An action in rem is considered as that action which is not instigated against a person but rather is instigated against a property or item. This action in rem is usually a proceeding that is useful for determination of the rights associated with a property and does not concern itself with the owner of the property. The action will be useful for identifying property title. When there are multiple parties, the rights of these parties will be determined. This form of an action can be directed for real properties or property mortgages etc. Location of the property is usually a very important consideration here. The important point to note here is that whatever judgement that is passed by the court will be applicable only for the land in context and will not be applicable for the person who owns the property.
The personification theory is one that considers the actions in rem as being applicable for the case of the ship context alone. Hence, the ship rights and regulations are considered in context and the ship owner is not the legal entity considered. Therefore, in this case, the ship, the rights, duties and obligations associated with the ship would be held by the court. The ship can be sued, similar to a corporation being sued as a separate body. Claims are made with respect to the ship. The ship is considered as the defender in the court cases (Walker, 1990). The Nordglimt (1987) stands as the key statement example for the personification principle. The Nordglimt was seen to be arrested when there were claims because of the Nordkap, a sister vessel to the Nordglimt. The sister ship was arrested in rem. Now this personification theory has come under academic scrutiny. It was challenged mainly because of how liability might get restricted under the personification theory.
The procedural principle theory in the case of action in Rem is such that the action in rem issues in personam are to make the owner of the ship appear for the legal proceedings. Once owner of ship is brought up to the court, and then the proceeding will hold the defendant person as being liable and not just the ship. This form of action in Rem is required to reduce the personal liability and enforce the claims made by the plaintiff in a more proper manner. The reason for the establishment of the action in Rem is for the purpose of ensuring that the liable defendant is recognized in the action.