Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Act of Man

An act of man is a legal term that refers to any human conduct that results in a specific result.

Exploring the "Act of Man": Human-Caused Events and Their Ramifications

In discussions of liability, insurance claims, and legal matters, the term "Act of Man" is often used to describe events or circumstances that are caused by human actions or negligence. Unlike "Act of God," which refers to natural phenomena beyond human control, Act of Man focuses on events that result from human intervention. In this article, we'll delve into the meaning, examples, and implications of Act of Man.

Understanding Act of Man

Act of Man, also known as "human act" or "act of human," refers to events or occurrences that are caused by human actions, decisions, or negligence. Unlike Acts of God, which are considered unforeseeable and beyond human control, Acts of Man are directly attributable to human intervention and behavior.

Legal Implications

1. Liability: In legal contexts, Acts of Man may give rise to liability for damages or losses resulting from human actions or negligence. Individuals or entities responsible for causing harm through their actions may be held legally accountable and required to compensate affected parties.

2. Insurance Claims: Insurance policies typically cover losses caused by Acts of Man, including accidents, property damage, personal injury, and other liabilities resulting from human behavior. Insurers assess risk factors associated with human activities and adjust premiums accordingly.

3. Contractual Obligations: Contracts often include provisions addressing Acts of Man and allocating responsibility for losses or delays resulting from human actions or events. Parties may be required to fulfill contractual obligations or provide compensation for damages caused by their actions.

Examples of Acts of Man

1. Accidents: Traffic accidents, industrial accidents, workplace accidents, and other incidents resulting from human error, negligence, or recklessness are classic examples of Acts of Man.

2. Environmental Pollution: Pollution of air, water, and soil caused by industrial activities, waste disposal, chemical spills, and emissions from vehicles constitutes Acts of Man with far-reaching environmental and health consequences.

3. Property Damage: Vandalism, arson, theft, and property damage resulting from human actions are considered Acts of Man and may result in legal liability for perpetrators.

In Shipping and Cargo Transport

Within the shipping and cargo transport sector, "Acts of Man" could encompass a range of actions, including improper handling of goods, errors in navigation, or failure to adhere to safety protocols, leading to damage or losses. Here, the delineation between "Act of Man" and "Act of God" is crucial for liability and insurance claims.

Limitations and Controversies

While Acts of Man are generally recognized as events caused by human actions or negligence, there may be debates or controversies regarding causation, intent, and accountability. Determining liability for complex events involving multiple parties or contributing factors may require thorough investigation and legal analysis.


In conclusion, Act of Man refers to events or occurrences caused by human actions, decisions, or negligence, as opposed to Acts of God, which are attributed to natural phenomena beyond human control. Understanding the concept of Act of Man is essential in legal contexts, insurance claims, and contractual agreements, as it influences liability, responsibility, and compensation for damages. By recognizing the implications of human actions and behaviors, individuals, businesses, and policymakers can mitigate risks, promote accountability, and uphold standards of safety and responsibility in society.