a ship owner insured in one club into another club by offering him a lower rate. The second agreement concerns the spreading o f the risk o f liability for claims among members of the Group.
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Abstract

The author of this article has previously addressed the topic of what constitutes a vessel in American jurisprudence based on the case of Willard Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company (Prawo Morskie, vol. 21, 2005). The text discusses the verdict of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, which was faced with deciding whether the dredger on which Willard Stewart worked was a vessel or not. The initial and appellate court verdicts declared that the dredger was not a vessel. The Supreme Court of the United States came to a different verdict. The "Super Scoop ” dredger was declared to be a vessel. This was because this device was used to transport the crew and tools over water to the worksite, where the device was anchored to the bottom and left there to drill a tunnel. It was also able to navigate waters. In this case, the Supreme Court laid out the widest possible definition of a vessel as well as a very wide definition of sailor. The court's decision is undoubtedly advantageous for many employees.
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