Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime Affairs


Ph.D (Maritime Affairs)


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Laura Carballo Piñeiro

Second Advisor

Maximo Q. Mejia. Jr.


Ships, the high-value asset used in both seagoing and inland navigation, and in which various legal and natural persons have interests, must be secured against legal risks arising from any cross-border legal divergence. Legal certainty of ownership of the ship is therefore desirable but it is under challenge with regard to the judicial sale of a ship: the effects of a judicial sale may be denied in a jurisdiction other than the place where it was sold under the principles of state jurisdiction.

Multiple efforts have been made to address legal uncertainty. Particularly important is a new treaty governing the international effects of judicial sales: the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships (Beijing Convention). This dissertation is intended to contribute to that process by setting out two tasks; first, it seeks to identify the obstacles to the recognition of foreign judicial sales, providing additional knowledge which may aid national legal orders when deciding recognition approaches; second, it looks for a universal solution that better guarantees recognition which would benefit shipping.

A comparative legal research exercise exploring similarities and dissimilarities in the municipal and international laws governing the recognition and sale procedures is undertaken. Research results are presented in this kappa and research papers, exhibiting the profuse difficulties a party seeking recognition may encounter in the current legal framework, and explains the new recognition approach under the Beijing Convention. Based on the research findings, a universal solution is proposed that avoids révision au fond, defines the finality of a judicial sale, and sets forth a fixed number of grounds for denial of recognition which may bring greater certainty. This purported optimal solution should guarantee equal treatment for all foreign sales seeking recognition before the registry while minimising the registrar’s burden of finding and examining foreign laws. In the interest of universality, this solution better accommodates disagreeing principles underlying certain aspects of the sale, viz., the ship’s location at the time of sale, the notification of sale, and the variance in the standard sale, namely, court-approved private sales, in a manner that more states may accept. This solution is largely in line with the recognition approach under the Beijing Convention. Considering the greater legal certainty the new instrument may bring, ratification is supported.