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Stolt-Nielsen Appeal Fails in Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter on July 25 rejected an emergency appeal from Stolt-Nielsen SA to freeze the Justice Department's pursuit of antitrust charges against it. Stolt-Nielsen has challenged the power of government prosecutors to revoke an amnesty agreement shielding it from prosecution over an alleged plot to divvy up customers in the parcel shipping business, which involves the transport of bulk liquids such as chemicals. The company's emergency petition asked the U.S. Supreme Court to bar lower court proceedings against it and a U.S.-based executive, Richard Wingfield, while a separate appeal to the Supreme Court on underlying legal issues was pending. Souter, acting for the court, turned away that request. In filings with the court, the company said the uncertainty is weighing on the company's business. According to The Associated Press, Stolt-Nielsen's stock price has dropped 37 percent since a federal appeals court ruled against in March 2006. The Justice Department, in its own Supreme Court filing, said it revoked the amnesty deal because it believes the company didn't hold up its part of the amnesty deal. Amnesty was revoked in March 2004 and the matter has been in litigation since then. A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in March ruled that federal courts didn't have the power to block government prosecutors from pursuing the company and its officers because of the amnesty deal

Ex-'Exxon Valdez' Refused Entry by India

Exxon Valdez Aground: Photo credit NOAA US Govt.

In New Delhi the Supreme Court bans the old Exxon Valdez from entry & scrapping until decontaminated The ship, now known as the "Oriental Nicety," entered Indian waters last week and was headed for Gujarat, when the Supreme Court gave its order, according to a news report in 'The Times of India'. The ship was bought recently by the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of an Indian shipbreaking firm and was being taken to the coastal town of Alang, the hub of India's shipbreaking industry

Supreme Court Finalizes Decision on Marine Submerged Lands

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a final decree regarding Alaska's assertion of ownership of certain marine submerged lands in the southeast portion of the state. The court finalized its earlier ruling that the federal government retained ownership of those portions of the Alexander Archipelago more than three geographical (nautical) miles from shore because those waters do not constitute historic inland waters. The federal government retained ownership of those portions of North Bay

OSHA Shares Jurisdiction with USCG over Uninspected Vessels

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that, because the U.S. Coast Guard exercises minimal oversight of ‘uninspected vessels’ of the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor shares jurisdiction over working conditions thereon. In the instant case, respondent was cited by OSHA for unsafe working conditions on its oil and gas exploration barge. Respondent challenged the citation

California SECA Regulations Upheld by Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court voted not to review the Ninth Circuit Court’s opinion upholding the California ocean-going vessel fuel regulations The Court did not provide an explanation of why it decided not to take this particular case. No further legal action is being considered. All ocean-going vessels calling at California’s ports are required to comply with these regulations when the vessel comes within 24 miles of the Californian coast

China: 'Illegal' Fishing in S.China Sea to be Met Harshly

China's Supreme Court said on Tuesday people caught illegally fishing in Chinese waters could be jailed for up to a year, issuing a judicial interpretation defining those waters as including China's exclusive economic zones. An arbitration court in The Hague ruled last month that China had no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it had breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with various actions in the sea, infuriating Beijing which dismissed the case.

Former B.C. Ferries Safety Director Sues

The Canadian Press is reporting that former safety director of B.C. Ferries who resigned after the sinking of the Queen of the North is suing the corporation, saying Ferries failed to heed his warnings of a possible catastrophic incident without fleet-wide safety improvements. Darin Bowland filed a writ of summons in B.C. Supreme Court claiming damages for negligent misrepresentation, wrongful dismissal, loss of reputation, as well as aggravated and punitive damages.

ADA Applies to Foreign Cruise Ships

A sharply divided Supreme Court issued a lengthy and confusing ruling that holds that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the public spaces on foreign cruise ships calling in U.S. ports. The reader is left to determine why. There is one short opinion that garnered the necessary five votes and holding that the public accommodation and specified public transportation definitions of the ADA include foreign cruise ships

FMC Dismisses Action Against SC State Port Authority

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an Order dismissing the proceeding against the South Carolina State Port Authority based on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that the state port authority, as an agency of the state of South Carolina, was entitled to sovereign immunity from complaints brought by citizens of another state in a federal forum. South Carolina Maritime Services, Inc. v. South Carolina State Ports

Australian Shipbuilder Gets Repreive

According to the online publication the Australian, 's largest privately owned shipbuilding business -- Adelaide Ship Construction International -- won a Supreme Court reprieve from eviction by the state government over a rent dispute, with the government claiming the company owed $127,612.65 in rent arrears.  (Source: The Australian)  

India Invites Comments on Shipbreaking Code Changes

Ship breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat. Photo captured from Youtube video.

 The proposals being considered for modifying the Shipbreaking Code, 2013 include allowing ports to define the location and permitting breaking of larger passenger liners.   In pursuance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in CWP 657 of 1995

UAE Top Court: Physical Bunkers Suppliers Have No Right to Recourse against Owners/Charterers

File photo: OW Bunker

The OW saga - UAE Federal Supreme Court decides that physical suppliers of bunkers have no right to recourse against Owners/Charterers. In the first decision on the issue from the most senior court in the country, the UAE Federal Supreme Court has decided that physical suppliers of bunkers have

Securing the Scorpene: DCNS to Move Court

Photo: DCNS

 The French shipbuilder DCNS plans to seek an injunction to prevent further publication of information contained in 22,400 secret documents about stealth submarines built for India, says The Australian.   The company will seek legal action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales after

Otto Marine’s Two Australian Units May Wind-up

Pic: Otto Marine Limited

 Otto Marine Ltd. said three creditors filed three such applications with the Supreme Court of Western Australia to wind up  its subsidiaries in Australia - Go Inshore Pty and Go Marine Group Pty, says a report in Bloomberg.  

Brazil Court Allows Lula Questioning in Petrobras Corruption Case

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Photo courtesy FP Services)

  Brazil's Supreme Court authorized the questioning by Federal Police of ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as a witness in a broadening corruption case focused on state-run oil company Petrobras , a spokesperson for the court said on Friday.

Shipping Faces More Volatility in 2016 -Moore Stephens

Richard Greiner (Photo: Moore Stephens)

The shipping industry is expected to remain volatile and indispensable in 2016, says International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner says, “The ultimate definition of an optimist has been characterized as an accordion player

Box, Dry Bulk Can Sustain by Slashing Capacity

Photo: CMA CGM

 International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens believes slashing capacity is the only way to achieve stability in the dry bulk and container ship sectors.  The shipping industry is expected to remain volatile and indispensable in 2016.   

Spanish Court Sentences Prestige Master to Prison Term

Spain's Supreme Court sentenced the captain of the Prestige oil tanker, which sank off Spain's northwestern coast in 2002, covering thousands of kilometres of coastline in fuel oil, to two years in prison on Tuesday. The captain, Apostolos Mangouras

Supreme Court Stays Green Tribunal Order on Adani Hazira Port

Tugs at Adani Hazira Port Photo AHPPL

Adani Hazira Port Private Limited (AHPPL), a 100% subsidiary of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, had challenged the order dated 8.1.2016 passed by the National Green Tribunal, Pune, inter alia, cancelling the EC 3.5.2013 for expansion of facilities at Adani Hazira Port.

SunEdison Restrained from 'Unusual' Asset Transfers

Solar company SunEdison Inc said a U.S. court has restrained the company from making any unusual asset transfers until a hearing in a lawsuit brought on by investors of renewable energy company Latin American Power.   SunEdison's shares fell as much as 33 percent to $1

BIMCO: Recommended Amendments To Bunker Contracts

Pic: WP Marine

 As widely reported in the maritime press, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court has granted an expedited hearing to Product Shipping & Trading's case against the collapsed OW Bunker (the Res Cogitans).    The hearing will take place on 22 March in London and will deliver the

Stockholm Norvik Port Construction to Start

Stockholm  Norvik Port Image courtesy Ports of Stockholm

The planned freight port, the Stockholm Norvik Port, just north of Nynäshamn, is extremely important for the establishment of an efficient, eco-friendly supply of goods to the Stockholm region. In accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

An oil cleanup volunteer holds up Comorant covered in oil from the sunken Prestige oil tanker on the coast of Galicia, Spain. Photo Greenpeace

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court in the ‘Prestige’ Case.  

Adani may Withdraw from Australian Coal Mine Project

Gautam Adani Courtesy Adani Ports

 Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprise Ltd may walk away from its proposal to build one of the world's biggest coal mines in Australia, citing long delays caused by legal challenges to the project by groups concerned about the environment.

Three Senior Appointments at Wikborg Rein, London

(l to r) Mary Lindsay,  Nick Sheperd and Mike Stewart Photo Wikborg Rein

International law firm Wikborg Rein has further strengthened its leading presence in the shipping and offshore and onshore construction sectors with the appointment of three key senior hires to its London offices.   Nick Shepherd has joined as a partner from Ince & Co

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