Within the space of six months the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council – the highest appellant court from the Courts of the Isle of Man – dealt with the interesting legal concepts of In Rem/In Personam judgments.
Whilst it is easy to see how Lawyers would be interested in the Manx Court’s ultimate appellant level analysing these issues, the exotic factual matrix of both matters Cambridge Gas Transport Corporation v. The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Navigator Holdings Plc (“Cambridge”) and Pattni v. Ali and Dinky International SA (“Pattni”) and their impact upon shareholders in Manx companies make the usual territory of lawyers more user friendly for anyone interested in issues affecting shares in Manx companies.
For lawyers and non lawyers, a brief definition, or two, might help:
A judgment “in personam” can be defined as a judgment that defines, positively, claims against competing individuals in respect of a particular matter, or to compel the performance of a particular act – for example, the discharge of a debt, or the payment of an award for damages for breach of contract, or requiring that a particular aspect of a contract is performed.
A judgment “in rem” amounts to a determination of the status of a particular matter or an individuals rights in respect of a certain matter, but is conclusive not only between the competing parties but also as against the world. Put another way (as Lord Hoffman did in Cambridge) both in rem and in personam Judgments, are; “Judicial determinations of the existence of rights; in the one case rights over property and in the other rights against a person.”
Read the full article: In Rem / In Personam Judgments