Maritime law is, in the broad sense, the set of legal rules relating to navigation at sea, along the coasts and in ports, as well as those which establish a basic functioning and settle disputes on board the ship.
It is not the nature of the rules which determines the extent of this legal discipline, but their object. Indeed, shipping and trading companies, as well as the merchants that sell, buy or transport the products contained on ships are subject to very particular rule and usually obedient to Arbitration, an alternative dispute resolution type.
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