Necessity of Maritime Court in Bangladesh:
Though shipping plays an important role in the commercial strategy in Bangladesh, but it is a matter of sorrow that there is no separate court relating to Maritime Law. That means there is no special Maritime court in Bangladesh. There is distinction between Admiralty Court and Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction.
His lordship Mr. Justice Ruhul Islam correctly appreciated the legal position when he observed- “Admiralty Jurisdiction is completely different from both Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction and Extraordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction of the High Court.”
The necessity of Special Maritime Court in Bangladesh is not needless to say. It is very important in order to protect shipping industry in Bangladesh. Basically, because of following reasons, establishment of Special Maritime Court in Bangladesh is important:
- For the security of National Trade. Because Bangladesh’s increasing dependence on sea-borne trade both in the export and import sectors.
- To regulate Maritime Transport Business in Bangladesh in case of registration of Bangladeshi ships, transfers or mortgages of ships or shares, collisions, accidents at sea, liability, wreck and salvage, penalties and procedures and so on.
- To protect the interest of the persons engaged in shipping industry.
- To increase the GDP Rate in Bangladesh.
- To realize compensation from foreign country.
- To encourage the shipping industries in Bangladesh.
It is a matter of happiness that, the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 gives the High Court Division (HCD) an Original Jurisdiction to entertain cases at first instance. Article 101 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh provides that the HCD shall have such jurisdiction as are conferred on it by the Constitution and by other laws.
Section 3 (1) of the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 specifically lays down that the HCD shall be the court of Admiralty cases under the Act are decided by way of special statutory jurisdiction conferred upon the court by the Act Itself.Section 8 of the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 permits the hearing and disposal of Admiralty Suits by a Single Bench of the HCD. However, the Chief Justice may constitute a Division Bench Comprising two or more Judges for hearing and disposal of such suits.