XXVI.25 That one must not follow the general provisions of civil law when it comes to things that ought to be subjected to individual rules drawn from their own nature

Is it a good law that all civil obli­ga­tions conclu­ded bet­ween sea­men in the course of a voyage be null and void ? François Pyrard tells us that in his time it was not obser­ved by the Portuguese,1 but was by the French. Men who are toge­ther only for a short while, who have no needs because the prince pro­vi­des for them, who can have but one objec­tive, which is that of their voyage, who are no lon­ger in society but citi­zens of the ship, must not contract the kinds of obli­ga­tions that have been intro­du­ced only to sup­port the costs of civil society.

It is in that same spi­rit that the law of the Rhodians, made for a time when they always fol­lo­wed the coasts, decreed that those who remai­ned aboard ship during a tem­pest should have the ship and its cargo, and that those who had left the ship should have nothing

Ch. xiv, part 12.