Federal Law on Admiralty Jurisdiction

Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members

 

 

 

 

Foundation Agreement

Annex III, Attachment 11, Law 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Federal Law on Admiralty Jurisdiction (including the Admiralty Rules)


 

 

Short title.

   1.  This Law may be cited as the Federal Law on Admiralty Jurisdiction.

 

 

Interpretation.

   2.  In this Law unless the context otherwise requires:

 

 

 

“Constitution” means the Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic;

 

“Court” means the Supreme Court of the United Cyprus Republic and includes the Transitional Supreme Court established by paragraph 4 of Article 7 of the Foundation agreement and also includes any chamber or judge of the Court

 

“Cyprus” means the United Cyprus Republic;

 

“gazette” means the federal Official Gazette;

 

“goods” include baggage;

 

“Marshal” means the Admiralty marshal of the Court or any deputy or assistant Admiralty marshal;

 

“master” includes every person (except a pilot) having command or charge of a ship;

 

 

 

 

 

“ship” includes every description of vessel more than five meters in length used in navigation and not propelled by oars;

 

 

 

Admiralty

Jurisdiction.

   3.-(1)  The Admiralty Jurisdiction of the Court shall be as follows that is to say –

 

(a)   jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the questions and claims mentioned in subsection (2);

 

(b)  jurisdiction in relation to any of the proceedings mentioned in subsection (3);

 

(c)   any jurisdiction assigned to the Court under any Federal Law;

 

    (2)  The questions and claims referred to in subsection (1)(a) are -

 

 

 

(a)   any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or to the ownership of any share therein;

 

(b)   any question arising between the co-owners of a ship as to possession, employment or earnings of that ship;

 

(c)   any claim in respect of a mortgage of or charge on a ship or any share therein;

 

(d)   any claim for damage received by a ship;

 

(e)   any claim for damage done by a ship;

 

(f)   any claim for loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship or in her apparel or equipment, or in consequence of the wrongful act, neglect or default of –

 

 

(i)   the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship; or

 

(ii)   the master or crew of a ship, or any other person for whose wrongful acts, neglects or defaults the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship are responsible,

 

being an act, neglect or default in the navigation or management of the ship, in the loading, carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the ship, or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of persons on, in or from the ship;

 

 

 

(g)   any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried in a ship;

 

(h)   any claim arising out of any agreement relating to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or hire of a ship;

 

(j)    any claim –

 

(i)   under any contract for or in relation to salvage services; or

 

(ii)   in the nature of salvage not falling within (i) above;

 

or any corresponding claim in connection with an aircraft;

 

 

 

(k)   any claim in the nature of towage in respect of a ship or an aircraft while waterborne;

 

(l)   any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a ship or any aircraft while waterborne;

 

(m)   any claim in respect of goods or materials supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance;

 

(n)  any claim in respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a ship or in respect of dock charges or dues;

 

(o)   any claim by a master or member of the crew of a ship for wages;

 

(p)   any claim by a master, shipper, charterer or agent in respect of disbursements made on account of a ship;

 

(q)   any claim arising out of an act which is or is claimed to be a general average act;

 

(r)  any claim for the forfeiture or condemnation of ship or of goods which are being or have been carried, or have been attempted to be carried, in a ship, or for the restoration of a ship or any such goods after seizure.

 

 

 

  (3)  The proceedings referred to in subsection (1)(b) are-

 

(a)  any application to the Court under the legislation set out in section 3(1)(c);

 

 

(b)   any action to enforce a claim for damages loss of life or personal injury arising out of -

 

(i)   a collision between ships; or

 

(ii)  the carrying out of or omission to carry out a manoeuvre in the case of one or more ships; or

 

(iii)  non-compliance, on the part of one or more of two or more ships, with any collision regulations in force for the time being;

 

(c)   any action by shipowners or other persons under the applicable Law for the limitation of the amount of their liability in connection with a ship or other property.

 

 

 

  (4)  The jurisdiction of the Court under subsection (2)(b) includes power to settle any account outstanding and unsettled between the parties in relation to the ship, and to direct that the ship, or any share thereof, shall be sold, and to make such other order as the Court thinks fit.

 

 

 

   (5)  Subsection (2)(e) extends to any claim in respect of liability for oil pollution incurred under a Federal Law.

 

 

 

   (6)   In subsection (2)(j) –

 

(a) the reference to salvage services includes services rendered in saving life from a ship and the reference to any claim under any contract for or in relation to salvage services includes any claim arising out of such a contract whether or not arising during the provision of the services;

 

(b)   the reference to a corresponding claim in connection with an aircraft is a reference to any claim corresponding to any claim mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (j).

 

 

 

   (7)  In sub-section (2)(q) “general average act” means any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure voluntarily and generally made or incurred in time of peril for the purpose of preserving the property imperiled in the common adventure.

 

 

   (8)  The preceding provisions of this section apply –

 

(a)  in relation to all ships or aircraft, whether Cypriot or not and whether registered or not and wherever the residence or domicile of their owners may be;

 

(b)  in relation to all claims, wherever arising (including, in the case of cargo or wreck salvage, claims in respect of cargo or wreck found on land); and

(c)  so far as they relate to mortgages and charges, to all mortgages or charges, whether registered or not and whether legal or equitable, including mortgages and charges created under foreign law:

 

 

 

     Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as extending the case in which money or property is recoverable under any of the provisions of the legislation relating to the matters set out in Section 3(1)(c).

 

 

Law to

be applied.

 

 

  

4.-    The Court in the exercise of its Admiralty jurisdiction shall apply –

 

        (a)           the Constitution and the Constitutional Laws of the United Cyprus Republic

 

        (b)           the Federal Laws

 

            (c)       all international treaties binding on the United Cyprus Republic

 

          (d)     the common law and the doctrines of equity, save in so far as other provision has been or shall be made by any Law made or becoming applicable under the Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic or any Law saved under paragraph  (e) below, in so far as they are not inconsistent with or contrary to the Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic.

 

          (e)     any laws which were in force in Cyprus before 16th August 1960 and which are necessary for the determination of any matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Court.

 

          (f)      the Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were applicable to Cyprus immediately before 16th August 1960 in so far as they are not inconsistent with or contrary to the Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic and have not in the meantime been substituted by other Laws or other provision has not been made by an other Laws or law.

 

          (g)     subject to the paragraphs (a) to (f) above, the law which was applied immediately before 16th August 1960 by the High Court of Justice in England in the exercise of its Admiralty jurisdiction.

 

Assignment 

of Jurisdiction.

5.-    (1)           The jurisdiction of the Court regarding certain categories of its Admiralty jurisdiction may be assigned to the courts of competent jurisdiction of the Constituent States by Federal Law.

 

        (2)           Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1) above the in personam jurisdiction of the Court regarding actions relating to any of the questions and claims enumerated in sub-section (2) of section 3 under paragraphs  (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (j) (k) (l) (m), (n), (o) and (p), is hereby assigned to the court of the Constituent State of competent jurisdiction in which the defendant or anyone of the defendants, if more than one, has at the time of the institution of the action his habitual residence or place of business.

 

                        Provided that the disputed amount or the subject matter of the claim does not exceed   250.000 Cyprus pounds, other than claims under paragraph (f) where no limit shall apply.

 

        (3)           In the exercise by the courts of the Constituent States of the above mentioned jurisdiction the said courts will apply the law and the rules of court which are applied by the Court pursuant to section 4.

 

 

Mode of

exercise of

Admiralty

Jurisdiction.

   6.-(1) Subject to section 7, an action in personam may be brought in the Court in all cases within the Admiralty jurisdiction of that court.

 

     (2)  In the case of any such claim as is mentioned in section 3(2)(a), (c) or (r) or any such question as is mentioned in section 3(2)(b), an action in rem may be brought in the Court against the ship or property in connection with which the claim or question arises.

 

     (3)  In any case in which there is a maritime lien or other charge on any ship, aircraft or other property for the amount claimed, an action in rem may be brought in the Court against that ship, aircraft or property.

 

 

 

    (4)  In the case of any such claim as is mentioned in section 3(2)(e) to (q), where –

 

(a)  the claim arises in connection with a ship; and

 

(b)  the person who would be liable on the claim in an action in personam (“the relevant person”) was, when the cause of action arose, the owner or charterer of, or in possession or in control of, the ship,

 

an action in rem may (whether or not the claim gives rise to a maritime lien on that ship) be brought in the Court against –

 

(i)  that ship, if at the time when the action is brought the relevant person is either the beneficial owner of that ship as respects all the shares in it or the charterer of it under a charter by demise; or

(ii) any other ship of which, at the time when the action is brought, the relevant person is the beneficial owner as respects all the shares in it.

 

 

   (5)  In the case of a claim in the nature of towage or pilotage in respect of an aircraft, an action in rem may be brought in the Court against that aircraft if, at the time when the action is brought, it is beneficially owned by the person who would be liable on the claim in an action in personam.

 

   (6)  Where, in the exercise of its Admiralty jurisdiction, the Court orders any ship, aircraft or other property to be sold, the Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question arising as to the title to the proceeds of sale.

 

   (7)  In determining for the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) whether a person would be liable on a claim in an action in personam it shall be assumed that he has his habitual residence or a place of business within Cyprus.

 

 

   (8)  Where, as regards any such claim as is mentioned in section 3(2)(e) to (q), a ship has been served with a writ or arrested in an action in rem brought to enforce that claim, no other ship may be served with a writ or arrested in that or any other action in rem brought to enforce that claim; but this subsection does not prevent the issue, in respect of any one such claim, of a writ naming more that one ship or of two or more writs each naming a different ship.

 

Restrictions on

entertainment

of actions in

personam in

collision and

other similar cases.

   7.-(1)  This section applies to any claim for damage, loss of life or personal injury arising out of –

 

(a)   a collision between ships; or

 

(b)  the carrying out of, or omission to carry out, a manoeuvre in the case of one or more of two or more ships; or

 

(c)   non-compliance, on the part of one or more of two or more ships, with the collision regulations in force for the time being.

 

 

     (2)  The Court shall not entertain any action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies unless –

 

(a)   the defendant has his habitual residence or a place of business within Cyprus; or

 

(b)   the cause of action arose within the territorial waters of Cyprus or within the limits of a port of Cyprus; or

 

(c)   an action arising out of the same incident or series of incidents is proceeding in the court or has been heard and determined in the court.

 

 

In this subsection –

 

“port” means any port, harbour, dock, canal or other place so long as a person or body of persons is empowered by or under a law to make charges in respect of ships entering it or using the facilities therein, and “limits of a port” means the limits, thereof as fixed by or under the Law in question or, as the case may be, by the relevant charter or custom;

 

 

   (3)  The Court shall not entertain any action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies until any proceedings previously brought by the plaintiff in any court outside Cyprus against the same defendant in respect of the same incident or series of incidents have been discontinued or otherwise come to an end.

 

   (4)  Subsection (2) and (3) shall apply to counterclaims (except counterclaims in proceedings arising out of the same incident or series of incidents) as they apply to action, the references to the plaintiff and the defendant being for this purpose read as references to the plaintiff on the counterclaim and the defendant to the counterclaim respectively.

 

 

 

   (5)  Subsection (2) and (3) shall not apply to any action or counterclaim if the defendant thereto submits or has agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court.

 

   (6)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (3), the Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies whenever any of the conditions specified in subsection (2)(a) to (c) is satisfied, and the rules of court relating to the service of process outside the jurisdiction shall make such provision as may appear to the rule-making authority to be appropriate having regard to the provisions of this subsection.

 

 

   (7)  Nothing in this section shall prevent an action which is brought in accordance with the provisions of this section in the Court being transferred, in accordance with the enactments in that behalf, to some other court.

 

   (8)  For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that this section applies in relation to the jurisdiction of the Court not being Admiralty jurisdiction, as well as in relation to its Admiralty jurisdiction.

 

Supplementary

provisions

as to Admiralty

jurisdiction.

   8.  Nothing in sections 3, 6 and 7, shall –

 

(a)   be construed as limiting the jurisdiction of the Court to refuse to entertain an action for wages by the master or a member of the crew of a ship, not being a ship registered in Cyprus;

 

(b)   affect the power under a law of a receiver of wreck to detain a ship in respect of a salvage claim; or

 

(c)   authorise proceedings in rem in respect of any claim against Cyprus or the arrest, detention or sale of any ships or aircraft, belonging to Cyprus.

 

Appointment

of Marshal.

   9.   The Presidential Council or during the transitional period the Co-Presidents may from time to time appoint a Marshal and such number of Deputy Marshals as it or they deem necessary of the Court for the purposes of executing the process judgments and orders of the Court in its Admiralty jurisdiction.

 

Rules.

  10.  The Court may make Rules to be published in the Gazette for the better carrying out of this Law into effect.

 

 

      Provided that until such Rules are made the Rules contained in the Schedule to the Cyprus Admiralty Jurisdiction Orders 1893 shall until revoked, varied, added to or substituted therefor shall be the Rules of Court of the Court in its Admiralty jurisdiction and shall have effect as if they had been made by the Court and may be revoked varied, added to or substituted therefor in the same manner as the Court may make Rules.

      Provided further that the Rules contained in the Schedule to the Order above mentioned in their application shall be subject to such modifications and adaptations as they may be necessary in order to make them effective.

      Provided further that the reference in Rule 237 in the Schedule to the Cyprus Admiralty Jurisdiction Order 1893 to “the Practice of the Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice of England”, shall be a reference to such Practice as at 15th August 1960.

 

/MK