Nazim Hikmet

It was held by the court that there was nothing objectionable in the claimants’ instituting in rem proceedings against more than one of the defendants’ vessels provided that they did not serve a writ on (i.e. arrest) more than one vessel. As we have seen, s. 21 sets out the mode of exercise of Admiralty jurisdiction. S. 21 (2) provides for the in rem action. In the case of claims falling within s 20 (2) (e) to (s) it is necessary to show an in personam link with the ship or property against which the in rem action is brought. This means that if the vessel is sold (after the claim arises but) before the writ is issued the ship cannot be arrested because the ‘relevant person’ (the in personam defendant) is no longer the beneficial owner of the ship. It does not matter if the ownership of the ship has changed where the in rem is to effect a maritime lien under s. 21 (3), or any claim falling within s. 20 (2) (a), (c) or (s), or any question falling with s. 20 (2) (b). The meaning of ‘beneficially owned as respect all share therein’ in s. 21 (4) can cause problems in English jurisdiction, which has the concept of trust ownership. In the I Congresso del Partido (1977) Goff J (as he was then) said that the intention of Parliament (in respect of the same provision in s. 3 (4) of the Administration of Justice Act 1956) was to take into account the institution of a trust thus ensuring that if a ship was operated under a trust those interested in the ship would not be able to avoid the arrest of the ship. This reasoning was recently applied in The Nazim Hikmet (1997) by the Court of Appeal.