Abe & Sakata Legal Professional Corporation

Abe & Sakata Legal Professional Corporation



Maritime law generally refers to the law concerning human activities related to the sea. It not only provides special rules in contract and tort law but also functions as special rules or schemes in wide areas of law. It is also an area of law in which efforts have been made for many years to unify the law through multinational conventions, and thus it is essential to consider it from an international perspective. For these reasons, many people who do not have regular contacts with maritime law may have an impression that it is a highly specialized area and even feel a sense of discomfort with the legal principles and schemes applied there. We do not think we can leave such an impression or a sense of discomfort if maritime law shall continue to have its raison d’être.
On the other hand, maritime law may have its own problems in some areas. Traditional maritime law doctrines and judicial precedents may in some points – though perhaps substantially reduced by virtue of amendment of the Commercial Code (Transport and Maritime Commerce) of Japan in 2018 – impress us to be felt a bit unmatched with the ever-changing relevant industry practices in high speed. This may also create problems not to be overlooked.
One reason for these impressions and discomfort may be that the legal terms (key concepts) that appear in maritime law are not well known by many people or there is no common understanding of the meaning of some of these terms among the people. Now in this column, Mr. Akiyoshi Ikeyama, attorney-at-law at our corporation, would like to upload his series of papers entitled “Understand the Japanese maritime law from key concepts” from time to time to pick up and examine the meanings and functions of key concepts appearing in maritime law.
He would like to upload his papers in English version in addition to those in Japanese version if ever possible. Both are basically explanations of the Japanese law and/or the international conventions to which Japan is a party. The English version is intended to explain the Japanese maritime law in English. Opinions in those papers are his personal opinions and not opinions of corporations or organizations he belongs to.
The first topic is “Gross Negligence” and “Reckless Act with Knowledge”.

>Understand the Japanese maritime law from key concepts (1) ― “Gross Negligence” and “Reckless Act with Knowledge”(Japanese/English