Singapore is an important international maritime hub. Its courts and arbitral tribunals are called upon each year to resolve a significant number of maritime disputes. This course focuses on the law and procedure relating to maritime claims and their enforcement. It is intended to complement the smorgasbord of substantive commercial maritime law courses offered by the Faculty, such as Carriage of Goods by Sea, Multimodal Transport Law, Charterparties and Maritime Law. Every aspiring maritime lawyer must at least have some knowledge and experience of the law relating to the admiralty jurisdiction, maritime claims and their legal enforcement. Indeed, such knowledge will be invaluable to anyone who aspires to work in shipping or international trade, whether as a lawyer in a law firm in Singapore or elsewhere, as an in-house legal advisor, or in insurance with a hull insurer or a P & I Club.
While the primary emphasis of this course is the admiralty practice and procedure of Singapore, reference will be made throughout to the laws and cases of other important maritime jurisdictions, as well as to international Conventions on arrests of ships and on maritime liens and mortgages. No account will be taken of the particular issues that fall within the ambit of the conflict of laws (or private international law) as these are specifically addressed in Maritime Conflict of Laws, which is available in Semester II. Moreover, although this elective course is concerned with “practice”, students will not be taught the mechanics of drafting pleadings, which in Singapore is covered in Part B of the Bar Examinations course.
The syllabus will cover the framework of the admiralty jurisdiction in Singapore, the nature of the admiralty jurisdiction (claims in personam and in rem), maritime liens and statutory rights of action in rem, possessory liens, the exercise of admiralty jurisdiction (particularly by the arrest of ships), admiralty procedure, priorities, ship mortgages and other charges, and maritime arbitration.