Polish and British criminal regulations for captains of sea vessels (Part 2)
The comparison of the criminal code in Polish maritime law with that of the British M SA '95 is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, there are far fewer such regulations in the Polish law. Of the five maritime statutes analyzed, only fifteen regulations relate directly to captains. Secondly, the way in which they are regulated is completely different. Polish statutes are often formulated very generally and are wide ranging, while British statutes describe penalties in detail. Legal proceedings in the two systems are also incomparable. According to British law, all proceedings regarding cases of illegal acts must be held in the courts. Illegal acts committed by the captain of a Polish vessel or the foreign captain of a vessel in Polish inner or territorial waters are subject to investigation by the maritime administrative body (director of the Maritime Office). Thus, it is a state administrative body that has jurisdiction in determining guilt and issuing a penalty for a vessel captain according to its own criteria. Of all the maritime regulations, only with regard to regulations based on the Labor Code concerning employment on merchant marine vessels can a vessel captain be held responsible in front of a court of law. Despite the differences presented with regard to illegal acts that vessel captains can commit, there are many analogies and similar regulations in both of these legal systems. They are most similar with regard to international agreements that have been ratified by both countries. A total of fifty criminal acts in the British MSA '95 were analyzed in this work. The penalties captains face are described in the acts and range from a Ł500 fine to two years in prison.
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