Arresting A Ship In Ireland

Author:Mr Niamh Loughran
Profession:Dillon Eustace
  1. Introduction

    The 1952 Arrest Convention ("1952 Convention") was

    given the force of law in Ireland by the passing of the

    Jurisdiction of the Courts (Maritime Conventions) Act, 1989

    ("the 1989 Act"). The 1989 Act was passed for the

    purposes of the Convention and left the existing law in

    relation to ships to which the Convention does not apply

    unrepealed namely the Courts of Admiralty (Ireland) Acts, 1867

    and 1876. We now have a situation in Ireland whereby there is

    very old legislation governing non Convention ships and

    relatively recent legislation covering Convention ships.

    Ireland operates under a common law system and the law of

    arrest in Ireland is somewhat similar to the law of arrest in

    England. By way of background when Ireland implemented the 1952

    Convention under the 1989 Act it appendixed the Convention to

    the Act.

  2. Procedure to Arrest

    The 1989 Act implements the 1952 Convention and Article 1 of

    the 1952 Convention sets out the type of claims which are

    maritime claims within the meaning of Article 1. In Ireland

    proceedings are brought in rem that being on behalf of the

    vessel. Claims are categorised into maritime liens and

    statutory liens.

    A practice has built up among lawyers in Ireland where a

    warning letter is usually sent to the owners or the

    vessel's agent in advance of the application to arrest the

    vessel. This is not a legislative requirement. In order to

    arrest a vessel a Summons is issued in the High Court in

    Ireland. In addition to that an Affidavit is filed in the High

    Court setting out the basis of the claim, exhibiting the bill

    of lading, charterparty and any other relevant document to

    assist the application to arrest. The Affidavit can be sworn by

    either the arresting party or their solicitor.

    The application is made Ex-Parte to the Master of the High

    Court or the Admiralty Judge. No arrest order will be granted

    by the court unless it is satisfied that the vessel is within

    Irish waters. In addition to that and prior to the arrest order

    being granted the arresting party must give an undertaking that

    they will be responsible for Admiralty Marshal's expenses.

    These expenses are made up of the fee due to the ship keeper

    who remains on board while the vessel is under arrest and any

    other expenses incurred as a result of the arrest order

    including moving the vessel and soforth.

    Once an order is made by the High Court a vessel will remain

    under arrest until such time as it is released by court order.

    On payment into court...

To continue reading