Origin: f. Amiraute, for an older amiralte, office of admiral, fr. LL. Admiralitas. See admiral.
1. The office or jurisdiction of an admiral.
2. The department or officers having authority over naval affairs generally.
3. The court which has jurisdiction of maritime questions and offenses.
in England, admiralty jurisdiction was formerly vested in the high Court of admiralty, which was held before the lord high admiral, or his deputy, styled the judge of the Admiralty; but admiralty jurisdiction is now vested in the probate, divorce, and admiralty division of the high justice. In America, there are no admiralty courts distinct from others, but admiralty jurisdiction is vested in the district courts of the united states, subject to revision by the circuit courts and the supreme Court of the united states. Admiralty jurisprudence has cognizance of maritime contracts and torts, collisions at sea, cases of prize in war, etc, and in America, admiralty jurisdiction is extended to such matters, arising out of the navigation of any of the public waters, as the Great lakes and rivers.
4. The system of jurisprudence of admiralty courts.
5. The building in which the lords of the admiralty, in England, transact business.