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Senior Courts Act 1981

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22 Restrictions on entertainment of actions in personam in collision and other similar cases.E+W

(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.

(2)The High 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 England or Wales; or

(b)the cause of action arose within inland waters of England or Wales or within the limits of a port of England or Wales; 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—

  • inland waters” includes any part of the sea adjacent to the coast of the United Kingdom certified by the Secretary of State to be waters falling by international law to be treated as within the territorial sovereignty of Her Majesty apart from the operation of that law in relation to territorial waters;

  • port” means any port, harbour, river, estuary, haven, dock, canal or other place so long as a person or body of persons is empowered by or under an Act 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 Act in question or, as the case may be, by the relevant charter or custom;

  • charges” means any charges with the exception of light dues, local light dues and any other charges in respect of lighthouses, buoys or beacons and of charges in respect of pilotage.

(3)The High 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 England and Wales against the same defendant in respect of the same incident or series of incidents have been discontinued or otherwise come to an end.

(4)Subsections (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 actions, 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)Subsections (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 High 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 High 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 High Court not being Admiralty jurisdiction, as well as in relation to its Admiralty jurisdiction.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 22 extended (Guernsey) (1.12.1993) (with modifications) by S.I. 1993/2664, art. 3,Sch.

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