Admiralty jurisdiction


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Admiralty jurisdiction

  1. 1. MEANING  ‘Admiralty’ and ‘Maritime’ are almost synonyms.  Maritime law is wider.  There is no statutory definition.  It may vary from country to country.
  2. 2. Admiralty law includes accidents and injuries at sea, maritime contracts and commerce, alleged violations of rules of the sea over shipping lanes and rights-of-way, and mutiny and other crimes on shipboard.
  3. 3. ORIGIN  Introduced by British  Lord High Admiral & other Admirals were in- charge.  They were sole maritime authorities.  Later a separate Admiralty court was set up.  Rivalry between Common Law Courts & Courts of Admiralty.
  4. 4.  Therefore in 1389 act was passed which limited the High Courts of Admiralty to disputes occurring on sea only.  The Courts lost their importance in 17th and 18th century.  In 1840 the British Parliament enacted Admiralty Courts Act.
  5. 5. In 1861, The Indian Admiralty Act was enacted. This act extended the jurisdiction of Admiralty Court by including cases of ‘damage by ship’ and the provision that an aggrieved party can move The Admiralty Court to exercise its jurisdiction over foreigners also.
  6. 6.  There were further acts in 1873 & 1920.  In 1925 a Consolidation Act was passed.  There have been improvements through 1956 & 1981 Supreme court act.
  7. 7. DEVELOPMENT OF ADMIRALTY MATTERS IN INDIA  Major Courts were at Madras, Bombay & Calcutta.  In 1774 supreme Court was established at Calcutta.  In 1861 High courts were established in three cities.  The Colonial Courts of Admiralty act was passed which was meant for British colonies.
  8. 8.  The 1891 act of Colonial Court of Admiralty declared three High courts of as Admiralty Court.  At present the three courts continue to exercise as Admiral Jurisdiction.  Limited Jurisdiction.  Limitations in matter of arrest & detention.
  9. 9. MV ELISABETH VS. HARVAN INVESTMENTS  Appellant – MV Elisabeth ORS.  Respondent- Harvan Investments.  The vessel left the port without issuing Bill of Lading.  Despite the direction of respondent co. not to deliver the goods as the buyer had not made payment the appellant handed over the goods.  Since the appellant was in breach of duty the respondent filed a suit against the the appellants invoking the admiralty jurisdiction of the Andhra Pradesh High Court .
  10. 10.  The ship was arrested when it entered Vishakapatnam port.  In the proceedings the appellant raised a preliminary objection.  Stating that the suit against a foreign ship owned by a foreign company not having a place of residence or business in India, could not proceed on the admiralty side of the High Court.  The objection was overruled by the judge.
  11. 11. HELD  Andhra High Court was SUCCESSOR of Madras High Court which had Admiral Jurisdiction under the English Act 1861 & Colonial courts of Admiralty Act 1890.  The High Court of Andhra Pradesh undoubtedly possesses jurisdiction over claims relating to inward and outward cargo. Therefore the High Court rightly assumed jurisdiction by the arrest of the appellant vessel  In the end Supreme court passed judgment clarifying that all the high courts in India have Admiralty Jurisdiction uninhibited by limitations.
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