The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has an original jurisdiction to deal with the cases of admiralty that extends to ships or vessels anchored at any port in Bangladesh. The laws or the Laws of the Sea under the admiralty and maritime legal services in Bangladesh, such as Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1983, the Bangladesh Flag Vessels (Protection) Ordinance, 1982, the Admiralty Court Act 2000, etc. are designed to contribute to the expansion of shipping in Bangladesh. Any person in the world can initiate a suit in the Bangladesh Admiralty Court against any vessel or owner. Under section 3 of the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 the High Court Division has admiralty jurisdiction like the court of first instance for admiralty suits. Section 3 of the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 provides-
- The High Court Division shall be a Court of Admiralty.
- The High Court Division Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any questions or claims relating to Admiralty.
- Any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or the ownership of any share therein or for recovery of documents of title and ownership of a ship, including registration certificate, logbook and such certificates as may be necessary for the operation or navigation of the ship shall be heard by the court.
- Then any question arises between the co-owners of a ship as to the possession, employment, or income of that ship.
- Any claim in the salvage of life from a ship or cargo or any property on board a ship or the ship itself or its apparel, whether services were rendered on the high sea or within territorial waters or inland waters or in a port.
An action or a suit before the High Court Division regarding admiralty matter shall be instituted by a plaint drawn up subscribed and verified according to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. As per section 7 of the Admiralty Act 2000, the maximum court fee for Admiralty suits is Taka 1,00,000 (One Lac), except the claims by the master or seamen for wages earned on board.
Law for Nations has represented a number of admiralty cases successfully.