[DAY-1] 8th NLUO - Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2021
Updated: Apr 11
The National Law University Odisha welcomes you to the Virtual Oral Rounds of 8th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2021, organised in association with the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University, United Kingdom.
The moot is soon to begin and we are here to keep you updated on exactly what is going on! You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more insights. Wishing the best to all the participating teams!
8th April 2021
VCR-1: 820 vs 806
VCR 1 updates begin!
14:03 After some serious technical issues with a couple of judges, the rounds have finally commenced. Claimant Speaker 1 starts confidently but is immediately interrupted by the judge and is questioned upon a jurisdiction issue. She pauses and stumbles through her answer. Moving on with her submissions, she makes the judge note down her submissions but is interrupted again and again! In her nervousness, the speaker misspeaks and does not even realize it. She states, “Apologies Mr. Tribunal”. The judge corrects her saying he’s an arbitrator and not the tribunal. Oh, the horror!
14:10 The judges don’t seem to be satisfied with most of the Speaker’s answers and allege she’s trying to avoid answering their questions. The Speaker takes this in stride and finally answers that she does not have precedents in response to a question asked. In her defence, she’s facing quite a hot bench today.
14:20 It looks like the time for Speaker 1 is up! But the judges are not letting the speaker leave. They are having a grand time grilling the speaker as is evident from the grins on their faces. They know they’ve trapped the speaker and so does she.
14:22 Speaker gets an extension of 1 minute. She finishes her arguments and looks relieved to be done. The floor is now Speaker 2’s.
14:26 Speaker 2 is much more confident in her submissions and blazes through the repeated questions asked by the judges. She is asking for clarifications wherever she is unable to understand the question correctly and is being provided with the same. At one point, a judge asks her about ‘super cargo’ – a term she has never heard before! It completely throws her off her game and she hesitantly answers their questions. The judges don’t look happy with the answer though.
14:35 Speaker 2 realizes her time has run out and starts running through her last submission. She’s speaking it all in one breath and finishes it quickly. She then asks for an extension which she receives, thankfully. The judges ask her one last clarification which leads to another series of questions. She answers all of them quite clearly and finally reads her prayer. We can see the respondents gearing up for their turn.
14:54 Speaker 1 for the Respondents has made a big blunder it seems by questioning the survey report as the judges burst out laughing. She immediately asks permission to proceed with her arguments but looks like the damage is done.
14:55 The judges keep questioning Speaker 1 who answers each question with much vigour. She commits a faux pas by calling the case study a moot proposition. The judges are quick to rid her of that presumption and let her know that this is an arbitration and hence, moot proposition’ is not the correct term.
15:01 The judges are not at all convinced with the Speaker’s arguments and let her know that ‘her arguments stand on quite shaky grounds’. She swiftly proceeds to her next argument. The judges finally take pity on the speaker and ask her to ‘take a breath and calm down’. She lets out a nervous chuckle and thanks the judges for their consideration.
15:06 The judges and the participants share a light moment when a judge asks Speaker 1 whether she requires a time extension to which she replies, “Yes, please. 30 min would be good.” The judges tease her for it and she relaxes, finally.
15:06 Speaker 2 for the respondents starts with her arguments and is soon bludgeoned with questions from all the judges. She bravely faces them all but there is no rest for her.
15:19 The judges don’t seem convinced with one of Speaker 2’s arguments and soon grow frustrated with her answer. Their frustration reaches peak point when it seems that Speaker 2 is contradicting her submissions. They tell her in clear words that her argument does not have any legal backing and ask her to proceed but not before audibly sighing and rolling their eyes. Shudder!
15:25 Speaker 2 is almost done with her first submission and asks for any last clarifications. The judges ask her a few questions and then allow her to proceed to the next issue.
15:33 Speaker 2 quickly wraps up her 2nd issue realizing that she has less time. She faces hurdles in the form of questions at every step but somehow ends her arguments and states her prayer. The Rebuttals now begin!
15:35 The Claimants have a lot of points to counter and Speaker 1 for the Claimants takes the floor. The judges seem very satisfied with her points and nod along to her points, much to her delight!
15:38 The rebuttals are now over. Speaker 1 for the Respondents takes the floor and tries to sur-rebut every point raised by the Claimants. The judges seem a little perplexed trying to figure out what exactly the Speaker is aiming at. Judging from their faces, some points make sense, while some don’t. Well, only the scorecards will tell. We can only wait and watch!
VCR-2: 826 vs 816
VCR 2 updates begin!
13:29 The Respondent Speakers 1 and 2 appear clueless with the first session about to begin. However, the Claimants are relaxed and all set to go, as it seems.
13:36 The rounds have begun with the Claimant Speaker 1 taking the podium. The enthusiasm is clearly visible as Speaker 1 proceeds with his arguments by outlining the roadmap for his issue.
13:43 The Claimant Speaker 1 has been caught off guard with one of the judges questioning the use of Sulaamerica case as a precedent when the ratio has already been overruled in that particular context.
13:48 As one of the judges continues grilling in the context of the limitation period being over, Speaker 1 seems to have become restless in justifying the claim for his party. He swiftly evades the question by stating that his co-counsel shall justify the same
13:52 He concludes his issue by alleging that the Respondents have deprived Claimants of its right in this particular issue.
13:52 Speaker 2 for Claimant has taken the floor. She begins her case by establishing that her role would be confined to justifying to the Tribunal how Hague rules for compensation are applicable in the given context.
14:07 The Claimant speaker 1 seems to have faced serious internet issues. But she has managed to get back on track and is all set to justify her claim before the Tribunal. She begins her final issue with arguing that Respondents are liable for breach of contract and conversion.
14:09 The speaker 2 is all invigorated to put the blame on Respondents for their willful misconduct that has resulted in their client facing huge loss.
14:11 The speaker 2 concludes her issues by requesting the Tribunal to rely on conventions to provide compensation to their client and justifies why compound interest should be calculated. She makes her prayer to state that theTribunal has jurisdiction, respondents liable, and that the Hague rules should be taken into account to give compensation to the Claimant.
14:14 The Respondent Speaker 1 has taken the floor. She is facing a major setback with her internet issues. Looks like the Respondents are going to have a hard time presenting their case.
14:19 Claimant Speaker 2 appears to be smirking at the arguments of Respondent Speaker 1, while Claimant Speaker 1 is making weird faces. Looks like Respondents arguments aren’t convincing enough for them!
14:23 Respondent Speaker 1 has successfully presented her case before the Tribunal and stepped down. The Speaker 2 has taken the floor. Looks like both the counsels for Respondents are having a hard time with network issues.
14:30 The Respondent speaker 2 seems to be confused between “submission” and “interpretation” as he goes on to interchangeably use them while arguing for his case.
14:41 Claimant Speaker 1 seeks permission from the Tribunal for rebuttal. He proceeds by categorically attacking every argument made by the Respondents. But, the Host intervenes as the speaker exceeds his time limit. Unfortunately, he had to stop midway with the Judges asking the counsel to step down.
14:45 Respondents Speaker 2 has taken the floor to give the Sur-Rebuttal. Surprisingly, he begins by conceding to the Claimants on one issue, however, puts the incumbent obligation on the Claimants to bear the burden.
VCR-3: 807 vs 817
VCR 3 updates begin!
14:09 After a long delay (due to technical glitch), finally the rounds of session 1 at courtroom 3 begins!
14:10 Speaker 1 of Claimant starts her argumentation.
14:11 Judges seem to be well versed with the facts of the case.
14:14 Judges are satisfied with the answer of the counsel.
14:19 Counsel argues that Hague Visby Rules will be applicable to determine the liability of the deterioration of the goods.
14:22 Judges ask if they are challenging the quality of the goods as it is not the act of the respondent but the act of the suppliers.
14:23 Counsel could not answer it up to the satisfaction of the judge.
14:24 Speaker 2 has taken the floor and starts her argumentation.
14:25 She seems confident and prepared.
14:30 Counsel argues that they have an insurable interest.
14:33 The judge asks the counsel to refer to the bills of lading and read out the definition of ‘Consignee’.
14:38 Counsel sum-up all her issues well with the time limit.
14:40 Speaker 1 of Respondent begins her argumentation. She seems calm and composed.
14:47 Counsel completed her first submission and the judges seemed to be satisfied with the submission.
14:49 The judge asks the counsel “How will you establish that the goods are not security, do you have any evidence for that?”
14:51 Judge grills the counsel on the issue of goods as security by saying that your entire argument is based on the assumption.
14:52 The counsel tries to justify her argument and with the permission of the tribunal proceed to the remaining submissions
14:53 Speaker 1 of the Respondent yields the floor and asks the co-counsel to complete the remaining arguments.
14:55 Speaker 2 begins his arguments. He seems prepared.
14:56 He submits his contention by referring to cases and authorities.
15:02 The judge asks the counsel to counter the claimant’s argument of they being a party to the contract by way of consideration.
15:03 Counsel could not understand the question first due to the breaks in voice but later on he answered that the claimant has already been indemnified. Judges seem to be satisfied with the answer.
15:11 Claimant begins with rebuttals on the points raised by the Respondents.
15:15 Respondents by giving sur-rebuttals try to make their case again.
15:18 Rounds of session 1 end here on a good note.
VCR-4: 808 vs 814
VCR 4 updates begin!
13:51 The rounds have finally started after a delay of 20 minutes on account of network glitches faced by one of the Judges. It was unanimously decided by the organizers and the other two judges to commence the rounds without any further delay. The participants sure did seem anxious at first but their spirits were unfettered.
13:51 The Claimant Procedural speaker takes the floor. Interestingly, while introducing herself, she mentions that she’s been keeping unwell and requested the Tribunal to be considerate if she faces breathing issues while making her submissions.
13:51 The Tribunal seems to be receptive and they ask her to proceed with her submissions.
13:53 The first Speaker of the round starts by giving a brief background of the case. She explains the facts in a crisp and concise manner.
13:55 The first issue she addresses is a jurisdictional one, the speaker quickly guides the Tribunal on the applicable law and arbitration rules in the present arbitration. She comes across as a confident speaker, who is well versed with the facts of the case.
13:56 The Judge has a question with respect to one of the submissions made by her. She responded to that in a confident manner backed up by an authority. The Judge seems satisfied, however, he mentions he’d like to come back to the same question after he confirms the authority by reading himself.
14:00 The speaker has been lucky so far to have managed to move ahead with her submissions without inviting questions. Her submissions involve a good combination of facts, logic and authorities mostly case laws.
14:02 The speaker in her submissions used a case law by Privy Council which caught one of the Judges’ attention. He asked the most obvious but tricky question – “How is the opinion by the Privy Council binding on us?”
14:02 The speakers’ seems to be a bit taken aback by this question but she with some quick thinking on her feet, she managed to answer the question satisfactorily.
14:06 After what seems to look like a great round, Claimant’s procedural speaker steps down and the merit speaker takes the floor.
14:19 The speaker swiftly moves ahead with his submissions without having faced any grilling or a lot of follow up questions by the judges so far.
14:22 The speaker has managed to make quite a convincing case for their clients. He wanted to conclude his submissions with the prayer for relief, but in the interest of time, judges asked him to conclude.
14:24 The respondent procedural speaker takes the floor. He seeks permission from the bench to address them as “Sir Arbitrator” and ‘Madam Arbitrator”. One of the judges jokingly asks him where is the madam arbitrator since her video had been off on account of network issues mentioned earlier. This brief moment of laughter eases up the tension in the courtroom.
14:26 The speaker started by giving a quick background to procedural issues. As soon as he started with his first submission, he was interrupted by the judge and he asked a fundamental question on jurisdictional issues. The speaker could sense he was about to be grilled. The speaker evaded the grilling process by saying he’ll address his concern in the next submission.
14:34 No further questions were asked by the speaker. He moves ahead swiftly with his submissions by including a couple of references from the facts and case laws.
14:37 Respondent merits the speaker take the floor. He briefly explains the issues that will be dealt by him in the course of his submissions.
14:45 Until now, the speaker has been consistent and has shown a seamless transition within his submissions. The judges look satisfied and have been able to follow his submissions. Tactfully, the speaker also rebutted one of the arguments made by the claimant speaker in his submissions.
14:49 The speaker’s flow has been interrupted by one of the judges on a question based on facts of the contract. Thinking he answered the question, the speaker tries to move forward with his submissions, but the judge is not satisfied with the answer.
14:50 Luckily enough, without inviting further questions the speaker managed to conclude his submissions on time along with the prayer.
14:51 It’s rebuttal time! The Claimant speaker takes a dig at respondents by mentioning how she has a lot of concerns in Issue 2. Quite so, there definitely are a lot of concerns on her end as she exceeded the time reserved for rebuttals and the judges had to remind her as to when to stop.
14:52 The respondents in their best attempt to ser rebut the n number of concerns made quite a structured case considering the limited amount of time.
14:53 Session 1 rounds have been concluded. Interesting and fun overall.
VCR-5: 818 vs 804
VCR 5 updates begin!
13:30 It is the First session of IMAM 2021. The teams and the judges are fresh and the enthusiasm is clear on their faces. The Judges begin by asking the respondents whether they are challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. He seems perplexed by this question and it is clear that he did not expect this. He tries to answer, but he seems to just dodge the question. They continue to do so for 10 minutes, after which they finally answer the question.
13:41 Finally, it is decided that the Respondents shall begin with their submissions first wherein they’ll challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. All eyes on the Speaker 1 of the Team 804 as he is finally allowed to begin with his submissions. He seems flushed, which is obvious, given the set of pre-round questions he had to deal with. He tries his best to gather himself and submit his arguments.
VCR 5, 13:47
13:51 The speaker 1 of the respondents is on a roll here as he faces no questions from the judges. Now, whether this is a good sign or a bad one, that the scoresheet will only say! Let’s hope for the best.
13:53 Looks like Speaker 1 is paranoid given there are no questions from the arbitrators. He pauses his submissions and invites questions from them.
13:53 Looks like Speaker 1 is paranoid given there are no questions from the arbitrators. He pauses his submissions and invites questions from them.
13:56 The judges seem satisfied with the submissions of the first speaker of the Respondents. The Judges now ask the Speaker 1 from the Claimants to present his arguments for his side. He seems extremely confident and poised. He begins with stating the facts properly and laying out the structure of his submissions. May the odds be in his favor.
14:04 The speaker swiftly goes on with his submissions. The arbitrator questions the right of the claimants to sue and asks for an authority to substantiate the same. The speaker is prompt with the answer and his teammates nod when he answers the same. But, the authority cited by the speaker 1 turns out to be a case of 1912, which doesn’t satisfy the judges given how old the case is. The Speaker tries to submit another authority, which is again rejected by the Judge as it doesn’t address the issue at hand.
14:10 The Speaker strives to satisfy the concern of the arbitrator by every authority and explanation up his sleeve. However, the judge still seems dissatisfied and given the paucity of the time, he asks the Speaker to wrap his submissions. The speaker seems to be in a hurry as he rushed through the conclusions. On requesting for an extension, he is graciously allowed a 1 minute extension.
14:16 Speaker 1 of the Claimants now concludes his submission and passes the baton to the Speaker 2. The Speaker 2 is poised and continues the arguments for his side. He goes on uninterrupted for quite a long time. The judges seem to be listening and understand his arguments.
14:26 Finally, a question from the arbitrators pauses the flow of his submissions. He does not seem to be thrown away even for a minute. The confidence and the poise of the speaker is commendable. He tries to answer the questions very calmly and perfectly.
14:35 While the time is up for the Speaker, the questions seem never ending. The Speaker very wisely, through the answers, tries to divert the judges to his argument and finally concludes with the Prayer. Looks like it was a good round for him. Kudos!
14:40 It’s now the time for Speaker 2 from the respondents side to present his submissions. But he seems to be facing some issues with his camera which he thankfully resolved in a minute. He begins with his submissions, laying down the structure of his arguments.
14:48 The Speaker 2 goes uninterrupted till the end of his submissions, when finally, the judge asks a question regarding whether the authorities cited are binding on the Court or not. Well, he answers, but his answers don’t seem to address the concern raised by the judge. Another question makes him dig through the moot proposition. He takes a while to find the appropriate response. Let’s hope he finds it soon.
14:54 The main submissions are hereby concluded. It’s now the time for Rebuttals! The speaker 1 from the claimants takes the floor. He chooses to address a question that was left unanswered in their main submissions. Nice try, but the judges don’t seem to understand the necessity for him to do so and ask him to just use this time to rebut the arguments of respondents and nothing else. He proceeds with the same.
14:58 It’s now the time for the respondents to sur-rebut the claims of the Claimants. The Speaker 1 proceeds with sur-rebuttals. We can hear phrases like “They did not prove” and the substantiation of the same. He has an evident tone of accusation in his surr-rebuttals. Fair enough.
VCR-6: 821 vs 824
VCR 6 updates begin!
13:34 Since the Respondents seek to challenge the appointment of arbitrators, the Tribunal has asked them to begin first. The first speaker has conveniently referred to the 3 member Bench (unsuccessfully) to make her point.
13:40 The speaker seemed confused between lex arbitri and lex contractus or the governing law. This confusion was reflected in her arguments, with the judges using this as an opportunity to grill her on the seat-venue issue, leading to a plethora of follow ups.
13:49 The speaker tries to emphasise and reiterate her points on the insurance policy. However, no one except the speaker seems convinced on the argument being made.
13:55 The Tribunal decides to give the floor to the Claimant speaker in order to respond to the contentions of the first Respondent speaker.
VCR 6, 13:57
14:01 The Claimant Speaker quotes the ratio of several cases to make his argument on the venue and lex arbitri issue. He seems confident in his submissions and answers the questions patiently. The judges seem convinced.
14:07 There is some back and forth on the argument of lex arbitri vs institutional rules. The Speaker resorts to using in arguendo arguments to make his point.
14:20 After an extended question-answer session with the first speaker, the second speaker for the Claimant finally began his submissions. The Speaker is very expressive, and verbally did a countdown of “3..2..1..” before beginning.
14:22 The speaker was asked about the burden in contra proferentem. His answer seemed unsatisfactory, as all three members of the Tribunal stepped in to provide the correct legal position for the sake of clarity.
14:28 The Speaker continues to be grilled on his argument on the negligence of the Respondents and concomitant obligations on the Claimant’s part. He jumps between facts and arguments but only invites more questions.
14:32 The Speaker, like the ones before him, asks for an extension citing that “there is more material to be covered”. When is there not?
14:40 The extension doesn’t seem to aid the speaker in completing his submissions: with every answer, he invites another follow-up and seems to get caught in the Tribunal’s web of questions. He cites the factsheet but the Tribunal manages to grill him there as well.
14:44 After a total of 7 extra minutes, the Claimant speaker is finally asked to step down. The Respondent speaker begins.
14:48 “The Claimant cant claim facts in their own favour”. The Tribunal interjects by saying that the Respondents cant excuse their own participation in the contract. However, the Speaker merely reiterates her point and continues with her pleading.
14:55 Much like the speakers before her, the last speaker of the round continues to be grilled by the Tribunal. She cites a case law but the Tribunal is not satisfied because it falls low in the hierarchy of Courts.
15:05 Like a ship caught up in stormy weather, the round seems to be stuck in a bout of endless questions. Parallel to a taken aback mariner, the speaker, much like the ones that came before her, is unable to assist the Tribunal with their questions. However, she doesn’t give up and continues to argue, instead of conceding till she is finally asked to move to the final submission
15:08 Taking into account the equality of parties, the Tribunal compensates for the additional time given to the Respondents in the Claimant’s rebuttal. The Claimant Speaker continues with the tradition of giving himself a verbal countdown before starting his rebuttal.
15:15 The Rebuttal and sur-rebuttal does not invite any questions. The Respondent speaker rushes through her sur-rebuttal and only stopped once the Tribunal kindly requested her to respect the time. The judges have moved to deliberate on the round as the teams anxiously wait for feedback.
VCR 6, 15:20
VCR-7: 822 vs 819
VCR 7 updates begin!
13:45 The battle has begun! Speaker 1 from the Claimant side has zealously started presenting her side. Owing to certain connectivity issues, there have been certain lags, however the judges have been generous enough to restart the timer and the speaker is putting forth her arguments with full vigour and enthusiasm.
13:48 The judges look a little agitated owing to the constant disruptions considering that their question was not audible to the speaker. However, they were kind enough to let her proceed without interrupting her anymore.
13:53 Despite the rocky start, it seems that Speaker 1 is catching up, beating all the nervousness engulfing her and is citing authorities and substantiating her arguments.
14:00 The judges have started unleashing their questions on the speaker asking her whether she has the “Bill of Lading” or not to which the Speaker is trying her best to cater to the technicalities of the question.
14:06 The second speaker has taken the floor and is vehemently putting forth her claims citing the Hague Rules and requesting the arbitrators to take note of the same and arguing on the point of due diligence which was supposed to be exercised by the respondent.
14:12 The speaker is further being bombarded with questions from all sides by the arbitrators to which it seems like she has not been able to furnish a satisfactory answer. Here come more questions on the valuation of the cargo and the profit as received by the claimants.
14:19 The arbitrators are all set to grill the speaker by throwing more questions on the condition of the cargo countering the authority cited by the speaker and subsequently asking for any other credible authority.
14:23 Though the speaker tried to move ahead with another authority, the arbitrators are not satisfied with the same and state that “It does not answer their question on damages”. Time is running out but it seems like the Speaker could not appease the arbitrators with her arguments. However, the Speaker has been allowed to move on and submit the pleading of the Claimants.
14.29 The Respondents have started presenting their side with equal amounts of enthusiasm attacking the arguments of the claimants referring to the contract entered into by the parties. Speaker 1 from the Respondent side is putting forth her arguments in two folds and countering the appointment of the bench of arbitrators.
14.37 One of the arbitrators looks dissatisfied with the argument of evading liability and is countering the same on the basis of Hague Rules.
14.41 The speaker has moved on with her other arguments claiming the question put forth by the Arbitrator would be covered by her co-speaker. She is however charged with another question on pre payment of freight charges as argued by the respondent. The arbitrator looks satisfied with the answer of the Speaker and grants her the permission to move on.
14.42 The baton has been passed to the co-speaker of the Respondent and has started presenting his arguments citing authorities from various jurisdictions. The arbitrator paused the speaker to check where was the same cited in the memorial of the respondent. The speaker took a pause but calmly pointed out the clause of the memorial where the same was cited.
14.50 The speaker is yet again countered by the Arbitrators on an authority cited by the Respondents. The speaker and one of the arbitrators seem to be stuck in a loop over the point of applicability of Hague Rules. The arbitrator doesn’t wish to get over this particular point. The speaker fearlessly cited an authority and is trying to convince the arbitrator with his argument.
14.58 Time has elapsed however, the arbitrators have been kind enough to grant an extension of 2 mins to the speaker so that he can wrap up his arguments. The arbitrator has pointed out a factual error pointed out by the speaker of the respondent to which the speaker has pleaded ignorance.
15:02 Speaker 2 has pleaded to rest his case and is now submitting his prayer before the Arbitrators but the arbitrator has pointed out that the respondents are not challenging the “quantification of the damages”. The speaker begs pardon for the error in the prayer to which he is mocked at by one of the arbitrators.
15:07 The rebuttal round has begun and the Claimant side has fluently countered an authority cited by the Respondents to which the Respondent side does not have an answer and has requested to forego the right of surrebuttal. The arbitrators are challenging the respondent side with some more mind boggling questions to which the respondents took a brave attempt but somehow could not please the arbitrators with their answer.
15:13 The fun and enriching session of the preliminary rounds has come to an end. The judges are discussing the scoring criteria in a separate and private room while the participants eagerly wait in the Prep Room for feedback.
VCR-8: 823 vs 812
VCR 8 updates begin!
13:53 Starting with the first session of IMAM 2021 which is filled with excited faces. As soon as the Claimant begins the submissions, the judges begin their questioning regarding the jurisdiction of the tribunal. In an exciting turn of events, the Respondents have to begin first to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
13:55 The Respondents seem confident and have no issue taking over. The speaker is assertive about her submissions.
14:04 The Claimant then takes over to answer the objections raised by the Respondents with respect to the jurisdiction. The judges begin questioning rigorously, the speaker is confident and answers all questions.
14:25 The Claimant is getting questioned about the quantity of the claim however, the judges seem dissatisfied with the answers. The questioning seems never ending and at this point the speaker seems to have lost her confidence. However, she begins with the next issues.
14:43 The Respondents begin their submissions and are extremely confident and assertive. The questioning begins and slowly the speaker starts struggling with answers and eventually has to plead ignorance to proceed further.
14:51 The Respondents begin to make submissions regarding mitigating the amount for damages to be received by the Claimant however the judges seem to be of the contrary view. The Respondent is adamant about her position and defends her stance.
14:56 The Claimant begins their rebuttal. The Respondent seems perplexed but tries to frame the answers in a short time span. The rebuttals have ended and with that the end of the first session for this Courtroom.
VCR-1: 827 vs 826
VCR 1 updates begin!
16:50 Unfortunately, the round has started with Speaker 1 for the Respondents facing serious internet issues. The Speaker, nevertheless, powers through her preliminary submissions. The judges listen intently but are distracted by her voice echoing.
16:56 The Speaker is asked her 1st question. The question is technical and she has an answer ready. The judge counter questions her but to her dismay, her internet connection is lagging and the judge has to repeat the question thrice. The judge tries to accommodate her issue and quickly types the question in the chatbox. This sets the pace for all questions asked hereonforth. Answering the questions from the chatbox seems to work until the Speaker realizes she does not have a lot of time left. She pleads ignorance to the last question and requests the judges to allow her to proceed.
17:05 Speaker 1 is finally done with her submissions and Speaker 2 is asked to proceed. It is really commendable how well Speaker 1 handled the pressure of having a bad internet connection. Moving on to Speaker 2’s submissions!
17:10 Speaker 2 leads with her technical arguments but the judges ask her about the jurisdiction issue. Her answer is satisfactory enough as the judges don’t raise any counters to the same.
17:12 Oh no! It seems like Speaker 2 has run into trouble as she answers one of the judges’ question with an answer that sounds like a question of its own. The judges then ask her a series of questions regarding the temperature of the container to which her response is quick. The judges let her proceed.
17:16 Due to the internet issues being faced by Speaker 2 as well, the rounds progress slowly. The judges refrain from asking a lot of questions. If that is a good thing or bad, is what remains to be seen.
17:25 It has been 6 minutes since Speaker 2 has been continuously answering the judges questions regarding the conditions in the reefer container. She is definitely stuck! Realizing the same, she pleads ignorance to their question and proceeds but the fact remains that she has wasted quite a lot of her time on this already.
17:28 Oh a possible blunder in the making! Looks like Speaker 2 misspoke a major fact. One of the judges immediately calls her out on it. Speaker 2 apologizes but there is a pause in her speech that lasts longer than it should, betraying her nerves. The judge asks her to confirm her facts but she is confused and stares at the screen blankly. The judge asks her to consult Speaker 1 but Speaker 2 requests for permission to proceed. She somehow completes her submissions but by now, the judges look disappointed.
17:38 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins his preliminary submissions with his own set of connectivity issues. The judges are quite exasperated and wonder what’s going on with the teams today. Tough luck!
17:42 Speaker 1 has been speaking for some time now with no interruptions from the judges. He quickly finishes his first issue and moves on to his next. The judges have their poker face on and so, we do not know if this silence is an indication of an incoming storm or not.
17:45 Speaker 1 is interrupted and quite dramatically too! Both the judges have questions to ask and at the exact moment. Speaker 1 fumbles with his answer as a result and the judges begin their counter questions. Well, the silence was good while it lasted.
17:47 The judges are not at all convinced with Speaker 1’s answers and at one point, exclaim, “No!” straightaway rejecting his arguments. The Speaker seems unsure on how to proceed now and hesitantly puts forward some points which are again rejected. The Judges then expand on their questions for the speaker’s benefit but Speaker 1 is unable to answer the Judges. He asks permission to proceed which is then granted to him. The Judges don’t look happy.
17:55 Speaker 1 is asked what ‘subrogation’ means. He answers the question but is then asked a lot of counter questions where he stumbles again. The anxiety is quite clear on his teammates’ face with his co-counsel straight up shaking her head when he misstates a fact. Yet again. The judges correct the speaker twice but they look irritated. This does not look good at all.
18:22 Speaker 1 for the Claimants begins with her rebuttals and instead of enumerating her points, seems to be elaborating on one with the help of a case law. An unusual approach indeed! The sur-rebuttals begin. The judge is quick to interrupt the respondents as they seem to be summarizing the rebuttals instead of answering the same! Another unusual approach to sur-rebutt, we must say. Thus, the rounds have come to an end and as the judges leave to deliberate in their room, both the teams heave a collective sigh of relief.
VCR-2: 815 vs 807
VCR 2 updates begin!
16:00 The teams have joined the second session. After a good warm up in the first session, everyone seems prepared as they wait for the third judge to join the meeting.
16:17 The Claimant Speaker 1 had a rough start to the session with bad internet connectivity.
16:20 Finally, she’s back to save her Client’s interest in this dispute.
16:27 The bench appears to be cold. The speaker 1 for Claimant submitted her issues and made her case very smoothly without much grilling from the Tribunal.
16:28 The Speaker 1 from the Respondent side has now taken the floor. She seems a little flustered.
16:38 The judges have caught the Speaker 2 off guard.
16:45 The Speaker 1 from the Respondents side has handed over the floor to the Speaker 2 of the Claimant. It looks like she was unsure about her decision. The Speaker 2 from the Claimant, however, seems pretty confident with her arguments as she takes the floor. The Court room suddenly appears more lively with her invigorating energy.
16:57 Seems like the Arbitrators are finally satisfied with every justification that the Claimant Speaker 2 has provided backed by logical reasoning and factual analysis for the same.
17:01 As the Speaker 2 for Claimant continues to confidently make her case, the Tribunal seems to enjoy questioning her on logical analysis of the factual and legal disputes concerning the issues before them. Seems like the Counsels for Claimant might have managed to keep the Tribunal engaged in a fruitful discussion over the issues.
17:07 One of the judges seems perplexed as the Respondent Speaker 2 addresses his question as “answer” to which she is expected to answer indeed.
17:20 The Speaker 2 from Respondents has suddenly become energetic in her submissions. Her addressal to the Arbitrators “Can you understand what I am saying” is a testament to her commitment to ensuring her claims are heard.
17:24 The Speaker 1 for Claimant has begun with her Rebuttals and looks like she has some really strong points to deconstruct the case made by the Respondents. The Respondents are taking time as it seems in deciding whether to take sur-rebuttal or not. Finally, the Speaker 2 for Respondents has decided to take the floor. With 25 minutes having already been taken up by her during the rounds, it still appears that 1 minute for surrebuttal might not be sufficient.
VCR-3: 813 vs 808
VCR 3 updates begin!
16:42 Judges and the participants are here in the courtroom.
16:45 Prior to the beginning of the rounds, the speaker 1 of Claimant informs the judges that they are going to follow the C-R Rule by which claimants are going to argue first.
16:46 Before delving into the issues of merit, the counsel of Claimant starts his contention on the number of the arbitrators in the tribunal. He contents that a sole arbitrator is a better alternative.
16:48 To substantiate the arguments the counsel refers to various authorities.
16:49 Judge interrupts that the addendum to Bills of Lading is signed by carrier in the presence of claimant, and you the claimant have not objected to it at that time. Now, how can you bring a claim on the point which you agreed earlier.
16:50 The counsel agrees with the judge’s observation.
16:51 While arguing the counsel used certain vague words related to the moot problem which was then and there pointed out by the judges. Judges advise the counsel to be aware about the words you use.
16:55 Judges continue asking questions on the applicability of the SCMA rules for the appointment of arbitrators.
16:59 Counsel exceeds the time limit while answering the question and asks for an extension of 5 minutes and the judges give only 3 minutes extension.
17:00 Claimant’s counsel submits that they are the rightful party to the contract.
17:01 The judge asks a question on the relation between the bills of lading and the letter of credit.
17:03 Counsel seems unable to answer the question upto the satisfaction of the judges.
17:04 No extension of time was given to the speaker and judges asked the co-speaker to answer the question w.r.t. relation between bills of lading and letter of credit.
17:05 Speaker 2 of Claimant begins his argument.
17:06 Judges advise him to maintain anonymity.
17:08 Judges continue grilling speaker 2 on the previous question, however, the counsel pleads ignorance as the question is not from his issues.
17:12 The judge asks questions on the facts of the case but the counsel was unable to answer it properly.
17:13 Counsel states that they are not the party to the bills of lading and that statement agitates all the judges because it then raises the point of locus standi.
17:14 Counsel could not answer the question properly.
17:20 Counsel asks for an extension of 2 minutes to complete the remaining submission which is given to him.
17:23 Claimants complete their argument and it seems that judges are not well satisfied.
17:27 Respondent speaker 1 begins, judges inform her that they are going to get an extra 5 minutes for their submissions. (Seems that judges believe in equity)
17:30 Counsel argues that bills of lading is not a document of title. Judge interrupts by stating that by this submission you are disputing the main function of bills of lading.
17:31 To answer the judge, the counsel states that bills of lading needs to have certain essential ingredients. Answer does not satisfy the judge.
17:34 Counsel brings alternative submission in order to satisfy judges that sounds impressive.
17:38 Counsel proceeds to the final submission by satisfying the judges.
17:40 Counsel yields the floor to the co-counsel for the remaining issues.
17:48 Speaker 2 of Respondent begins and apologies for the technical glitches.
17:50 Counsel begins with disputing the applicability of the Hague Rules
17:52 Judge asks the counsel as to whether they perform due diligence in maintaining the temperature
17:53 Counsel agrees with the point that the damage to the goods happened in-transit, however, they are not the one to bear the liability.
17:58 The judge put forth two questions before counsel and the counsel answer them by citing the appropriate authorities.
18:01 Counsel for the respondents completes his submission and ask the judges’ permission to proceed with the prayer.
18:04 Claimant begins their rebuttal.
18:06 Judges advise the respondent to restrict their sur-rebuttals only to the points mentioned in the rebuttals by the claimant’s.
18:08 After listening to both the parties the rounds of session 2 ends.
VCR-4: 806 vs 818
VCR 4 updates begin!
16:05 After a short break from Session 1, the participants and judges have regrouped and Session 2 commences.
16:07 Claimants’ procedural speaker takes the floor. He starts by giving a quick brief of the facts of the case. In his submissions he comes across as asssertive and well versed with the applicable arbitration rules in the present case.
16:09 While proceeding with the submissions, the speaker makes couple of references from the moot proposition. He is moving fast in doing so, as one of the judges requests him to stop for a minute in order to catch up with his submissions.
16:13 The judge catches a logical inconsistency in one of his submissions and of course, decides to grill him on it. The speaker tries his best to answer the question satisfactorily, but he’s stuck in a loop. He invites a couple of follow ups wherein the Judges ask him about the significance of the authority cited by him. Realising he’s caught in a precarious situation, he decides to concede that he would not be able to assist the tribunal with their concern.
16:22 Thankfully, the speaker did not invite any further questions and was able to conclude his submissions on time.
16:23 Claimants’ merits speaker takes the floor now. Before introducing herself she politely asked the Tribunal whether she was both audible and visible. The bench nodded their heads answering in affirmative.
16:25 The speaker has been successfully moving ahead with her submissions without any interruptions from the bench.
16:35 One of the judges breaks the flow by seeking a factual clarification. They need evidence on record from the moot proposition. She seems to be a bit under confident about her answer. Gracefully, she seeks a 10 second pause in order to recompose herself and rephrase her answer. Jumping on that opportunity she strikes back with an answer that impresses the bench.
16:38 After concluding her submissions, the speaker wishes to recite the prayer but was denied by the Tribunal since she had exceeded her time.
16:39 After a successful pleading by the Claimants, it is now the Respondents turn to take the floor. The procedural speaker exchanges greetings with the “learned panel” in their own words.
16:40 Something really interesting happened. The procedural speaker made a brief submission on the jurisdictional issue and then he directly questioned the Tribunal to pitch in and respond to his submissions. Initially, there was an awkward pause when the speaker was waiting for the judges to respond and they just looked at him confused and wondering they were supposed to respond. Finally, one of the judges had to categorically ask him to proceed and not expect a response from the bench.
16:44 Yet again, a strange thing is happening in this courtroom. The speaker while making his submissions drew a parallel between pizza delivery and delivery of containers without any justification for the same. This particular statement sure did catch a lot of attention ,however, doubtful if it was a good catch.
16:46 Not sure if the speaker was soaring with confidence or it was his natural speaking style, but he came across as an aggressive speaker showing a lot of hand movements. This does not seem to sit well with the bench since they have a lot of follow up questions and in their words they could not see any significance in his submissions or answers.
16:55 With no further questions from the judges, the procedural speaker steps down the floor. The merits speaker steps in.
16:56 The speaker after greeting the bench, starts off on a good note by giving a background to the case. Contrary to his co-speakers’ style he has a very calm and natural tone of speaking. Having said that, the speaker was moving a bit too fast with his submissions making it tad bit difficult to follow.
17:01 Five minutes into the submissions, the judges catch him off guard with a great fact-law combination based question to which he does not have an answer prepared. Smartly enough, he manages to give an alternate answer along the same lines and is let off the hook.
17:12 It is rebuttal time! The claimants raise a lot of concerns in a short span of time. They found many logical inconsistencies and loopholes in the submissions made by the respondents. They are on a roll. Maybe, it was this excitement that made them lose track of time.
17:16 Since the rebuttals took 2 minutes, the respondents also took up 2 minutes to sur rebut exceeding their time limit. Keeping that aside, the respondents in a structured and effective manner managed to counter most of them.
17:17 The round ends! Judges’ Caucus begins.
VCR-5: 816 vs 821
VCR 5 updates begin!
16:48 After an unfortunate delay, Session 2 has started. As expected the judges enquire with the Respondents whether they are challenging the jurisdiction of this tribunal. The Respondents get confused at the beginning, but end submitting that they are indeed challenging the jurisdiction. The Judge then claims that in that case, there is no need to listen to the respondent’s side at all. This flusters the speaker, but he very skillfully gathers himself and manages to get out of this trap.
16:50 Having successfully dodged the trap set by the judge, the Speaker 1 from the Respondents takes the floor and very confidently begins with his submissions. He is faced with a question after just a minute after having begun, but his poise self doesn’t allow him to be hurried or afraid.
16:55 The judge questions the speaker on the prevalance of the principle of party autonomy. The Speaker tries to give an answer with reference to the present case study. But seems like the Judge just needs a Yes/No answer. The Judge again asks a follow up question on the same, which on the face of it is perfectly answered by the Speaker.
16:57 This concludes the Respondent’s submission on the jurisdictional issue. Now the floor is open for the Claimants to argue their stance on the same. The Speaker 1 begins with his submissions very calmly and slowly. He seems to have grabbed the attention of the judges well enough.
17:02 The Speaker is finally asked a question after having concluded. He answers that without wasting any time. His answer is clear, concise and probably correct, given the judge seems satisfied. He now proceeds with his second issue.
17:10 The speaker has been going uninterrupted for a long time now. He has almost reached the conclusion of his submissions. Too good to be true?
17:15 The Speaker concludes his arguments and just as he is about to leave the floor, the judges pose a series of questions towards him. This was clearly unexpected, but the speaker didn’t let this shock get to him. He remained the same poised zone and answered the questions directed to him one by one.
17:18 The Speaker 2 from the Claimant’s side begins. He is barely just done with the introduction and greetings, that he is put off track as the Judge questions him. He clearly did not see this coming. He fumbles, and struggles hard to get on track. However, he’s not able to satisfy the judges on the same.
17:22 The speaker still seems to be caught off-guard by all this. Kudos to his efforts to collect himself but the judges aren’t able to grasp much. He tries to condense his arguments, but the grilling isn’t helping.
17:30 Speaker 2 from the Claimant side is now done with his submissions. The Speaker 1 from the Respondents side takes the floor again to submit the second part of his arguments.
17:35 Speaker 1 is really articulate in his submissions. He seems to have a good throw of voice and has a well structured content.
17:39 The judges are kind enough not to interrupt the Speaker during his submissions and reserve his questions for the end. The Speaker carefully listened to all the questions the Judges have to ask before answering the same instead of jumping to answers abruptly. That seemed to work for the judges.
17:42 The Speaker 2 from the Respondents has the floor now! He has probably taken notes on how to deal with the bench by seeing the Claimants and hi Co-Counsel. He starts and his speech confident and insistent. The speaker gracefully struggles through the grilling. He tries hard to maintain his calm and is visibly successful in doing so.
17:46 “Fair Enough, proceed Counsel”. These words from the Judge brings a smile in the faces of the Respondents. They have successfully satisfied the judges. A great feeling!
17:54 Both the speakers from the Respondents side have three things in common; speed, accuracy and fluency. They are extremely assertive in every thing they say which is evidently working amazingly well for the judges. The judges look satisfied.
17:56 The Rebuttals are here. The claimants allege on 3 main points. The Respondents handle the surrebuttals very well. Great round for both the teams
VCR-6: 817 vs 822
VCR 6 updates begin!
16:19 After a brief discussion on which side is to proceed first on jurisdiction, the Respondent Speaker has taken the floor to contest the appointment of arbitrators.
16:22 The first speaker is calm and composed. She answers with poise and does not let the Tribunal hinder her confidence with follow-up questions, answering in a clear and direct manner.
16:24 After a brief and direct submission on the first issue, the Respondent speaker gives the floor to the Claimant speaker to address the challenge to the number of arbitrators. She is calm in responding to the questions. The Tribunal is sharp to identify the inapplicability of the cited case laws to the matter at hand. However, the speaker tries to draw the attention on where the facts are similar, rather than where they are different. Follow up questions by the Tribunal do not affect the clarity in her submissions.
16:32 The Tribunal asks the speaker to highlight the difference between curial law and lex arbitri, the counsel is unable to answer. After a little back and forth, she continues with her pleading
16:38 The question of the nature of rights that the Claimant has was left unanswered by the first speaker, despite exhausting her time. The Tribunal posed the unanswered questions to the second Claimant speaker who addressed the same in a relatively structured manner. The Tribunal posed further questions to his submissions which the speaker addresses with the help of both fact and law. The judges seem satisfied. So far, so good.
16:50 Seems like the Tribunal has finally managed to catch the speaker. Small smiles are let out as the speaker is left at a loss of words, while he tries to think about the correct answer. He doesn’t give up and tries to bring the attention back to the fact sheet and finally retracts his previous submission. With the position now clear, the Tribunal asks him to proceed.
16:57 The speaker asks for an extension of 90 seconds. Unable to provide the exact factual point to support his submission, he seeks permission to proceed with the subsequent submissions. In the interest of time, the Tribunal asks him to directly move to the issue of damages. Indeed, true to the nature of arbitration between commercial parties, time is money at the end of the day.
17:05 The Respondent speaker takes the floor. She admits that the Respondent is not absolved of all liability but relies on the contract to mitigate the liability of the Respondent. Judge: “How can a contractual clause override the incorporated law?” Speaker: “Contract is based on consensus ad idem.” The Speaker is unable to provide reasoning for her argument on the validity of the contractual clause and ultimately pleads ignorance.
17:12 In an unprecedented development, the speaker completed her submission and her prayer with 6:52 minutes to spare. The additional time was added to the time of the first Respondent Speaker, who sought to complete the arguments on issues 1 and 2. It’s anyone’s guess whether the second speaker was sad or happy with such a development.
17:21 The Speaker relies on mercantile practices to highlight exceptions to the concerns pointed out by the Tribunal. Unsure about the value of such a reasoning, the Tribunal asked for a judgement to seek assurance. While the speaker cited the judgement, she was unaware of the bench and other specifics when probed by the Tribunal.
17:23 The Tribunal exercises its discretion and rightly so to state that counsels must adhere to the time limit very strictly. The Claimant speaker begins on a strong note by challenging the arguments of the Respondents on a point by point basis. He states “I do not agree with the Respondents’ submissions”. When would you ever?
17:26 The Respondent speaker scheduled to give the sur-rebuttal unfortunately dropped out of the room due to network issues. The second speaker swiftly stepped up to take her place. In an another unfortunate event, she also dropped out. The third strike was when one of the arbitrators dropped out due to network issues when the Respondent speaker finally re-joined. Clearly, technological and network glitches continue to be more evil than necessary.
17:30 The hosts had to resort to switching to the alternate video room to finally have everyone under one roof (albeit virtually). 20 seconds in, the round finally ends. A relatively smooth sailing with strong winds of network glitches
VCR-7: 814 vs 823
VCR 7 updates begin!
16:06 The second session has begun on a positive note free of connectivity disruptions. The first speaker from the claimant side looks fresh and confident and has started with the formalities to which one of the Arbitrators interrupted and asked him to straightaway delve into the arguments. The speaker is vehemently arguing his first issue. The arbitrators look satisfied with his claims and without posing any further questions allow him to move on to his second issue.
16:10 Owing to certain connectivity issues, the arguments of the first speaker hit a snag and he had to leave the floor. However, showing much enthusiasm and composure, the second speaker of the claimants has taken over and is now fluently arguing his side citing numerous authorities.
16:15 The speaker is countered with questions from the Arbitrator on the point made on Hague Rules which he was able to overcome with a satisfying answer. The speaker is vehemently arguing on German Maritime law and has taken up a significant portion of his time elucidating on the same. One of the arbitrators has thus asked the speaker to proceed to the other points of his claim.
16:20 The speaker is caught off guard with a tricky question pertaining to constructive possession of the cargo. The speaker took a long pause and failing to answer the question posed by the arbitrator chose to move on to a separate point.
16:25 Time is fleeing but the arbitrators can never get over grilling the counsels over intricate details. Right now, Speaker 2 and one of the Arbitrators are in a tiff over the point of unjust enrichment on the part of the claimants. The speaker is unable to put forth a convincing answer to which the Arbitrator excused him and granted him the permission to move on to the other arguments.
16:31 Tough time has lapsed. The Arbitrators and the Counsel are engrossed in a discussion over the citation of a particular authority. The current speaker just like the previous team is challenged with questions on quantification of damages which seems to be the bone of contention. The arguments of the second speaker have finally come to an end after an engaging discussion on the damages claimed.
16:43 Coming back to the first speaker, he had to encounter several connectivity issues which impede him from joining the actual courtroom. However, he was able to get into an alternative video room within the VCR. What sorcery is this? However the connection in this room is stable and the speaker calmly puts forth his arguments.
16:49 The speaker uses the argument of equity jurisdiction which the Arbitrators have immediately opposed to stating that the bench is not vested with such jurisdiction considering that arbitration takes place at the will of the parties. The claimants have successfully wrapped up their arguments and the dais is passed on to the Respondents.
16:56 Speaker 1 from the Respondent side has started on a positive note and has put forth her side negating the claims of her opponent. One of the arbitrators throws a question on the inspection report to which the speaker was able to furnish a satisfactory answer.
17:01 Arbitrators have drawn the attention of the speaker to a point mentioned in the memorial based on which they are firing questions at her. The speaker however retains her composure and continues answering the questions though the judges felt that she digressed from the issue at certain points.
17:04 The second speaker from the Respondent side has taken the podium and is vehemently arguing on the point of applicability of Hague Rules in the particular case stating that Brazil is not a signatory to the same.
17:09 The speaker confidently sails through the other arguments contending the parties of the contract and delving into the other arguments to which the arbitrators did not pose any question as of now.
17:13 The arbitrators are countering the speaker on the point of name of the consignee on the bill to which the speaker calmly responds with a convincing answer. The arbitrators allow her to proceed with her prayer following which the respondents successfully wrapped up their side.