Dalhousie Law Journal


Jurisdiction, unstructured bases, power to authorize service out of jurisdiction.


In Oy Nokia Ab v. The Ship "Martha Russ" 1the Trial Division of the Federal Court was faced with the issue of its power to authorize service of a statement of claim out of the jurisdiction. Before the court stood the plaintiff, Oy Nokia Ab, a Finnish corporation, and the defendants, the German registered ship "Martha Russ", her German corporate owners, E. Russ & Co., a second ship, the Dutch "Korendyk", and the latter's owners, the Dutch corporation Nederlandsche-Ameri-Kaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij, N.V. Oy Nokia's claim sounded in both tort and breach of contract in that the defendants had allegedly delivered Oy Nokia's cargo to Vancouver in damaged condition. Oy Nokia had sold serial capacitators to British Columbia Hydro. The goods were loaded on the "Martha Russ" in Finland and covered by a bill of lading for carriage to Germany. Upon arrival of the German ship in Hamburg, E. Russ & Co. notified the plaintiff's German agents. At the agents' direction, the cargo was loaded on barges ordered and paid for by the agents and the barges were towed from the "Martha Russ" to the "Korendyk". The goods were not inspected in Hamburg (indeed, they were not inspected until delivered in Vancouver),2 but were charged on board the Dutch ship and covered by a bill of lading from Hamburg to Vancouver issued by or on behalf of the Dutch owners of the "Korendyk". The bills of lading issued by the German and Dutch companies were completely separate, and there was no allegation of any connection between the two companies. The German ship and her owners participated no further in the carriage or handling of Oy Nokia's cargo once it was loaded on the barges in Hamburg.

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