Admiralty Jurisdiction of the High Court, Pakistan Legal Perspective Part 1
S J Tubrazy
The provisions of sections 3 and 4 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction of High Courts Ordinance, 1980 (the Ordinance) are as follows:–
“3. Admiralty Jurisdiction of the High Court.–
(1) The Sindh High Court and the High Court of Baluchistan shall have the exercise, within their respective territorial jurisdiction, Admiralty jurisdiction as is in this Ordinance provided and the Lahore High Court and the Peshawar High Court shall, within their respective territorial jurisdiction, have and exercise the said jurisdiction in cases in which any question or claim relating to aircraft is to be determined.
(2) The Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court shall be as follows, that is to say, jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the following causes, questions or claims.
(a) Any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or to the ownership of any share therein or for recovery of documents of title and ownership of a ship, including registration certificate, log book and such certificates as may be necessary for the operation or navigation of the ship;
(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 done by a ship;
(e) any claim for damage received 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 of the wrongful act, neglect or default of the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship or of the master or crew thereof or of any other person for which wrongful acts, neglects or defaults, the owners, charterers of persons in possession of 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;
(i) any action or claim in the nature of salvage of life from a ship or cargo or any property on board a ship or the ship itself or its apparel, whether services rendered on the high sea or within territorial waters of internal waters or in a port, including any claim arising by virtue of the application by or under section 12 of the Civil Aviation Ordinance, 1960, (XXXII of 1960), of the law relating to salvage to aircraft and their apparel and cargo;
(j) any claim in the nature of towage in respect of ship or an aircraft, whether services were rendered on the high sea or within territorial waters or internal waters or in a port;
(k) any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;
(l) any claim in respect of necessaries supplied to a ship;
(m)any claim in respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a ship or dock charges or dues;
(n) any claim by a master or members of the crew of a ship for wages and any claim by or in respect of a master or member of the crew of a ship for any money or property which, under any of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts or the Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (XXI of 1923), is recoverable as wages or in the Court and in the manner in which wages may be recovered;
(o) any claim- by a master, shipper, charterer or agent in respect of disbursement made on account of a ship;
(p) any claim arising out of an act which is or is claimed to be a general average act;
(q) any claim arising out of bottomry or respondentia;
(r) any claim for the forfeiture or condemnation of a ship or of goods which are being or have been carried, or have been attempted to be carried, in a ship as a Naval Prize or in violation of customary law of the sea or otherwise, or for the restoration of a ship or any such goods after seizure, or for Doritos of Admiralty, together with any other jurisdiction for the grant of such reliefs as are provided under the Merchant Shipping Acts or the Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (XXI of 1923), any other jurisdiction which has vested in the High Courts as a Court of Admiralty immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance or is conferred by or under any law and any other jurisdiction connected with ships or aircraft in respect of things done at sea which has by tradition or custom of the sea been exercised by a Court of Admiralty apart from this section.