Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lauritzen v. Larsen case brief (International Law)

Lauritzen v. Larsen - Law of the Sea

-Danish seaman brought suit under Jones Act to recover for injuries on the Danish ship, the Randa, while docked in Cuba.  
-Larsen based assertion of federal jurisdiction on board reading of Jones Act, that encompassed all sailors and on Lauritzen company’s significant NY business contracts.
Statute stated: Any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply...

Should the Danish law apply or should US law apply?


Danish Law should apply.

Law of the Flag- Each state under international law may determine for itself the conditions on which it will grant its nationality to a merchant ship, thereby accepting responsibility for it and acquiring authority over it.
-Nationality is evidenced to the world by the ship’s papers and its flag.
-Law of the flag supersedes the territorial principle (even for criminal jurisdiction of personnel of a merchant ship), because it is deemed to be a part of the territory of that sovereignty (whose flag it flies), and not to lose that character when in navigable waters within the territorial limits of another sovereignty.  
-All matters of discipline and all things done on board which affected only the vessel or those belonging to it, and do not involve the peace or dignity of the country or the port’s tranquility, should be left by the local government to be dealt with by the authorities of the nation to which the vessel belongs as the laws of that nation or the interests of its commerce requires.

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