Collision case runs aground

The Law Lords are considering whether to grant leave to appeal a stay of action over a collision between two vessels in the Straits of Singapore. The owners of the Herceg Novi have sued the owners or demise charterers of the Ming Galaxy over the collision, but in May 1997 their action was stayed by the Admiralty Court pending determination of a claim in the case which has been mounted in Singapore.

That stay was upheld by the Court of Appeal last year, but now the owners of the Herceg Novi are seeking leave to appeal to the Law Lords against the ruling. If the Law Lords hear the appeal, which is expected to come up in May, it will raise questions in respect of the relevance of the 1976 Convention of Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims in deciding such matters, and the question of whether "substantial justice" can be done by the Singapore courts in the case.