Administration of Justice Act 1956



Administration of Justice Act , 1956

(4 & 5 Eliz. 2) 46

An Act to amend the law relating to Admiralty jurisdiction, legal proceedings in connection with ships and aircraft and the arrest of ships and other property, to make further provision as to the appointment, tenure of office, powers and qualifications of certain judges and officers, to make certain other amendments of the law relating to the Supreme Court and the county courts and of the law relating to the enforcement of certain judgments, orders and decrees, to enable certain funds in court in the Lancashire Chancery Court to be transferred to the official trustees of charitable funds or the Church Commissioners, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Admiralty Jurisdiction and other Provisions as to Ships

Part I

Admiralty Jurisdiction and other Provisions as to Ships

S-1 Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court.

1 Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court.

(1) The Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court shall be as follows, that is to say, jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the following questions or claims—

(a ) any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or to the ownership of any share therein;

(b ) any question arising between the co-owners of a ship as to possession, employment or earnings of that ship;

(c ) any claim in respect of a mortgage of or charge on a ship or any share therein;

(d ) any claim for damage done by a ship;

(e ) any claim for damage received by a ship;

(f ) any claim for loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship or in her apparel or equipment, or of the wrongful act, neglect or default of the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship or of the master or crew thereof or of any other person for whose wrongful acts, neglects or defaults the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of a ship are responsible, being an act, neglect or default in the navigation or management of the ship, in the loading, carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the ship or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of persons on, in or from the ship;

(g ) any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried in a ship;

(h ) any claim arising out of any agreement relating to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or hire of a ship;

(j ) any claim in the nature of salvage (including any claim arising by virtue of the application, by or under section fifty-one of the Civil Aviation Act, 1949, of the law relating to salvage to aircraft and their apparel and cargo);

(k ) any claim in the nature of towage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;

(l ) any claim in the nature of pilotage in respect of a ship or an aircraft;

(m ) any claim in respect of goods or materials supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance;

(n ) any claim in respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a ship or dock charges or dues;

(o ) any claim by a master or member of the crew of a ship for wages and any claim by or in respect of a master or member of the crew of a ship for any money or property which, under any of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1954, is recoverable as wages or in the court and in the manner in which wages may be recovered;

(p ) any claim by a master, shipper, charterer or agent in respect of disbursements made on account of a ship;

(q ) any claim arising out of an act which is or is claimed to be a general average act;

(r ) any claim arising out of bottomry;

(s ) any claim for the forfeiture or condemnation of a ship or of goods which are being or have been carried, or have been attempted to be carried, in a ship, or for the restoration of a ship or any such goods after seizure, or for droits of Admiralty,

together with any other jurisdiction which either was vested in the High Court of Admiralty immediately before the date of the commencement of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873 (that is to say, the first day of November, eighteen hundred and seventy-five) or is conferred by or under an Act which came into operation on or after that date on the High Court as being a court with Admiralty jurisdiction and any other jurisdiction connected with ships or aircraft vested in the High Court apart from this section which is for the time being assigned by rules of court to the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.

(2) The jurisdiction of the High Court under paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of this section includes power to settle any account outstanding and unsettled between the parties in relation to the ship, and to direct that the ship, or any share thereof, shall be sold, and to make such other order as the court thinks fit.

(3) The reference in paragraph (j ) of subsection (1) of this section to claims in the nature of salvage includes a reference to such claims for services rendered in saving life from a ship or an aircraft or in preserving cargo, apparel or wreck as, under sections five hundred and forty-four to five hundred and forty-six of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, or any Order in Council made under section fifty-one of the Civil Aviation Act, 1949, are authorised to be made in connection with a ship or an aircraft.

(4) The preceding provisions of this section apply—

(a ) in relation to all ships or aircraft, whether British or not and whether registered or not and wherever the residence or domicile of their owners may be;

(b ) in relation to all claims, wheresoever arising (including, in the case of cargo or wreck salvage, claims in respect of cargo or wreck found on land); and

(c ) so far as they relate to mortgages and charges, to all mortgages or charges, whether registered or not and whether legal or equitable, including mortgages and charges created under foreign law:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as extending the cases in which money or property is recoverable under any of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1954.

S-2 Admiralty jurisdiction of the Liverpool Court of Passage and county courts.

2 Admiralty jurisdiction of the Liverpool Court of Passage and county courts.

(1) Subject to the limitations of amount specified in subsection (2) of this section, the Liverpool Court of Passage and any county court with Admiralty jurisdiction shall have the following Admiralty jurisdiction, that is to say, jurisdiction as respects any such claims as are mentioned in paragraphs (d ) to (p of the preceding section and subsections (3) and (4) of that section shall, with the necessary modifications, have effect in relation to them.

(2) The limitations of amount referred to in subsection (1) of this section are as follows, that is to say, that the court shall not have jurisdiction to hear and determine any claim mentioned in the said subsection (1) for an amount exceeding one thousand pounds, except in the case of a claim in the nature of salvage where the value of the property saved does not exceed three thousand five hundred pounds.

(3) If, as respects any proceedings as to any such claim as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, the parties agree, by a memorandum signed by them or by their respective solicitors or agents, that the Liverpool Court of Passage or a particular county court specified in the memorandum shall have jurisdiction in the proceedings, that court shall, notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) of this section or in any rules made under subsection (3) of section ninety-nine of the County Courts Act, 1934, for prescribing the courts in which proceedings shall be brought, have jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings accordingly.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be taken to affect the jurisdiction of any county court to hear and determine any proceedings in which it has jurisdiction by virtue of section forty or forty-two of the County Courts Act, 1934, or the jurisdiction of the Liverpool Court of Passage to hear and determine any proceedings in which it has jurisdiction otherwise than by virtue of subsection (3) of section two hundred and forty-nine of the Liverpool Corporation Act, 1921.

(5) In section fifty-eight of the County Courts Act, 1934 (which relates to the transfer of Admiralty proceedings from the High Court to a county court) subsection (2) (which describes the claims to which that section applies) shall cease to have effect, and that section shall apply to any action where the plaintiff's claim is any such claim as is mentioned in paragraphs (d ) to (p ) of subsection (1) of section one of this Act and the amount claimed or remaining in dispute does not exceed the amount specified in subsection (2) of this section.

The said section so applies—

(a ) whether the action could or could not have been commenced in a county court; and

(b ) whether the defendant does or does not set up or intend to rely on a counterclaim; and

(c ) whether the counterclaim (if any), if it had been a claim in an action, would or would not have been within the jurisdiction of a county court.

(6) Nothing in this section, or in section fifty-five of the County Courts Act, 1934, or any order made thereunder shall be taken to confer on the Liverpool Court of Passage or on a county court the jurisdiction of a Prize Court within the meaning of the Naval Prize Acts, 1864 to 1916.

S-3 Mode of exercise of Admiralty jurisdiction.

3 ...

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