Maritime Law

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Procedures for Enforcement

Procedures for Enforcement

Michael Tsimplis

1 Enforcement of Maritime Claims

a Introduction

Where a ship has caused damage a claimant may face significant challenges to reparation. The ship that caused the damage will most probably belong to a foreign company and could well be the only asset of the defendant. Thus, if the ship sails away, the claimant would then have to chase the defendant shipowner in a foreign jurisdiction. Even if the claimant succeeds in bringing a claim or in having a domestic judgment recognised in the foreign jurisdiction, it could well

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turn out that the ship has been sold and there are no other assets against which the judgment can be enforced. Thus detaining the ship is in practice the best option for the claimant in order to bring the owner before the courts and obtain compensation for the damage suffered. However, depriving the defendant shipowner of the use of its property without due notice and without proving the claim before a court is, as a matter of legal principle, wrong.1

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