Aosta Shipping Co. v. Gulf Overseas General Trading LLC

In Admiralty Practice, Injunctions on (Updated )

This was an application to set aside a mareva injunction that had been granted ex parte. The injunction seized bunker fuel on board a ship that was chartered by the Defendant. The Plaintiff’s claim against the Defendant was in relation to a freight dispute in an earlier unrelated charter and which had been submitted to arbitration in England. The Court noted that mareva injunctions are “extraordinary orders” and their granting is discretionary. In particular, it noted that in British Columbia the authorities indicated a more relaxed approach to mareva injunctions with a movement “to a somewhat unfettered exercise of discretion”. Nevertheless, the two necessary conditions for the granting of an injunction are that the Plaintiff must show a strong prima facie or good arguable case and that the balance of justice and convenience favours the granting of the injunction. Although it was apparently clear that the Defendant owed the Plaintiff the money, the Court set aside the injunction on the grounds that neither party had a substantial connection to the jurisdiction and the seizure had negative consequences for the ship, which was owned by a third party, and her crew.