"ACTION IN REM" - DEFINITION OF AN "ACTION IN REM"
"One of the most attractive and most significant features of the admiralty jurisdiction of the lower Court is the possibility of instituting an "action in rem", that is directly against a Vessel, usually by getting an order arresting the Vessel after a Writ of Summons has been issued, wherein the Vessel is made the Defendant to a suit. The aim of this is usually to ensure that the Plaintiff is assured of reaping the fruits of judgment in the event of a successful outcome, due to the peculiar nature of the shipping industry. This Court in Pacers Multi-Dynamics Ltd V. The M.V. Dancing Sister & Anor (2012) LPELR-784S(SC), Per Rhodes-Vivour, JSC, defined an action in rem thus: "An admiralty action in rem is a proceeding against a ship, the res, where the ship is arrested. By the arrest the owner of the ship is compelled to enter appearance and defend the ship. The owner is enjoined to answer to the judgment of the Court to the extent of his interest in the property."
PER U. M. A. AJI, J.S.C. IN TRANSNAV PURPOSE NAVIGATION LIMITED V VELCAN ENERGY HOLDINGS DUBAI LTD & ORS APPEAL NO: SC. 1338/2018
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