The Arrest of Ships: Comprehensive View on the English Law

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: There is always an interesting side for any lawyer or law student concerning the study of the ship arrest. The continuous development for this type of action in the maritime law gives it a significant importance. This action implemented against the ship to secure a claim that is of a maritime nature, in other words directed against the ship and not the ship owner. Since the adoption of the 1952 Arrest Convention by different countries worldwide, it was obvious that this convention tried to keep the suitable balance between both the ship owners and the claimants commercial interests. The arrest procedure in itself is an act that arises as a last solution to force the ship owner to fulfil his financial obligations. In this thesis, the focus will be on ship arrest in general and on English law in particular. It is necessary to recognise and know what the action in rem is and what the action in personam is. The author thought it is appropriate to show to which level the 1952 Arrest Convention succeeded in bringing a unified arrest body between the member countries. Demonstrating the important features of the two Arrest Conventions of 1952 and 1999 can help readers and scholars get a better understanding for the ship arrest jurisdiction and procedures worldwide. The significant provisions of section 20 of the English Supreme Court Act 1981 make it worth study and focus. Looking to the historical development of the admiralty jurisdiction and law in England can give us a better knowledge about the ship arrest in England today. In this thesis, the author talked about the ship arrest in some Arabic countries and especially in the Gulf region. By demonstrating the ship arrest procedures and jurisdictions in these countries, the author wanted to show the reflection of the 1952 Arrest Convention on their laws and the impact of Islamic jurisprudence on the legislation of some of the Gulf countries concerning ship arrest. Ship arrest as an active and advanced method of obtaining and securing the maritime debt will witness dynamic developments in the near future. The current system for fulfilling the arrest according to a closed list of claims that must be of a maritime nature will not satisfy later the rapid and fast growth in the maritime transport and industry. The arrest is a quick and easy way to secure the rights of the claimants, whether they are private persons, institutions, or governments and can play a vital role in times of economic crises. On the other hand, implementing the arrest to seize the ship in case of pollution damage caused by a ship is an important argument too; these are the main issues to be examined by the author in this paper.

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