Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


Jason Parent


Many scholars argue that international maritime salvage law, and particularly American salvage law, not only does little to encourage "pure" life salvage on the high seas, but outright discourages the rescue of human life. Conversely, this author takes a novel stance - not only does current international salvage law promote pure life salvage through its tenets and compensation scheme, but American salvage law, on its face and as applied, violates international law binding upon America. Part I of this comment discusses current international salvage law - its inception, its purposes and its results. Part II places American life salvage law into a global setting, correlating American salvage law with the international salvage law that binds the United States. Part Ill analyzes the topic of compensation for life salvage - the mechanisms in place both domestically and internationally, as well as the principles discouraging life salvage. Part IV takes a look at current issues presented by international life salvage. Finally, this comment ends with the conclusion that international law is already in place to promote and adequately provide compensation for life salvage. Further, this comment will offer numerous solutions providing for the enforcement of such international law, both domestically and within the global community.