Ship Arrest

Arresting ships

The power to arrest ships is a crucial, if extreme, weapon in the armoury of disputants seeking to protect their interests in maritime disputes. But the legal framework under which ships are arrested is by no means fully international. Law and practices vary around the world. We invited observations from the United States, South Africa and France. Turning a bad situation to...

Boot on the other foot

ANYONE who has ever dealt with CHB Boot will immediately confirm that this forthright man with outspoken ideas is best characterised as a no-nonsense figure. But who is this judge who plays such a leading role in ship arrest in Rotterdam? And does he hand down verdicts as quickly as he talks? Boot himself explains his quick turn of phrase in characteristically concise fashion...

SMA celebrates

SMA celebrates THIRTY-FIVE is no age at all. In fact, it is only a little more than half the age you need to be to be an average member of the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (SMA) in New York. But the SMA itself passed 35 last month, and that is something worth celebrating. The SMA celebrated in style, with an anniversary dinner/dance in New York and a commemorative booklet...

How to collect your money in Spain

SPAIN is almost like an island. It is in fact a peninsula. The strategic ports of Ceuta, Algeciras, Las Palmas and Tenerife function as gas stations for the majority of the world fleet which one day or another passes through Spanish territorial waters. In addition there are ports like Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia and Vigo at which many vessels call to load and unload cargo....

Arrested Development - Hot ticket in maritime law

Arrested Development ARRESTING ships has become a hot ticket in maritime law. Books have been written on the subject, guides published, and conferences convened, but still the appetite is barely whetted. A few months ago a phalanx of lawyers descended on London for the third annual IBC Ship Arrest Conference. They listened politely to Dr Marin Fagfhouri, an unexcitable...

Dutch arrest law - making things better

A FEW years ago, the Dutch multinational Philips started a campaign under the slogan "Let's make things better". A similar idea must have occurred to Dutch lawmakers in respect of the complex area of the law generally described as Private International Law (PIL), which deals mainly with the conflict of laws and the question of which law or legal system should be applied in a...

Arrest of vessels in the UAE

THE provisions in the UAE Federal Maritime Law (FML) of 1981 govern all maritime transactions in the UAE. Article 8 provides that the FML shall be without prejudice to international agreements ratified by the state. The UAE is not a signatory to the International Convention relating to the Arrest of Seagoing Ships of 1952, but two principal provisions of this arrest convention...

French associated arrests

FRANCE has a reputation for being a jurisdiction where conservatory arrests of vessels not legally 'owned' by the debtor but in associated ownership are granted routinely by the lower courts with little risk. According to the trends in recent case law, this appears to be changing. Previously, a claimant may have relied on an 'appearance of a community of interest'. Now it...

Procedural uncertainty in Dubai courts

Letter of undertaking for damages against wrongful arrest The Dubai courts have recently been requesting a letter of undertaking for damages from a third party other than the claimant. The purpose of this letter is to indemnify the owner of the vessel, or the party whose assets are being attached, against damage or loss should the attachment later be proved to be wrongful. In...

Heavy metal

Heavy metal IN 1983, South African admiralty jurisdiction was revived from the obsolescence in which it had languished since the 1890 Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act. The revival encompassed some fairly revolutionary concepts, one of the more innovative being the associated ship provisions. The sistership arrests provisions of the 1952 arrest convention enabled some...

An arresting development

An arresting development Mike Lax, partner at Lawrence Graham, reviews the International Convention on Arrest of Ships 1999 IN March this year, when most of the western world was looking forward to the Easter holidays, an important meeting was taking place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Representatives from 93 states were in attendance, along with a number of "observers"...

Norway takes preventative measures

Norway takes preventative measures Maritime casualties came under the spotlight in a recent report by Norway's Maritime Law Committee SOME recent ferry tragedies in Scandinavia involving Norwegian passengers have highlighted the need for thorough and effective investigations into transport accidents to avoid such disasters happening again. Norway has a government-appointed...

Arresting topics

WHAT makes a conference worth repeating? Is it the audience, the subject, the place, the timing or the speakers? The Ship Arrest conference has run annually for five years now and, although numbers were down slightly this year, audience involvement and participation was noticeably up. Arresting ships seems to get lawyers going. The Fifth Annual International Forum on Ship...

Singapore's evolving admiralty jurisprudence

ENGLISH decisions on shipping and admiralty law are highly persuasive in Singapore, but they are not binding on the local courts. However, the courts tend to follow UK decisions unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. Over the last twenty years, there have been several occasions where the local courts have found it necessary to depart from established UK principles...

Arresting vessels in the Netherlands

ROTTERDAM is one of the largest ports in the world, but the Netherlands also has other ports such as Amsterdam, Flushing (which vessels heading to Antwerp must pass) and Delfzijl. The Dutch system of arrest is famous for its efficiency and speed. This is why so many Dutch lawyers are often faced with urgent requests, even late on a Friday afternoon, to arrest a vessel in order...