In January 2012 we have been notified two favourable judgments on admiralty, P&I matters.
The first case, a Port State Control matter, has been decided after more than 9 years of Court and Administrative proceedings by five senior judges of the Superior Court of Madrid; the learned judges have considered that the Spanish Administration had breached several principles and sections of sanctioning administrative law, including the legality, proper identification, and proportionality principle. Accordingly they have held the fine to be null so that no sanction remains against the managers and shipowners of the vessel.
The facts leading to this new judgment of a very old case were the following; after a MOU Paris inspection by the PSC at the port of Barcelona a tanker vessel was detained and fined for alleged lack of proper nautical charts, alleged breach of the minimum crew on board, and other alleged breaches of in ternational maritime safety law.
The second matter has been running for four years following the claims of a third party crew against our clients for an alleged salvage case. The Central Maritime Court has dismissed the claims holding that no such salvage took place as alleged by the claimants.
For further information on these interesting judgments you are invited to contact us to obtain our Spanish 2011 P&I law review.