• Live updates - 7th NLUO IMAM 2020

9th NLUO - Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2022- Live Updates (Day 2)


 


DAY 2 | 25TH MARCH 2022

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION 4


 

VCR 1: 927 vs 910


13:23: The Courtroom is set, and the teams are ready. The Preliminary Round has begun in full swing in the courtroom, with an unbridled enthusiasm!

13:24: The first Counsel begin with her submissions. She provides a succinct and concise outline of the structure of her arguments.

13:26: The counsel is putting forth her grounds by keeping the attention of judges on specific clauses cited by her.

13:28: As the Counsel is moving ahead with her submissions, she retains a balanced bearing on the factual context of the present case. She seems to be well versed with each and every fact involved in the proposition.

13:29: The counsel moves to her second submission with no incoming questions from the panel. It seems that the judges are having no queries in response to the case presented by the counsel.

13:31: After almost 11 minutes of submissions, finally the counsel recieved a question from the panel which she countered in an elegant manner and the counsel was able to satisfy the judges with her submission.

13:33: Rather than limiting her submissions to either factual context or legal context, it can be observed that the counsel is following a balanced and prepared approach by taking both the contexts in a graceful way.

13:35: With no queries from the panel, the counsel successfully submitted her grounds. The floor is now open for the second speaker to take the podium.

13:36: Second Counsel starts with the fourth issue.

13:38: With uninterrupted presentation from the second Counsel, the courtroom is maintaining a positive atmosphere. Though with no questions from the panel, it may seem that there are slightly less productive discussions taking place.

13:41: While both the counsels are well versed with what they intend to present, it can be concluded from the external view that the first counsel was more certain and composed in her approach.

13:44: There seems to be a similarity and extensive background work from submissions of both the Counsels as both of them are following the same approach in their submissions, i.e., citing legal precedents and attaching it to the facts of the present case.

13:45: Judges still pose no queries. Counsel is maintaining his hold over his submissions and constantly keeping check with the satisfaction of the judges.

13:47: The second Counsel completed his submission by presenting claimant's prayer before the alloted time.

13:48: The first counsel of respondents proceeded with his submissions after laying down the structure which he will be following in his presentation.

13:50: There arises no queries from the part of panel. Counsel is presenting his submissions relentlessly.

13:54: In the Courtroom, the atmosphere is becoming more and more monotonous. An energetic response is in utmost need from the panel.

14:00: Finally a question came from the panel regarding the intention of the parties in the present case. The second Counsel answered the query in a positive note.

14:01: The first counsel asked for an extra 30 seconds to complete his second argument.

14:02: The first counsel completes his presentation. Judges, who are as cool as before, gives the permission to the respondents' second counsel to take the floor.

14:05: The second counsel retains the attention of the panel on her submissions by referring to particular sections and facts of the case.

14:09: The counsel is proceeding with her submissions in a graceful manner, while at the same time asking for satisfaction of the panel time to time.

14:13: The judge asked the 2nd counsel to expand her argument over the intention aspect in her submissions.

14:14: One of the judges directly questioned the liability behind the actions which respondents are trying to protect.

14:16: The counsel answered the query which was met with a satisfactory response from the panel and thereafter proceeded with the 4th submission.

14:17: Counsel asked for an extension of time of 2 minutes to complete her submission.

14:18: It is to be noted that while the claimants completed their submission before the completion of their time limit, both the counsels of respondents have asked for extra time.

14:20: Time's up but prayer is still left. The counsel proceeded to complete her prayer. Time management could be the effective tool in determing the position or marking scheme of both the parties in the present case.

14:21: Following the extensive deliberations on part of all the counsels, we will proceed to the rebuttal and sur-rebuttal stage.

14:22: Claimants put forward their rebuttals in less than 1 min. It seems either they are fast in putting across their submission or they have failed to find loopholes in the respondents' case.

14:25: 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: 902 vs 921


13:35: The war bell has rung and the fierce oral rounds for session 4 have started. The first counsel is enthusiastically proceeding with his arguments. The absence of research on the applicants' side does not seem to have brought down their spirit in any way.

13:38: The counsel has taken pace and is confidently proceeding with submissions on basis of the IAA. The counsel is aggressively arguing on the mandatory clause of the agreement. 13:42: The arguments have taken a turn where the counsel can be seen resorting to their own memo and citing parts of the Hague Visby Rules too. The Counsel has an air of confidence engulfing him which is enabling him to present his arguments smoothly and structurally.

13:45: The internet connection issues are severe and haven't spared the judges either! It may be difficult to judge the Counsel given the constant disruptions but hopefully the scenario will change in some time.

13:47: One of the judges in this particular Court room is engaging with the Counsel at some points seeking clarifiation on arguments and posing relevant questions too. The Counsel, in every way tried to, frame answers for the same but abruptly got disconnected.

13:50: The Counsel has returned in full swing and is knocking away the questions spun at him proceeding to the final limb of his argument. The Counsel is seen emphasiisng on the liability of the defendants claiming an exorbitant sum in the form of damages. It seems like the judges were satisfied with the submission before them since they refrained from asking any questions further.

13:55: The second counsel of the applicants has taken the floor. She looks equally confident and has started with her arguments blazingly. She has, however, been stopped by one of the judges with a genuine and brief question which has been excellently answered by the counsel citing prominent case law.

14:00: The counsel is seen carefully building upon her arguments using concepts of bailment and sub-bailment. She has strided onto her final submission regarding the due diligence and breach of duty on part of the defendants justifying the claim made by the applicants.

14:05: The Counsel can be seen emphasising on modern technology wielded in weather radars but this limb of the argument is objected by one of the judges who intends to question the accuracy of technology altogether.

14:08: After the Counsel has presented her submissions, she is countered with a question on the Himalayan clause which has been beautifully cleared by the Counsel with a soothing smile.

14:11: The baton has passed on to the Respondent side but the first counsel has encountered severe connectivity issues and the respondent side has proposed a unique solution of starting off with the submissions of the second counsel.

14:15: The second counsel is thus seen aggressively defending his party but there are certain gap areas identified by one of the judges who is politely asking for more more clarification on the same.

14:17: The initial arguments entail the nitty-gritties of the limitation of liability along with the intricacies of the bill of lading in question. With 5 minutes left in hand, the Counsel is being fired with questions from the judges.

14:21: The Counsel is seen quoting and elaborating on the various rules and provisions used in their memorial in an attempt to substantiate the Respondents' side.

14:24: Finally after resenting the last two arguments, the mic has been passed on to the first Counsel who has finally been able to get hold of a stable connection. He looks a little nervous due to the rocky start and is advocating for the appointment of a sole arbitator.

14:28: It seems like the Counsel has still not got hold of a stable internet connection because the persistent disruptions have made it difficult for judges and the other participants to comprehend his submissions. Despite the minor consistencies, the show is going on.

14:30: The Counsel has been thrown off-track by one of the judges who has posed a query that doesn't seem to have been answered with conviction. Nonetheless, the judge has been kind enough to let the Counsel proceed with his other arguments.

14:33: The network glitches seem impossible to be tackled on the part of the first counsel who has been struggling to submit his arguments from the very beginning of the rounds. There has been a turn of events where the first speaker has given up on his network and resorted to his co-counsel for aid. The second counsel has thus lent his device to his co-counsel.

14:38: The first counsel is now pacing with his arguments and his voice can finally be heard with clarity and lesser impediments. The counsel ended his submissions with a sincere apology for the inevitable virtual world issues.

14:43: The rebuttal rounds have commenced and the first counsel from the applicant side is seen vehemently refuting certain parts of the arguments used by the defendants. The defendants have successfully catered to the questions put forth by the applicant side in the sur-rebuttal round.

14:48: With an end to this wonderfully quirky and consistently inconsistent round, the judges have been sent to their respective rooms to deliberate upon the scoresheet and performance of the participants, we hope that the internet connection is kind to the particpants in the following rounds!

 

VCR 3: 915 vs 925


13:43: Due to connectivity issues from the judges' side, there was a delay in the initiation of oral rounds.

13:44: The first counsel from the claimants' side begins with their submissions regarding issues 1 and 2 respectively.

13:46: The arbitrator asks the counsel to furnish more clarification regarding the application of judgements in this particular case.

13:48: Even after incessant questioning by the judges, the counsel proceeds with great confidence makes seemingly satisfactory arguments

13:51: The counsel submits that the SCMA rules will precede and there should be 3 arbitrators appointed, the counsel goes on to explain in great detail and substantiate their arguments suing several case laws.

13:55: The arbitrator again attempts to baffle the counsel with an intensely long question but the counsel seems unfazed and gives a satisfactory response.

13:59: The counsel proceeds to establish their last limb of the submissions stating that, the Hague Rules supersede any other rule as it has force of law in the present contract.

14:02: The second counsel begins with their submissions regarding issue numbers 3 and 4 respectively regarding the liabiity of the respondents and the amount of damages the claimants are entitled to.

14:05: The judge asks the counsel to furnish any fact findings regarding how exactly the loss occured and in what specific circumstances. Also, the judge asked the counsels about the exact meaning of 'seaworthiness'.

14:06: The counsel attempts to respond to the judge's two-fold question and draws their attention towards the case study but unfortunately the counsel is not able to give a satisfactory answer

14:12: The counsel proceeds to submit that Respondent 2 is liable due to lack of due diligence and cruise is rendered unseaworthy which was the duty of the respondent.

14:16: The judge asks the counsel to apply the Hague Rules in the current case and establish a direct connection between the bill of lading and the loss occured.

14:19: The counsel receives an extension of 2 minutes to summarise their submissions.

14:21: The first counsel for the respondent side begins with their submissions regarding the first issue and a sub issue of the second issue.

14:26: The counsel disagrees with the judge's contention regarding what law will govern the arbitration and submits that the institutional laws will not override the International Arbitration Act of Singapore.

14:30: The judge asks the counsel that why would the party autonomy be overridden? They also asked to justify how the International Arbitration Act will have precedence over SCMA rules?

14:36: The counsel receives an extension of 2 minutes to summarise their submissions.

14:39: The second counsel for respondents' side begins with their submissions regarding the remaining issues.

14:42: The counsel continues to establish the overriding effect that the Hague rules will have over SCMA rules.

14:46: The judge again interjects to ask the counsel to establish how in the current case the applicability of Hague Rules will take place in order to decide the liability

14:50: The counsel seems utterly baffled by the question asked by the judge but smartly attempts to evade it by moving on with their submissions.

14:53: The judge directs the counsel to clarify the position regarding who is the carrier and the consignee to further establish the liability of the respondents. In response, the counsel seemingly gives an unsatisfactory answer.

14:56: The counsel makes the last limb of their submissions by submitting that the Himalaya clauses can be considered valid exemptions with regards to establishing liability

15:00: The counsel concludes their submissions by submitting the final arguments regarding the damages to be decided in the current case

15:04: The counsel for the claimants conclude their case by submitting their rebuttals.

15:07: The counsel for respondents conclude their case by submitting their sur-rebuttals.

15:20: Well, that marks the end of rounds now as the arbitrators provide the respective teams with feedback. We'll see you again later this evening with blogging of session 5!

 

VCR 4: 920 vs 911


13:31: The round has started. The first speaker from team code 920 has taken the floor.

13:33: The speaker has confidently taken charge of the courtroom. Maybe, they are very assured about their chances in this round.

13:36: The Bench has taken to questioning as well. Till now, the speaker has been handling those questions with perfect composure.

13:40: The Speaker braved through the network glitches she was facing and continued with her submission in full force!

13:41: The Bench directed a "Where is the seat of arbitration, Counsel?" at the Speaker and a follow up question after that, which the Speaker breezed through!

13:43: Good going! The Speaker continues keeping the Bench and the Court captivated with her crisp submissions!

13:45: The Speaker has concluded her submissions and the floor now belongs to the second speaker.

13:48: The Speaker has a slight tremor in her voice while answering the question directed by the Bench at her, but she has been putting up a very brave face and keeping it under control!

13:50: "Why are you so adamant that it serves the Claimants better if the Hague Visby Rules apply instead of the Hague Rules?" The Bench asked the Speaker, which the Speaker started to address, only to become prey to yet another connected question from the Bench!

13:53: After a certain point raised by the Speaker, the Bench continued to go just as hard on her by directing a "We suggest you abandon that line of argument, Counsel." However, the Speaker, this time, had a case law up her sleeve to substantiate her argument with!

14:00: The Speaker is rapidly running out of time! Will she have enough time to complete her submissions to the best of her abilities?

14:02: Less than a minute left for the Speaker to finish her submissions and the desperation on her face is showing! But she still manages to articlulate her thoughts and arguments perfectly!

14:08: It has been several minutes since the time was up for the Speaker, but her arguments managed to enthrall the Bench enough for them to take no notice of it. The judges allow her to continue with her speech.

14:10: Speaker 1 of team code 911 has now taken the floor.

14:14: "Counsel, I will stop you right here and ask you a very simple question. What according to you is the procedural law for arbitration?" the Bench has directed this brain stormer at the Speaker, which turned out to be a trick question and looks like the Speaker walked right into that one!

14:26: Looks like this Speaker also has a lot to submit! Several minutes since her time was up and the Bench continues to listen to her without interrupting!

14:28: The second speaker has now taken the floor representing team code 911.

14:30: The Bench has a lot of questions for this speaker it seems, answers to which need to be substantiated and corroborated upon with the written submissions!

14:37: The Speaker continues with her submissions, not deterred by the plethora of questions coming her way!

14:45: The Speaker is finally done with her submissions, and now it is time for the rebuttals.

14:46: Team code 920 is back with a slew of rebuttals!

14:50: Team code 920 is done with their rebuttals and boy, there were so many of them! Enough for the Team to actually ask for an extension of 10 seconds!

14:51: Team code 911 is now slicing through the rebuttals of Team code 920!

14:52: After an epic fight in the rebuttals round, we conclude session 4 in VCR-4. Stay tuned for more sessions and more mooting!

 

VCR 5: 923 vs 916


13:40: The counsel for claimant starts off the first preliminary round for the day here in VCR-4 by making their submissions on the composition of the Arbitral Tribunal.

13:45: In a tense atmosphere, the counsel makes submissions of the implicit agreement between the parties on the application of the SCMA Rules.

13:49: Submissions regarding the unseaworthiness of the vessel supplied by the respondents are made by the counsel. Further, the applicability of the Hague Rules is discussed by the counsel.

13:55: Yielding the floor to their co-counsel, the first counsel for the claimant escapes from rigourous questioning.

14:00: The counsel makes comprehensive submissions on the duty of care that flows from the contract and the liability of the carrier.

14:06: The bench questions the counsel on the tests of negligence and asks for authorities on the same.

14:10: With an extension of time, the counsel races to the finish mark, concluding with their submissions on causation and liability.

14:14: The counsel for respondent begins confidently and explains the facts for the panel.

14:17: Submissions regarding the application of the International Arbitration Act and the liability clause are made.

14:22: The applicability of Hague Rules is submitted to be only valid from tackle-to-tackle period. Further, the counsel submits that reasonable endavours were made to prevent damage.

14:26: The bench aggresively questions the counsel on the duty of care of the respondents and the failure to perform the same. However, the counsel does not crack under pressure and continues to answer calmly.

14:29: The counsel addresses the bench's questions on the applicability of the Himalaya clause and the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

14:32: The co-counsel now takes the floor and makes their submissions regarding the conflict of laws, contractual intention of applicability and the liability of Tawe and Cruze.

14:39: After some technical issues, the counsel resumes their submissions on how the bill of lading saves the respondents from liability.

14:45: The counsel makes their submissions on the non-applicability of the Hague Rules.

14:50: Trying their best to battle techinical glitches and the intensity of the questioning, the counsel races towards the end of submissions on the side of the respondent.

14:54: The claimants' rebuttals contribute further to the tense atmosphere in the room.

14:54: The respondents do not back down from a fight and submit an equally fiery rebuttal, concluding an extremely intense round.

 

VCR 6: 926 vs 904


13:36: The rounds have commenced! It's a new day and every is here with renewed zeal and vigour to win this. May luck be in their favour and may the best team come out as the winner!

13:38: The first counsel gracefully answers the question regarding the 'clause paramount' and was apparently able to satisfy the judges with the answer.

13:41: Confident and poised, she puts her point across and deals with tricky questions skillfully. So far, so good!

13:44: Oops! Looks like the counsel is being grilled by both the judges regarding the application of the SCMA rules. While this can seem intimidating to most, the speaker seems to have no problem answering their questions. Her confidence is unwavering.

13:47: The speaker continues, her team members nodding in unison. The judges ask her to provide some precedents. The counsel answers in affirmative but doesn't specify what the precedents are. After some probbing by the judges, she very vaguely directs them to her compendium. All this while, the team have been losing precious time.

13:51: The clock is ticking and looks like the counsel is rushing to finish her arguments in whatever little time she is left with.

13:52: Jurisdictional Importance! "But we are not in UK, so why should be follow this?" The judges are intrigued to know why the counsel is basing her arguments on just the presuasive value of UK law, as the counsel contends.

13:53: The counsel is quizzed regarding the facts of the case. Turns out, she's very well-versed in them and has no problem coming up with the right answers!

13:55: "Show me another rule or something else, this is not applicable!" The counsel seems flustered after the judge's remarks but she quickly gains composure and answers the question. But looks like her answers aren't good enough and the judges do not seem very happy about it.

13:58: The second speaker begins and the judges have started their line of questioning already.

14:01: The grilling has begun! The counsel however seems very unfazed by it. Her overall demeanour is very calm and poised which must've sure helped her score brownie points.

14:05: The rounds seem to be progressing smoothly, with minimal questioning.

14:09: "I am sorry, but is this an appropriate forum to deal with torts?", ask the judges. The counsel answers that even if not with tort, the claimant would like to go ahead with bailment. When asked to provide a precedent, the counsel denies by stating that she has two more issues to cover. Turns out, this isn't a smart move. After some more questions, she decides to abandon this argument. The judges do not seem very impressed by this.

14:10: The counsel is very reluctant to provide authorities for her arguments. She keeps dodging the judge's questions by stating that she has paucity of time and that she will come up with authorities at the end of her arguments.

14:13: "So you agree that you have failed to provide them with all the details when you didn't tell them to the value of the goods?" The counsel agrees, albeit reluctantly. The counsel pleads on the basis of morality and contends that they should be concerned about the people on the vessel. "How can they send a vessel to the seas that is not seaworthy? Think of the people!" The counsel seems enraged.

14:14: Seems like the counsel can already predict what the respondents will argue and tries to provide satisfactory counters during her pleadings.

14:18: The judges do not look very happy. "You haven't satisfied us with respect to our jurisdiction, so I don't understand how you are proceeding?" The researchers come to the rescue and save the day by providing an answer for the same.

14:21: Uh-oh! The counsel is flustered, the judges are not impressed and she has already exceeded her time limit by a huge margin. The counsel tries to pacify it by ensuring the judges that she will read about every answer that she has been unable to give during the rebuttal rounds. What good will that do, one might wonder.

14:25: From the looks of it, time is an illusion for the counsel and she proceeds with her submissions, even after exceeding her time limit by a huge margin.

14:28: "You should have reminded us and asked us for extensions!" The judges are enraged and ask her to wrap it up quickly.

14:30: "Not at all satisfactory." The flustered counsel quickly summarises her arguments and steps down after what seems like an eternity.

14:33: The judges are baffled! "You say its an honour to argue before the Tribunal but your co-counsel says in the chat that it is a gross miscarriage of justice!" The drama just keeps flowing in when the respondent team makes a desperate attempt to convey their agony to the judges. The judges look very amused because of such behaviour.

14:37: The virtual courtoom is in chaos! When unable to answer the question, muffled whispers which eventually proceeded to become loud screams could be heard from the speaker's background.

14:44: The counsel suddenly becomes quiet and tries peeking at previously prepared material by her team when she's unable to answer the judges.

14:47: The counsel is shivering, she goes completely still when the judges grill her. There's complete silence and her other team members are in distress.

14:50: She accepts defeat! "Madam arbitrator, I do not have an answer for that. I apologise."

14:51: Apparently exceeding time limits is the defining feature of the teams in this courtroom. The respondent's first counsel also has exceeded her time limit by a considerable amount.

14:53: After a lot of shaky remarks like "I am not sure Mister arbitrator" and "I don't know", the counsel tries to explain how all sorts of hurricanes are natural disasters. The judges think otherwise.

14:54: The second counsel steps in. Let's watch if he can undo the damage and redeem the rounds for the team!

14:57: So far, so good! The counsel argues confidently and everyone in the courtroom listens in awe.

15:02: The round is progressing smoothly with minimal questioning.

15:06: The judges seem impressed by the counsel and do not question him regarding his arguments.

15:08: Trouble has started brewing for the counsel! His arguments lack proper legal reasoning and the judges grill him regarding the loopholes in the arguments.

15:13: Following suit, the counsel has been speaking for more time than what was originally allotted to him.

15:19: The counsel concludes with the prayer.

15:20: Speaker for the claimant begins with her rebuttals. She has kept her promise - she indeed has come prepared with answers that she was previously unable to answer during her submissions.

15:23: "It's just like taking a helmet with you when you ride your bike. When you take the ship to the sea, you must take the weather radar along for your own safety." The counsel makes a compelling point. Her rebuttals are fierce and she systematically counters every single one of the respondent's submissions.

15:26: The counsel is one of the lucky few who get extensions during the rebuttals also. But just like last time, she goes on and on. The judges however, do not seem to mind that and are intrigued to listen to her arguments.

15:29: There is a total disregard of time limits in this courtroom. The counsel for the respondent finishes with his sur-rebuttals. But the judges need more clarity and have more questions for him.

15:32: The teams have joined the prep rooms and the judges deliberate among themselves.

15:39: We are beginning with the feedback for the participants. For the readers, we will resume our live-blogging in session 5 which starts from 5:30 pm. We are so excited for the last preliminary round i.e. Session 5 before we start with the knockout rounds tomorrow!

 

VCR 7: 918 vs 919


13:31: The new day begins with energised teams making their submissions with full confidence.

13:33: The applicant is asked not to deal with the submissions regarding the number of arbitrators since the respondent has already agreed to have Singapore as the seat of arbitration.

13:35: The counsel proceeds with her further submissions stating that SCMA rules will govern the proceedings today.

13:38: The next point raised by the applicant is that the panel shall consist of three members instead of one.

13:39: The Tribunal is perplexed regarding the application of International Arbitration Act since the seat is already decided to be Singapore. Moreover, the counsel is also asked to justify the same with the help of a test as proposed by law.

13:40: The counsel handles the question well and is able to convince the Tribunal with her explanation

13:45: While a slight technical glitch halted the proceedings in the courtroom, it has now resumed in full swing.

13:46: The submissions continue with the counsel's argument regarding the damages caused by the defendant and the counsel lays reliance on the Hague Visby Rules and Bill of Lading 13:47: The Tribunal questions on the basis of the addendum which provides for discharge of liability (which ends when goods leave Odyssefs)

13:50: A long series of questions follows on the arguments put forth in this regard, and the authorities being cited by the counsel are also heavily questioned. The counsel dodges the questions, however the judges do not appear to be convinced with her line of reasoning. 13:52: With a little skepticism on the part of the judges for the submissions of the first counsel, it is now time to judge the second speaker. Time will tell if the second speaker is able to turn the tables!

13:54: The second counsel begins by addressing the issue of liability. She makes her primary submission confidently.

13:57: The judges cite their difficulty in understanding the submissions being made in the regard of Hague Rules being applicable vide a contract, and how the defendents cannot use the Bill of Lading for their defence.

13:59: The counsel puts forth the justification for the same in terms of the relationship of bailment which exists. However, the judges do not appear to be convinced.

14:00: "There exists a legal impediment" the judges exclaim! The Tribunal continues to pose questions to the counsel and express their hesitance to uphold the arguments being made by the counsel.

14:03: After a nail-biting series of questions, the counsel finally proceeds to her last submission regarding the damages that the applicant is entitled to.

14:04: The counsel heavily relies on judgements of the past from different courts and authorities to establish that the sum of 6 million dollars as damages is justified, and must be paid by the defendents at the earliest.

14:05: The counsel manages her time well, and is able to complete her submissions and further her prayer to the Tribunal.

14:10: The respondent begins with his submissions by stating that the parties have not agreed to multi-member arbitration, and hence only a sole arbitrator must preside over the proceedings.

14:13: "It is a solvable problem" as stated by the Tribunal. From the same judgment that the counsel pointed to previously, the Tribunal cites a few lines which highlights the issue they have with the arguments being made.

14:15: An interesting situation develops in the courtroom, and it is with finesse that the counsel tries to tackle the rapid questioning. He continues to maintain his stance, and justify the same.

14:17: The Tribunal continues with their questions on the issue. The counsel handles them beautifully.

14:19: The counsel finally proceeds to the next submission regarding the question of liability.

14:20: The counsel begins by reiterating the same concern that the Tribunal had raised when the claimant was making their submissions in this regard. Relevant cases are also cited to strengthen their stance.

14:21: "What is your position on Article 3 Rule 8 of the Hague Rules?" asks the Tribunal. The same guides the counsel to move to his next submission which very well addresses the concern of the Tribunal

14:24: The counsel yields the floor to the second speaker who takes over to address the issues of liability and damages payable thereafter.

14:28: The counsel sails smoothly through his submissions. Just when it looked like the Tribunal is convinced, the judge questions the counsel stating that he was unable to comprehend his submissions and his party's stance on the issue

14:29: The counsel quickly caters to the issues of the Tribunal and proceeds to the issue of damages and its quantum.

14:30: To establish their case, the respondent outlines the factual background to enable the Tribunal to appreciate the facts in light of which the defendents submit their arguments.

14:32: "Greater weight is to be attached to the contractual obligations." submits the counsel. He states that the contract between the parties must prevail over the Hague Rules. 14:33: The counsel now proceeds to his prayer.

14:34: Before the round ends, the counsel encounters one last question from the Tribunal regarding the gold value. The counsel clarifies that the clause paramount in the addendum clearly states that the stance taken by the respondent is justified.

14:37: With a little less than one minute remaining on the clock, the respondents step down.

14:38: The applicant makes few befitting points as rebuttals on the submissions made by the respondent.

14:39: The respondent now states their points of sur-rebuttals. He keeps it short and to-the-point.

14:40: The rounds concluded successfully, with both the teams having put forth their points meticulously.

 

VCR 8: 913 vs 909


13:31: The round starts with speaker 1 from claimant's side confidently stating facts. The judge however, insists that the first point to be shown is whether this Arbitration Tribunal has jurisdiction in order for them to proceed.

13:33: Merits before Jurisdiction, is that even possible? The counsel insists that their next speaker would cover the jurisdicton issue. In a teaching moment, the judge clarifies that the jurisidiction issue must be taken up first in order to proceed on merits.

13:36: Nervously, the first speaker tries to proceed on the jurisdiction issue. However, their ignorance of the same is caught on by the panel. Dissatisfied, the panel begrdugingly allows the first speaker to proceed with other issues.

13:41: To show that Tawe and Cruze do have some liability the speaker relies on Article 4 of the Hague Rules. However the judge points out that, "This article goes against you to protect the respondents from any liability". One of the judges directs the first speaker to Art.4(1) of the rules to show that they must rely on the same for their arguments

13:46: The judge points out that the speaker has well exceeded their time and they must ask for an extension of time. The panel then allows for a 5 minute extension

13:49: The judges point out that there is lack of privity of contract since you don't have a contract with Tawe and thus, they can't hold them liable. The judge loudly proclaims- "How are you holding Tawe liable in the lack of a contract with them?" Visibly annoyed with the counsel's lack of understanding of the question and their attempt at circumventing the questions.

13:53: The judges point out that the Counsel fails to clearly mention whether Hague Rules or Hague Visby Rules apply since only Hague Rules are directly applied through a clear contractual provision. Their memorial also reflects this confusion.

14:02: Typos exist everywhere! The first speaker seeks to conclude their arguments by stating that the liability of Tawe applies as a carrier in this case by relying on relevant paragraphs. The judge points out that the applicants have contradicted themselves in their memorial by stating that the applicants were negligent in the transactions as well and therefore must suffer liability. The first speaker apologies for the typographical error and the judge remarks, "Please be careful about the liability you impose on yourself".

14:06: The second speaker of applicants' side proceeds with the issue of number of arbitrators to be appointed. However, the judge insists that they get back to the jurisdiction issue.

14:09: Counsel argues that by prior agreement the seat of arbitration is Singapore and the judge contends whether rule 32 of the SCMA would apply or not. The counsel confidently answers the question that SCMA would override the International Arbitration Act through the applicability of relevant laws.

14:14: The second speaker proceeds on the second issue relating to the due diligence liability on the carrier which is non-delegable in nature.

14:17: The judge proceeds to badger the speaker on how they're arriving at such a huge valuation for the goods in the absence of nature and value of goods being declared. The judge points out that Article 4 of the Hague Rules state how the valuation is to be done and the applicants are claiming in excess of that.

14:24: The judge, while reading from the factsheet, points out that in failure to declare value before shipping, they cannot claim an excess amount. Counsel argues that Article 9 of the Hague Rules have to be applied to arrive at the amount. The second speaker's faux paus has come to a height of claiming an amount of 600 dollars instead of 600,000 dollars from the respondents.

14:29: Unsurprisingly, the judge procceeds to ask questions on the prayers presented by the counsel. Rattled by the constant questions, speaker 2 requests permission to proceed to prayers in the middle of stating his prayers.

14:33: The judge insists that the jurisdiction issue needs to be argued, then the judge requests that whether Section 9 of SCMA is mandatory be argued by the respondents

14:36: After a nervous start, the first speaker from respondents' side proceeds to confidently argue the issues of mandatory nature of Section 9 of SCMA.

14:41: The first speaker concludes their submissions by relying on Maxwell's rules of statutory interpretation to show the non-mandatory nature of Section 9 of SCMA.

14:48: The second speaker argues on the lack of liability of Tawe and the judge points out, "If they're not liable then Cruze must be liable". This is in accordance with Common law. Counsel poceeds to rely on a jurist's writing to say that parties may only be compelled to follow relevant portions of Hague rules as they may agree.

14:55: Speaker 2 argues that Cruze enjoys an exemption from liability on the grounds that the same is supported by relevant laws. But even in the presence of liability, the quantum of damages is much reduced.

15:03: Applicants confidently rebutted each of the points presented by the respondents.

15:05: The respondents end the round on a high note by presenting their surrebuttals.

15:07: With this, we have concluded session 4 in VCR-8. Do join in for more updates regarding session 5 which will be starting later this evening!


 

DAY 2 | 25TH MARCH 2022

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

SESSION 5


 

VCR 1: 905 vs 926

17:29: The Courtroom is arranged and the teams are ready. The last session of the preliminary round has begun in full swing!

17:30: 1st Counsel from the claimant side provides a succinct and concise outline of the structure of her argument. she proceeded with her submission after providing the brief narration of facts.

17:32: The counsel relied on the SCMA Rules in her submissions. In response, the judge objected.

17:33: The judge questioned the basis of arguments, i.e., how can claimants consider it an arbitration seat and asked for a judicial precedent to confirm her grounds.

17:35: The first counsel provided a judicial precedent which she didn't mention in claimant's compendium. The judge chose to consider that judicial precedent after hearing the relevant part of the judgment and accepted the argument.

17:37: The counsel is relying on the clauses of different arbitration act to further her grounds. Judges apparently seem satisfied by the counsel's submissions.

17:38: The counsel moved to her second argument and claimed the liability on the part of defendants.

17:40: The judges are busily endeavouring to analyse the arguments of the counsels, and pouring the question on the basis of addendum provided by the claimants. But the counsel hurried over the question of the judge by saying that she is coming to that point.

17:44: Without listening to the judge calmly, the counsel is again and again interrupting the judge between his queries, which brought a series of questions in rapid succession.

17:47: With the completion of her time limit, the counsel asked for a time extension of 1 more minute to complete her submission.

17:48: Though the Counsel is successful in presenting her grounds, she seems to lose the grace of courtroom ethics.

17:49: Following the extensive deliberations and counter-questioning, the floor is handed over to the second counsel from the applicants' side.

17:53: The second counsel is proceeding with her submissions with ease and clarity.

17:55: The bench has questioned the counsel on the the very basis of her argument and the counsel has remained undisturbed. The counsel provided succinct responses to the enquiries made by the judges. After ensuring the satisfaction of judges, the second counsel proceeded with her submissions.

17:57: The counsel is showing her elegant bearing over the arguments and is covering her for every submission step-by-step with a balanced and prepared approach, gaining a good impression of the judges.

17:58: In response to the counsel's argument's nature, the judge has posed a query and questioned the whole arguments. Unless the counsel provides compelling evidence, her arguments may be dismissed.

17:59: It has happened again! even the second counsel lost her patience during the questions put forward by the judge!

18:00: Upon being questioned over the issue which has to be covered by the first counsel. The second counsel, though visibly shaken, is doing everything she can to keep a calm manner. But she is not able to answer the queries and asked the permission of the judge to allow her co-counsel to clear the respective in rebuttals. This causes apparent dissatisfaction for the judges.

18:02: The Bench is now interrogating the participants by asking them a series of questions in rapid succession. Meanwhile, the speaker retains her composure.

18:04: In order to complete his or her presentation, the second counsel requests an additional two minute of time. The reply appears to have lost her ability to maintain her calm and control, and she rushes to finish her points before the time limit. Meanwhile, respondents appear to be in a state of calm, maybe trying to manifest positive things out of these rounds?

18:06: One of the judges is questioning the second counsel on the basis of arguments which she has already provided and the second counsel instead of listening to his queries calmly at first hand, tries to impose her answers by stating that is precisely the information she wishes to convey.

18:07: A better argument has been presented, but the judge does not agree with it and has given up hope of hearing it again and asks the counsel to continue with the rest of their arguments.

18:08: The judges are still alive! Questions about technical issues are being batted about.

18:10: The judge is constantly trying to explain what he wants to hear but the counsel is taking time to come to the point and satisfy the panel with her answers.

18:11: Time is already up. Claimants have still not concluded their arguments. This is not good time management by the claimants.

18:11: The second counsel concluded her submission by saying 'I am concluding my arguments' but forgot to present her prayer! This faux pas will definitely cost the marks to the claimants.

18:12: Respondents took the floor with brimming energy and started her arguments confidently.

18:14: The judges are paying close attention to the submissions of the first counsel who is successfully presenting her grounds by backing them up with relevant legal grounds.

18:16: Upon being questioned by the judge, the first counsel satisfies the panel and asks to move ahead. But here we go, the judge is again in the field with his grilling!

18:20: Upon being asked by the judge on the liability aspect, respondents quickly choose to answer that they are not at all liable and in accordance with the cited rules, they are not liable to pay anything.

18:21: The second counsel is back with her confidence, but the judge is analysing each and every argument with careful scrutiny and they directly attack the very basis of her arguments.

18:23: Though the counsel is trying to answer the queries, another level of nervousness can be seen on the side of claimants.

18:23: A member of the bench has questioned counsel on the technicalities of her case, and the counsel has stayed calm and delivered short crisp responses to the enquiries.

18:24: With only 30 seconds left, the second counsel is quickly trying to compelete her submissions.

18:25: Times up! And even the respondents fail to adhere to the time limits.

18:26: In order to wrap up her submissions, respondent 2 requests an additional two minutes of time.

18:27: Something different can be seen in the presentation of the first counsel, that he is able to display higher listening capability.

18:28: The judge is again and again stressing over any liability to be taken by the respondents. But in response to this, the first counsel is very clear with her factual as well as legal version that they are not liable.

18:29: Panel seems to be satisfied and now the floor is handed over to the second counsel.

18:30: Something unique can be observed in the presentation style of the second Counsel. She is extremely clear in her submissions and she gracefully proceed with her issue to let the panel understand her stance.

18:32: The second counsel with certainty strikes the claimants' arguments. In response, the judges seem to be agreeable with the contentions put forth by the second counsel.

18:33: The judge who has set the ground in this courtroom with his grilling is carefully listening to the submissions presented by the second counsel with a consenting tone.

18:35: Strength is visible in the submissions of the second counsel by how she is whacking the already set grounds of claimants.

18:37: New energy can be seen in the courtroom when the judge brought up the criminal aspect on negligence in the ground presented by the second counsel, but counsel seems not to get shaken with the bombardment of extra questions.

18:40: "Where there is a right, there is a remedy", the second counsel very confidently answers the query of judge and satisfies the panel.

18:43: The second counsel is proceeding with her submissions in a delicate way and has succeeded in inviting satisfaction of the panel.

18:44: The second counsel concluded her arguments with the prayer and she stands down after taking assurance that the panel is satisfied.

18:45: Both the teams are back on track, brimming with new energy and enthusiasm as they prepare to submit their rebuttals and sur-rebuttals.

18:47: As the rebuttals are heard by the judges, participants make every effort to highlight the most important findings of their research in order to impress the judges.

18:54: Following the extensive deliberations and counter-questioning, the round is now concluded!

 

VCR 2: 922 vs 915

17:40: Before the start of this glorious battle, one of the judges raised a very pertinent point on whether, he can judge one of parties again since he had adjudged them in another session formerly. However, that has been ruled out as a trivial issue given that the parties do not have any problem with that.

17:45: The first speaker from the claimants' side has kickstarted the round but she has been interrupted by one of the judges on the ground that they deem some parts of the arguments and issues raised as futile and unnecessary.

17:48: The Counsel has quickly moved on to the other arguments and is requesting the judges to take note of certain parts mentioned in the memorial and the judges are enthusiastically engaging in a discussion with the speaker on certain relevant concepts and phraseology.

17:50: There is a full fledged debate between the judges and the counsel of the claimants on certain clauses of HVR as well as the Bill of Lading. The judge in this room is quite pro-active as he is not only posing relevant questions and elucidating his query but he is also expressing his expectations from the counsel.

17:54: The judge seems difficult to appease and he refuses to let the counsel off the hinge easily and is continuously firing questions on the clauses of the contract entered into by the parties and questioning its validity as well as its effect on the case.

17:58: Though the time has elapsed, the judge is still grilling the counsel on a question of law seeking clarification on the ratio of a particular judgment which the judge clearly does not find relevant. Despite seeking extension to wrap up the arguments, the judge seems more fascinated by the authority cited by the court and is enjoying building up more questions on the same sensing the nervousness of the Counsel.

18:00: It appears that the questions of the judges have started to affect the counsel who is slowly seen losing out on her confidence and is reading out incorrect clauses and rules. After a long and tiring discussion on a particular point of law, the floor has finally been passed to the second counsel from the claimants' side.

18:05: The floor has been taken over by the second speaker who has been able to muster up courage and pace through her arguments after the long grilling session endured by her co-counsel. She, however, was nervous enough to not be able to differentiate between afternoon and evening and ended up incorrectly greeting the judges.

18:09: It seems like the judge won't go easy on the second counsel either and has been constantly nagging for more information and clarification on certain authorities cited by the counsels. Time is running out but the judge doesn't seem to run out of questions!

18:12: The counsel is trying her best to cover up and is citing other landmark judgements to substantiate the Claimants' side. The judge is demanding for the particular case in the compendium, which the researcher from the Claimants' side could not produce. The judge however was generous enough to let go of it momentarily and has allowed the counsel to proceed to her next argument.

18:16: The judge has struck another endless debate on the applicability of the Rules used by the Claimants. In a couple of minutes, the judge has however allowed the Counsel to proceed with the next limb of arguments. More questions have however poured in on the point used by the claimants highlighting party autonomy.

18:20: "Do you have the Minutes of the last meeting?", one of the Judges questioned the counsel of the claimants. It seems like the arguments presented by the claimants have confused the judges as they are now questioning the entire purpose of setting up of the arbitral tribunal for this particular matter.

18:24: The judge doesn't seem much intrigued to go into the prayer of the claimants and is asking if the counsel has more submissions to present so that there can be more substance for the judge to throw questions on. The counsel from the claimants' side has however stepped down.

18:28: The floor has been taken over by the first counsel of the respondents' side who appears slightly more confident in presenting his arguments but he has quickly been stopped by the judge the moment he cites an authority. It seems like every authority cited attracts a volley of questions from the judge.

18:31: The counsel from the respondent side has however been able to produce the authority cited in the compendium. It is however unfortunate that the argument used by the counsel could not please the judge and instead elicited more questions from the judge.

18:33: The counsel is quoting more authorities and provisions from his memorial which has simultaneously increased the excitement between both the judges who are hunting for the provisions in the compendium so that they can frame more relevant questions.

18:39: The counsel of the respondents' side is of the opinion that the fact sheet is silent on a number of issues to be argued whereas the judge pointed out that the claimant side presented 5 issues.

18:42: The baton has been passed on to the second counsel from the Respondents' side who has been immediately warned by the judge that the burden on the counsel is immense given that he is meant to cover major chunks of the issues at hand.

18:44: There comes another authority from the Respondent side. It appears that the judge is in the zone to scrutinze every detail of the authority cited in the compendium. Furthermore, the judge has posed a very pertinent question on the term "repugnancy" used in the matter.

18:49: The counsel has made it clear that he is not aware of the meaning of "repugnancy" and has sought some time to search for the meaning of the same. The judge has been considerate enough to not only spare a couple of minutes to search for the meaning of the term but has even granted the counsel the permission to gulp down some water to calm his nerves.

18:52: Though the researcher from the respondents' side has been successful in furnishing the judge with the meaning of "repugnancy", the argument used in relation to the same could not satisfy the judge.

18:54: Both the judges have joined hands in harmony and are striking at the counsel with questions on the agreement beween the parties on particular clauses of the contract. Both the judges have outright dismissed the argument used by the Counsel saying that it lacks conviction and clarity.

18:57: The counsel has sought an extension of a couple of minutes to wrap up his contentions and submissions. The nervousness and cold sweat of the second counsel can be perceived from the screen yet he is putting on a brave face and attempting to somehow wobble his way out of this.

19:00: The respondent side attempts to frame an argument on the unpredicatbility of hurricane which has been rejected by the judge on the ground that there are ways to predict and ascertain time of hurricanes.

19:10: With that, we come to the end of another exhausting yet fun-filled day of adventure of IMAM. We look forward to many more such enthusiastic and engaging rounds in the days ahead.

 

VCR 3: 924 vs 927

17:30: The first counsel begins with their submissions by discussing the first two issues of the proposition.

17:32: The counsel submits that the Arbitral Tribunal should consist of three arbitrators as the SCMA rules should take precedence over the others.

17:34: The judge asks the counsel whether the lex curie should be followed just by the virtue of it. In response, the counsel seems a little fazed and is unable to provide a satisfactory answer

17:36: The judge asks the counsel to provide for any legal backing to decide: What rules should be considered mandatory and what rules should be considered non-mandatory?17:38: It seems like the counsel was stunned into silence by this question but they recover quickly to give a detailed answer

17:43: The judge asks the counsel to clarify regarding the bill of lading, who becomes the carrier to which the counsel gives quite an under-confident answer

17:45: The second counsel from the claimants' side begins with their submissions regarding Issues 3 and 4 respectively.

17:48: The counsel submits that the Hague Rules are incorporated in the contract itself but the judge questions whether it has a force of law. In response to the judge's question, the counsel seemingly could not give a legal backing to substantiate their submissions.

17:51: The counsel continues to fail to provide any authorities to substantiate their arguments when asked by the judge.

17:56: The counsel moves ahead to submit their final submissions regarding the damages that the claimants are entitled to, by way of application of the Hague Rules.

18:00: Yet again a small technical glitch throws the counsel off their flow! But they do well to recover fast and then continue with their submissions.

18:02: The counsel for respondents begin with their submissions by submitting that the Arbitral Tribunal should be a single arbitrator panel as the International Arbitration Act of Singapore will be applicable.

18:08: The judge asks the counsel to provide the justification for considering the clause mandatory and also provide why SCMA rules should be applicable in this case

18:10: The counsel seems unfazed with the layered question and responds confidently to the judge's question.

18:13: The judge asks the counsel to clarify the facts regarding how the liability is set with regard to the discharge of the goods to which the counsel gives a seemingly satisfactory response.

18:17: The counsel submits their last limb of their argument while taking the judges to several case laws to establish the liability with regards to how the goods were discharged.

18:20: The second counsel for the respondents begins with their submissions regarding Issues 3 and 4 respectively.

18:23: The counsel submits that the applicability of Himalaya clause is valid.

18:26: The judge points the counsel to clarify whether it's the due diligence on the part of the respondents that will decide to seaworthiness or unseaworthiness to which the counsel cleverly gives vague answers and skips directly to the next submission.

18:31: The counsel proceeds with establishing the validity of Hague Laws but the judges do not seem very satisfied with this argument.

18:36: The judge seems to be not satisfied by the last limbs of the arguments presented on Bill of Ladings and that is how the counsel concludes their submissions.

18:39: The counsel for claimants conclude their rebuttals.

18:41: the counsel for respondents conclude their rebuttals and move into the prep room as the deliberation begins.

18:50: Finally the rounds are over as the judges provide the teams with detailed feedback. This brings us to the end of Session 5.

 

VCR 4: 906 vs 902

17:29: Welcome back people! Let us see how it goes in the last session of the preliminary round! The teams are ready, judges are ready and it's showtime!

17:30: The first speaker from Team 906 has taken the floor and has started with her submissions without a moment's delay!

17:36: The Bench directed a question at the speaker which seemed to throw the speaker off her balance for a while, but admirably, she quickly regained control and answered the question with grace.

17:40: The speaker continues with her submissions, substantianting the same with a case law every now and then.

17:48: The floor has now been taken by the second speaker.

18:05: The first speaker of team code 902 takes the floor.

18:06: The Speaker before beginning with his submissions enquired if the Bench had any preliminary enquiries to make. When replied to in the negative, the speaker dives into his submissions with full vigour.

18:15: After some significant network issues, team code 902 is back with their arguments!

18:23: The speaker continues with his submissions, addressing all questions thrown at him, and still managing to find enough time for his arguments!

18:26: "If the Arbitrators have any questions, the Counsel would be more than happy to answer them", the Speaker concluded with flair, getting an answer in the negative from the Bench! One of those rare times, a bench has no parting questions for a speaker it seems!

18:27: The second speaker has now taken the floor and is delivering arguments just as smoothly as her teammate!

18:30: The speaker continues with her submisisons, linking her arguments together to form a chain defence for her side!

18:31: Looks like the bench does not go without questioning for too long and is back to hurling complexities at the speakers!

18:38: The Bench, upon directing a particularly amusing comment at the speaker, ended up making the speaker smile, with her confessing that she could not help but smile at that! It is just how the facts have been arranged!

18:40: The speaker has been given an extension of 30 seconds to sum up her arguments, which she managed to do well.

18:41: It's time for the rebuttals again! Team code 906 is back with a three-part question for their opponent team.

18:43: Team code 902 has again taken the floor with an air of enviable confidence, but this time to specifically address the rebuttals!

18:46: As we are done with the rebuttal sessions, the round has ended for this session.

 

VCR 5: 925 vs 918

17:37: The counsel for claimant starts off the round enthusiastically, proceeding with their submissions regarding the applicability of the SCMA rules.

17:43: After an intense period of counter questioning, the counsel proceeds with their submissions on the express agreement of the parties on the seat of the arbitration.

17:47: The bench questions the counsel extensively on the governing law and the procedural law applicable and the counsel tries their best to answer to the satisfication of the bench. However, the counsel ultimately fails to do so.

17:50: In a line of questioning on whether the SCMA rules will apply or the Internation Arbitation Act of Singapore, the bench asks the counsel to humour them by presenting arguments in favour of the International Arbitration Act instead of and against it.

17:58: The co-counsel takes the floor after some technical glitches, Nevertheless, they start their submissions regarding liability of the respondents with confidence.

18:08: Post technical glitches, the counsel takes the floor again and continues with their submissions regarding the duty of care under bailment.

18:12: The bench takes a back seat and also spares the counsel from difficult lines of questioning owing to continuing technical glitches.

18:17: The counsel defends the locus standi of the claimants to sue the defendents on the basis of the bailor-bailee relationship.

18:20: The bench pursues a thorough line of questioning regarding the privity of contract and the jurisdiction of the tribunal on resolving a dispute where Cruze is involved.

18:25: The bench remarks that the claimants are being very altruistic by claiming only the market price of $600,000 and not the higher amount. This makes the court share a hearty laughter.

18:34: The counsel for respondent begins their submissions regarding the conflict of laws and the precedence of the International Arbitration Act.

18:39: The counsel concludes their submissions on the composition of the Arbitral Tribunal.

18:42: The co-counsel takes the floor and makes their submissions regarding the liability of the respondents in this dispute.

18:45: The counsel contends that the clause existing in the Bill of Lading saves the respondents from liability. The bench is skeptical on the enforceablity of this unfair clause.

18:49: The counsel submits that the terms of the contract cannot be unfair if both parties agreed to it. The counsel contends that the claimants cannot "cut the cake and eat it too".

18:55: With an extension, the counsel inches towards the end of their submissions regarding the liability of the respondents.

19:02: Owing to a technical glitch, the co-counsel again takes the floor and makes their submissions regarding the seaworthiness of the vessel

19:11: The counsel proceeds with rebuttals in a calm atmosphere and concludes the round.

 

VCR 6: 910 vs 913

17:32: For one last time today, the rounds have begun and here we go!

17:33: The speaker begins by thanking the judges for facilitating this event during COVID-19. He is asked to provide a short recap of the facts and he obliges.

17:35: Proceeding with his submissions, the client advocates for the adoption of SCMA institutional rules.

17:36: With the speaker proceeding with his arguments, there is anticipation of the result that awaits the teams. He comes up with very sound legal backing at his disposal to strengthen his arguments.

17.41: In what can be classified as a series of questions by the judges about the applicable law, the speaker emerges victorious by providing satisfactory answers in response.

17.42: The counsel makes references to several cases to satisfy the judges about the legal backing of his arguments.

17.44: The judges test the legal wit of the speaker and commence a tough round of questioning. He is asked to elaborate on the various provisions that he has relied on. The researcher aids him and they manage to answer a significant number of questions to the judges' satisfaction.

17.46: The rounds are extremely engaging. However, the judges are extremely particular about the allotted time and the first speaker has to step down gloomily since he has not been able to present an entire issue.

17.49: When the second speaker suggests that she will be dealing with the third and fourth issue, they remind her that the second issue is yet to be dealt with.

17.51: The second speaker has already lost her composure. She's stammering and seems very unsure about her arguments. Wonder what the situation will be like, when the questions come pouring in!

17.53: In what can be described as a truly nail-biting moment for the team representing the claimants' side, the speaker sits completely quietly, staring at the screen, trying to fathom an answer for the questions asked. Finally, she breaks the silence and manages to come up with a decent answer.

17.56: The judges seem extremely well versed with the intricacies and the minute technicalities of the case. Wish the same could be said about the claimant, given that she is clearly struggling to come up with answers that can satisfy the judges.

17.59: The counsel tries to establish the principles of natural justice over the principles of party autonomy. The judges reject this contention by stating that in the present case, they fail to understand how the principles of natural justice are applicable.

18.01: The judges ask the counsel to refresh their memory regarding the facts of the case that she has cited. "The participants have to be ready with their papers because due to them, we are struggling!" The counsel seems extremely confused about whether the case is even present in the written submissions or not. The judges are displeased with this attitude and ask her to move on.

18.06: The rounds seem extremely gruelling. But there are no hotly contested deliberations because the counsel seems to be unable to produce the maximum number of answers.

18.07: Visibly scared and anxious, the counsel's teammates wait with bated breath for her to finish her arguments in an acceptable manner.

18.09: Just as the counsel concludes, the judge quizzes her about how they apportion liability as joint and several. This is an answer that the speaker seems to know. After listening to the question, she looks relieved and provides an answer. She finishes off her submissions with the prayer.

18.11: The judges warn the respondent's researcher to be alert and ask him to put the relevant provisions in the chatbox for the judges' convenience.

18.12: The judges ask their first question, "What is a hydrogen cell converter?" The counsel isn't aware of its utility and seems to be speechless, which annoys the judges and they ask him to admit that he isn't aware of the answer and not waste the court's time.

18.14: After what cannot be classified as a very good start, the counsel proceeds to articulate his arguments efficiently.

18.16: The judges seek for authorities to back the counsel's arguments. The counsel replies in negative. He relies on the Interpretation of Statutes but the judges are of a different opinion. In such a high-pressure situation, the counsel seems to have lost his composure and has started stuttering.

18.19: "The researcher isn't doing his job!" When reprimanded for not pasting the authority in the chatbox, the counsel jumps to the defence of his researcher by stating that there is a problem in the chatbox and that no such option exists. The judges do not buy it.

18.21: An abrupt halt! One of the judges faces technical glitches. The counsel sees this as an opportunity to brush up on his arguments and fervently starts reading his material.

18.25: The counsel is being grilled extensively about the principles of law. The various replies provided by the counsel to satisfy the judges indicate that even though he is nervous, his arguments are well-researched.

18.27: If you don't have an answer, don't waste the time and just move on!' The counsel concedes and jumps to the next issue.

18.29: After an onslaught of questions by the judges, the counsel does not do justice to the answers and passes the liability for providing satisfactory answers to his co-counsel.

18.31: The counsel seeks four minutes to summarise his submissions. He gets thirty seconds. Talk about high expectations!

18.33: The counsel yields the floor to his co-counsel.

18.35: "You and your counsel are giving us contradictory answers." Oops, looks like there has been a rocky start. We can only hope that the speaker will maintain her composure and give the judges the answer that they want.

18.37: The counsel laughs at her answers when reprimanded and moves on to the next issue. Maybe she took the quote "Laughter can solve all your problems" a bit too seriously?

18.42: Flustered and puzzled, the counsel stammers while trying to come up with an answer that will help stop the plethora of questions being fired at her at the moment. It does not, however, look like she is succeeding.

18.46: The counsel tries to twist her words and term what the judge called 'gross negligence' as a minor issue. The judges don't seem impressed by this act of her downplaying their mistakes. She is grilled on the same but can you blame the judges really?

18.48: Now that she is done with her submissions, the counsel seeks an additional minute to conclude with her prayer. Turns out, she was disputing the facts that were provided in the fact sheet. The judges point this out and look displeased.

18.51: The judges ask questions that seem to have demolished the entire line of the reasoning of the respondent. The speaker however continues mainting her calm.

18.54: After failing to answer most of the judges' questions, the counsel is asked to conclude by stating their prayer.

18.55: The rebuttals have begun. The applicants have come up with some really well-articulated and top-notch rebuttals to decimate the credibility of the respondents' arguments.

18.57: The respondents are equally good with their surrebuttals. They give convincing replies while also pointing out the fallacies in the claimants' rebuttals.

18.59: In what can be termed as one of the most hotly-debated segment and highlight of the entire rounds, the rebuttals and surrebuttals have begun. However the judges seem to not be satisfied. 'Counsel, it's the 21st century! What are you even saying? Hurricanes can be detected even 7 days prior to their occurrence.'

19.01: The judges move to the judges' room and begin their deliberations. With a lot at stake, we hope that may the odds be in favour of the better team!

 

VCR 7: 921 vs 920

17:30: The applicant begins with his submission on the number of judges in the present case 17:35: The counsel makes his submissions without any hindrance.

17:36: The speaker now moves to the second issue of the conflict of law. He submits that the Hague Rules shall prevail in the present case. He reiterates the point with utmost confidence. 17:38: Upon being questioned by the Tribunal, the counsel clarifies that they are not seeking damages based on law of torts and that the same shall be dealt with extensively by his co-counsel.

17:40: The counsel continues with his submissions and addresses the issue regarding the liability of the defendants.

17:41: Booming with confidence, the counsel lays heavy reliance on judgments and authorities.

17:42: The judges question the counsel regarding how they will rebut the justification of how Hague Rules will override the contractual obligations.

17:43: The counsel steps down, and yields the floor to his co-counsel to further the case of the applicants.

17:45: The counsel begins with the issue of quantum of damages first, as the same had been asked to the first speaker.

17:48: The counsel submits that a reasonable amount must be paid. He further explains what the amount must be according to the Hague Rules. He states that $40000 must be the amount.

17:49: The judge questions that as per Clause 3 of the addendum, the liability is limited. However, the counsel does not agree with the proposition being made by the judge.

17:52: The counsel continues to defend their position about how the amount they are seeking as damages is justified and as per the norms and rules agreed upon.

17:54: The counsel now proceeds to the second issue which caters to the question of liability of the defendant.

17:56: While sailing smoothly with his submissions, the judge asks which Hague Rules they rely on. The counsel confirms that it is the Rules of 1924.

17:58: The counsel gives an elaborate explanation as to why the Hague Rules will be applicable

18:00: The counsel is granted an extension of 30 seconds to wrap up his arguments.

18:03: The floor is now set for the defendants to further their case. The first speaker takes the floor and begins her submissions with the procedural issue.

18:05: The panel asks what the governing law is according to the counsel. To which she confirms that it is the International Arbitration Act. The panel disagrees with the counsel and the counsel further clarifies her stance by citing reasons from the factual background which support her case.

18:07: The panel continues to seek clarifications regarding the applicable rules. The counsel is defending her stance well and seems to hold her ground strongly.

18:10: The speaker proceeds to her last limb of the submission. She makes use of judgements to substantiate her arguments and convince the panel of the application of SCMA Rules

18:12: Being mindful of the time, the counsel concludes her submissions and yields the floor to her co-counsel.

18:13: The second speaker begins her submissions by addressing the question of liability. 18:15: The counsel confidently continues to make her submissions. She relies on authorities to back her stance.

18:17: The counsel is asked to give the factual background of one of the cases cited by her. She is able to answer smoothly, and hence proceeds with her submissions further.

18:20: The counsel proceeds to the question of damages. She states that the defendant shall be liable only for $10000.

18:22: Further, with respect of the respondent's ask for $27,600 additionally from Cruze, the Tribunal seeks clarification on how his figure were obtained.

18:24: The speaker meticulously explains how this amount was decided and what it is inclusive of. Further, she also justifies why the sum is indeed justified.

18:27: The counsel furthers her case by stating that Cruze's liability is limited to the amount mentioned before i.e. $27,600 only.

18:28: The counsel is all set to rest her case as she proceeds to her prayer.

18:29: The applicants begins with the rebuttals by bombarding the courtroom with cases that question the interpretations made by the defendant.

18:30: The defendant beautifully refutes the points raised by the applicant, and is able to showcase how the authorities cited were not done in the correct manner.

18:31: After a long, intense round of rebuttals and sur-rebuttals, the rounds finally conclude. The teams showed excellant advocacy skills and knowledge of the law.

 

VCR 8: 904 vs 923

17:31: The first speaker starts the round with bubbly confidence. She answers the judges' questions calmly and concisely.

17:35: The speaker uses case laws to substantiate that the SCMA overrides the International Arbitration Act which seemingly satisfies the judge.

17:43: The speaker argues on the issue of liability of Cruze as a carrier responsibility for which is non-delegable. The judges listen on in rapt attention, as the speaker convincingly makes her arguments before the panel.

17:45: The speaker ends her submissions on a high with her submissions being largely uncontested.

17:48: The speaker engages in an explanation of bailment and sub-bailment to establish a direct nexus and liability upon Cruze through Tawe's negligence.

17:51: The second speaker concisely and clearly establishes by reading out relevant contractual provisions and Hague rules to establish the nature of liability that Tawe and Cruze have as carriers.

17:54: The second speaker tries to pre-empt respondent arguments by saying that the respondents cannot claim exemption from liability under Himalaya clause since Cruze is engaged in actual carriage and not merely abetting. The judges seem to accept this novel understanding of the law.

18:01: The second speaker engages in a detailed reading of the concurrent provisions in the Hidalgo Bill and the Hague Rules to show that the Hague Rules would be able to give the rules a contractual statutory force. In fact, he contends that they are claiming damages much lower than what has been stipulated in the Hague Rules.

18:05: The second speaker ends his submissions confidently by stating their prayers.

18:08: The first speaker of respondents' side begins with a narration of the brief facts and position of the parties.

18:11: The first speaker engages in a detailed discussion on how the SCMA forms the lex arbitri for the dispute. Then they went into the question: how the test of sulamerica is applied in this case to apply Singapore domestic laws and the SCMA? She confidently and systematically presents the relevance and importance of the SCMA vis-a-vis the present dispute.

18:17: The judge questions the speaker that if Tawe is an agent, then would it be liable for the damage caused. The speaker answers their question satisfactorily but the judge follows up with another question, "So will Cruze be liable for damages?" The speaker clarifies that they won't, in the absence of a proper contract.

18:21: The first speaker clarifies that since Hague Rules have been voluntarily incorporated into the contract but not by force of law and hence, Art. 3(8) of the Hague Rules will not apply in order to limit the liability of the respondents.

18:23: She goes onto define the quantum of damages to be paid by respondents which is limited to $10,000 supported by the COMBICON Bill of Lading and the relevant Hague Rules. She ends on her submissions being well-received by the judges.

18:26: The second speaker of respondents argue that since no contract exists between Caspian and Cruze, it cannot be held liable by Caspian especially since Clause 15 of the Bill of Lading does not impose any liability on a servant hired.

18:32: The respondents skillfully use a case cited by claimants to show that the case cited by them support their contentions that Cruze cannot be held liable since it owes no liability to the claimants via contract. The judge asks for a clarification on whether Cruze has any liability towards Tawe to which speaker 2 argues that any liability of Cruze is restricted towards Tawe only and no one else.

18:36: The second speaker argues on convicing lines to substantiate the nature of the arbitration process and how the same in order to be preserved needs to be in accordance with the agreement reached between parties.

18:39: The second speaker of claimants' side responds to the respodents' submissions with great conviction. He systematically dismantles the cases and principles relied upon by the respondents to further strengthen the claimants' case.

18:42: The first speaker of respondents' side points out some of the inconsistencies in the claimants' case. The rounds ends on a strong point with a close tussle between both sides. A tough call for judges to make now.


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