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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 July 2021
This article critically examines the admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in relation to claims arising from combined transport shipping. It questions the rationale for the continued circumscription of the court's admiralty jurisdiction to activities on navigable waters based on English law pedigree. It argues that, in the present era of containerization and combined transport shipping, it has become imperative to unshackle Nigerian courts from English antecedents that limit the admiralty jurisdiction of the court to activities on the high seas. The article identifies extant national legislation, a continental instrument and recent judicial authorities that provide the basis for expanding the Federal High Court's admiralty jurisdiction to accommodate the adjudication of claims derived from combined transport shipping beyond the locale of the high seas.
LLB, LLM, PhD (Nig). Senior lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Corresponding author.
LLB, LLM (Nig), PhD (Abuja). Associate professor, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
LLB (Ilorin), LLM (Nig). Doctoral researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
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5 The Constitution, sec 251(1)(g).
6 Federal High Court Act, sec 7(1)(g).
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8 AJA, sec 1(1)(a)–(c).
9 Id, sec 2(1)–(3).
10 Id, sec 26(1)(c).
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13 120 LNTS 187, 51 Stat 233. Adopted on 25 August 1924, the Hague Rules entered into force on 2 February 1931.
14 UNGA A/RES/48/341 (31 March 1978).
15 LFN 2004, chap U18.
16 Hamburg Rules, art 1(6) (emphasis added).
17 Adopted in Geneva, 24 May 1980.
18 Available at: <https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CTC/Ch_XI_D_8.pdf> (last accessed 6 July 2021).
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22  1 NWLR (pt 51) 475.
23  3 NWLR (pt 244) 675.
24 (1981) 5 SC 81.
25 Aluminium Manufacturing, above at note 22 at 477, ratio 8.
26 Petrojessica, above at note 23 at 693.
27 Id at 696.
28 Above at note 3.
29 Id at 1805.
30 Above at note 2.
31 See also the Court of Appeal in Wasa Delmas Nigeria Limited v A & M Minerals Ltd and Others (2018) LPELR-46544.
32  9 NWLR (pt 879) 462.
33  5 NWLR (pt 972) 127.
34 See D Joseph Jurisdiction and Arbitration Agreements and Their Enforcement (2005, Sweet & Maxwell) at 3.
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36 LPELR-47387 (SC).
37 See Sunny Ositez International Nigeria Ltd v Delmas and Others  ALL FWLR (pt 767) 720 CA.
38 C Hill Maritime Law (5th ed, 1998, Lloyd's of London Press) at 192.
39 543 US, 125 S Ct 385.
40 Adopted at the 50th ordinary session of the African Union Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, 26 July 2010.
41 Revised African Maritime Transport Charter, art 2.
42 Id, art 21.
43 See African Union “List of countries which have signed, ratified / acceded to the Revised African Maritime Transport Charter”, available at: <https://au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/7797-sl-REVISED%20AFRICAN%20MARITIME%20TRANSPORT%20CHARTER.pdf> (last accessed 6 July 2021).
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45 See Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer “Benefits of combined transport”, available at: <https://uic.org/freight/combined-transport/#Benefits-of-the-Combined-Transport> (last accessed 6 July 2021).
46 LFN 2004, chap C2.
47 See F Monye Commercial Law (2006, Chenglo Ltd) at 288; Anike, NB, Odoh, JC and Nwoke, U “Concurrent application of the Hague and Hamburg Rules: Ascertaining the applicable law to contracts for the carriage of goods by sea in Nigeria” (2020) 46/2 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 195CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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