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Continental Shelf Act 1964

Volume 24: debated on Friday 21 May 1982

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9. Proceedings brought in any court in pursuance of an order under section 3 of the Continental Shelf Act 1964.'.

The amendment is concerned with the allocation of jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. New rules for this purpose are contained in schedule 4. Certain proceedings are for various reasons excluded by schedule 5, leaving the present law to continue to apply to excluded proceedings.

The amendment adds two categories of proceedings to the list in schedule 5—that is to say, those which are excluded. The first in paragraph 8 is proceedings for the rectification of the register of aircraft mortgages. Such proceedings do not take place every day of the week, but they are important. At present they can be brought in the High Court in England or Northern Ireland, or in the Court of Session in Scotland. If schedule 4 applies, they will have to be brought in England because that is where the register is kept. Article 16(3) gives the English courts exclusive jurisdiction. We see little advantage in depriving Northern Ireland and the Scottish courts of jurisdiction that they have hitherto exercised. Therefore, these proceedings are to be excluded from schedule 4 by the amendment.

The second category of proceedings concerns acts or omissions taking place on an installation on the continental shelf. Again, these proceedings do not take place every day of the week, but they are of importance when they arise. These proceedings can at present be brought in the courts in the part of the United Kingdom to which the relevant area of the continental shelf belongs. This allocation of jurisdiction seems unexceptionable. However, it is not clear that it may be continued under schedule 4 as article 5 refers only to courts that are part of the United Kingdom, and the continental shelf might not, strictly speaking, be covered. Again, these proceedings are excluded by the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.