Report No. 151
Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890
(53 and 54 Vict., C. 27)
An Act to amend the Law respecting the exercise of Admiralty jurisdiction in Her Majesty's Dominions and else where out of the United Kingdom (25th July, 1890).
1. This Act may be cited as the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.
2. (i) Every Court of Law in a British possession, which is for the time being declared in pursuance of this Act to be a court of Admiralty, or which, if no such declaration is in force in the possession, has therein original unlimited civil jurisdiction, shall be a court of Admiralty, with the jurisdiction in this Act mentioned and may for the purpose of that jurisdiction exercise all the powers which it possesses for the purpose of its other civil jurisdiction and such court in reference to the jurisdiction conferred by this Act is in this Act referred to as a Colonial Court of Admiralty. Where in a British possession the Governor is the sole judicial authority, the expression "court of law" for the purpose of this action includes such Governor.
(ii) The jurisdiction of a Colonial Court of Admiralty shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be over the like places, persons, matters and things, as the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court in England, whether existing by virtue of any statute or otherwise, and the Colonial Court of Admiralty may exercise such jurisdiction in like manner and to as full an extent as the High Court in England, and shall have the same regard as that Court to international law and the comity of nations.
(iii) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any enactment referring to a Vice-Admiralty Court, which is contained in an Act of the Imperial Parliament or in a Colonial law, shall apply to a Colonial Court of Admiralty, and be read as if the expression "Colonial Court of Admiralty" were therein substituted for "Vice-Admiralty Court" or for other expressions respectively referring to such Vice-Admiralty Courts or the judge thereof, and the Colonial Court of Admiralty shall have jurisdiction accordingly:
Provided as follows:
(a) Any enactment in an Act of the Imperial Parliament referring to the Admiralty Jurisdiction of the High Court in England, when applied to a Colonial Court of Admiralty in a British possession, shall be read as if the name of that possession were therein substituted for England and Wales; and
(b) A Colonial Court of Admiralty shall have under the Naval Prise Act, 1864, and under the Slave Trade Act, 1873, and any trade, the jurisdiction thereby conferred on a Vice-Admiralty Court and not the jurisdiction thereby conferred exclusively on the High Court of Admiralty or the High Court of Justice; but, unless for the time being duly authorised, shall not by virtue of this Act exercise any jurisdiction under the Naval Prize Act, 1864, or otherwise in relation to the prize; and
(c) A Colonial Court of Admiralty shall not have jurisdiction under this Act to try or punish a person for an offence which according to the law of England is punishable on indictment; and
(d) A Colonial of Admiralty shall not have any greater jurisdiction in relation to the laws and regulations relating to Her Majesty's Navy at Sea or consider any Act providing for the discipline of Her Majesty's Navy than may be from time to time conferred on such court by Order in Council.
(iv) Where a Court in a British possession exercises in respect of matters arising outside the body of a country or other like part of a British possession any jurisdiction exercisable under this Act, that jurisdiction shall be deemed to be exercised under this Act and not otherwise.