Over the years, Gibraltar has become an extremely popular and successful location for ship arrests. Geographically, it is ideally placed, being the effective entrance to and exit from the Mediterranean and also easily accessible, therefore, from Europe, West Africa, the Atlantic and even the Caribbean and South America.
Gibraltar's legal system is based on the common law and statute law of England and Gibraltar is also a member of the European Union as a dependent territory of the United Kingdom, but outside the customs union and accordingly VAT does not apply.
The Supreme Court of Gibraltar presently consists of two judges, namely the Chief Justice and an additional judge appointed by the Governor. Due to the volume of admiralty work, judges traditionally have been well versed in such matters and priority is given by the Court to admiralty matters on a 24/7 basis.
The Admiralty Marshal and the Gibraltar lawyers have always been keen to ensure that the arresting party is fully informed at all times of the arresting process and subsequent interest in the vessel from prospective buyers.