Modern Maritime Law and Risk Management


Admiralty Jurisdiction and Procedure - Introductory Elements

Introduction to Part 1

This Part deals with the nature of the admiralty jurisdiction, its extent, the types of maritime claims that can be enforced in the Admiralty Court, arrest of ships, and the aftermath, including the priorities of claims to be paid out of the fund from the sale of the ship by the Admiralty Marshal. The function of statutory rights in rem and maritime liens are also considered. How the jurisdiction of the court is affected by international conventions and other doctrines, such as forum non-conveniens, is a paramount consideration. While the jurisdiction of the court is quite wide, modern European and international jurisdictional developments and influences have impacted on the ambit of the court’s jurisdiction, and indeed eroded the traditional jurisdictional chauvinism. This has occurred in recent years, for example, with the evolution of principles pronounced by the European Court of Justice in interpreting the Brussels Convention 1968 (now replaced by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001) in relation to European civil jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments, which limit, to a certain extent, the jurisdiction of the English courts. There has also been a gradual judicial acceptance that the courts of other countries are competent to adjudicate on a matter, provided it is shown that a court of another country is the natural or an appropriate forum to which the parties are amenable and justice can be done for the interests of all parties.

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