• Live updates - 7th NLUO IMAM 2020

[DAY-2] 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!


DAY-2


9th April 2021

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION-3


VCR-1: 822 vs 807

11:15 Rounds on Day 2 begin with yet again internet issue being faced by Speaker 1 for the Claimants. Nevertheless, the rounds proceed with the speaker laying down the facts of the case wherein she is asked a couple of questions by an Arbitrator which she answers confidently. Speaker 1 has her poker face on and continues uninterrupted for quite some time.

11:23 Speaker 1 is being asked to justify her stance on the jurisdiction issue – a question that has been popping up in every round so far. The Arbitrator tries to lead her away from the answer but Speaker 1 perseveres and is successful in satisfying the Arbitrator. He then asks her to proceed.

11:27 With each passing minute, the questions are getting more technical. It has been five minutes since the speaker has been allowed to move on with her submissions. She is backing up her answers with precedents and statutes but the Arbitrators are relentless in their questioning. She realizes that she has lost a lot of her time and finally pleads ignorance. The Arbitrators allow her a time extension of 2 minutes to complete her next submission. Phew! That was a tight corner she had allowed herself to be put in. Speaker 1 moves on with her 2nd argument.

11:35 Speaker 1 now hands the baton to her co-counsel, Speaker 2. She begins by explaining the applicability of the Hague Rules to the case study. The Arbitrator interrupts her asking why the Hague Visby Rules won’t apply. The Arbitrators are puzzled with her justification and ask her counter questions. Speaker 2 is unable to answer them and pleads ignorance. The Arbitrators are not happy.

11:44 The Arbitrators ask Speaker 2 about her knowledge of the way reefer containers function. Speaker 2, dodging the question, begins explaining the facts stated in the case study. She falls into her own trap when she misstates a fact. The Arbitrators refuse to accept her reasoning. Speaker 2 looks nervous and we can hear the anxiety in her voice.

11:55 With every question asked, Speaker 2 seems to lose her confidence and starts stumbling and stuttering through her answers. She somehow finishes her submissions. It is now time for the Respondents to take the podium.

12:07 Speaker 1 for the Respondents is not allowed a smooth start as the Arbitrators are persistently questioning her on the application of law in the present case. She is then asked to state the application of the ‘inherent vice of the goods’ principle in the case study. She is also asked to justify their fulfillment of the conditions for the inherent vice defence. Speaker 1 is unable to answer the questions directly and the Arbitrators direct her to “stop introducing new facts” at this point. It also looks like Speaker 1 is looking for a way out because she soon starts speaking over the Arbitrators and quickly shifts to her second submission. The Arbitrators quickly cut in and let her know that ‘they are not convinced at all’. Woah, this spells trouble!

12:22 Speaker 1 completes her submissions but the Arbitrators ask her one last question before Speaker 2 is allowed to proceed. She answers the question and now it is time for Speaker 2!

12:26 The round continues with an awkward moment where Speaker 2 refers to the bench as “Mr. Arbitrator” when in fact, the Bench is overwhelmingly, female. Speaker 2 looks taken aback and apologizes for her oversight. All is not well from here on out for her.

12:34 The rounds seem to be going out of hand for Speaker 2. At one point, she point blank asks the Arbitrator, “Are you understanding what I’m trying to say?”. The Arbitrator says, “No”. Ouch!

12:36 Speaker 2 has some serious conceptual issues in her arguments and the Arbitrators look exasperated. She is now being quizzed on contract law concepts, not something we expected would happen today. Speaker 2 ends her submissions and now it is time for rebuttals.

12:42 The speaker for the Claimants is done with her rebuttals in under 30 seconds. The speaker for the Respondents makes a point and is done with them in under 10 seconds. Fast! After such a brutal round, it remains to be seen how well the participants have fared. We’ll get to know the same from the Arbitrators’ feedback. Hope all goes well!

VCR-2: 823 vs 808

11:08 It’s the second day for preliminary rounds of 8th IMAM. Session 3 in Court room 2 is about to begin. Teams 823 and 808 have arrived. The session is delayed by 15 minutes due to some unprecedented issue faced by one of the judges. Claimant and Respondents seem pretty confident and prepared for their first rounds of the day after a series of grilling sessions from Day 1. It will be interesting to watch both the teams be all energetic as they decide which format to follow for the session about to start.

11:10 The judges have decided to begin the session without any further delay. Team 823 speaker 1 has taken the floor and has requested the Tribunal to proceed with her first issue. Having begun very calmly, the speaker 1 Team 823, representing the Claimants, has been abruptly interrupted by one of the judges upon making a case regarding the jurisdiction dispute.

11:19 Soon after the judges interrupted, the Speaker for team 823 seems to have been overcome with the restlessness that followed. She seems to struggle with justifying their claim regarding the interpretation of the Arbitration Clause.

11:24 Although the time for Speaker 1 from team 823 is up, one of the judges seem to have extended her time to enquire about mandatory provisions that the counsel has been emphasizing upon for quite some time now. The Arbitrator’s question seems to have caught the speaker 1 off guard. In any case, she manages to make her case and yield the floor to the next speaker from Respondents Team 808.

11:28 The Respondent Speaker 1 for team 808 has taken the floor. Looks like the defense counsel was very vigilant throughout the Claimant Speaker 1 from the team 823 rounds, as she tries to deconstruct their case regarding compensation and Jurisdiction claim.

11:35 Speaker 1 from team 808 sped up like an ALFA-X version of the Shinkansen train soon after she was interrupted by one of the Judges.

11:40 The Speaker 1 from team 808 seems to be back to her normal pace. For quite some time now there has been constant badgering by judges with questions concerning containers’ dispute, however, the Speaker 1 is pretty stable and consistent with her arguments. It’s unclear though whether the judges questioning implies their curiosity towards her case or dissatisfaction with her reasoning.

11:46 The time is up for Speaker 1 from team 808 but one of the judges is still enquiring about her factual and legal analysis concerning Respondents’ carrier containers. It is pretty exciting to watch her justify Respondents’ claims without faltering.

11:50 After a great round of interrogation of the Respondent Speaker 1 from Team 808, the Claimant speaker 2 for team 823 has taken the floor. Before she could even make her case, 2 out of the 3 judges have unexpectedly stopped her to clarify Claimants’ request for compensation claims.

11:54 A series of questions have been following up for last four minutes. Speaker 2 for team 823 looks anxious with all these questions being thrown at her, wondering if she has been thrown off track by the Tribunal. But the Speaker 2 has managed to answer every question very calmly. Looks like the speaker has realised her entire case for 16 minutes will have to be made by answering questions only.

12:09 After an elaborate session of answering by Speaker 2 of Team 823, the Tribunal tactfully questioned the Counsel on a two-fold concern that still appeared to prevail in their minds. Those being, the capacity of the Claimants to sue and regarding the applicability of the insurance. The Speaker 2 tried to evade the question by requesting for an extension of time. However, with the grant of additional 2 minutes, the speaker 2 could neither justify this nor cite any source for value of compensation claimed. It was indeed very apparent that one of the judges appeared to be very interested in testing the Speaker 2 on her basic research preparation.

12:13 The speaker 2 for team 808 is the last speaker for this session before the rebuttals begin. Upon taking the floor, he appears to be unaffected by his surrounding, like the wise old man from one of Shakespearean Plays. He begins the rounds with a brief introduction, and lays down two issues that he shall be addressing, mainly the damage to containers and if claimant has a right to compensation claim.

12:37 Just like the Speaker 1, the Respondents Team 808 Speaker 2 managed to present an impressive performance with great oratory skills and logical analysis of the disputes before the Tribunal. Fortunately, the Tribunal seems to have enjoyed their engagement with the Speaker 2 from team 808 during the session.

12:40 The Speaker 2 for team 823 has taken the floor for Rebuttals. Her arguments are very responsive to the arguments presented by the Respondents Counsels before.

12:44 The Speaker 1 for Respondents team 808 is backfiring with factual evidence to make their case even stronger in the sur-rebuttals.

12:50 After a great round with some interesting discussions and deliberations by Teams 823 v. 808, the session 3 has come to an end. Participants are eagerly waiting for their feedback before they can get back on track for the next session.

VCR-3: 818 vs 820

11:10 Rounds for 818 v 820 begins in court room 3 in the presence of the judges.

11:11 With regard to the format, the Claimant informs the judges that the Respondent has challenged the jurisdiction of this tribunal and therefore they should be the one to argue. The judges let the parties mutually decide on this.

11:14 Speaker 1 of the Claimant begins after the bilateral decision between the parties on who will argue first.

11:15 Counsel lays down the issues and bone of contention before the tribunal.

11:19 Counsel argues that mandatory provision of section 9 will prevail over SCMA Rules.

11:22 Judge brings counsel’s attention to the attendum ask the applicability of the Rules and ask him to justify his submission.

11:24 Somehow the counsel tries to satisfy the judges by his contention and proceed ahead with the next submission.

11:26 “Who is the lawful holder of the bill of lading ?” – the judge has asked the counsel.

11:28 Judge asks what is the nature of the document in order to finance the transaction, it seems that counsel does not know the answer to it.

11:30 Judge continues grilling the counsel on the technicalities of the transaction and conditions attached to it.

11:31 Two extra minutes are alloted to the counsel so that he can answer the questions asked by the tribunal.

11:33 Judge asks the counsel to summarise the remaining issue within next 30 seconds.

11:34 Counsel yields the floor.

11:34 Speaker 2 continues the claimant’s argument on the issue of coversion of containers.

11:36 Judge pointed out that if the facts are silent then how can you come to the assumption that there was conversion of the containers.

11:37 Counsel concedes to the observation pointed out by the judge.

11:39 Applicability of Hague Rules is contented by the counsel and utilised to answer the questions raised by the judges.

11:42 Counsel seems to convince the judges with the rules of interpretation to justify his contention.

11:47 Claimants speaker 2 completes his arguments. He has eloquently argued and answered the panel’s questions.

11:51 Respondent speaker 1 begins with her submissions.

11:56 5 minutes up. No questions have been asked. The bench seems to agree with the speaker’s submissions.

11:59 The panel questions the speaker on whether a multi-model bill of lading is a document of title?

11:59 The speaker cites several authorities to establish that such a bill would not constitute a document of title.

12:05 The panelists continue to grill the speaker. The speaker fumbles.

12:06 Speaker 1 completes her submissions.

12:07 Speaker 2 takes the floor and is immediately faced with multiple questions.

12:16 The judges question with regard to the liability of the carrier and about whether the respondent followed the principles of seaworthiness?

12:16 The speaker answers amidst heavy grilling. She maintains her composure and continues to respond.

12:24 Speaker 2 completes her submissions. Rebuttals and sur-rebuttals commence. It has been a fulfilling yet challenging round for both teams.

VCR-4: 821 vs 826

11:05 And Day 2 of IMAM is in session! Having caught up on sleep and well rested, all the participants and judges in the courtroom look fresh. Looks like we are about to witness a great pleading this session. With one of the judges being absent, the organizers had no choice but to follow the protocols and commence the round with a two-member bench.

11:06 As proposed by one of the judges, the teams deliberate whether they are in consensus with the idea of following a RCCR speaking model as followed by traditional arbitration moots. The respondents seem to be in agreement and procedural speaker from Respondent side is ready to take the floor.

11:08 First speaker of the day, Respondents’ procedural speaker begins with his submissions. His style of speaking comes across as very natural and seamless, he uses his hands to emphasise on facts that are in favour of his client. Now that the judges are fairly well versed with the facts of the case, he is not investing a lot of time on background to the issues, which seems like a smart move giving him more time for his submissions.

11:11 Until now the speaker had been moving in a very smooth uninterrupted flow, however, he muted himself by mistake which breaks his flow. The judge had to unmute herself and point it out to the speaker. He stopped immediately, unmuted himself and apologized to the bench. After this brief pause on account of technical difficulty, the speaker proceeds with his submissions.

11:17 What seemed like a cold bench till now, suddenly turns into a hot bench now. Lot of procedural questions are thrown at the speaker. He is finding it difficult to keep up with the questions. The judge has caught the speaker in a loop with a question on the fundamental principle of arbitration, whether arbitration rules prevail over lex arbitri. With about six minutes still left on the clock, the speaker steps down the floor and requests to continue with his submissions after the claimants’ have made their case. The judges allow him to do so clearly allowing a modification in the traditional RCCR model.

11:18 Now the claimants’ procedural speaker takes the floor. He takes a couple of seconds to himself and takes a deep breath before he starts speaking. This is a very common practice shown by seasoned speakers and reflects nothing but confidence.

11:25 With the bench already set in the mood to grill, the speaker is having a hard time in making his submissions without being interrrupted almost every 30 seconds. . What was evident is that the speaker knew the answers to all the questions but since the judge kept rephrasing his questions in order to confuse him, the speaker got a tad bit impatient.There were a couple of instances where he interrupted the judge while he was asking a question which might be taken as an offense by a hot bench. We can only hope that the judges in this session didn’t.

11:34 Having run out of his time and still stuck in a loop of follow up questions, the speaker in a respected and a tactful manner puts his point across the table with the help of his conclusion. We can see a look of satisfaction on the face of the judges as well. The merits speaker for claimant takes the floor.

11:44 Unlike the composure shown by his co-speaker, the merits speaker is definitely not handling a hot bench well. Flustered with the plethora of questions thrown at him, the speaker had a hard time to move back to his submissions

11:47 With time running out of his hands,the speaker knew he had to get out of that loop and smartly enough, he requested the bench to allow him to conclude with his submissions and address the remaining concerns of the bench in the conclusion. This particular statement was received well by the bench and they gave him a nod.

11:50 Now, the respondents’ procedural speaker takes the floor again with almost six minutes left on his clock.

VCR-5: 824 vs 827

11:38 It’s the second day of the preliminary rounds. The participants and Judges of VCR 5 are fresh and ready for the first session of the day. As expected, the judge asks the respondents if they are challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The respondents affirm the same and subsequently, the Speaker 1 takes the floor to present her submissions for the jurisdictional challenges.

11:42 Seems like the Internet is not a friend for the respondents today. The speaker 1 powers through the unfortunate glitches gracefully and continues with her submissions. She has a certain amount of calmness and poise in her voice which is proving to be an incentive given her internet condition.

11:47 The question for the applicable law is now here, as the judge asks for an authority to justify the same. She pleads ignorance and this marks the end of her submissions.

11:50 Now it’s the time for the claimants’ Speaker 1 to contest her stance. The vigour and the force in her voice leads to a sudden change in the otherwise silent and calm environment of the Courtroom. We could see one of the judges startled as she started with her arguments. Let’s see how this vigour and energy works with the judges.

12:00 “The judge interrupts her flow with a question regarding the genesis of the doctrine of subrogation and what is its value in the International Commercial Arbitration. The Counsel claims that this tribunal has never had a problem with the application of the same.

Judge: Do you have any case law to the effect? Speaker: No, Mr. Arbitrator, but the Counsel has researched and read and I insist that the Tribunal has never had a problem with the application of doctrine of subrogation. Judge: But do you have any authority? Speaker: Currently, Mr Arbitrator I do not. But the researcher will send across the case law and the relevant portion and the counsel shall read it out when she sends. If this suffices, Mr. Arbitrator? Judge: That’s fine. But do not think I am going to forget about this. If you are trying to be smart and dodge it, I suggest you think again! Speaker: (Awkward Laugh) Sure Mr. Arbitrator.

12:06 Turns out the researcher’s authorities did not satisfy the judge’s concerns. After giving it numerous tries, the Speaker finally gave in. This marked the end of her time on the podium today. She passed the baton to her Co-Counsel .

12:15 Seems like claimants are very enthusiastic! The Speaker 2 starts her submissions and she is amazing! Speed is one of the things that the Claimant team is really into. It’s like they have their minds made up that they’ll not compromise the speed in their speech! But the good thing is despite the speed, the fluency is maintained throughout!

12:30 The Speaker 2 ends on a satisfactory note. The eyes turn to the Respondents, for now it’s their chance to defend themselves on the allegations put forth by the claimants. They face some very serious network issues, but they finally manage to secure a connection and the Speaker 1 commences with her submissions. Her calmness despite the technical issues is commendable.

12:58 Through all the technical issues, the respondents struggle to make their submissions and the questions certainly aren’t helping the situation. Bad day for them!

13:01 Time for Rebuttals! The claimants jump at the opportunity and point out each and every fallacy in the Respondents arguments. The respondents try to sur-rebut, it is very hard to say whether they did satisfy all the concerns or not.

VCR-6: 804 vs 802

11:09 Ready for an early start, the teams deliberate in their prep rooms to decide the order of speaking. Since Respondents are not challenging the jurisdiction, they let the Claimants go first.

11:16 After a slight delay due to technical issues, the first counsel for the Claimant has finally taken the floor. With no questions on the matter of number of arbitrators so far, seems like its smooth sailing for the counsel

11:19 The Tribunal directs the counsel to the arbitration clause as well as the provisions of the SCMA to contradict his argument. The counsel responds by arguing that the IAA constitutes lex arbitri and is in application, together with SCMA. The Tribunal does not seem satisfied and asks for a hierarchy of laws, “Why are we going to the lex arbitri in the first place?”

11:22 The counsel seems to be adamant on his argument of the mandatory provision of the SCMA rules and says that they are not in contravention of the rules when they apply the lex arbitri. The Tribunal does not seem satisfied, making it evident. In the interest of time, the Tribunal permits the counsel to proceed to the second issue.

11:25 With no questions on the second submission in entirety, the counsel quickly proceeds to the third issue. Are the arguments convincing or is the counsel rushing through his transcript to complete it in time?

11:28 The counsel quotes Salmond on torts to make his point, along with several cases. The Tribunal does not intervene with questions but is listening intently to every word.

11:29 The temperatures run cold today: The counsel before concluding, asks if the Tribunal has any further questions. The Tribunal responds with a unanimous No!. Without a solid landing, the counsel passes the baton to his co-counsel who begins with laying down a roadmap.

11:32 “Member of the Tribunals”: The tension is visible as the counsel starts fumbling. The Tribunal uses this window to question him on his argument regarding Clause 11(3) of the contract. He cites a clarification to answer the concern, albeit unsuccessfully. The counsel then provides an alternate argument on conduct to prove the applicability of the Hague Rules. Finally, the Tribunal is content.

11:36 The Tribunal is unable to understand “what” the negligence of the Respondent really is? After two follow-ups, the counsel makes his point. Even then, the Tribunal is not convinced how this conduct makes them liable? After an uncertain response, the counsel soldiers on.

11:41 “What is the basis for making this statement on market value?”. Without mentioning the exact clause, till he is asked to do so by the Tribunal, the counsel answers the concern. A Sponge-bob themed ringtone keeps interjecting more than the Tribunal. The Tribunal finally asks for the timer to be paused till the counsel puts his phone on silent. “Ma’am priorities matter, the Tribunal is my priority”. “That is okay, just put your phone on silent“. The Tribunal sets an example of being calm and composed during testing moments.

11:46 The counsel for the Respondents has taken the floor. He begins with a polite and calm tone. He waits for the Tribunal’s nod periodically. He seems to have doused the fire created by the Claimants during their pleading.

11:48 We are unsure if its the polite and calm demeanor of the counsel that is helping his case or the soundness of his arguments, but the Tribunal does not interject with questions.

11:50 The Tribunal finally asks him a question. The counsel tactfully answers it in his next submission, using the logic of the Claimants argument itself. His enunciation seems to contribute to his argument some more.

12:03 He finally concludes, ending as calmly and politely as he began. His co-counsel has taken the floor, beginning on an informal note befiting an arbitration.

12:06 After a rather elaborate roadmap and introduction, the final speaker of his round begins his arguments. On his first submission itself, the Tribunal points out how there is no explicit exclusion in the case at hand. The counsel is glad that the Tribunal asked him this, he answers briefly while stating that he will address it in a more detailed manner in his subsequent submissions. He keeps quoting Lord Diplock.

12:19 After two extensions, the counsel finally concludes his submission. The rebuttal is extremely responsive to the submissions of the Respondent and sharply points out that they relied on an overruled case law. The sur-rebuttal is short but the sweetness is subjective to the Tribunal’s liking.

12:28 The counsel for the Respondents exceeds his extended time in the rebuttals as well. The Tribunal has to finally ask him to step down. Before the judges move for deliberation, the counsel for the Claimants clarifies a point that was used in the sur-rebuttals ‘for information sake’. The Tribunal politely nods even though it was information that no one asked for.

VCR-7: 812 vs 813

11:30 The Session 3 has commenced after a slight delay and conflict between the parties as to which side will go first considering that the Respondents would be challenging the jurisdiction itself. However, the Arbitrators have used their discretion and allowed the Claimants to present their side first.

11:33 The first speaker from the claimants’ side looks determined and is presenting her arguments with a lot of conviction. Her arguments are well laden with citation of authorities from numerous jurisdictions and she is confidently using the same to substantiate her arguments.

11:36 It seems like the arbitrators are well-satisfied with the arguments framed by the speaker on the appointment of a sole arbitrator in accordance with the rules of the International Arbitration Act. The arbitrators did not interrupt the speaker for questions during the entire course of 10 mins in which she spoke.

11:36 It seems like the arbitrators are well-satisfied with the arguments framed by the speaker on the appointment of a sole arbitrator in accordance with the rules of the International Arbitration Act. The arbitrators did not interrupt the speaker for questions during the entire course of 10 mins in which she spoke.

11:40 The podium has been passed to the second speaker who is confidently putting forth the claims and will be speaking for 18 minutes in total. The Arbitrators are attentively listening to the arguments made by the counsel.

11.45 Finally, half way into the arguments of the second speaker, one of the arbitrators has interrupted her and is bombarding her with questions pertaining to the bill of lading. It seems like the speaker is not clear with the questions so she pleads the arbitrator to repeat himself. The Speaker finally took some time and explained her side to which the arbitrator asked her to proceed with other points. However, she is immediately interrupted by another arbitrator who is spinning questions on the applicability of Hague Rules.

11.50 The speaker is yet again countered with another question pertaining to the Tort of Conversion following which the Arbitrators seem to be roasting her not claiming damages. However, the speaker maintaining her composure enthusiastically responds that the issue will be dealt with at a later stage.

11:56 The speaker is wading through her arguments when she is impeded by a tricky question from one of the arbitrators. Time has elapsed but the arbitrators have considered the request of the counsel and granted her an extension to wrap up her arguments.

11:59 The speaker pulling herself together is presenting the last part of her arguments which primarily deals with the damages claimed by the claimants. The arbitrators are not convinced by the amount claimed by the claimants, however the counsel representing them were humble enough to accept any change as may be made by the arbitrator in the quantification of damages. With this, the claimants have successfully wrapped up the arguments of their side.

12:05 The first from the Respondent’s side has taken the floor now and is vehemently arguing on the point of Bill of lading addressing the issue of possession of the cargo. It seems like the issue of the bill of lading is attracting a lot of questions. The counsel is attacked with several questions regarding the same.

12:11 The arbitrators refuse to go easy on the respondents and continue to bombard him with questions on the MMT bill of lading. The arbitrators are reading out clauses from the bill and posing more questions. The speaker however, does a commendable job maintaining his composure and steadily addresses the questions raised by the arbitrators.

12:16 The arbitrators propose a certain solution to the counsel of respondents to which the speaker refuses to concede and strongly puts forth his stance citing authorities and landmark judgements. The speaker has been able to successfully wrap up his arguments a minute before his time elapsed which is applausable. The dias has now been passed on to the second speaker.

12:20 The second speaker verifying the stability of his connection begins unravelling his assertions and arguments. His first argument pertaining to the non-applicability of Hague Rules remains uninterrupted by the arbitrators. The second counsel of the respondent has made a point regarding non-liability of the party for any mishap taking place in a South American country. This point is immediately countered with numerous questions and the arbitrators label his argument as “dichotomous”.

12:25 The counsel humbly moves ahead to address the questions of the arbitrators referring to various rules, documents and landmark judgements where different interpretations have been given by Courts. After an engaging discussion over the issue, the Counsel is gestured to proceed with his further arguments.

12:30 The speaker from the respondent side concludes his side and the rebuttal rounds begin with much anticipated excitement. The claimants’ side raise objections to certain arguments of the respondents and submit to the tribunal following which the respondents have come up with a forceful surrebuttal response.

12:35 The participants have given the arbitrators much content to deliberate upon owing to which the arbitrators have been shifted to the Judges’ room. The feedback session will commence in sometime following which the session 3 will come to an end.

VCR-8: 819 vs 815

11:20 After an exciting first day the teams are all set to begin the second day with just as much enthusiasm! The Claimant begins confidently and the lack of questions definitely helps with the flow.

11:22 Well that didn’t last long as the judge starts asking the questions and to the speaker’s dismay she had to plead ignorance for the first question itself.

11:35 The speaker seems to be pleading ignorance on way too many instances which is definitely not helping her case. However, she tries to keep her composure and proceeds with her submissions. Despite several attempts the speaker struggles to answer the judges’ questions and yields the flow to her co-counsel while leaving the judges dissatisfied and disappointed.

11:41 The second speaker begins while the researcher endeavours to find the answers to the judges’ questions posed to the first speaker. The second speaker faces the same issues as the first one. Baseless assertions can definitely not fly with this bench of active arbitrators. The team is evidently struggling due to the research loopholes.

12:02 The second speaker continues the streak of pleading ignorance and leaves the stand on a similar dissatisfactory note. The Respondent begins and since the speaker had already conceded to the jurisdiction the speaker is asked not to contend that issue. The sudden improvisation evidently throws the speaker off, she struggles but tries to proceed with her submissions.

12:39 The Respondents face severe connectivity issues to answer the rebuttal and after waiting long enough the rounds finally conclude. The judges enter the room for deliberation and the teams wait eagerly for the feedback.

side has taken the floor now and is vehemently arguing on the point of Bill of lading addressing the issue of possession of the cargo. It seems like the issue of the bill of lading is attracting a lot of questions. The counsel is attacked with several questions regarding the same.

DAY-2

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION-3 ENDS



DAY-2

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION-4 BEGINS


VCR-1: 824 vs 816

VCR 1 updates begin!

13:50 The session begins and Speaker 1 for the Claimants is off to a grand start. The Arbitrators have started asking questions and the speaker is putting forth her points confidently. A hot debate ensues and the Speaker and the Arbitrator have different opinions. After an interesting exchange of concepts and reasons, the discussion finally ends with the Arbitrators nodding their heads along with Speaker 1’s points. A first in this courtroom, we must say!

13:54 Speaker 1 comfortably finishes her first issue and if the expressions on the Arbitrators’ faces are to be believed, she’s doing a great job. Although as the round progresses, it looks like Speaker 1 is toeing the line between being assertive and outright rude. Emphasizing her points, she tries to explain her arguments with head nods and hand gestures. The Arbitrators do not ask any more questions.

14:16 Speaker 1 completes her submissions and Speaker 2 begins her submissions. She is soon interrupted by the Arbitrators who ask her a slew of questions about the cargo and the reefer containers. She answers them patiently and does not lose her composure at any point. The Arbitrators continue to try to rattle the speaker but in vain.

14:26 It has been almost 10 minutes since Speaker 2 has been allowed to proceed with her submissions. Shots are being constantly fired and Speaker 2 is proving adept in avoiding them. Her arguments are multi-layered but coherent, allowing her to face the Arbitrators’ constant battering. It does not look like this war of words is ending anytime soon enough though!

14:33 Speaker 2’s successful stint finally comes to an end when one of the Arbitrators’ ends up asking her an unexpected question, judging by the nervous pause in the room. She stumbles her way through an answer that leads to more counter questioning.

14:41 There again comes a point where the Arbitrator and the speaker have different opinions but Speaker 2 is successful in convincing the Arbitrator who nods and allows her to proceed. An unprecedented feat in this courtroom! Bravo!

14:45 Woah! It looks like the Claimants have one last trick up their sleeve when Speaker 2 quotes Benjamin Franklin in her speech saying, “Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes more money”. The Arbitrators burst out laughing and the mood is lightened considerably.

14:48 Speaker 2 is finally done with her submissions and it is now time for the Respondents to speak.

14:50 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins her submissions with a slight tremor in her voice but soon picks pace and is comfortable. She is not interrupted and completes her first issue with hardly any interruptions. The Arbitrators continue to listen closely.

14:59 Speaker 1 has run into trouble soon and soon pleads ignorance to move forward with her submissions. She completes them quickly and Speaker 2 takes the floor.

15:03 Speaker 2 has not even completed his first sentence and is interrupted.The Arbitrator informs Speaker 2 that is not a ‘petition’ and the speaker has misstated. He apologizes and the round moves on. Unfortunately, it only gets worse from here on. He’s asked a series of questions and is unable to answer any of them satisfactorily. Judging by the heavy silence in the courtroom, Speaker 2 needs to do some damage control and now!

15:16 Speaker 2 is granted an extension of 2 minutes to complete his arguments. His voice sounds shaky and his face betrays his nerves. Stuttering, he completes his arguments and now it is time for rebuttals!

15:19 Speaker 1 for the Claimants makes her points quite aggressively, almost being snarky! The Arbitrators are highly amused and are hiding their smiles behind their hands. Speaker 2 sur-rebutes but he does not have as many points to make. Do the number of points really matter when it’s their quality that is being judged? We don’t think so.

15:20 The rounds are finally over and the participants now wait for the feedback session. Well, the rounds were quite interesting so we can only hope the feedback will be the same if not more.

VCR-2: 819 vs 817

VCR 2 updates begin!

13:49 Session 4 in Court Room 2 has begun. Teams 819 and 817 have joined the room and so have the judges. The atmosphere inside the courtroom is as pleasant as the weather outside..

13:53 Speaker 1 from team 819 has taken the floor and shall be arguing for the jurisdiction issues. Looks like the grilling from last session has made the speaker as calm as the water in the Mahanadi River.

14:03 Just like winter comes and goes away before even the people of Odisha get to feel it, Speaker 1 from Team 819 managed to make her way out of her first round in session 4. However, Claimants are so eager to argue their case and protect their client’s interests that the Speaker 2 from Team 819 forgot that the teams were following the CRCR method. Thankfully, the observant Host made sure the rightful speaker 1 from team 817 got her chance to defend the interests of Respondents vested in its container ships.

14:14 Claimant researcher from team 819 seems confused and stunned at the arguments made by Respondent Speaker 1 from team 817. The researcher seems to be frantically searching for something as the Speaker 1 from team 817 continues to confidently back her arguments with facts and laws.

14:51 Claimant speaker 2 from team 819 has faced a major setback with his internet connectivity. It no longer seems as pleasant for the Claimants’ Counsels as neither his internet nor the microphone is working. After a delay of more than 10 minutes, the organizers have found a solution to the problem. The Speaker 2 for team 819 has been allowed to continue without his video. It is good to see that after so much delay, confidence has not faltered for the speaker as he continues to smartly answer the Tribunal’s questions.

14:55 Identity is unique to every human, as it is for Team 819. Upon an enquiry by the judge to Team 819 as to “Who are they?”, Speaker 2 from team 819 has managed to preserve their identity as “We are the Claimants”. Seems like the Claimants are here to etch their name for posterity.

15:15 After a lot of hardships as faced by the Claimant Counsels during the rounds, the session 4 for court room 2 comes to an end. There’s no rest for the teams though, as the next session is about to begin in a few minutes. More grilling and more discussions to take place in deciding whether the Claimant really has a claim for compensatory relief or whether the Respondents are right in defending their position before the Tribunal.

VCR-3: 804 vs 806

VCR 3 updates begin!

13:43 Round for session 4 begins. Claimant counsel takes the floor.

13:44 Judges are well versed with facts, therefore, the counsel proceed with his submission. He seems confident and clear.

13:50 Counsel tries to answer the judges but it seems that the response does not up to their level of satisfaction.

13:51 Judge places the question of how having a sole arbitrator going to help them in execution of the award. Counsel could not hear the question due to the network issue. But somehow he answers it.

13:54 Counsel submits very conveniently argue that they are the lawful holders of the bill.

13:56 Stating that every person is liable for unlawful conversion so does the respondent.

13:57 Panel grants 2 minutes of extension for completion of the submission.

14:05 After resolving the internet issue, the Speaker 1 completed his contention.

14:07 Speaker 2 is facing connectivity issues due to bad weather.

14:43 Speaker 2 continues the claimant’s submission after resolving the internet issue. He seems nervous.

14:47 Counsel apologise to the panel for the connectivity issue, the judges console the counsel by saying that this is something unforeseeable.

14:50 The panel begins grilling on the applicability of Hague Rules.

14:51 Counsel’s justification does not seem enough to justify his contention.

14:55 Panel has put forth a series of questions on the counsel.

14:57 An extension of 3 minutes is granted by the generous Panel.

14:59 Counsel fumbles a little bit while answering the questions.

15:00 Another extension of 1 minute is granted by the Panel.

15:03 Counsel concludes his submission.

15:04 Respondent begins the submissions and Speaker 1 takes the floor. She seems confident and fluent.

15:08 Counsel with very clarity submits on the issue of arbitration.

15:11 Counsel proceeds with the issue of merits.

15:14 Judge simply puts forth a very basic question as to ‘What is a bill of lading?’

15:15 Judge grills the counsel on the issue related to the bills of lading and it seems that she is not able to convince them.

15:19 An extension of 3 minutes is granted by the Panel.

15:22 Speaker 2 takes the floor in order to complete the remaining issues and the unanswered questions. She seems calm and composed.

15:27 Counsel answers the question asked by the panel.

15:32 Counsel tries to convince the panel by her argument.

15:37 Due to the paucity of time, the counsel seeks permission to proceed to the last issue.

15:40 An extension of 2 minutes was granted.

15:42 Counsel could not complete the issues at hand within the given time and then she hastily concludes the submission.

15:44 Speaker 1 of the Claimant’s takes the floor for rebuttal. He mentions that the respondent themselves contradicted their own submissions.

15:50 Speaker 2 of Respondent comes for sur-rebuttal and submits her contention.

VCR-4: 815 vs 822

VCR 4 updates begin!

13:50 After having faced some technical difficulties with one of the participants, which is a given in a virtual setup, the next round is finally in session.

13:54 The claimant begins with enthusiasm, laying down a structured roadmap and time division for her issues along with the time reserved for rebuttals.

14:03 So far, so good or did I speak too soon? One of the judges caught the speaker citing an authority which was in fact, not used by the team in their written memoranda. The look on the speakers’ face reflected she knew what was coming for her next. The judge asked if she was aware about the rule that requires oral pleading only on the basis of written memoranda. She quickly retrieved herself from the precarious situation by emphasizing or rather shifting the benches’ attention to the facts of the case law cited by her. It seemed like a good save and hopefully the bench takes it into consideration.

14:17 As the claimants’ merits speaker takes the floor, we lose her from the courtroom as she is facing connectivity issues. We can see her teammates’ getting anxious,thankfully, after a few minutes she is back and begins with her submissions. She comes across as a confident speaker unfettered by the hindrances faced by her prior to her submissions. However, her flow keeps getting interrupted, unfortunately not by the judges but because of the internet connectivity.

14:30 With a smile on her face and mannerisms constantly appropriate, the speaker summarised her pleading answering all the questions posed by the judges in the process. It is safe to say that no amount of technical hassles faced by the speaker could shake her confidence and spirit.

14:35 It is now the respondents’ turn to take the floor and make a strong case for their clients. The procedure speaker starts off by laying down the groundwork, to put it simply, explaining the intricacies of the procedural aspects of the case. The road map was crisp and clear, we could see one of the judges nodding their head, which ideally is indicative of a positive response.

14:40 The speaker is thrown off for a minute when the judges catch a loophole in one of her submissions. In order to retrieve herself from that situation, she uses a case law to put her point across, the bench does not seem quite convinced, but they ask her to proceed anyway.

14:42 Now we turn our eyes towards the last speaker of the round. It has been established that the judges are not particularly in the mood to grill today, however, give them a room for error and they would not let you go easily. Something similar happened with the claimants’ merits speaker. The judge caught her on a factual point of error which ultimately led her to concede.

14:52 Now that the pleadings have ended, it is rebuttal time. This is where the teams get the chance to make a final impact on the judges. Rising to the occasion, claimants used their one minute effectively. Respondents on the other hand did an average job sur-rebutting the same.

14:53 And the rounds are over! We shall see everyone on the other side for feedback.

VCR-5: 813 vs 823

VCR 5 updates begin!

13:50 After a refreshing lunch break, the session 5 begins smoothly. Now, the eyes are on the Speaker 1 of the Respondents while she makes her way to the podium to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. The speaker seems to be in a flow and makes it hard for the judges to interrupt her. Good going so far!

13:55 Looks like the speaker 1 misled the judges when she claimed that she was challenging the jurisdiction. She now claims that she is not challenging the jurisdiction, but the locus standi of the claimants. This evidently annoys the judges as she is not sticking to one point.

13:56 “Don’t beat around the bush, Counsel. I asked you a simple question, give me a simple answer”!! Silence in the Courtroom.. This definitely stifled the Speaker. We hope she gathers herself together!

14:00 A debate starts on the necessity of three arbitrators instead of a sole arbitrator. The Counsel answers the same. The Judges don’t have any follow up questions. This concludes the Respondent’s arguments on the locus standi.

14:07 The Speaker 1 takes the floor and we must say, he is very clear, crisp and articulate with his submissions. He properly lays down a structure for the bench, making it more interesting and engaging. Great work!

14:20 The Speaker faces a good amount of questions and by the looks of it, he strives and is successful and is satisfying the judges in their concerns. He then concludes his submissions perfectly summarising all the reasons why there should be a sole arbitrator. His reasons have definitely convinced me, I hope the judges are convinced too.

14:22 Speaker 2 of the Claimants has to fill the shoes of Speaker 1 now. And may I say, he does justice to his side. His fluency and confidence is at peak. He begins with providing a roadmap for his submissions and issues. Little does he know that he won’t be able to stick to that little roadmap drawn by him.

14:29 Soon after he laid down his structure, he is derailed from it when a never-ending debate starts between him and the judges regarding the Hague rules. It’s now starting to look like the speaker is kind of satisfying the concerns, but thescore sheet will only say how convincing he was. Good luck to him for that. He respectfully requests for a 2 minute extension, and he is graciously granted the same. He sums up his arguments within a minute. He does that beautifully and fluently. The arbitrators listen to him intently without any further questions. So far, so good!

14:35 The Speaker 2 from the respondents starts! There is something unusual and amazing in her tone and the way she is speaking! It’s refreshing as it breaks the monotony. We love it!

14:45 “Judge: Counsel, you just can’t claim the defence that you have no hard proof for every other argument. You are making it a practice now. Ouch! That had to hurt.”

14:52 What seemed like a never ending round has finally ended. We now move to the rebuttals wherein The Speaker 2 from the Claimants very clearly laid down their concerns with the Respondent’s arguments and the respondents subsequently stand firm on their contentions.

VCR-6: 812 vs 814

VCR 6 updates begin!

13:46 Beaming smiles for a screenshot and the rounds commence with the Claimant taking the floor first, as the Respondents refuse to contest jurisdiction. A lag in the network does not dim the confidence of the first counsel, she proceeds calmly.

13:53 The counsel argues that IAA can overrule the SCMA in case of a conflict. “Where is the conflict?” The counsel doesn’t answer directly. “When does the lex arbitri overrule the institutional rules, and does it matter in the case of arbitrators?” The counsel responds by saying that this question falls within the realm of the discretion of the Tribunal. A network glitch pauses the proceedings and gives her some much needed respite in a grilling session.

14:00 With 2 mins left on the clock, the counsel’s train leaves the station of oral submissions, moving at a speed of 500km/hr. She concludes her submission on her first and final issue at the speed of 750km/hr.

14:04 The second counsel seems confused, she makes an argument on both contractual and non-contractual or tortious liability. The Tribunal tries to clarify the position, but to no avail.

14:06 The Tribunal is patient and calm, pausing the timer with every network glitch. The counsel musters through.

14:08 The Tribunal asks for a judicial pronouncement to clarify a particularly contentious position. She reads from her submissions to find a case law and tries to answer. The Tribunal points out that the question at hand and the ratio of the case deal with two different points of law. They let her proceed with her submissions but network problems continue to ruin the day.

14:12 After an extended interruption, the Tribunal sighs. The adept courtroom managers suggest the counsels to switch devices, since they were participating from the same window. The Tribunal also graciously accords an additional minute so that the counsel can compose herself and complete her submission in time.

14:19 The Tribunal asks whether they have the discretion to award non-contractual damages, being a Tribunal and not a Court of law. They wonder if it’s a discretion or excess of mandate. As basic as the question may be, the counsel is unable to answer and says that she would not be able to assist the Tribunal. It’s ironic that the counsel pleaded a request for relief that she isn’t even sure falls within the mandate of the Tribunal to award.

14:29 Tribunal:”What is the excess amount you want? ” Counsel:”Anything that the Tribunal finds its discretion to give” Tribunal: “Why do you claim market value? Does common law allow you to claim it?” The counsel again merely asks the Tribunal to exercise its discretion, without specifying whether they have that discretion in law or under the contract or what that discretion even means ?

14:32 In the interest of equality of parties, the Tribunal grants additional time to the Respondent, equivalent to the Claimant. The counsel for the Respondent begins in a calm manner. His demeanor doesn’t waiver even as the Tribunal starts grilling him, 30 seconds in.

14:36 His confidence doesn’t take a hit, even though he is unable to answer the Tribunal’s questions.

14:41 Counsel: “May I ask the Tribunal to ask the questions after I have finished?” The Tribunal bursts out laughing, and so do we.

14:45 Tribunal” “If you are arguing intention, give us any one case where intent overrides the provisions of the contract?”. Counsel : “The Counsel is not aware, but the counsel is also arguing a different point”. When a question was asked on that different point, the counsel responded with “the counsel has no answer”. He concludes his submissions weakly, giving way to his co-counsel. The co-counsel makes up for the disintegrating enthusiasm of the first speaker in his submissions.

14:54 The counsel is unable to answer the concerns raised by the Tribunal. There is an awkward silence, with the timer ticking on the screen. The Tribunal finally politely asks the counsel to proceed.

15:00 The Tribunal questions the counsel, the counsel sticks to his point. He also presents an alternative argument. When the counsel is questioned on the first argument again, he sticks to his guts and the Tribunal prima facie seems to accept it. Slow and steady wins the race, as the Respondents seem to finish strong after a rocky start and a rocky middle interspaced with a few questions.

15:02 The counsel takes the additional time to add some arguments on the interest issue. His point doesn’t seem to apply in the context of the fact that the governing law is the law of England. When questioned by the Tribunal, he repeatedly states that the same was merely a point of persuasion and proceeds to the prayer.

15:06 Unlike Evergreen stuck at the Suez Canal for more than a week, much like the main round, the rebuttals were quick and to the point.

VCR-7: 802 vs 818

VCR 7 updates begin!

13:45 Session 4 has had a rocky start owing to tons of connectivity issues. However, overcoming all the obstacles the session begins with a cheerful roar in the alternate room. Speaker 1 from the side of the Claimants has started putting forth his arguments but is immediately objected to by the point of number of arbitrators to be appointed for the matter by the arbitrators themselves.

13:50 The speaker is fluently presenting his side on the point of applicability of Hague Rules. The arbitrators are unleashing questions of applicability of two rules and questioning whether damages can be claimed twice or not. The Speaker smoothly answers the questions with much compassion and steadily proceeds with his other arguments.

13:57 The arguments presented by the first speaker were succinct and comprehensive which did not attract many questions from the arbitrators and wrapped up his arguments with 5 mins to spare which is commendable.

14:01 The limelight has now shifted to the second speaker from the claimants side. The speaker is now arguing on the Bill of lading referring to the dates on which they received the same and is urging the Arbitrators to deliberate on the point of inequality in bargaining power.

14:07 The speaker is humbly requesting the arbitrators to put themselves in the shoes of the claimants to which the arbitrators have retorted that merely because a contract is onerous it doesn’t mean that it should be frustrated. The arbitrators and the counsel of claimants are stuck in a loop over the issue of bill of lading and the arbitrators refuse to get off his back regarding this issue and demand for citation of authorities.

14:11 The Claimants’ side have requested for some time to look up the questions posed by the arbitrators while the speaker is confidently walking the arbitrators through another pertinent authority which has been cited in the memorial and trying to explain his side using the same.

14:19 The arbitrator seems a little upset with the argument on the inspection report and has engaged in a discussion with the speaker. The spell of being stuck in a loop is finally over and the claimants were allowed to wind up their arguments concluding the same.

14:23 The first speaker from the side of the speaker has now taken the floor and is aggressively challenging the jurisdiction of the matter while directing the tribunal through significant parts of the memorial.

14:29 The tribunal looks a little worn out and is taking brief breaks in between the rounds. However, the speaker is patiently and tirelessly unfolding the arguments framed. He is now countered with questions from one of the arbitrators on the point of responsibility and liability of the respondents. It seems like the questions have taken up most of the time of the speaker and he is cut off by the arbitrators after his time has elapsed.

14:35 The baton has been passed on to the second speaker representing the Respondent side who is steadily strutting through his arguments citing substantial authorities on the point of liability of the respondents.

14:44 He is further explaining various common law doctrines incorporated by numerous jurisdictions in order to corroborate the arguments framed by him.

14:49 The speaker is now contending the quantification of damages claimed from them and have in turn orally introduced counter claims which the arbitrators didn’t allow considering that the same was not mentioned in the pleadings.

14:52 The second speaker humbly submits his prayer and wraps up his side following which the claimants pouce upon the respondents with their contentions in the rebuttal rounds and are citing significant authorities to strengthen their side. This is followed by surrebuttal rounds from the respondent side who pick at the loopholes in the claims made by the claimants. The claimants refuse to back off and demand for a sur sur-rebuttal. However, that is not allowed by the tribunal and with that the round comes to an end.

15:00 The rounds are over well within the prescribed time and the participants are eagerly waiting for the feedback of the judges who are deliberating upon the phenomenal rounds they witnessed. It was a fruitful and enriching session for all and with that the session 4 comes to an end.

VCR-8: 827 vs 821

VCR 8 updates begin!

13:50 The 4th Session begins and in an exciting turn of events the Respondent requests the Arbitral Tribunal to proceed first to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal as a preliminary issue. The tribunal allows the same and the speaker for the Respondent begins aggressively.

14:04 After the Respondents are done addressing the procedural issue, the Claimant begins to prove the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The speaker seems calm and composed and the judges listen eagerly. However, the connectivity issue seems to persist and the speaker struggles.

14:30 The Claimants face major connectivity issues and after multiple tries the team finally is able to complete its submissions. The Respondents take the floor to defend their stance.

14:42 “Starting in 3, 2, 1..” is how the second speaker for the Respondent begins his submissions. Needless to say he has all eyes on him now. It will be interesting to see if he lives up to the expectations of the judges while defending his stance.

14:53 With his courtroom etiquettes on point the speaker is adamantly putting forth his submissions. The lack of questions from the judges indicates a certain degree of satisfaction which also helps the speaker to maintain his flow. However, the inevitable perils of a virtual moot, the speaker starts facing connectivity issues.

14:53 The speaker faces continuous questions and answers all of them to the judges’ satisfaction. He seems to be extremely thorough with the facts and the legal position and is undoubtedly impressing the judges with his knowledge.

15:01 The speaker gets questioned about the damages and compensation, he begins by distinguishing them but then changes his stance by saying that they mean one and the same. The judge’s reaction makes it seem like the speaker was caught in a conundrum.

15:05 With the culmination of the rebuttal and the surrebuttal the rounds come to an end and the judges proceed for deliberation.

DAY-2

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION-4 ENDS

DAY-2

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION-5 BEGINS


VCR-1: 808 vs 812

16:13 The rounds begin with Speaker 1 for the Claimant laying down her preliminary issues before the Arbitrator. She is asked a question to which she pleads immediately pleads ignorance. We can appreciate how she does not attempt to dodge the question or attempts answering knowing she’s going to make it up as she speaks. This saves her a lot of time!

16:21 Her first submission over, she now proceeds with her second one. The Arbitrators look amused with the creativity of her arguments and grin at each other. We love this new development and hope this sets the tone for the entire round.

16:25 She finishes her submissions with a minute to spare and yields the floor to her co-counsel.

16:29 Speaker 2 for the Respondents is off to a smooth start and submits his first submission with no interruptions. Is this a good thing or bad? Well, only the scoresheets will tell.

16:32 Speaker 2 has now been speaking for almost 5 minutes and the Arbitrators do not have any questions for him. Noticing the same, he asks them whether he can be of any assistance but the Arbitrators shake their heads. He quickly makes 2 more submissions but the Arbitrators don’t engage with him at all. This is a bit odd and the confusion shows on the speaker’s face. Nonetheless, he completes his arguments without any further hitches.

16:44 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins her submissions with a creative argument which has our Arbitrators raising their eyebrows at her. She does not lose her composure and proceeds to explain the reasoning behind that argument. The Arbitrators nod their heads which is a good sign. They, however, ask no questions. The silence is starting to rattle us a bit. Brrr! The bench has turned cold.

16:50 It almost feels like we’re in Switzerland with how cold the Bench is. Speaker 1 completed her submissions without even one interruption, an unprecedented feat in this courtroom for sure. Speaker 2 takes the floor and so it continues.

17:00 Oh, the Respondents have finally been asked their first question. Time to rejoice! Speaker 2 answers the questions confidently but the Arbitrators don’t look satisfied. On the contrary, they’ve started looking annoyed.

17:07 Oh no! It looks like Speaker 2 has committed a blunder by disputing the survey report itself. The Arbitrators grill her on this point while Speaker 2 faces an internet connectivity issue aggravating the pressure in the room. She tries her best to get out of the tight corner she has put herself in with hesitant answers. The Arbitrators do not ask any counter questions.

17:13 Speaker 2 finally completes her arguments and the rebuttals begin. Speaker 2 for the Claimants begins with his rebuttals making one too many grand claims against the Respondents. The Arbitrators interrupt and thus, begins an interesting round of questioning and counter-questioning, a feature that we really missed in the actual rounds. The rebuttals end only after the speaker pleads ignorance to one of the Arbitrator’s questions. Now on to the sur-rebuttals!

17:28 Speaker 2 for the Respondents tries to enumerate her points but is interrupted by the Arbitrators. Oh! Her internet is acting up again and she asks the Arbitrators to repeat their questions. The alarm is sudden on her face when she is asked a question she does not know the answer to. She goes quiet but does not plead ignorance. It looks like she’s buying time for her researcher to back her up on this. The Arbitrators wait but her internet connectivity gets from bad to worse. The Arbitrators are on a tight deadline and due to the paucity of time, simply proceed to their discussion room. We guess that’s the end of sur-rebuttals. Fingers crossed for both the teams!


VCR-2: 820 vs 804

16:24 After a delay of 25 minutes, the session 5 for Court Room 2 has finally begun. The Teams 820 and 804 have agreed on following a CCRR method for this session.

16:27 The Speaker 1 for team 820 has taken the floor and she appears all confident with her preparation. Unlike the previous sessions, it looks like the Tribunal is interested in testing the knowledge of the Speaker 1 on basics of Arbitration. This could be a real testing situation for the Speaker to impress the Tribunal on interpretation of the Arbitration Clause in their Agreement.

16:35 With one of the judges interrupting the Speaker 1 from team 820 with regards to specifics of Arbitration in their Agreement, it seems like we may have another participant to compete the Speaker from team 817 for the title of “Who can answer with the fastest playback speed”.

16:40 The Speaker 1 from team 820 has managed to keep the Tribunal engaged throughout her rounds. She has been successful in securing an extension of 2 minutes to complete her submissions that concern the interests of the Claimant. Looks like she does not want to miss any scope in proving the liability of the Respondents’ carriers.

16:44 As the Speaker 1 ends her submissions smoothly, Speaker 2 from team 820 has taken the floor. The first mistake she could have avoided was not addressing herself as the counsel for the Respondents. But, gladly she got back to her senses before she could have fallen for that trap!

16:54 Very smart move by Speaker 2 from team 820 to seek an extension of 30 seconds upon realising that only 60 seconds were left. Afterall, prevention is better than suffering “collateral damage” for not being able to make submissions.

17:09 Speaker 1 from team 804 is a very articulate oralist as he defends his Respondents’ interest with artistic expressions further accentuated with his background filled with law books.

17:16 Although the speaker 1 was thankful to the judges for granting him an extension, it was rather his restlessness and anxious behaviour that could have possibly made the judges do so.

17:29 The Speaker 2 from team 804 has successfully submitted his arguments before the Tribunal amidst the internet issues. Unfortunately, we lost connection with him during his last 9 seconds. The Tribunal has decided to proceed with the Rebuttals from both sides owing to the paucity of time.

17:37 The Speaker 1 from team 820 has presented her rebuttals and she categorically addressed every issue argued by the Respondents. With the sur-rebuttals, Respondents representing team 804 have concluded their final submissions. Everyone now awaits the results for Quarter Finalists as the judges are almost done with their scoring.

VCR-3: 826 vs 824

16:28 All the judges and the participants are here in the courtroom.

16:29 With the permission of the Panel, Speaker 1 of Claimant begins his submissions. He seems confident.

16:32 Speaker 1 firmly submits that the sole arbitrator should be appointed.

16:34 As the Speaker 1 proceeds with the next issue, he provides a roadmap to his submission.

16:36 Speaker 1 convincingly submits that they are the lawful holders of the bill of lading.

16:40 Judge puts forth a series of questions to the counsel of claimants.

16:41 Speaker 1 while answering fumbles a little bit.

16:42 The panel grills the Speaker 1 on the issue related to the bill of lading.

16:45 Speaker 1 answers the questions asked by the panel and proceeds with the remaining issue.

16:46 Speaker 1 yields the floor and Speaker 2 starts her submissions.

16:47 The panel interrupts her by asking her to justify her contention on the tort of conversion.

16:49 Speaker 2 is a bit fast while arguing.

16:52 The panel asks the same set of questions on bill of lading to Speaker 2 that were unanswered by Speaker 1.

16:53 Speaker 2 answers the questions and proceed ahead with the next submission.

16:56 Speaker 2 continues her submission on the applicability of Hague Rules. She cites cases to justify her contention.

17:00 It seems that the Judge is not satisfied with the response given by the Speaker 2.

17:01 An extension 2 minutes is granted.

17:04 Claimant’s Speaker 2 summarises her arguments and leaves the floor.

17:08 Respondent takes the floor.

17:09 Speaker 1 begins her contentions, she seems confident.

17:11 Speaker 1 continues her explanation on the arguments by establishing that the cases referred by Claimant’s are not applicable in the instant case.

17:16 Speaker 1 submits humbly that a panel of three arbitrators should be appointed.

17:20 Speaker 1 has lost internet connection. The panel asks the host to note the remaining time of the Speaker 1.

17:22 Respondent’s speaker 2 takes the floor and continues on the remaining submissions. She seems thorough with her arguments.

17:31 Judge grills the Speaker 2 on the issue of temperature.

17:35 The panel has put forth a series of questions to Speaker 2.

17:37 It seems that the panel is not satisfied with the response given by the Speaker 2.

17:41 Speaker 2 concludes her arguments within the given extension of 1 minute.

17:44 Speaker 1 takes the floor and begins her remaining argumentation.

17:51 Speaker 1 answers all questions raised by the panel very efficiently and it seems that the panel is satisfied.

17:51 Respondent rests the case well within the time.

17:53 Teams proceed with the rebuttal and sur-rebuttal.

VCR-4: 807 vs 819

16:01 Right on schedule the last round of the day is in session! Adhering to the traditional arbitration RCCR speaking model, the judges request the respondent procedural speaker to take the floor.

16:03 The speaker confidently lays down the structure and road map of her submissions. In an attempt to gauge the bench’s attention she uses a catch phrase which seems to have done the trick. And it looks like the bench is in a mood to grill. Let’s see if she is able to keep up.

16:11 Well, let’s just say she is having a hard time keeping up. Now that the judges are fairly well versed with the facts of the case, they have a lot of content to grill the speaker on. In an attempt to save herself from the loop of questions, the speaker pleads ignorance and moves on to her next submission.

16:16 Having run out of time and one entire issue left, the speaker seeks an extension of two minutes which is granted by the bench. Finally, ready to conclude the speaker is interrupted by one of the judges asking an authority to back up one of her assertions. She fails to provide for authority but makes a good logical argument.

16:20 It is now the claimants’ turn to make their argument on jurisdiction. She starts off by introducing herself and her co-counsel. Within a few minutes of her pleading she is posed with a question on fundamentals of arbitration. Her confidence shakes off a little but after taking a quick second to recompose herself, she strikes with a crisp and concise answer.

16:28 There are a lot of questions being thrown around so the speakers’ flow is not quite smooth, however, it is really impressive how the speaker is able to circle the bench back to her submissions while answering the questions at the same time.

16:33 Claimants’ merits speaker had a pretty smooth round going so far while answering all the questions very tactfully. The judge has a question on facts for her, which she tries to evade clearly indicating that she was aware it went against her submissions. The judge however, calls her out for being evasive. He rephrased his question requesting her to give answer the same first and then move ahead. She does the same, however, the judges do not look quite satisfied.

16:40 Luckily enough, she is able to complete a major chunk of her pleadings without inviting any further questions.

16:44 The final speaker of the day takes the floor. The respondent speaker begins with his pleadings with the use of a metaphor. This ought to have caught the benches’ attention. He is off to a great start!

16:54 And yet again, the bench catches a loose end in the speakers’ submissions. They have him stuck in a loop for three minutes! The speaker realizes there is no way he can get out of this without wasting more time, he concedes before the bench and in his own words, admits to his clients’ liability.

16:58 The pleadings have ended and it is rebuttal time. Looks like the claimants do not have a lot of concerns. With thirty seconds still left on the clock, they are done with the rebuttals. Showing eagerness on his end to sur-rebutt, the respondents’ speaker a tab bit aggressively made his case.

16:59 The judges leave the room for deliberation and scoring of the team. A great and fun session!


VCR-5: 806 vs 802

16:05 We are here, in the last session of the day as well as the last preliminary round of IMAM 2021.The teams, despite having faced three hectic rounds, their energy and vigour remain intact. The spirit of mooting is unbelievable and can be felt here.

16:10 The Respondents do not challenge the jurisdiction. Therefore, the Speaker 1 from the Claimant makes his way to the podium to make his submissions. He looks confident as he carefully lays down the structure of his submissions.

16:17 “The third party claim debate is here again! The judge is fixated at the point that the claimant as a third party cannot claim an arbitration. The counsel for the claimants tries to substantiate the point citing the COGSA Act, but the judges don’t seem to be satisfied. The judge demands for an authority in the international commercial arbitration for the substantiation. The speaker tries to stifle through his papers to find one authority and he cites the moot proposition for the same.

Judge: I do not care about that. I just want a credible authority. If not, then you cannot be a claimant in the present case. Speaker: *nervously* If Mr. Arbitrator is not satisfied with this argument, may I proceed with my further arguments? Judge: So do you concede to this point? Speaker: Mr. Arbitrator, the counsel currently does not have an authority but.. Judge: So do you concede? Speaker: *hesitantly* Yes Mr. Arbitrator Judge: Okay, proceed.

16:20 After a very engaging round with the 1st speaker, the time is now for the 2nd Speaker to fill the shoes of the 1st Speaker. As soon as she takes the floor, the Judge questions on the fact that why should they hear the merits of the case when her Co-counsel conceded that he is not supposed to be a claimant as you are a third party. Looks like she was ready for this question, and started answering very fastly and fluently.

16:29 It has been 10 minutes, and the counsel has not been able to satisfy a nexus between them and the agreement. I don’t think the Judges are gonna leave this point of contention, neither is the Speaker going to give up. Finally, left with no recourse, she turns to her researcher to provide an authority for the issue at hand so that she can proceed with her submissions meanwhile! All hands on deck for this!

16:34 Having got a green signal to proceed, the Speaker hurries through her submissions. It doesn’t look like she’s gonna put brakes on her submissions any time soon.

16:41 The Claimants have now rested their case. Let’s see if the Respondents can defend the allegations put forth by them.

16:54 The Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins. He has a pleasing and a calm voice. He is surely able to grab the attention of the judges. Good start!

17:00 The speaker has a calm and very peculiar way of speaking. As if he’s explaining a 3 year old. And the speaker seems to be very well acquainted with his issues and arguments, and that’s why it’s not easy for the judges to derail him. Judges appear satisfied.

17:11 Even with the paucity of the time, he does not rush for even a bit. Very impressive. He now passes the baton to his co-counsel to present his issues and conclude the case.

17:21 The Second Speaker starts! I have to say, the speaking and the research is on point with this speaker. One of the best speakers in the CR today. The Judge tried to confuse the Speaker on the terms loading, unloading and trans shipment. From what we can see, the Judge is poking the very fundamentals of the Speaker. The Speaker, very precisely and fluently shows how well versed he is with his fundamentals and the fact sheet and nothing can derail him. Simply amazing!

17:26 A very satisfactory round by the Respondents. The faces and the expressions of the judges speak volumes! It’s now time for the rebuttals and sur-rebuttals!


VCR-6: 816 vs 827

16:16 The teams are ready and the final preliminary round commences with a deliberation on which side goes first. The Respondents seek to challenge jurisdiction and decide to go first.

16:20 The counsel for the Respondent has taken the floor. She begins her pleading by relying on a case law, explaining the background of the case to make her argument.

16:23 She completes her argument on jurisdiction and with no further questions, gives the floor to the counsel for the Claimant.

16:25 Like his opposing counsel before him, the counsel for the Claimant also decides to split his time between the jurisdictional issues and the other issues.

16:28 The counsel for the Claimant drones on, rather monotonously. Perhaps the soundness of his arguments will make up for the lack of enthusiasm.

16:33 Relying on case laws and a rather elaborate background, the counsel moves on, seeming confident about his arguments. He is questioned about the facts of the cited case and he relies on the ratio of the case to support his conclusion. The Tribunal is not convinced and doesn’t see the “business reality” in the argument being made.

16:39 The counsel relies on the addendum to make his case. The Tribunal interjects once or twice and the counsel proceeds accordingly. His tone is consistent and the Tribunal listens intently, seeking clarifications on the additionally cited provisions wherever necessary.

16:42 The counsel has finally upped his tempo to 1.25x as he nears the end of his extended time. He finally steps down from the podium, giving way to his co-counsel.

16:47 The counsel heavily relies on the factsheet to make his argument, taking the Tribunal with him and reading every clause as necessary. The Tribunal is following him to the T and seems satisfied.

16:50 The counsel makes a plea for a non-contractual remedy. When asked about that remedy falling within the mandate of the Tribunal’s power, he explains, rather elaborately with the help of a full case background, that it was indeed an alternate argument.

16:58 The counsel finally concludes and the Respondents take the floor once again. She begins her pleading in a calm and composed manner, beginning with a reference to the factsheet.

17:05 With a few interjections in her pleading, the counsel takes her time to direct the Tribunal to the factsheet to address their concerns,

17:08 She leaves the podium to her co-counsel, along with yielded time. The second counsel continues pleading in the same consistent demeanor as her co-counsel, also taking the Tribunal through the case file during her submission.

17:12 The counsel tactfully uses the questions as opportunities to make her submissions.

17:18 The Tribunal asks for a clarification on the authority of the cited case laws since it differs from the standard trade practice. After a clarification, the counsel proceeds with her submission. When asked why the Tribunal should disregard clause 13, she responds by clarifying her position as not disregarding clause 13 but rather, affecting the quantum of damages. The Tribunal asks follow-ups, she responds to the questions by reaading the relevant portions of her transcript.

17:23 The counsel for the Respondent concludes her submission with some additional time, a rarity! Nevertheless, the counsel for the Claimant delivers a solid, responsive rebuttal which hits at the arguments of the Respondents in a point by point manner. The counsel for the Respondents, in her sur-rebuttal picked only one point from the rebuttal and contradicted the Claimant’s position with a case law.


VCR-7: 817 vs 815

16:20 The rounds of session 5 have finally commenced after encountering numerous connectivity issues on the part of one of the parties. Nevertheless, Speaker 1 of the Claimant side has taken the floor has passionately started arguing her side. She is however interrupted by one of the arbitrators who is posing questions on the point of number of arbitrators.

16:24 The counsel is asked to move on to her next argument and she is confidently pacing the tribunal through her well framed arguments. She is yet again interrupted with a question on subrogation which she has successfully been able to answer. Since she has sufficient time in hand, she is summarising her arguments for the convenience of the tribunal.

16:29 The co-counsel from the claimant side has now been invited to take over the podium who are quoting arguments from his memorial on the bill of lading. He is now building a premise by referring to various authorities which interets the tribunal.

16:33 The speaker is now urging the tribunal to refer to the case study and his memorial. The tribunal is either quite impressed with his arguments or is too tired to pose questions at this stage because the speaker haven’t encountered any query as of now.

16:39 The co-counsel has moved on to his next argument. Finally the monologue is ended by one of the arbitrators who throws a vital question to the co- counsel on liability of the carrier. The speaker addresses the question in parts and furnishes a satisfactory answer to the query of the Tribunal.

16:43 The tribunal is now posing pertinent questions on the credibility of the inspection report countering the evidence to be hearsay. The speaker fumbled a little and despite his persistent efforts could not put forth a convincing answer before the tribunal.

16:49 The floor is now open to the Respondents and the first speaker has spontaneously taken charge of the same. She was assertively defending the respondents defying the applicability of COCSA. She is further contending the provisions of the contract to which the tribunal has objected and pointed out a factual error.

16:55 The tribunal is very engaging and is leaving no opportunity to indulge in a discussion with the Counsel for the Respondent which in a way encourages and challenges participants. The speaker rests her case with a minute to spare to which the tribunal sarcastically whether she was sure of her submissions. The counsel putting a smile across her face steps down and leaves the floor for the second speaker to take over.

17:00 The dedication and efforts of the co-counsel representing the respondent side deserves to be applauded since she is giving her rounds sitting in an internet cafe owing to the various connectivity issues she was facing at home. Despite, all the background disturbances, she is going strong and without stuttering or fumbling presenting her side beautifully. It seems like the tribunal is equally sympathetic towards her situation and is asking moderate questions.

17:10 The second speaker has successfully completed her round after which the claimant side has taken over for the rebuttal round. The claimant side has cunningly pointed out a case law used by the respondents and contended its validity. This move was much appreciated by the tribunal.

17:16 The respondent side is no less as they boldly bounce back with answers to every question posed by the claimants and justify the same in the sur-rebuttal round. It was an interesting and interactive session and it would be even more fascinating to see who will the judges would pick considering that both the parties were equally phenomenal.

17:22 With that the rounds of session 5 have come to an end. Though the day was tiring, it was all worth our time and efforts. The feedback session was quite insightful and we hope the wise counsel prevails. With that we call it a day.


VCR-8: 814 vs 813

16:14 The final preliminary rounds begin and continuing the pattern, the Respondents start to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Respondent is able to address his issues seamlessly as the judges do not question him at all. Is that a good sign or not, time will tell!

16:26 The Claimant begins to defend the jurisdiction of the tribunal and seems perplexed by the silence in the room. The speaker is confused as to whether this silence will work in favour or not. The judges finally start questioning the speaker and he is able to answer the questions without any sign of hesitation.

16:35 The first speaker argues confidently despite the continuous questioning and finally yields the flow to his co-counsel. The second speaker began confidently however questions seem to leave him confused. Trying his best to keep his composure. This team undoubtedly has its mannerism on point, but will it make this team proceed further is what we will find out.

16:45 The second speaker for the Claimant is being bombarded with questions and he is clearly not taking it well. Trying his best to frame the appropriate answers, the judges just don’t seem convinced. While his submissions are fluent, questions seem to render him perplexed and doubtful.

16:57 Nevertheless, the speaker is granted an extension to sum up his submissions. The Respondent begins by summarising the facts of the case and pointing out the fallacies in the arguments of the Claimant. He is interjected by the Arbitrator to provide legal backing for his assertions which he is able to handle well.

17:00 The Respondents have a very engaging session with the judges. However, it is interesting to note that somehow the team didn’t have the authorities they were relying upon in their written memorial. The Claimant and the Respondent engage in an interactive rebuttal and finally the preliminary rounds for CR 8 culminate!

ROUNDS FOR DAY-2 CONCLUDE!

We are at the end of two days and five sessions of intensely argued, closely fought – in short, exhilarating mooting and it has been an absolute pleasure to witness such top notch research and advocacy skills from all participating teams in the preliminary rounds. IMAM definitely seems to punch above its weight year on year, and this edition is no exception. This also brings to the tough job of analysing the Judges’ scoring for the purpose of elimination, to ensure we have the top 8 teams for our Quarter Finals, and we shall release the results shortly!

See you on the other side!


RESULTS FOR QUARTER-FINALS

The following teams have qualified for the quarterfinals (in no particular order):

  • Army Institute of Law, Mohali

  • Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia University

  • Government Law College, Mumbai

  • Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur

  • National Law University, Jodhpur

  • Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab

  • School of Law, Christ University

  • ILS Law College Pune

We heartily congratulate all the teams and wish them all the best for the Quarterfinals. These teams will give a cut-throat competition to secure a spot in Semi-Finals.

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