Maritime And Admiralty Law

Have you noticed what boats and courtrooms have in common?

They are both strictly controlled spaces. Both have flags, uniforms, outlandish wigs, docks, galleys, railings and wooden panels lining every surface.

Each person is ritually "invited" on-board in symbolic acknowledgement and consent to jurisdiction.

The Judges and Admirals often own the boat or courtroom and both are seated in the highest position. They both use chambers to "invite" you into for meetings and they get to have the ultimate authority and final say in every decision.

In contrast, the 'Defendant' (often given the rank of 'Mister' a rank below officer - which is the rank of the lawyers.) is 'docked' in the lowliest position and must follow the instructions as prescribed.

Such is befitting of the Maritime/Admiralty jurisdiction that is being enforced upon our courts today. Admiralty law is the law of the sea or the jurisprudence of boating. It is all about merchant trading on the high seas of commerce. It is a militant jurisdiction. And there is good reason for that.

Maritime and Admiralty Jurisdiction

Boating presents risky life and death situations, therefore the rules on boats are strict by necessity. The captain can put a crew member to death if this means saving the ship and the crew understand agree to this for their own safety. Everybody has their place and function on a boat. Duties are prescribed, benefits bestowed. The rules must be obeyed else penalties will follow. Punishments are strict. It is serious business.

When you break a rule in Admiralty a 'charge' is brought against you in a court convened to address the issue.

The charges are brought against the Defendant and they are asked to plead "guilty or not guilty." Which is a bit of a trick question when you note the lack of "innocent" as an option. Some suspect the etymology of this word is connected to Old English gieldan "to pay for, or debt." Simply answering this question admits jurisdiction.

Facts are presented as evidence sworn into court. The Bible calls this sin, and makes a point of talking about it in the book of Mathew. Remembering this is military jurisdiction, if you opt to plead "not guilty" then you are contradicting your superior officers and causing a controversy. The court will consider you to be in contempt (disrespect) of court.

The defendant is considered a debtor, the plaintiff a creditor. You are a trust and the court operates as a bank. The court makes a lot of money out of these presumptions and arrangements.

By contrast, in the Common law system the plaintiff pleads "guilty" or "innocent," depending upon if we have harmed another person or not, for without a harmed party there is no case. More information about this will follow.

Maritime and Admiralty law is all about commerce. Trading and money. It is International merchant law. It involves diplomacy. It is banker law. It involves accounting. The bankers of old used scales for accounting. The 'scales of Justice' in merchant law are symbolic for balancing the books. It's about assets and liabilities. The judge is a banker. All civil law court processes revolve around the practices of double-entry book keeping. At the end of the day, it's all about balancing the books.

Double-entry booking keeping

The double-entry book keeping system was codified in the 15th century and refers to a set of rules for recording financial information in a financial accounting system in which every transaction or event changes at least two different accounts. In modern accounting this is done using debits and credits within the accounting equation: Equity = Assets - Liabilities. The accounting equation serves as a kind of error-detection system: if at any point the sum of debits does not equal the corresponding sum of credits, an error has occurred.

(Source:, 2010, link)

Check out some of the words we use in our everyday language:

  • Currency - currents of the sea.
  • Banks - which control the flow of currency.
  • Withdrawals and deposits - made to and from the sea onto the banks.
  • Is a vessel a boat or a body? The Bible calls your body a vessel (See: link).
  • Docks - is it a berth for a boat in port, or is it a box for the defendant to stand in court?
  • Mister (mr.) - Just a polite honorific? or the official form of address for all officers in a merchant ship, other than the captain.
  • Citizenship.
  • You entered the world from your mothers "birth canal."
  • Birth (berth) certificate.

The Jurisdiction being enforced in our courtrooms today is Admiralty

Our courtrooms are under military control. Civil law is based upon Admiralty law and Commerce, or merchant trading law (which was originally all about boats.)

The government classes us all as merchant traders and holds us accountable to this body of law. Are you a merchant trader? Do you think this is right?

If you accept an invitation into a courtroom or onto a boat, by your action you have consented to their jurisdiction and must follow their rules. They make a ritual out of it. You will have classed yourself as a merchant banker bound by boat law. With the lowest rank. Then they can do what they want with you.

Yarrh me hearty! There's many a wreck out ther' to be a plunderin', er salvagin' on the high seas of Commerce. The sharks are a circlin', they be lookin' hungry today.

It pays to be fluent in the customs and language of Pirate. (Educational video: How to talk like a Pirate.)