- What does the Supreme Court of Cyprus take into account, while exercising its admiralty jurisdiction? When exercising its jurisdiction with regards to Admiralty law, the Supreme Court of Cyprus will consider the following: Cyprus Admiralty Jurisdiction Order 1893, Cyprus case law, the Supreme Court's general practice and inherent jurisdiction, Administration of Justice Act 1956.
- Which is the competent Court for cases related to Admiralty law? Any District Court may assume an admiralty case in the event of an action related to loss of life or personal damage caused by a defect in the vessel, or neglect or as a result of an unlawful act. The Supreme Court may also refer a case to a District Court when the claim is for less than EUR 85,430 and the action's subject concerns: goods supplied to the vessel for its maintenance, loss or damage to goods carried on board a vessel, the construction, repair, supply or berthing of a vessel or related taxes, crew wages, and expenses incurred on behalf of the vessel by her captain or any other supplier.
- What are the main reasons in order the Supreme Court can accept an action related to ship's arrest? The Supreme Court can accept an action in two ways: in rem Jurisdiction and in personam Jurisdiction. According to Cyprus Law an action in rem related to admiralty jurisdiction means an action again the vessel itself. In some types of claims the Supreme Court of Cyprus can issue an order for the arrest of a ship. According to section 1(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1956, the main claims that would allow the Supreme Court admiralty jurisdiction are the following:
• The possession or ownership of a vessel or the ownership of a share in it;
• For damage done or received by a vessel;
• For loss or damage to goods carried in a vessel;
• In respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a vessel or dock charges or dues;
• For loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in the apparel or equipment of a vessel, for a wrongful act, neglect or default of the owners, or person in possession or control of a vessel or of the master or crew of it.
• Any question arising between the co-owners of a vessel about the possession, employment or earning of the vessel.
Also an action in rem can be exist where a maritime lien on any vessel and may be so invoked against a vessel even in the hands of an innocent purchaser.
In an action in personam, the Supreme Court of Cyprus can be invoked with the difference that those cases are related to the offence or wrongful of the owner, character or person with authority over the vessel and not to the vessel itself.
- What is the arrest proceeding?
In Cyprus all admiralty actions both in rem and in personam are instituted with the issue of a writ of summons. In the event of an action in rem the writ must be served on the property against which the action is started. In an action in personam, personal service on the defendant or specified representatives of the defendant should be effected.
According to the Rule 15 of the English Rules in force in England in 1690, in an action in rem, the writ of summons must be served at least 21 days and in an action in personam, at least 10 days before the date named in the writ for the appearance of the parties before the court.
Rule 50 provides that the admiralty court has the right for the arrest of property where: there are issues which must be tried between the parties, it suffices if it is found that the plaintiff has a right to have those issues tried, it is abundantly clear that the plaintiff has a right to have the issues raised by the oral evidence tried and the plaintiff was entitled to have the vessel arrested.
- What is needed for the release of a ship under arrest?
The Supreme Court of Cyprus has also the power over the release of a ship under arrest and any party has the right to apply for the release of any property. In this situation, the order for release requires the following with the application of the party: Proof of payment into court of the amount claimed, the appraised value of the property arrested or, where cargo is arrested for freight only, the amount of the freight verified by affidavit. Also the application of the party at whose instance the property has been arrested; the filing of consent in writing signed by the party at whose instance the property has been arrested and discontinuance or dismissal of the action in which the property has been arrested.
- What is the power of Court in relation to the sale of a vessel under arrest?
Regarding the sale of a vessel under arrest court has the power to sell the vessel without notice. More specifically, according to Rule 74 it shall be lawful for the court or judge, either before or after final judgment, on the application of any party and either with or without notice to any other party, by its order to appoint the marshal of the court or any other person or persons to appraise any property under the arrest of the court, to sell any such property either with or without appraisal, to remove or inspect and report on any such property or to discharge any cargo under arrest on board ship.