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Colonial Cases

Taku Tug and Lighter Co. Ltd v. Wang Chi Hsin, 1892


Taku Tug and Lighter Co. Ltd v. Wang Chi Hsin

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Jamieson ACJ, 22 September 1892
Source: North China Herald, 23 September, 1892

Shanghai, 22nd September.
Before George Jamieson, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.
THE TAKU TUG AND LIGHTER CO. LTD. (appellants and defendants) and WANG CHI HSIN, owner of the junk Ho Chi Shun (respondent and plaintiffs.)
  This was an appeal by the Taku Tug and Lighter Co. Ltd., from a decision of H.B.M.'s Consul at Tientsin, condemning them in damages and costs for a collision between two of their lighters the Linsi and the Guiding Star whilst on tow of the Heron, and the plaintiff's junk, which was at anchor in the Peiho River below Tonggu in March last. The case for appeal was heard on 5th inst., when judgment was rendered.
  Mr. A. P. Stokes appeared for the appellants, but the respondent, as on the former occasion, did not appear, either personally or by counsel.
[Not transcribed.]
I therefore come to the conclusion that both vessels must be held to blame, and according to the usual rules in Admiralty, which by the Judicature Act is now applicable to cases at Common Law, each will bear half the damage.
  At the hearing I expressed an opinion that as it did not appear from the Record that the defendants had obtained the leave of the Court they could not maintain their counter-claim. But in examining the Record, I find that it is defective in another important particular, viz., that it does not appear that the plaintiff has filed any submission to the jurisdiction, which if strictly enforced would bar him from recovering anything at all.
  But in order to prevent any further delay, and to do complete justice between the parties, I think I may assume, until the contrary is made to appear, both that the plaintiff has filed his submission and that the Court has given leave to counter-claim.  The order therefore will be that the case be referred back to the Provincial Court to ascertain the amount of damage done by the collision on both sides, and that each shall bear half the cost that may be found. I make no order as to costs.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School