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Port State Jurisdiction over Labour Conditions: A Private International Law Perspective on Extra-territoriality
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law  (IF0.656),  Pub Date : 2016-09-05, DOI: 10.1163/15718085-12341407
Laura Carballo Piñeiro

Whereas flag states are primarily responsible for living and labour conditions on board ships flying their flag, port state jurisdiction on board foreign-flagged ships is still uncertain from both a public and a private international law perspective. This paper focuses on the latter, to ascertain in which cases port state courts and domestic employment legislation decide on maritime employment contract matters. This may help to establish to what extent the extra-territorial exercise of port state jurisdiction is reasonable: adjudicatory jurisdiction and conflict-of-laws rules are construed on the basis of the proximity principle and thus strive to point out the state with the strongest link to the case at stake. However, the establishment of the port state legal system as the closest one to maritime employment usually amounts to setting the flag state aside, meaning that the subsidiarity principle takes over in determining the extra-territorial application of port state jurisdiction.