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Maritime Litigation

The Maritime Court of Panama was created by Law 8 th of March 30, 1982. Before that date the maritime jurisdiction was held  by the District Court of the Canal Zone of The United States of America. As a result of the Panama Canal Treaties concluded between the United States and the Republic of Panama in 1977, the judicial functions of that Court were transferred to Panama from 1 April 1982.

The Maritime Court of the Republic of Panama plays an important role in the global maritime scene around the transit of vessels through the Panama Canal. However, the Maritime Procedure Code provides certain advantages with respect to claims arising from maritime trade shows can be settled in the Panamanian Maritime Courts. Normally, claims are initiated by hijacking a ship that will travel, or are in transit through the Panama Canal. In a ship takes approximately eight hours to transit the Panama Canal and there is no possibility of turning once traffic start.


One of the main features of the Maritime Procedure Code (Law 8th of March 30, 1982, updated by law 12 of 23rd of January 2009), is that the ship arrest which is done with the following purposes:
• To give effect to the privileged maritime claims on the ship, cargo or freight.
• To provide to the Court jurisdiction over acts of maritime trade and shipping have occurred outside the jurisdiction of the Republic of Panama, where the defendant is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
• As a precautionary measure to avoid a trial is illusory in its effects

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