I INTRODUCTION It is a great privilege to deliver a lecture in honour of the life and work of Richard Cooper. Although I did not know Justice Cooper personally, we corresponded on a number of occasions, and I edited some of his extra-judicial writing. (1) I was very impressed by the breadth and depth of his scholarship, his modesty about his writing, and his excellent sense of humour. I will be speaking tonight about admiralty law; a topic that I know was dear to him. I wish to stress at the outset that, if some of my comments tonight might be interpreted as provocative, or even heretical, they are offered in the spirit of serious academic debate, and with sincere and profound respect for Richard Cooper.