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BOOK REVIEW - ADMIRALTY CLAIMS

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

BOOK REVIEW - ADMIRALTY CLAIMS

Steven Rares

Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
Andrew M Tettenborn, Professor of Commercial Law, Institute of Shipping and International Trade Law, Swansea University Law School, and Francis D Rose, Senior Research Fellow, Commercial Law Centre, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, Visiting Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law, University of Southampton. Sweet & Maxwell, London (2020) cxvi and 448 pp, plus 157 Appendices and 25 pp. Bibliography. Hardback £265.
It is no little thing to attempt to systematise and collate coherently the body of law that governs claims in Admiralty jurisdictions. The authors of Admiralty Claims are two distinguished scholars who already boast considerable recognition in the field of Admiralty law. In the preface, they postulate that they may be filling a gap left by the first volume of the British Shipping Law series, entitled Admiralty Practice but known as McGuffie, published in 1964. The new work, however, does far more than that. After a pithy sweep of the history of Admiralty law both in the United Kingdom and internationally, in the following 11 chapters the authors survey the metes and bounds of their chosen topic.
Naturally, the work concentrates on English law which has been, since the days of Lord Mansfield CJ, such a significant and enduring influence in international trade and commerce. He said in Luke v Lyde (1759) 2 Burr 882, 887 that “… the maritime law is not the law of a particular country, but the general law of nations”.
The book commences its discussion of Admiralty jurisdiction in Chapter 2 by reviewing the provisions of s.20 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (UK) and the statutory bases for in rem and in personam claims. Many of those heads are familiar to Australian lawyers through their repetition in the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth), as well as to those in other jurisdictions. Chapter 3 deals with in personam claims, principally with the establishment of jurisdiction and practice matters in the Admiralty Court in England. The authors discuss ways to get around a wrong turning of the House of Lords in The Indian Grace (No 2) [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 1; [1998] AC 878 that two of my colleagues identified in Comandate Marine Corp v Pan Australia Shipping Pty Ltd [2006] FCAFC 192; 157 FCR 45. Allsop J (with Finkelstein J’s agreement) said that the procedural theory represented the orthodox position in Australian law so that a cause of action in rem against the ship did not merge in a judgment in personam on a maritime claim for the same cause of action against the owner because of the different legal liabilities of the res and the person liable in personam.
However, it would be a mistake to think that the authors have confined themselves to English law. Their work is replete with references to, and discussion of, authorities from other jurisdictions, including South Africa, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. This is hardly surprising, given the authors’ broad experience and

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