Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd v Rawlings [2022] NSWCA 4 (04 February 2022) (Bell P, Meagher and Leeming JJA)


Catchwords:


TORTS – trespass to the person – false imprisonment – defences – where respondent passenger on applicant’s cruise ship – where respondent detained in guest cabin for five days pending return of ship to port where alleged sexual assault would be investigated by local police – whether captain justified in detaining respondent “for the preservation of order and discipline or for the safety of the vessel or the persons or property on board” – whether justification defence in Hook v Cunard Steamship Co [1953] 1 WLR 682; [1953] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 413 part of Australian common law – whether that defence requires that captain subjectively believe detention is necessary

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – applicable law – choice of law rules – torts – where alleged tort committed on ship on high seas – where applicable law the law of ship’s flag – where law of flag neither pleaded nor sought to be proved – where primary judge applied substantive law of New South Wales

SHIPPING AND NAVIGATION – false imprisonment – alleged sexual assault by passenger on cruise ship on high seas – confinement of passenger by order of captain – captain’s power to detain – whether confinement necessary