Barratry. Under the U.K. Marine Insurance Act 1906 the term barratry includes every wrongful act willfully committed by the master or crew to the detriment of the owners or charterers, as the case may be.

The act must be committed intentionally without connivance on the part of the owners. From this point of view negligence does not constitute “barratry” as there is no question of any wrongful act committed with the object of causing loss of or damage to ship and/or cargo.

Examples of acts within the definition of “barratry” are:

Scuttling of vessels with malicious intent (not, for instance, to extinguish fire).
Concealing stowaways on board.
Smuggling, without owner’s consent.

Under the terms of hull insurance policies, shipowners may be covered for barratry of the master and mariners.


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