The Sam Hawk: Another ‘Halcyon Isle’ in Australia?

Ifeoma Ruth Obi, Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit


The Halcyon Isle remains a landmark case in Admiralty and maritime practice, dividing courts in maritime nations on the choice of law rule to apply when the issue relates to foreign maritime lien recognition and enforcement. The Sam Hawk displayed to a large extent, similar reasoning and nuances akin to the reasoning in the Halcyon Isle. This paper reviews both decisions on a spectrum that spans private international law and local maritime policy and concludes that the problem of foreign maritime lien recognition and enforcement is not a substance and procedure problem but stems from the forum court’s pursuit of other considerations, including policy objectives. Courts no longer need to hide under the façade of the substance/procedure dichotomy to apply the lex fori to determine foreign maritime lien claims. The paper highlights some pertinent issues raised in The Sam Hawk, which contributes to the jurisprudence of maritime lien in private international law.


Foreign Maritime Lien;The Halcyon Isle;The Sam Hawk

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