9th NLUO - Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2022- Live Updates
Updated: Mar 25
The National Law University Odisha is pleased to welcome you to the live blogging of the Virtual Oral Rounds of 9th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2021. This event is organized in collaboration with our Academic Partners, The
Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University; our Global Partners Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration; our Knowledge Partner Informa Law; our Resource Partner The Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
We will make it a point that you feel as involved as ever during this journey where talented mooters will go through the emotions of ecstasy, heartbreak, delight, shock, surprise all within 4 days. For keeping tabs on regular updates regarding IMAM, we encourage you to follow us on our Social Media Handles Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more regular insights. We wish the participating teams the very best of luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2022
VCR 1: 922 vs 925
13:31: All set in the courtroom, teams are ready to begin with their oral rounds. It's Showtime!
13:33: First counsel from the claimants' side lays down the structure of her arguments in a very graceful manner which exudes confidence.
13:35: The first counsel completed her first contention and the panel seems to be impressed with the contentions raised by the first counsel. promises to be a good start!
13:37: With the permission of the panel, the first counsel move to her second submission. There seems to be no incoming questions for now and the atmosphere is overall agreeable for the time being.
13:39: Counsel relies on Hague rule and other protocols in contentions. This immediately attracted the attention of panel who, in return, directed their attention to the respective documents.
13:43: Judge seems not very satisfied with the cited case by the counsel and asked for any recent judgement. Counsel seems to be fazed out with the lack of any recent judgement at hand. Subsequently, the Judge gives her the liberty to return back to the already present case
13:46: The first counsel picks up her pace again and has started putting her arguments in a confident and assured manner.
13:47: Aaaannnnddd That's time up! Time is up for the counsel but hang on, judges being considerate allows her to submit her argument quickly.
13:48: The first counsel concludes on a positive note, with only a few questions from the judges. The floor is now taken by the second counsel. Handing over the baton now! Looks interesting.
13:49: The second counsel started by pressing on the factual grounds of the dispute and drawing attention of the judges towards the facts of the case
13:52: The Judge questioned the judgements cited by the counsel to which judge asked the counsels to delibrate over any recent judgement because counsels are relying only on the old judgements. In response, the counsels contended that they are relying only over landmark judgements which hold great presence in the current legal issues.
13:55:By looking at the presented arguments, counsel have framed their case by relying over Hague Rules and on the old judgements.
13:57: The second counsel is successfuly maintaining her calm and answering every question in a calm composed manner.
13:59: The judges seem impressed now with the answers given by the counsel and acknowledged the presented grounds.
14:01: With only 5 secs left, counsel moves to the prayer and rounds off their submissions.
14:02: Applicants from team 922 end on a satisfactory note, with minimal grilling. The floor is now open for the respondents from team 925.
14:05: The first counsel of the respondents took the floor and he seeks permission to start with his case. With the permission of judges, he has started directly with the issues
14:07: This is promising! The first counsel laid down his grounds in a very graceful manner and he seems assured with what he is presenting
14:09: The panel seems to have no objection to the presented arguments put forth by the counsel which mark the already maintained positive and upbeat atmosphere in the courtroom
14:10: Aspiring Counsels, take note! The counsel directly pointed out the loophole in the claimants' arguments while presenting his grounds. This highlights the assertive as well as the active mindful presence of the counsel.
14:13: Claimants seem to not be giving attention to the respondents' arguments and were engaging within themselves only which can not be acknowledged as good argumentation ettiquettes
14:15: "Are the Hague Rules binding on the party?" the judge asked to which the counsel said no and further stated his reasoning for the same.
14:16: Counsel is trying to justify his answer but somehow he seems to get flustered in his reasoning. Judges seems to not be satisfied and stated that he is getting confused in the established facts.
14:17:Time is running out but still the first counsel is trying to justify his reasoning. This marks the not-so-attentive approach of the counsel by not keeping check on time.
14:19: Geez, it's getting stressful out there. Time is up but counsel is going on with his arguments without asking for prior permission, and on objection putforth by the judge he asked for 30 more seconds to finish with his arguments.
14:20: The first counsel concludes on a positive note, with only a few questions from the judges. The floor is now open for the second speaker to take the mantle from here.
14:21: The second counsel started with an informal note by saying "Hey" and asking for more time because her laptop's battery is dying.
14:23: The second counsel is presenting her grounds in a prepared and composed manner, but it seems that she is constantly reading from her notes. Also, consistent usage of hand actions could cost her points.
14:28: The first judge asked the question regarding 'due diligence' aspect in the case which claimants have presented in an assertive manner. The second counsel puts forth her answer with the ground that facts are silent, to which judge agains questioned her on the same point. but counsel fails to satisfy the judge to which judge replied "not convinced".
14:31: While the second counsel is going with her issues, it seems that a monotonous atmosphere is developing in the courtroom with no questions and appreciative expressions from the judges.
14:35: With no questions put forth by the judges, the counsel seeks permission to proceed with the prayer.
14:36: The second counsel successfully completed her arguments.
14:37: Following the intensive deliberations and counter-questioning, we will now proceed to the session of rebuttal and sur-rebuttal.
14:38: Claimants pointed out the same due diligence ground which respondents failed to prove in their arguments when asked by one of the judges. This indicated active listening on the part of claimants.
14:42: After the completion of sur-rebuttals, one of the judges asked the second counsel from respondents' side to repeat her sur-rebuttal becuase she went too fast in making her arguments.
14:44: Oral rounds have successfully concluded. Judges have joined the Judges room to discuss the marking scheme and feedback to be given to both the teams.
VCR 2: 924 vs 910
13:42: Despite the slight delay owing to inevitable technical issues, the preliminary round 1 has started with a blast. The first speaker from the applicant's side has started with a blast and is confidently striding through the statement of facts.
13:45: The first speaker is advocating in favour of the application of SCMA Rules and is emphasising on the appointment of 3 arbitrators.
13:46: There's a mix up! The speaker has quickly been stopped by one of the judges asking for more clarification on the last paragraph of the first issue, however it turns out that there was some mix up in the memo pages of the judges and the speaker has thus moved on to the next issue.
13:50: The Counsel i.e. the first speaker is now arguing on the part of negligence and has even cited an authority to substantiate his argument. The judges have not interrupted him yet and it seems that they are probably satisfied with the carefully drafted argument.
13:52: There has been a bit of confusion among the judges as it turns out that the pages of the memo sent across to them are different from the ones cited and vehemently advocated by the first speaker. Oh, this is not turning out well for now.
13:53: The second counsel on the part of the applicants has taken the floor now and is taking the judges through the third and fourth issues at hand.
13:54: The second counsel appears quite confident with the arguments and authorities she has meticulously prepared.
13:56: Well, the technical issues have crept in and the second counsel had to be interrupted by one of the judges due to audio lag.
13:58: The counsel has been shooting authorities left and right in an attempt to substantiate her arguments on the compensation amount which is to be bagged from the respondents. The judges have been patiently heeding to all arguments of the counsel and asking for clarifications wherever required.
14:01: The Counsel has now progressed to the Hague Visby Rules and is fiercely advocating for the damages and compensation over which the applicants have the right to claim. This has been followed by the prayer on part of the applicants.
14:05: It's a wrap for applicants' arguments and the first counsel of respondents has now taken the floor.
14:07: The counsel of the Respondents' side is arguing in favour of Singapore as the seat of arbitration. The counsel is referring to his memo and pleading judges to do the same. This is making the arguments much clearer and more structured.
14:09: The Counsel appears to be quite zealous and is citing various sections and articles of the SCMA and IAA Rules to corroborate the two-fold argument he is submitting.
14:12: The Counsel from the respondent's side has made it abundantly clear that the Hague Rules may not be applicable and the same is not mandatory under English law either.
14:15: The Counsel has now cleverly picked at the intention of the parties for the application of HVR and even pointed towards the deletion of a clause in the Bill of Lading which points towards the fact that the HVR should not be made applicable.
14:18: The second Counsel from the Respondents' side has now taken charge of the floor and with a very positive attitude is now proceeding with her arguments.
14:20: The judges have been giving out positive vibes too as they can be seen nodding their heads in approval of the arguments. The Counsel is submitting arguments on the Bill of lading in an attempt to save the actions of the defendants.
14:25: The Counsel is now steadily trodding through her 4th issue arguing on the liability and the amount of compensation along with the citation of a prominent case. There topples the internet connection of the second counsel leading to mis-communication. The judges have however sought for more clarification on the parts which were inaudible and hence unclear. 14:30: One of the judges has pointed out on excessive reliance over the addendum by the Counsel and is now bombarding the counsel with relevant questions pertaining to the addendum
14:33: The Counsel has now concluded her arguments with the prayer and has now stepped down.
14:34: Here come the tricky couple of minutes reserved for rebuttal. The Counsel of the Applicant is plucking parts of arguments of the defendant and firing questions on the ambiguous parts.
14:37: The Counsel of the Respondent doesn't look nervous or shaken by any of the questions posed in the rebuttal rounds and is seen confidently batting away all the queries citing authorities.
14:42: The judges have now been given a separate room for deliberation on the arguments and performance of the counsels. With that, this highly enriching and wonderful session has reached its end and we hope that we get to witness many more such amazing discussions and sessions.
VCR 3: 906 vs 921
13.36: As the Arbitrator begins questioning of the counsel, the counsel handles the intensively long question in a poised manner with composure.
13.38: Another lengthy question has been thrown in the way of the counsel and yet they seem unfazed about it. Good going for them!
13.41: Arbitrator asks a pertinent question regarding the tests laid down to decide whether a rule can have mandatory or non-mandatory compliance.
13.42: After the counsel proceeded with the answer, the arbitrator seems satisfied with the response.
13.46: The arbitrators grant the counsel an extension of 1.30 minutes to conclude their last argument. Time is running out but the quality shouldn't
13.49: The counsel for the respondents begins with their first submission. Let's see how they go now!
13.54: Uh-oh. The counsel does not seem to understand the questions laid by the arbitrator leading to an unsatisfied response
13.55: The arbitrator has been leading the counsel with many questions and the counsel seems baffled by the questions raised. This is not confidence-inspiring.
13.59: The counsel seems to recover from their dazed state and gives an elaborate response, the arbitrators too seem satisfied by the answers. Crisis averted, it seems!
14.07: Now, the second counsel for the claimant begins with their submissions.
14.12: And network problems strike! The counsel seems to be facing network issues but the arbitrators patiently repeat their queries.
14.16: The arbitrators now seem a little frustrated due to the counsel's inability to give a satisfactory answer in response to the judges' questions.
14:20: The arbitrator asks whether Respondent 1 can recover damages from the Respondent 2?
14.23: The arbitrators appear to be not satisfied with the response and they move ahead with more questions on deciding liability in the given issue.
14.32: The second counsel for the respondent begins with their final submissions
14.54: The counsel for claimants begin with their rebuttals now
14.57: The counsel for respondents begins with their sur-rebuttals now
14.59: The oral rounds have concluded
VCR 4: 905 vs 904
13.32: Finally the wait is over and the oral rounds have begun in VCR-4.
13.33: The first speaker from Team 905 appears to be a little flustered with the crisp instructions of the Bench. However, she composed herself and she handled the situation wonderfully and continued with her submissions, without wasting a moment.
13.38: The first speaker continues with her submission. On being directed a question at, from the Bench, the Speaker alludes at certain provisions, which she goes on to elaborate upon.
13.39: The Bench is slowly coming into its element after a few minutes of the commencement of the session. The next thing they hurl at the Speaker is about case laws in the memorial, which the Speaker, with some hesitation, admits have not been mentioned in the Memorial at all. However, she quickly covers the faux pas up with a very similar case law. The Bench looks satisfied for the time being.
13.42: Speaker 1 concluded her first submission. The Bench had reserved a particularly tricky question for her to attack her with. The Speaker however, confidently stands by her submissions and continues defending her stand.
13.44: The Bench and the Speaker continue with a back and forth round of questions and answers. The Speaker continues to maintain her composure with utmost perfection! This is high quality stuff!
13.46: Speaker 1 proceeds to her second submission, this time with a surge of confidence after having been able to defend her stand in the first submission to the best of her abilities.
13.49: The Bench accuses the Speaker of not having mentioned the requisite information in their contract with the respondents. The Speaker, not surprisingly, directed the Bench yet again to where the relevant information has been mentioned.
13.50: BUT the Bench is still not satisfied. Asking the Speaker to read the provision again, repeats their question to her.
13.51: The Speaker tries to convince the Bench for 5 more extra minutes. The Bench agrees to grant her 3 more minutes, which can be increased later on.
13.53: The Speaker and the Bench are engaging on a particularly contentious point again. But the Speaker's time is running out and the Bench continues to be dissatisfied, throwing one after another complicated question and clarification at her!
13.57: Oooopss, look like someone is not getting along. The Bench is referring to the documents. They direct the Speaker to refer to a particular section. Both the Bench and the Speaker continues having disagreements on.
14:00: The Bench reads out the provision they are referring to, for clarity in the Courtroom.
14.01: The first speaker is confident that the Hague Rules will apply in the present situation and further consolidates her position with an English case law, where the obiter was the relevant portion.
14.03: The Bench directs the Speaker to conclude her arguments despite her pleading for a few more minutes. But the Speaker has been taking the Courtroom by storm for practically half an hour and that, as the Bench provided, was too much for one Speaker! But it has to be said that those 30+ minutes were extremely engaging and interesting!
14.04: Speaker 2 takes the floor now.
14.06: The Speaker reiterates what her co-counsel had already mentioned- the Hague Visby rules would apply. But the Bench continues having issues with their stand and directs them to specific provisions.
14.07: Oh my! The Bench declared that the Hague-Visby rules would not apply because it has not been mentioned anywhere in the problem!
14:10: The Speaker continues with her submissions with grace and confidence, refusing to be swayed by the mind boggling questions which the Bench continue to throw at her! This is brilliant stuff!
14.11: "Sub-bailment is independent from the Privity of Contract..." the Speaker continues with her well drafted arguments with flair and complete assurance in her team's understanding of the problem and accordingly their structured arguments.
14.14: The Bench is now throwing controversial questions at the Speaker! Will the opinion of the jurist be binding on the arbitartor? What will the Speaker say?
14.15: The Speaker managed to answer the question, however, it still remains to be seen whether this Honourable Bench would be pleased with her explanation.
14.17: The Bench explains to the Speaker how the Duty of Care changes as per the situation in question. The Speaker answers that, but the Bench mentions that it is the Shipper's duty to inform the Carrier of the value of the goods and is not the responsibility of the latter to ascertain the same.
14.19: The Speaker then pleads for 5 more minutes to clarify their position on the damages front.
14:20: The Bench however feels that this team has already taken up a lot of time! But it still relented and granted the Speaker 5 more minutes.
14.21: Kudos to the Speaker! The Speaker rushes to defend her stand and makes the most of the blessed 5 minutes! Despite her desperation to convince the Bench, the Speaker never once loses her composure or her cool and continues defending her stand to the best of her abilities.
14.24: The Bench directs the Speaker to conclude and get to the Prayer. The Speaker did try to snag a few extra minutes again, but this time the Bench did not budge at all!
14.26: First Speaker of 904 takes the floor now representing the Respondents
14.29: The Bench has allowed the Speaker to keep her camera off so that they can hear her better, and indeed, at the moment the connection is stable, the Speaker has completely captivated the Courtroom with her submisisons!
14.32: The Bench has a host of new and equally mind boggling questions for this Speaker as well!
14.33: The Bench demands a clarification on the number of arbitrators the parties have decided upon, since that has not been mentioned anywhere! Have the parties decided upon three arbitrators, just like they have decided upon the seat of arbitration as Singapore?
14.35: To alleviate the concerns of the Bench, the speaker tries to draw their attention to a particular case law, which the Bench flatly refused to accept, stating it as irrelevant. The Speaker however tried to convince the Bench of its persuasive value, but the Bench still does not look too convinced by that.
14.37: This Bench is extremely hard to convince! The Speaker is trying her level best to do it, but it still remains to be seen if her efforts are actually coming to her aid!
14.42: The Bench continues grilling the Speaker!
14.43: The Bench offers to make the argument for the Speaker since they are running out of time!
14.44: The Bench clarifies that the Speaker has not given them any precedence of relevance and they only make the argument which the Speaker was supposed to make.
14.46: The Bench criticizes the Speaker for arguing on points which completely contradict the Problem given to the teams.
14.48: The Speaker is granted the permission to complete her arguments entirely because of her unstable connection, after which the bench would direct questions at her.
14.52: The time for questions is here!
14.54: But the Speaker is facing internet issues again and is unable to answer. The Bench agrees on directing the questions at the second speaker itself.
14.55: As a result, the second speaker takes the floor.
14.56: As promised by the Bench, they have started directing all their questions for this team to this Speaker within a minute of his taking the podium!
14.57: "Can you be discharged from the Duty of Care?" The Bench has hurled this particularly confounding question the second time in this session!
15.01: "Wasn't it your responsibility to have a vessel that is sea-worthy?" The Bench continues with their confusing and possibly 'difficult to answer' questions at the Speaker!
15.04: The Speaker, with absolute confidence, argues that the liability to have a vessel that is sea-worthy is not vested in his team!
15.08: The Speaker continues with his submissions and substantiates his arguments with case laws. However, it seems the aggravating internet issues, which plagued his co-counsel througgout her submissions, are catching up with him!
15.09: Having been directed by the Bench to turn off his camera for better connectivity, the Counsel in a very self-assured manner continues defending his stand since he has a stable internet connection now.
15.11: The Speaker continues with his submssions and has the complete attention of the Bench who listen to him with rapt attention, looking for any loopholes in his arguments! From the looks of it, they do not seem to have been able to find any in 2 whole minutes and counting, which in itself is an achievement!
15.13: The Bench has formulated a question based on the new landmark judgement which was brought up by the Speaker and the bench demanded the obiter to be shared with the Courtroom.
15.15: The Bench has completed their question and the Speaker is back to defending his stand!
15.19: Looks like the Bench has been able to spot a chink in the Speaker's armour and now they are definitely not going to let go of that easily! The back to back questions are clearly putting the Speaker under a lot of pressure.
15.21: The submissions are finally done and now it is time for the rebuttals!
15.21: The Speaker, in the same breath, dealt with the rebuttals he had up his sleeve.
15.24: Speaker 1 from team 905 is back! With her air of calm she is back to handling her rebuttals.
15.28: Now its time for the surrebuttals! Speaker 2 from 904 is back to address these on behalf of his team.
15.31:The rounds have concluded.
VCR 5: 919 vs 915
13:29: And it's a go-ahead and the claimant start their preliminary round with grace and ultimate confidence with the statement of facts.
13:33: Some questions posed by the bench on the SCMA rules were confidently answered by the speaker. Let's hope this continues!
13:36: The streak of confidence seems to have to come to an end, the judge and the speaker have different interpretations of the provisions in question!
13:38: The incessant grilling has visibly thrown off the speaker, but the show must go on!
13:42: The bench continues to grill the speaker with long questions on the first contract and the liability of the claimant.
13:45: With an extension of time, the judges continue grilling the claimaint on the operation of the Hague rules and the gap in the contract by the claimaints
13:48: The claimant contends that the Hague Rules will take precedence over the liability clause that exists in the contract between the parties. The bench seems unsatisfied and ask for authorities for the same to be submitted.
13:54: The second speaker takes the floor now, trying to start on a fresh page with the judges. It'll be interesting to see if they can turn it around!
13:59: The claimant elaborately submits that there need not exist a seperate exclusive contract between the bailee and sub-bailee. They also refer to the submissions of the first speaker with regards to the Hague Rules.
14:03: The judges seem to be impressed with the speaker's calm demeanour while dealing with repeated questions regarding the cases cited in their memorial
14:07: The bench is having a tough time navigating the extensive memorial of the claimant
14:10: Questions regarding the issue of liability of a third party in a contract have thrown off the speaker and the judges continue to grill the speaker on the same
14:20: The bench is frustrated with the claimaint's contentions not being quoted in their memorial. The speaker is warned and is asked to refer to the memorial for cases and rules mentioned in their submission.
14:22: The judges again have a different view of the Hague rules compared to the Claimaints. The speaker is visibily affected but moves on with their submissions.
14:26: The claimant is questioned on the addendums. The bench opines that an unfair burden is being put on the respondents and that the addendums are being ignored.
14:29: The claimant tries to counter these accusations but fails to do so satisfactorily. The bench has also given up on trying to get a clear answer from the claimants
14:35: The respondent now starts to address the bench, starting off on a confident note
14:38: The bench questions the respondent on the arbitration proceedings arising out of the bill of lading, In response, the counsel cites the addendum but fails to submit why the bill of lading should not be followed. The bench says that there is no dispute at all, and even the consolidated arbitration proceeding should follow the bill of lading which is binding on both parties.
14:43: The counsel is unsuccesful in countering the questions regarding the law under which the parties are governed.
14:48: The bench questions the counsel on why the other rules regarding the appointment of three arbitrators should be ignored and why only the International Arbitration Act should apply and only one arbitrator should be appointed.
14:52: The bench is still unsatisfied with the answers given by the counsel with regards to consolidation of proceedings. The judges strongly feel that the facts will not change and will not lead to the re-laying of conditions after the consolidation of proceedings.
14:56: The counsel submits that there is ambiguity between the parties on the number of arbitrators and that there is ambiguity on which version of the SCMA rules will apply.
15:00: The respondents failed to take note of the claimants' mistakes and did not mention the authorities in their submissions.
15:03: The second counsel on behalf of the respondents has taken the floor.
15:07: Fortunately for the respondents, the counsel continues to refer to their memorial for the efficiency of the court and to the relief of the bench.
15:10: The bench seems to be regretting their earlier relief, as the counsel fails to point out specific areas where the cases in the submission are mentioned in the memorial
15:13: The convenience of the counsel's submissions is pointed out to them where they submit that the unfairness of the damages clause is right as the claimaints agreed to it
15:16: The exclusion of the Hague Rules is pointed out to the counsel and the bench continues to grill the counsel on the same.
15:23: Despite an extension of time, the counsel struggles with the specific questions posed about the judgements cited. The bench states that the counsel's interpretation and the tribunal's interpretation of the judgement is starkly different.
15:27: The bench playfully mentions that time limits exist because of benches like them and are amused at the amount of time that has passed.
15:30: Despite the light atmosphere in the minute prior, the bench quickly switched focus and grilled the claimants in the rebuttals.
VCR 6: 909 vs 927
13.43: After a minor delay, the oral rounds have commenced. Hopefully the delay doesn't cause any jitters or nervousness for the participants!
13:46: The judges begins their questioning the counsel about the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
13:51: The counsel is trying her best to put forth their best arguments and satisfy the judges of their legal backing.
13.53: The judge quizzes the counsel about the difference between procedural law and procedural rules. A series of questions follow and the counsel manages to answer them, but the judges do not seem very impressed.
13.56: Oh no! The judge's questions appears to have thrown the counsel off-track.
13.58: The speaker has been given an extra minute to conclude her submissions as she has run out of her time. She briefly summarises her arguments.
13.59: The second counsel begins and the judges listen intently.
14.02: One of the judges is not convinced since the counsel is unable to satisfactorily respond to the questions. The counsel is once again unable to back up their claims with any credible material and is only arguing on the basis of made-up facts.
14.06: The judges listen with rapt attention, trying to gauge the counsel's stance on the loopholes in their arguments. The counsel seems
to be merely reading out her arguments as the response.
14.07: The counsel is asked to elaborate about the facts of the case that she is citing. She stammers her way through the facts, demonstrating how it is relevant with the concept of seaworthiness.
14.11: The researcher does not come to the aid of the counsel and the judges have to move on in spite of not having received a satisfactory answer.
14.13: The counsel falters and seems not very well-versed with the arguments. Time is also running out now!
14.18: "You're beating around the bush counsel!" The counsel's lack of confidence combined with the judges' grilling seem to make her visibly nervous.
14.22: The counsel for the applicant concludes after having received several extensions.
14.22: The counsel for the respondent begins. She seems confident and full of spirit! Let's see if that continues!
14.24: Nerves getting to the counsel! The counsel is quizzed about the applicability of the UNCITRAL Model Law. The counsel falters and ends up reading the wrong section than the one that she originally intended to read. However, she recovered herself and continues gracefully afterwards.
14.28: The Honourable judges have been attempting to gain more clarity on the arguments presented by the counsel through a series of cross-questions.
14.29: The judges do not seem very impressed. The arguments presented by the counsel do not seem to have enough legal backing - the judges suggest the counsel to concede the issue and the counsel acts accordingly.
14.31: Would hate to be in that position but it looks like the counsel for the respondent is having a hard time being grilled by all the judges.
14.37: The first counsel stands down and the second counsel takes the floor. He lays down the structure of the issue he will be dealing with.
14.45: The counsel is asked to answer some hypothetical questions. The Speaker takes his time and calmly answers the questions. The judge interrupts him with additional inquiries. The speaker then fumbles for a while before responding in the hopes that the judge will be satisfied. The judges seem to have not bought the answers and they ask him to proceed further with his submissions.
14.48: The counsel has been able to present his arguments relatively smoothly so far with no interruptions by the judges.
14.51: Decision making takes centre-stage here! The counsel for the applicant begins with rebuttals for both the merits and the procedural issues. However, before she could begin, she is asked if it is good use of her time if she rebuts the jurisdiction again. She answers in negative and the judges think that she made the right decision!
14.58: The judges think that the respondents had a plan regarding what they wanted to argue. They had a better understanding of the law, however the claimant appeared very confused about the procedural rules.
15.03: The feedback session begins. The judges stressed on the importance of being well-versed with the procedural aspects of the case.
VCR 7: 911 vs 902
13:46: The Applicant takes the floor and begins with their submissions.
13:50: The Judges questioned the authority and rules under which the tribunal was constituted today. The inability of the counsel to understand the question correctly led to a heated discussion between the counsel and the judge. The judge further asked regarding the several means in which the arbitrator can be appointed. The counsel being unaware of the same exclaimed that their inability to answer is due to the fact that it is not in context of the question at hand. The judge, astonished regarding the same, questions, "Are you saying that I am asking an irrelevant question?"
13:59: After a prolonged disagreement regarding the constitution of the tribunal today, and if the tribunal should continue to hear the proceedings. The Counsel is asked to proceed to the next limb of their submissions.
14:01: An extension of 3 minutes is granted to the applicant to finish their submissions regarding Issue 1 after the speaker for the respondent has concluded their arguments on the 1st Issue
14:03: The respondents now begin with their submissions.
14:07: Counsel for the respondents gracefully answers the questions which are posed by the judges regarding the rules of Arbitration to be followed in the case today, and the standing of the Tribunal today.
14:09: The Applicant is now called upon to make their submissions regarding the issue of whether Tawe is liable to Caspian?
14:13: The submissions being made by the Applicant are well backed up with cases, and the judges seem to not question the same yet.
14:15: An extension of 1 minute granted to complete submissions by the applicant's first speaker. After this, the submissions will be concluded for the applicant by their second speaker
14:17: The second speaker takes the floor to address the issues of compensatory damage and the damages which both the defendents are entitled to
14:23: While a technical glitch hinders proceedings for a short period of time, the counsel now sails smoothly through her submissions.
14:28: After smooth sailing on the first issue. The counsel now starts with the next issue. 14:33: The judges question the counsel on the basis of the factual statements admitting that the tribunal is not one which is lawfully constituted. However, the counsel agrees that having argued before the Tribunal, it is one which stands as per law. An interesting turn takes place here as this controversial statement made by the counsel implies that they concede on the question on the formation of the Tribunal
14:36: The counsel for the respondent begins with their submissions. The counsel is confident, and is gracefully making her submissions
14:44: Having completed submissions as Speaker 1 of the respondent, Speaker 2 takes the floor to further the case for their party.
14:46: The counsel continues to make his submissions stressing on the specific phrases mentioned in the factual background and how the interpretation of those will establish their case.
14:50: With the end of the submissions, it is now time for the much awaited round of rebittals!
14:53: As the teams had exceeded their respective time limits, a minute was granted to each team for the rebuttals and sur-rebuttals
14:55: A further extension of 30 seconds to the applicant for rebuttals enabled them to end by making a strong case for their party.
14:57: The respondents, refuting the points furthered by the applicant in terms of appointment of arbitrators as well as the liability owed by the respondent, rest their case.
14:58: The rounds ended successfully with both the teams making their submissions with utmost brevity and confidence.
VCR 8: 916 vs 926
13:42: Session 1 starts with a bang as fresh faces greet us for this afternoon session. The Claimant's first speaker presents their narrative.
13:45: First speaker of claimant engages on the issue regarding applicability of arbitral rules to this dispute. The Judge interjects the speaker to test their understanding of corresponding laws regarding formation of arbitration panels. But the Speaker calmly explains their understanding of the same.
13:49: The speaker loses their flow due to the interjection posed by the judge on Cruze's liability. But the judge allows them to address the question at a later stage.
13:54: The Speaker expresses a clear disagreement with the Judge's understanding of the case. However, their explanation satisfies the Judge and they seem convinced with the response of the counsel.
13:58: The Judge questions the speaker about the applicability of the Hague Rules since neither party is a party to the same. The speaker skillfully answers the question with a substantive use of case law.
14:07: Speaker 2 from claimant side addresses many of the doubts posed by the judges in the first half. The judges seem impressed with the speaker's submissions as they note down points furiously on paper.
14:09: The judge interjects with the exception of Act of God in Article 4 to ask if liabiltiy still arises then. The speaker concisely answers that there is an admitted act of negligence committed
14.21: The first speaker of respondents' side argues that the composition of the arbitration panel may even include a sole arbitrator considering the seat of arbitration.
14:24: The first speaker of respondents' side responds to claimants' arguments that the Hague Rules don't apply on the parties and systematically responds to each of the submissions made by the claimants.
14:25: The judge interjects the speaker by outlining their higher degree of liability to preserve the cargo. However, the respondent is unable to satisfactorily respond.
14:33: The judge asks a complicated question regarding the impact of port of shipment and arrival on the laws applicable which wavers the confidence of the speaker.
14:38: The speaker representing Tawe breaks down the issue in simpler terms to say that the existence of Caspian was not made aware to Tawe in any terms. Therefore, they cannot be held liable. The judge fascinated by this novel argument engages with the speaker on various aspects
14:45: The Speaker engages on the Himalayan rule to argue that they enjoy the said exemptions and thus restrict their liability. The Judge again enters into an argumentative conversation wishing to engage in a discussion of the contract
14:54: The Speaker goes on to argue the limitation of their liability according to the Hague Visby rules and the judge asks for clarifications on their case
14:56: The claimants present rebuttals and in a surprising turn of events, the judge interjects the speakers on their rebuttals.
15:08: The round concludes with an engaging bout of sur-rebuttals presented by the claimants
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2022
VCR 1: 913 vs 924
17:40: The Courtroom is set, and the teams are ready. Session 2 of the Preliminary Round has begun in full swing in the courtroom, with unbridled enthusiasm.
17:41: The first counsel begins with a brief narration of the facts involved in the dispute
17:43: After the narration of facts, the first counsel laid down the structure following which claimants would present their issues.
17:44: Counsel is presenting her arguments in a very assertive and yet, understanding manner. This is helping judges to grasp the presented arguments with ease.
17:47: To keep the attention of judges, the first counsel is adopting a well-prepared approach. They are pointing out very particular cited judgments and pages of their given compendium
17:48: The first counsel got flustered on the question being asked by one of the judges and asked the judge to clarify any doubts during her speech. The judge allowed her to continue so as to not break the flow of arguments too much.
17:51: First counsel is already done with her arguments with minimal grilling before the completion of time. Now, the second counsel has taken the baton from the first counsel.
17:52: The courtroom largely has a calm and positive atmosphere with an agreeable approach adopted by the judges towards the counsel's arguments.
17:54: The second counsel is having an elegant bearing over his arguments but somehow it seems that he is narrating the grounds verbatim, as in reading it aloud from something
18:00: The second counsel moves to the prayer. Claimants managed to put forth their arguments in a composed and timely manner and left with a time of over 3 min
18:01: The claimants concluded on a positive note, with only a few questions from the judges. The floor is now taken by the respondents.
18:04: After narrating the facts, first counsel started with the submission of their jurisdiction towards this court. It seems that the respondents are careful of every minor detail with which they can grab bonus points.
18:06: The first counsel started his arguments by relying on the particular sections of the respective act which therein bought him a series of question from the one of the judges.
18:11: The counsel is presenting his arguments by wholly focusing on the sections and specifically atrracting the judges' attention on pages of their presented compendium. In return, judges are also responding to counsel's request in an agreeable manner.
18:13: A successful example of interaction with the judges? The counsel concluded his arguments with an ease and asked for the permission of judges to hand over the podium to the second counsel. The first counsel sets an example of courtroom ettiquettes by successfully interacting with the judges.
18:17: It can be presumed that judges are getting convinced with what is presented by the counsel as there were no incoming questions from judges.
18:18: Counsel is using an effective approach in her presentation by relating each particular cited clause or rule with the facts of the present case and thereby justifying what she is presenting.
18:20: Judges found the grounds used by second counsel contradictory with what was presented by the first counsel, and questioned on the same contradiction.
18:21: The counsel fortunately convinced the judge with her explanation and proceeded with her second submission with the permission of the panel
18:23: Difference in Approach! It seems that respondents have presented their whole case on clauses and rules already existing and with a few judicial precendents, that also in the latter part. In contrast, claimants had gracefully used their cited judgements while putting forth their arguments.
18:26: The counsel proceeded with her last submission by effectively using her allotted time.
18:28: The counsel concluded her delibrations in a productive and timely manner.
18:29: As the rebuttals began, claimants are back on track, brimming with new energy and enthusiasm as they prepare to submit their arguments. They strike the very basis of respondents' pleas and tried to negate the whole argument presented by the other party.
18:33: By taking full 5 minutes, claimants consciously highlighted every loophole left by the respondents during their arguments.
18:34: Following the intensive deliberations and minimal questioning, the courtroom is done with the rounds in the second session
VCR 2: 920 vs 906
17:40: The stage has been set and all counsels are fiercely looking forward to submit their arguments before the esteemed tribunal.
17:41: The first Counsel has started off with impeccable confidence and is structurally covering all parts of the issues. The Counsel is building their case on the concept of party autonomy and citing authorities for the same.
17:45: The arguments are being submitted steadily without any interruptions till now, which shows that the judges have probably not been able to find any inconsistency in the arguments. The confident smile across the Counsel's face shows that she is well-prepared and will not break down anytime soon.
17:48: The Counsel is now using the Doctrine of Equality to build on her case and is quoting landmark judgements for the same. Additionally, the Counsel has emphasized on the appointment of 3 arbitrators in the matter. The judges have not countered the first Counsel with any question.
17:51: The floor has been taken over by the second Counsel from the Applicants' side now, who is vehemently advocating for the damages caused to the applicants as a result of the negligence on the part of the respondents.
17:54: The Counsel has been abruptly interrupted by one of the judges as the judge has a question on the Hague Rules. The Counsel looks shaken and a little nervous by the interruption and is fumblng for words to frame her answer. She has again been countered by another question fired from a Judge who is slowly shattering the confidence of the Counsel which was initially at its peak.
17:58: The Counsel is however seen commendably keeping her calm and slowly picking up her herself to answer the questions bombarded at her. Finally, after a pretty long discussion, the judge has been appeased with the answer of the Counsel.
18:01: The judge of VCR 2 is not one that can be easily satisfied and he has yet again impeded the pace of the Counsel by throwing more questions at her on the applicability of the Rules in the matter. These questions seem endless as the judge is constantly quoting the agreement between the parties and shooting more questions on the arrangement.
18:05: With 3 minutes left in hand, the Counsel is struggling to reach the end of her arguments and is acing her way through. There comes another question in the way of the Counsel regarding the quantum of damages claimed. The judge is reiterating his question as it seems that the Counsel was unable to comprehend the question and is babbling in a different direction. Maybe a bit of nervousness kicking in?
18:10: It's no surprise that the time has elapsed with the Counsel still left with some parts of her arguments to be covered but fortunately, the judge has been kind enough to grant extension of a couple of minutes. Satisfying one specific judge would not be a cake walk for the second counsel as he is adamant on eliciting a response from the Counsel for a question she doesn't have a concrete answer for.
18:15: It has been over 5 minutes since the time allotted for the second counsel of the applicant's side has lapsed and yet the arguments seem endless. She has finally been warned and given a time window of only 3 seconds to wrap up and conclude her submissions.
18:20: The mic has now been passed over to the Respondents' side and the first counsel is presenting her submissions with utmost care and diligence.
18:22: Within few minutes of start of the submissions on the Respondents' side, the Counsel has been interrupted by a Judge who is questioning the application of the law and rules in the instant case. The answer given by the Counsel however seems to have quenched the Judge's thirst.
18:25: The Counsel has been allowed to proceed to the next issue after she successfully argued on the appointment of a sole arbitrator in this matter. She has cited quite a few landmark precedents too in an attempt to establish her case.
18:31: Congratulations, you got congratulated in a moot round. Now that's rare! Owing to the judge's streak of unlimited questions, the Counsel's time has elapsed and yet she has been granted an extension of another 90 seconds to answer a question spun at her. She has been appreciated by the panel for the brevity and accuracy of her answer.
18:36: The floor has been taken over by the second speaker from the Respondents' side. the oral submissions have hardly started and the judge is armed with a lot of questions which have the potential to wreck the Counsel's basis of arguments. The Counsel has yet been able to manuever his way out.
18:44: A few more questions balled at the Counsel and the entire direction as well as structure of arguments is shattered. The judge pointed out that the answer given by the Counsel failed to satisfy his curiosity and lacked specifics.
18:49: The Counsel has finally been able to put forth his submissions for a couple of minutes without being interrupted by the Judge and has sought for permission to present his prayer but has been countered with another question. The Counsel is seen floundering in the pool of questions.
18:53: The Counsel has been granted an extension of a couple of minutes so that the Counsel can comfortably present their prayer.
18:57: The limelight has now shifted to the applicant side again for the rebuttal rounds and the Counsel is seen contending the arguments of the defendant on the ground of priority given to certain clauses over the rest.
19:00: It seems like the respondent side was caught offguard by the applicant side with their set of questions. Additionally, the Counsel of the Respondent has been countered with questions from the judge too. The sur-rebuttal rounds have finally been concluded with a blast leaving a smile of contentment on the face of the judges.
19:05: The judges have been sent to a separate room for deliberation and all the participants are eagerly looking forward to the feedback session to hear about their performance. With the feedback session completed, this fruitful sesson has also come to an end. This battle has witnessed a very satisfactory end and has raised bars for all the other particpants.
VCR 3: 923 vs 905
17:43: After a slight delay owing to network issues from several sides, oral rounds of session-2 have finally started and the first counsel from claimants' side begins with their submissions
17:48: The counsel completes their first limb of submissions smoothly without any clarifications being sought by any of the judges
17:52: The counsel seems to be performing in an extremely convincing manner as there has been no questions from the judges
17:53: The judge asks the first question regarding what seaworthiness means which baffles the otherwise confident counsel but they quickly recover from it and answer appropriately
17:57: The counsel seeks an extension of 1 minute in order to conclude their submissions which was granted by the judge
17:59: The second counsel for the claimants begins their submissions dealing with issues 3 and 4 respectively
18:01: The counsel begins with their submission as to why Cruze is liable to Caspian under two laws - Contract Law and Tort Law
18:04: After narrating the facts, first counsel started with the submission of their jurisdiction towards this court. It seems that the respondents are careful of every minor detail with which they can grab bonus points.
18:06: The first counsel started his arguments by relying on the particular sections of the respective act which therein bought him a series of question from the one of the judges.
18:11: The counsel is presenting his arguments by wholly focusing on the sections and specifically atrracting the judges' attention on pages of their presented compendium. In return, judges are also responding to counsel's request in an agreeable manner.
18:15: Donoghue v Stevenson makes its way everywhere! The counsel yet again focuses on the essentials of the duty of care and further moves ahead to establish the three essentials in great detail using the case law of the infamous Donoghue v Stevenson
18:20: The counsel proceeds with their last submission regarding how the damages are to be decided after getting an extension of a minute.
18:22: The first counsel for the respondents begins with their submissions regarding issues 1 and 2 respectively
18:25: The counsel draws the attention of the arbitrators towards para 10 of the issue, substantiating that IAA rules will always be considered over institutional rules
18:28: The counsel further submits that the respondents are not liable for a breach of duty, moreover they plead that firstly, the Hague rules won't apply ex proprio vigore and secondly, even if it does it will not prevail over tailor-made rules
18:35: The second counsel for the respondent side begins with their submissions dealing with three contentions regarding the liability of two defendants
18:46: The counsel proceeds with their last submission regarding how the damages are to be decided after getting an extension of a minute.
18:47: The counsel is able to complete their submissions smoothly as no clarifications were sought by the panel.
18:59: Both the counsels smoothly concluded their rebuttals respectively and the judges look pleased
19:25: The rounds are over as both the teams recieved feedback from the respective judges
VCR 4: 925 vs 919
17:32: Session started! Let's see if the participants are as refreshed as we are after the break.
17:33: The judges have begun a line of questioning on the amount claimed and on the facts of the case.
17:35: After a brief recap of the facts, the Speaker has now started going through his arguments with commendable grace.
17:39: The Speaker was proceeding with significant flair, but was interrupted by the Bench with a very basic question with respect to the moot: "Is this an institutional arbitration?"
17:40: And concessions have already started! The Speaker answered that it was an ad-hoc arbitration and not an institutional one, but when cross questioned by the Bench, the speaker conceded pretty quickly.
17:42: Even though conceding to the Bench on a point, prima facie, may seem like a sound way to save time, in reality it does just the opposite! From the looks of it, the Bench seems to have squared down upon the institutional or ad hoc point and does not seem to be in any hurry to proceed to the next argument!
17:44: The questions coming the way of the Speaker now pertain entirely to the SCMA rules - from full form of SCMA to individual provisions, the Speaker seems to be in quite a tough spot, having to address all sorts of questions only on the SCMA rules!
17:47: Every time the Speaker regains his composure, the Bench throws another mind-boggling question at him on the SCMA rules! However, it should also be noted that the Speaker is maintaining his cool despite the aggressive questioning by the Bench.
17:53: The Speaker needed a little more time to make his submissions, even after taking an extra 5 minutes. It was granted on the condition that the time taken by the Speaker would be deducted from his co-cousel's speaking time.
17:57: Apologies or Arguments? The Bench continues to go very hard on the Speaker, ultimately pointing out that there were more apologies than arguments from his part. It is remarkable that the Speaker didn't lose his composure even after that particularly caustic observation made by the Bench.
17:58: The floor has now been taken by the second speaker from Team Code 925.
18.01: The Bench requires the Speaker to establish that the Hague Rules are applicable because that is something the team still needs to prove.
18:03: The Speaker seems to be struggling in the face of the calm but the Bench keeps throwing complicated questions at her.
18:10: The Bench is not cutting any slack to any speaker so far! But truth be told, the Speaker is not all that flustered with the violent questioning and seems to be handling the situation pretty well!
18:12: The Speaker was given the grant to proceed with her second submission since, as the Bench correctly observed, the first submission, subsequent questioning and the respecting replies were eating up too much of the Speaker's time.
18:14: The Speaker requested for 2 extra minutes and was granted the same by the Bench.
18:15: This is IMAM, not IMM: The Bench jokingly pointed out to the Speaker that they were not in a mediation and were not under any obligation to agree with her!
18:19: The Speaker contended that the Hague Visby Rules are applicable, and was immediately pounced upon by the Bench who insisted that she provide a case law to substantiate her argument, going as far as to declare that they would give her the argument to her if only she could provide just one argument in her favour. Unfortunately, the Speaker argued on the point of ambiguity and couldn't provide a suitable case law in her favour.
18:27: The Speaker proceeded to her Prayer, however, the Bench categorically declared that though they didn't have any more questions, they were not convinced by the team's arguments.
18:29: The first speaker from Team Code 919 takes the floor now.
18:34: Looks like the Bench has decided to give all the Speakers a particularly bad time! The Speaker tries very hard to convince the Bench of his arguments, but the Bench seems to be absolutely against everything the Speaker is trying to propose and refuses to be convinced easily!
18:39: The Courtroom atmosphere is getting more heated by the minute! The Bench refuses to see the Speaker's point, the Speaker refuses to see the Bench's point!
18:42: "Counsel, are we correct in understanding that you are representing both the Carriers?" The Bench asked the Speaker, to which the latter said yes. But the follow up was trickier than he expected it to be and the Bench had the upper hand right then!
18:47: The Speaker managed to get himself an extension but does not seem to be able to convince the Bench and the Bench keeps throwing more and yet more complicated questions at him!
18:55: Speaker 2 takes the floor now.
19:02: The back and forth questioning and answering continues between the Bench and the fourth Speaker of the round, which amazingly, the Speaker handles with astonishing flair and a smile!
19:09: With the arguments going strong on the sea worthiness or the un-sea worthiness, the Speaker, in the midst of all this, has managed to get an extension of 3 minutes! But looks like most of the extension time will go into the questions that the Bench is propelling at him!
19:17: The Speaker seems to be able to convince the quite well, considering the general trend of the Courtroom.
19:19: The two teams mutually agreed to not engage in the rebuttals or the sur-rebuttals, so the moot round essentially came to an end here itself. With this, we take a short break and we will be back for our third session later this evening
VCR 5: 910 v 909
17:30: Round begins after the break with full enthusiasm in reciting the facts by the claimant
17:36: The counsel leads the tribunal through their written memorial referring to the UNICTRAL rules and the SCMA rules in particular.
17:39: The bench questions the counsel on why the SCMA rules should prevail over the other rules mentioned. The counsel is further questioned on Section 32 of the SCMA rules and its relevance in the current dispute
17:43: The counsel submits that English Law governs the contract and under English Law, the Hague Rules mandatorily apply.
17:49: Are we seeing a relay race here? The first counsel for the claimant happily passes on the questions asked to them to their co-counsel and stands down. The bench promises to ask these questions to the co-counsel. The counsel silently wishes luck to their co-counsel to deal with the bench's grilling!
17:52: The co-counsel takes forward the enthusiasm shown by the first counsel and begins with their submissions
18:00: The counsel is questioned extensively on the applicability of the Hague Rules on states that are not party to these Rules. The Bench opines that even if the parties intend for the Hague Rules to apply, if the countries are not party to these rules, these rules cannot apply.
18:04: Internet Explorer in Courtroom? In an amusing situation, the counsel pauses for 30 seconds while answering a question and the judges ask the counsel if they are waiting for their internet page to load to answer their question!
18:10: The counsel is questioned on whether the addendums were not approved by the claimant at the time of the contract.
18:14: The counsel for respondent is visibly nervous after the thorough grilling of the counsels for respondents. They begin regardless.
18:20: The counsel's fears have come to life, where the judges have grilled them on where the procedural law prevails over the procedural rules. The counsel stands down having three minutes of time left.
18:24: The counsel on behalf of respondent seems more confident, and deals with the issue of applicability of the Hague rules.
18:26: The counsel carries on the streak and deals with questions calmly and submits relevant authorities to the bench.
18:33: After three minutes of confusing questioning and equally confusing answers, the judges finally understood the submissions of the counsel with regards to the applicability of the Hague rules. The judge laughingly praises the counsel for their language.
18:40: The counsel seeks an extension of 3 minutes to conclude their submissions.
18:45: The claimants now proceed with the rebuttals after a heated 5 minutes of grilling by the bench.
18:50: The round concludes peacefully, with calm sur-rebuttals by the respondent.
VCR 6: 921 v 911
17:32: Welcome back from the break! The rounds have commenced on time!
17:33: It's not even been 2 minutes and the judges have already begun a line of questioning on the amount claimed and on the facts of the case.
17:35: The counsel has begun presenting his points and in spite of being questioned about the case's complexities, he proceeds with confidence.
17:40: Troubles brewing already? With unfettering zeal, the counsel explains how there is a liability on the part of the first defendant to provide a seaworthy vessel. However, after the judges pointed out the loopholes in the legal arguments put forth by him, the counsel's initial confidence seems to be fading.
17:43: The counsel relies extensively on the Hague rules. Time seems to be running out when the counsel is asked to read a specific rule. The judge steps in and saves the day by saving precious few minutes by reading it himself.
17:45: With just a few seconds left, the counsel attempts to redeem himself by presenting all the relevant Hague rules at his disposal to make his case stronger.
17:48: The Hague rules have a central role in the counsel's arguments. The judges' questions pour in and they seem satisfied with the counsel's answers as he argues his way through all of these questions.
17:52: The second speaker takes the floor now. He first states that he will establish that being a sub-bailee, the second defendant was under a contractual obligation to provide a seaworthy vessel and then that they are not exonerated from their liability.
17:54: The judges pointed out and asked the counsel about numerous legal technicalities, prompting him to come up with a number of compelling arguments. The counsel provided detailed responses to the judges.
18:04: The judges posed multiple questions to the counsel regarding how hurricane is not a common weather phenomenon which were answered by the counsel in a not a very convincing manner.
18:06: The counsel seems perplexed after being questioned on the concept of seaworthiness. The counsel concedes.
18:09: Just like the first counsel, the second speaker also speaks extensively about the applicability of the Hague rules. When asked about unilateral incorporation of a specific rule, he contends that it was incorporated by the consent of all parties.
18:11: Having exhausted his time, the speaker was granted an extra minute by the judges to summarise his arguments.
18:12: The counsel representing the respondent begins.
18:17: The counsel seems unfazed in spite of being grilled by the judges about the crux of her contentions. She succeeds in maintaining her calm demeanour and the judges seem satisfied by her answers so far.
18:18: The counsel puts forth her arguments. The judges do not seem all that convinced right now with these arguments and ask her to move on to the second issue.
18:21: The counsel has been confident in her responses, and the judges have been impressed by her advocacy skills, but the legal technicalities of her arguments have been questioned.
18:24: The counsel starts rushing, given that her time is going to be exhausted soon.
18:25: Time has run out but looks like the counsel cannot escape the judges' grilling without giving satisfactory answers.
18:26: The counsel continues citing cases although her time is up. The judge interrupts her to question which clause will prevail in the Combicon bill of lading.
18:29: The counsel seems to be unsure about a specific case but her teammates come to her rescue and she gets back on track with her line of argumentation.
18:31: The second counsel steps in to proceed with the rest of the arguments. She starts with establishing how she will be advancing her arguments.
18:32: Wrong Name but Right Arguments! The counsel is thrown off by the questions and addresses herself as the counsel for the claimant. She is corrected by the judges and is visibly nervous.
18:34: "Your stance is conflicting", the judges point out. The counsel justifies this by stating that there is a printing mistake in the memorial. The judges do not seem impressed at all.
18:37: The rounds come to an abrupt halt since one of the judges faces technical difficulties and loses his network connectivity. The counsel sees this as an opportunity to skin through her arguments again to ensure that she's thorough in all of them.
18:40: The counsel doesn't seem very confident. The judges are also not on the same page with the counsel and question her further.
18:41: The judges don't seem to be convinced by the counsel's arguments. 'There is a clear breach of your obligations!' Nevertheless, the counsel tries her best to stand her ground.
18:45: The counsel is unable to substantiate her points very strongly. The judges do not seem to find credibility in her legal representations. The judges also have to patiently explain several questions to the counsel since she's unable to comprehend them promptly.
18:46: The speaker is clearly struggling and having a tough time coming up with relevant cases to substantiate her case. She informs the judge of the lack of availability of any.
18:50: The counsel comes to the end of her submission. The judges do not seem impressed.
18:51: Somebody has been attentively listening to the respondents! The rebuttals begin. The counsel ruthlessly decimates the credibility of the respondent's arguments. There is a lot of debate on whether the word 'shall' should be interpreted as 'must' or 'may'.
18:53: The sur-rebuttals seem rather dull as compared to the rebuttals. The counsel herself does not seem very sure about them and takes a fairly large amount of time to put a single point across. A lot of questions were left hanging.
18:56: The judges discuss the shortcomings of the legal arguments put forth by the teams in order to be able to provide detailed feedback to them.
19:00: With this, the judges gave valuable feedback to the participants and we reach the conclusion of the second session of today's oral rounds
VCR 7: 904 v 916
17:30: Welcome back everyone! It sure seems like the applicant has come refreshed as she begins with her submissions regarding the formation of the Arbitral Tribunal with very high energy.
17:32: The first question which comes the way of the counsel is the dilemma between the applicability of SCMA Rules or International Arbitration Act in the present case. The counsel handles the question beautifully, while pointing towards cited authorities to back her arguments.
17:42: Due to the paucity of time, the counsel is asked to summarise her arguments in 30 seconds. The bench appears to be adhering to the time strictly now.
17:43: Co-counsel takes the floor. He first addresses the question regarding liability of defendant.
17:45: The counsel heavily backs all his arguments with relevant cases. The research is very visible in his arguments and the judges seem convinced for now.
17:48: The counsel submits that Hague rules takes precedence over any other contractual obligations. When asked to present authorities for the same, the counsel was confidently able to convince the Tribunal with the cited judgement.
17:50: Inconsistencies cropping up! While the first speaker submitted that the contractual obligations will prevail over the law, the second speaker stated that the law prevails over the contractual obligations. The Tribunal questions on the standing of these contradictory statements being made by the counsels for the Applicants.
17:53: Having beautifully argued to clear the position of the Applicant party on the contradictory statements made before, the counsel proceeds to the next argument regarding the damages to be paid by the defendant to the aggrieved Applicant.
17:54: The Tribunal puts forward a tricky question as to why the Applicant wishes to seek restitution as a damage and not compensation. As a reply to the same, the counsel explains the same by clarifying that they are seeking restitution ad integram as a remedy. 17:58:"Arbitrators are creatures of contracts" exclaimed the Tribunal. He stressed on the fact that they do not have power to strike down obligations like a court. The counsel submits that the other Tribunals have struck down provisions previously, and so the present Tribunal must consider the same with respect to the liability limitation clause and ordering for the appropriate remedy.
17:59: Continuing to stick to the time limit, the counsel is asked to briefly conclude his submissions in 30 seconds.
18:01: The speaker for the respondent begins with her submissions. She first submits that the International Arbitration Act prevails over the SCMA Rules. The Tribunal questions on the unclear stance of the counsel on the number of the arbitrators and the default position of the law with respect to the rules which will prevail to govern the issue. The counsel is visibly perplexed and is unable to convince the Tribunal regarding her submissions.
18:08: The counsel assures that if left with time in the end, she would return to the queries of the Tribunal on this issue and would be more than happy to assist the Tribunal.
18:09: The counsel now proceeds to the next issue on the question of liability.
18:10: The Tribunal questions one of the authorities cited by the counsel pointing that the case being cited is a bit different than what the counsel states. The speaker clarifies the same, and comfortably moves forth with her submission.
18:15: Proceeding further, the counsel now moves on to the question of the quantum of damages. For the same, reliance is placed on the Hidalgo Bill of Lading.
18:17: The counsel rests her case, and the co-counsel takes over. She begins by addressing the conflict of laws in the present case.
18:24: The counsel sails smoothly to her last submission regarding the liability of the defendants and the quantum of damages. She is able to establish her argument with appropriate authorities.
18:30: Further substantiating arguments for the respondent, the counsel concludes by establishing that Bill of Lading overrides the Hague Rules.
18:32: The rebuttals begin by the Applicant outrightly refuting all the arguments given by the Respondents. The rebuttals made were to the point, and catered to all the submissions made previously by the opposing counsels.
18:38: The respondent party, in their sur-rebuttals, relied on the seat of arbitration being Singapore and therefore establishing that International Arbitration Act will be applicable. The counsel also clarified that they are not arguing the complete non-applicability of the Hague Rules.
18:39: The rounds ended successfully with the parties having presented their arguments to the best of their abilities.
VCR 8: 918 v 922
17:37: The judge starts with a question on whether the tribunal has locus standi but the speaker refuses to engage on the question and instead continues with their submissions. Quite a nervous start to the rounds after the break.
17:42: The counsels have a long way to go! The judge interjects with another question asking whether this is a validly constituted panel and can thus hear the dispute. A long pause ensues. The panel looks to be quite a tough one to impress.
17:44: Buckling under pressure? After bouts of complicated badgering by the panel, the speaker is finally forced to concede on the first issue.
17:49: The first speaker from applicant's side finishes 5 minutes before time. Were they in some sort of hurry?
17:56: The second speaker engages in a classroom discussion of tort law and bailment in contracts eliciting a critical look from the panel.
18:12: The first speaker from the respondent side argues on the issues of composition of arbitral panel, and whether they are liable for mainitaning seaworthiness of vessel. The bench appears to be not asking that many questions in stark contrast to the first half of the round
18:19: The second speaker argues on issues of their limited liability and quantum of compensation. The counsel's constant requests for permission to move on to other issues elicits a midlly annoyed response from the panel.
18:27: The Applicants present their rebuttals and try to undermine the respondents' arguments but the panel seems unsatisfied.
18:29: The respondents present their sur-rebuttals laced with accusations on the applicants marking the end of the rounds.
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2022
VCR 1: 911 vs 906
20:06: The Courtroom is set, and the teams are ready and we are back with Session-3. The Preliminary Round has begun in full swing in the courtroom, with an unbridled enthusiasm.
20:07: The first counsel started by laying down the structure of their submissions before proceeding with substantive arguments
20:08: The counsel presented her submission concerning the jurisdiction aspect of the case and found herself in the series of questions from one of the judges of the panel.
20:11: The first counsel answered the questions and clarified the doubts of the judge in a graceful manner as if she was waiting for the particular question to be asked upon and it seems that the counsel is succeeding in convincing the judge
20:13: After laying down the factual as well as the statutory context for her justification against the question, the counsel puts forth her arguments by citing the judicial precedent too which further shows her preparation level for the incoming questions.
20:16: One of the judges is busily endeavouring to analyse the arguments of the counsels, and pouring the questions on factual context as well as on the legal context.
20:17: Without losing her calm, the first counsel is consciously listening to every question and gracefully responding by putting their grounds
20:19: TIME'S UP! Despite maintaining the upbeat atmosphere in the courtroom while putting forth her arguments, the first counsel loses the stance over her time liberty and now time is up.
20:20: One of the judges seems to be very impressed with the answers and the clarity of concept displayed by the first counsel. They further gave her extra time of 2 minutes to complete her argument.
20:22: Despite the time being up,questions still remain and the judge is now interrogating the counsel by asking them a series of questions in rapid succession. Meanwhile, the counsel does well to retain her composure.
20:24: Counsel further got the extension of 2 minutes and by relying on the judicial precedent, she tried to clarify the inquiries put forth by the judge.
20:26: The counsel concludes on a positive note, with the series of questions from one of the judges. The floor is now taken by the second speaker.
20:28: The second Counsel is presenting her arguments in an assertive manner by relying on the clauses of the particular act. This was immediately followed by questions from the judges, asking her to justify her state in the present case.
20:30: The counsel is confidently answering the enquiries of the judge. She is able to stay calm and composed in the courtroom and it seems like nothing can faze her right now.
20:32: The counsel is further enhacing the status maintained by the first counsel by deliberately answering each and every enquiry. The claimants may end up retaining some bonus points from judges for this significant improvement in courtroom ethics.
20:35: One of the judges seems to be satisfied with the presentation of her grounds and asked her to proceed with the second argument. But the point which isn't get noted is that the second counsel asked to proceed with the "second defense" which if marked by judges can cost her points.
20:38: One of the judges encircled the second counsel with an array of questions and asked her to put forth some clarity in her arguments
20:40: TIME's UP and the second counsel did not ask for an extension of time.
20:44: The second counsel is clarifying each and every enquiry of the judges in a balanced and prepared way. After intensive deliberations and questioning from the judges, the second counsel successfully completed the claimants' case.
20:46: Respondents have now taken the podium and they have started presenting their stand in an elegant and professional manner.
20:47: The Respondent speaker has stated in a self-assured manner but the judges have been fairly active in asking the questions.
20:49: First counsel presented her answers in an assertive manner and delibrately attracting the attention of judges towards her assertions.
20:53: Fantastic display of composure! The way the first counsel is handling the incoming series of questions from the judges, it is reward worthy!
20:56: The Counsel is well versed with the judicial precedents as well as the clauses of concerned Act concerning her case.This can be seen with her elegant bearing and command over the arguments she is presenting.
20:59: The judges asked the counsel to repeat her stance over SCBA rules, to which Counsel presented her position ended with the satisfaction put forth by the judge
21:01: Counsel finished her part of arguments and asked the second counsel to take the podium.
21:02: The second counsel started his grounds by specifically clarifying the set of issues he will be dealing with, which further added to the clarity in response to the questions posed before him
21:04: Judge asked the second counsel to put his stance over 'Special Clause' aspect.
21:06: The counsel moved towards his grounds with the level-headed bearing in his assertions and victoriously satisfied the judge in his inquiries.
21:08: The counsel seemed very focused on whatever enquiry is put forth by the judge and preventing himself from missing the track of conversation.
21:10: The couunsel is deluged with a number of question but he is still maintaining his calm and has not fazed out with questions coming in from all directions.
21:11: Before answering any question, the counsel makes sure that he understood the concerned context that the Judge has asked him to deliberate upon by repeating back the question of judge in a succinct way.
21:13: The Counsel proceeded toward his third ground by pleaseing the judge with his stand after questions were raised regarding that ground.
21:18: The counsel seems to be very clear in his arguments and he is constantly trying to make the judge understand his points.
21:21: Time's up! But the Counsel is engaged in presenting his stake and has managed to convince the judges to recognize his stance, without asking for time extension. Clever way of bargaining time, we must say!
21:24: The counsel completed his arguments but the queries of one of the judges isn't completed with their questions. This is making this round more and more interesting.
21:26: We will now move on to the rebuttal and sur-rebuttal session following some very thorough deliberations and counter-questioning.
21:31: Rounds have been completed successfully. Judges have gathered in the judges room to discuss the marking scheme and feedback that will be provided to both teams.
VCR 2: 916 v 905
20:05: The battle round 3 has begun with the first counsel from the applicant side taking the lead and is presenting the facts of the case concisely. She has now proceeded to challenging the number of arbitrators that should be appointed in this particular case.
20:09: Things have kicked off to a rocky start! The Counsel is carefully framing her arguments however the judges find the authorities cited vague and demand for more particulars and specifics of the authority. The answer given by the Counsel seems to leave the judges baffled and they seek for more clarification but seem disappointed given the ambiguity of the answer.
20:14: The judges look in full form and are prepared to throw questions at the Counsel. The Counsel has now been interrupted by the judge on the Liability and quantum of damages on the basis of HVR. The Counsel seems impatient to conclude her submissions and pass the baton to the second Counsel.
20:20: The baton is being carried by the second Counsel who is steadily walking through her arguments carefully drafted on the liability as set out under the Hague Rules.
20:25: The Counsel is now aggressively and firmly advocating for the applicability of the HVR in the particular case citing certain English law cases along with the Bill of Lading which mandate the applicabilty of such rules.
20:28: The issue of the quantum of damages as claimed by the applicants is now being presented and pondered upon. The judges have not yet interrupted the Counsel to counter any of the arguments made so far by the second counsel. There comes a query, every now and then, from the judges who are questioning the entire basis of damages claimed given that the market value has not been specified anywhere.
20:34: The time period allotted to the Counsel has come to an end but her spirit has not. She has sought an additional time window of 30 seconds to wrap up her arguments and has successfully completed the same.
20:37: The focus has now shifted to the Counsel of the Respondents who is briefly outlining the arguments and issues she intends to cover in the time allotted to her.
20:40: The Counsel is seen quoting an English judgement to emphasise on the venue or seat to be taken for this particular case. The judges however seem a little put off by the reliance of the Counsel on a particular authority which has thoroughly confused them.
20:48: The floor has been passed on to the second counsel now who is primarily arguing on the quantum of damages for the second defendant claiming that the Hague Rules cannot be made applicable and cannot be made mandatory either.
20:54: One of the judges has taken the lead and posed a question on whether the parties can contract out of the Bill to which the counsel answered in negative.
20:58: The counsel is harping on a landmark precedent which is quickly countered by the judge who does not seem satisfied with the details of the authority of the case and is demanding for more. The counsel does not have a prompt answer to the question and has requested for a minute to get back on it.
21:03: There is a creative turn in the course of submissions presented by the Respondents' counsel who is extensively talking about implied consent of the parties involved in the case. 21:05: The Counsel is not limiting her arguments to just her memorial but is urging the judges to refer to the memo of the claimants too and is contending the same on the basis of lack of fact and proof. Additionally, the Counsel has come up with the answer to the question which was posed to her earlier by one of the judges and the same has been satisfactorily accepted by the judge.
21:08: The battle of rebuttal has commenced where the Counsel of the Applicants is firing at the Respondents saying that their stance is not clear and that they are just shifting blame to save their side.
21:11: The respondent side seems to be well-prepared with answers to the queries put forth by the claimants in the surrebuttal rounds.
21:15: The verbal battle between the parties has come to an end but the judges are in a fix deciding which side outweighs the other. There is no denying that both the sides put foth their best cases and fought tooth and nail to grab a place for themselves. With that, we come to an end to first enthusiastic day of the preliminary rounds of 9th IMAM. We hope to see the participants fight out their sides with more vigour and energy in the following days of the event.
VCR 3: 919 vs 922
20:08: The counsel for the claimants begin with their submissions stating the four contentions they will argue upon.
20:09: The judge asks the counsel to summarise the facts of the case in only two minutes
20:10: The judge asks the counsel regarding what further steps they will take if this particular issue regarding the arbitration fails. This fazes the counsel into utter and shocked silence
20:13: The judge continues with their query by asking for a clarification regarding definition of substantive law its distinction from procedural law. Much to the dissappointment of the judges, the counsel could not deliver a satisfactory answer
20:16: The judges do not agree with the interpretation of the statute quoted by the counsel with no further substantive backing. In response, the counsel pleads to respond to this question later.
20:18: Due to the paucity of time, the counsel skips to the last limbs of their argument regarding deciding the liability of the defandants
20:19: The judge asks the counsel to relay their arguments primarily on the facts of the case rather than the law backing it up
20:21: The counsel seems unfazed even after the chain of questions put forth by the judges and the counsel smoothly puts forth their last limb of submissions
20:23: The judge continues to question the counsel regarding the facts of the issue about the diligence of the claimant itself. This throws off the counsel and the counsel is visibly shaken because of this intervention by the judge.
20:26: Who am I representing? What am I doing? The counsel is unable to respond to the question asked by the judge regarding who the counsel is actually representing - defendant 1 or defendant 2