Maritime Law – Law of General Average

The law of general average is a legal principle of maritime law according to which all parties in a sea venture proportionally share any losses resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save the whole in an emergency.In the exigencies of hazards faced at sea, crewmembers often have precious little time in which to determine precisely whose cargo they are jettisoning. Thus, to avoid quarreling that could waste valuable time, there arose the equitable practice whereby all the merchants whose cargo was on board would be called on to contribute a portion, based upon a share or percentage, to the merchant or merchants whose goods had been tossed overboard to avert imminent peril.

Source: Wikipedia