7th National Law University Odisha Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Moot 2020- Live update
Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Virtual Oral Rounds - 20th August 2020 - 23rd August 2020
The National Law University Odisha welcome you to the Virtual Oral Rounds of 7th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2020, organised in association with the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University, United Kingdom.
The moot is soon to begin and we are here to keep you updated on exactly what is going on! You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more insights. Wishing the best to all the participating teams!
20th AUGUST 2020
VCR-1: [723 (C) v 725 (R)]
VCR 1 updates begin!
10:03: Speaker 1 of team 723 begins. She seems calm and composed. She begins with explaining the facts.
10:13: The speaker 1 goes on very smoothly with her submissions. She is able to answer the questions very tactfully.
10:15: The judges seem satisfied with the speaker as she argues her way through the issues.
10:19: The Speaker 1 ends her arguments. No further questions are asked. The judges now look forward to listen to Speaker 2 of team 723
10:29: The speaker 2 gets lucky as no judge grills him and he swiftly puts forward his arguments.
10:33: It’s now time for Team 725 to put forward their submissions. Speaker 1 starts. She fumbles a bit initially but then picks up her pace!
10:53: Speaker 1 ends on a satisfactory note, with minimal grilling. The floor is now open for the Speaker 2.
11:03: The judge interrupts the flow of Speaker 2 . He questions the ability of the owner to escape the said liability. The Speaker takes her time and answers the question gracefully, without getting nervous. The judge interrupts her again and asks follow-up questions. The speaker fumbles a bit and answers hoping that it satisfies the judge. She seems unsure whether the judge has bought the answer!
11:16: The Speaker ends with the prayer. It’s now time for rebuttals! The claimant Speaker 2 shoots his arguments towards the respondents!
11:17: The respondents brace themselves to sur-rebut. They look confident!
11:20: The claimants seem to be in a flow with their rebuttals! They seem to have a lot of never- ending concerns. The judge has to finally interrupt the speaker to end the rebuttals.
11:30:The first round concludes right on time! Interesting and a satisfactory round in all!
VCR-2: [712 (C) v 717 (R)]
10:05 Round 1: Fact check- The Judge asks the first claimant speaker whether the malfunctioning element was the container or the vessel
10:22: C S2 tries to establish sufficiency of notice through the impugned correspondence based on 3 conditions laid in precedent
10:33: Ticking Tim- With 2 minutes left for the speaker’s allotted time, the C S2 is asked to read a clause and restructure his entire argument.
10:38: C S2 raises the ears of judges when he admits that their vessel was defective. Judges seek confirmation.
10:52: Judges grill R S1 on their due diligence measures, S1 struggles to convince that they’ve fulfilled their obligation to repair
11:11: The bench grows skeptical when the R S2 contends that notice provisions are optional and not a stipulation for the charterers.
VCR-3: [718 (C) v 702 (R)]
11:35: 718 C (S1): speaker speaks with utmost confidence and is explaining everything slowly (considering the online platform) He lays down all the issues and laws in a summary form. Other teammates listen on and respondents take notes.
11:42: Speaker knows his written submissions and case laws and is making judges take note of the same from their compendium.
11:45: A pretty cold bench! No questions?! 5 minutes left for the speaker 1 to present the arguments. Judges listening and taking notes, but no questions.
11:47: Speaker 1 ends well within time. Judge 1, not so cold anymore, starts to question. Speaker 1 takes the first question head on.
11:49: Speaker 2 begins. The stance of Speaker 2 is more calm and voice low than the Speaker 1. He too, like Speaker 1 lays down the issues and begins.
11:52: Courtroom seems pretty calm. Judges listen intently, however, still no questions! Researcher intently looks into all the notes and information. Speaker 2 makes judges take note of case laws in the compendium in a calm and soft demeanor explaining everything.
11:58: 5 minutes left. Speaker 2 raises a point putting respondents on their feet looking into their memos!
12:01: One minute left, counsel seeks extension to conclude his arguments. He puts forth the summary of all arguments emphasizing on the important words the judges should pay heed to.
12:05: Judges have no questions! Bench as cold as ever. But considering the interest shown in the arguments, maybe not so cold in perspective after all.
12:05: 702 R (S1): Jumps right into arguing that claimant's arguments have no standing! Confidence and affirmation audible, but not visible. Speaker seems to read through the memo and notes.
12:14: Brrr, is it cold! Speaker 1 of the respondent's reads through the memo. Claimant's researcher is charged with weaponry to rebut the charges of the Respondent's. Judge asks to clarify the jurisdiction points. Respondent 1 replies in full speed.
12:22: Counsel 2 starts in as a calm manner as Council 2 of the Claimants. Judges ask a factual question, Respondent goes on to explain the technicalities well.
12:26: Judges are alive! Technical Maritime questions are being thrown.
12:27: Judges catch the Respondent's arguments of buck passing. The arguments are on. Respondent Speaker 2 goes into explaining the reports and establishing itself as free of their liability
12:33: Respondent 2 seeks 1 minute extension to wrap up. The same stance of calm and composure as it was before seems to have been lost and respondent rushes to finish up her arguments. Meanwhile, claimants seem to be pretty calm waiting to charge on first command
12:36: Rebuttals begin. Judges give 1 minute relief
12:36: Claimants are on a roll. Respondent failed to establish the law, Respondent relies on cases not relevant. Respondent limits liability to which the applicable law does not apply. One has to look at the relevant documents together when enforcing the law. Respondent goes on a different tangent and "misled the tribunal". Claimants lashing out at full force.
12:39: Claimant is charged up and wants to speak everything in the limited time frame.
12:40: Questions revolve around the technical arguments of the Claimant and the judges are asked to note the Case Study. While the Claimant had hit hard on their legal approach, the Respondent is not shy to target their technical arguments.
12:44: The Respondent question claimant's rebuttal on using the wrong law and responds by stating that it is an arbitration tribunal. The idea is to come to a fruitful conclusion and reference is not wrong.
12:47: The Round ends. Judges’ Caucus begins.
VCR-4: [704 (C) v 711 (R)]
10:11: The respondents and the claimants had a discussion as to who will go first, since one of the sides had also mentioned a procedural issue in their memorandum
10:11: However, they mutually decide that the traditional format will be followed and the claimants will go first.
10:17: 4 minutes into the round and the judges have begun the grilling session. Speaker doesn't look comfortable with pinpoint queries and offers vague answers which the judges are not buying
10:23: The judges let the speaker get into flow, only to throw another question that leaves the participant guessing.
10:29 Speaker 2 is confident, clear and concise in his submissions
10:30: Judges seem content so far, though it looks unlikely that the hot bench will let him go without questions.
10:32: The hot bench continues its grilling streak.
10:37 Another set of questions on point of law are thrown, the speaker wisely answers, dodges, and proceeds.
10:54: The first speaker from the respondents side looks comfortable and confident. She's trying to cool down the hot bench, taking her time and delivering her speech clearly and in a very polite manner.
11:02: The speaker is well versed with the problem and is able to assist the judges on every query
11:02: However, the judges don't seem fully content.
11:07: Speaker 1's precise and clearly delivered arguments come to an end. Her submissions and polite conduct seemed to have satisfied the judges to an extent.
11:11: Speaker 2 from the respondents side looks to establish his case beyond doubt, only to be thwarted by a logical fallacy in his submission. An explanation followed, however the judges explicitly registered their discontent and told the counsel to proceed with his other submissions.
11:18: In his concluding submission the respondent looks to have cancelled out the previous discontentment of the tribunal.
11:19: A very interesting timeline was pointed out, which the judges seemed to be impressed with.
11:23: An evenly contested proceedings come to an end, the tribunal seems to have their work cut out.
VCR-1: [713 (C) v 719 (R)]
14:17: The Speaker from the claimants begin with her submissions. She begins very confidently, but little does she know she’ll be interrupted by the judges in the 2nd minute of her submission.
The judges are very confident with their counter questions and are not at all satisfied with what the speaker has to say for it.
To quote, “No speaker, we won’t accept this, unless you can prove or provide other documents in its support “
“Is it inadvertent or are you trying to hide it from us?” This line by a judge baffles the speaker and the courtroom!
14:45: “We have already told you that unless you provide any other document, we will not proceed”. Yet another argument rejected by the Judge.
The speaker is having a hard time proceeding with her submissions. The tension can be seen in the faces of her teammates, but it is commendable how well the Speaker is dealing with such a hot bench. She’s composed.
14:27- Just 3 minutes left for the speaker, but the Speaker has not been able to start with her planned submissions, considering she is being continuously grilled from the very beginning!
14:29- The speaker seeks extension of time from the judges. Judges grant her 3 minutes to wrap her arguments.
Speaker, “Should I stick to my second issue and wrap it up?”
Judge, “We’ve given you 3 minutes, counsel. Argue as you wish”
14:34: The time is up for Speaker 1. She tries for an extension, but sadly the judges are curt and don’t allow her the same.
14:35: The Speaker 2 starts, obviously a little nervous considering how his Co-Counsel was just grilled. His nervousness is justified as the same thing happens with him! 30 seconds to the speech, he is interrupted. “That’s a self serving statement, counsel. Where is the evidence?”
14:48: Judge- “I’m asking you a simple question counsel, where is it mentioned in the survey report?”
Speaker- “It’s not explicitly mentioned in the report, Sir”
J- “If it’s not EXPLICITLY mentioned, then how can you claim it, Counsel?”
S- “It is mentioned in the report, Sir”
J- “Counsel, you just told that it’s not mentioned. What do you want to say?”
S- “Mr Arbitrator, it’s mentioned in the summary of the survey report, and not in the report itself “
A sigh of relief from the speaker as he somehow collects himself and resumes.
15:04: The Respondents have the floor now! They’ve probably taken notes on how to deal with the bench by seeing the Claimants. The Speaker 1 starts and her speech is relatively less interrupted. She’s confident and insistent.
15:28: The judges just don’t stop grilling.
“EXACTLY our point, counsel. The fact that the issue has arisen, this shows the fault in part of the owners to take care and repair the vessel. Unless, you can give us any other explanation for the same, we would like to reason it this way.”
15:48: The judges don’t let the claimants breathe during the rebuttals as well! It seems like they are basically countering on behalf of the respondents!
15:51: “Just like the bananas have been rotten, our relationship with the customers have also been rotten” 713 Speaker 1
VCR-2: [722 (C) v 710 (R)]
2:04: First things first: C S1 starts off the round by discussing the sensitivity of bananas. A fruitful discussion follows.
2:17: C S1 points out lack of ‘best endeavours’ effort by lack of refrigeration and fluctuations in temperature. Questions of due diligence are raised.
2:21: C S1 points out the need for a higher degree of care required by their goods by precedent. They use it to say that the Respondent didn’t meet their part of monitoring given in the agreement.
2:30- C S2 run the bench through the complex timeline of the problem and talks about the delay on part of Respondent.
2:39- Time for prayers: C S2 prays to the tribunal to pass a favourable award when the judge questions the origins of the tribunal’s competence to apply justice, equity and good conscience.
2:42- Judge asks R S1 whether the Burden of Proof lies on the Claimant or Respondent. R S1 mentions it lies on the carriers through precedents and Rules.
2:47- R S1 takes a breathing minute to process as the judges point out her interpretation being the reverse of her contended authority.
2:52: Tailored to convenience: The Bench grills R S1 for using tailor-cut parts of different international rules for application to different submissions of their case. The convenience of the claimants is tipped off right at the beginning and are asked to chose one set of rules for their clients.
3:10: Who’s responsible?: The Bench corners the R S2 into asking whose responsibility arises to provide a seaworthy ship. Speaker evades and takes the discussion to containers.
3:11: Incompetence v. Negligence: R S2 differentiates between the two concepts and elucidates the accruing responsibilities.
3:15- Bench draws attention of the R S2 about the duty to notify and ‘greater’ obligations while seeking clarifications.
3:33- R claim that C stated partial facts by heavily relying on overruled case; one which was appealed to and awarded in favour of the Respondent’s submission.
This concludes the Round as the feedback session begins.
VCR-3: [708 (C) v 724 (R)]
2:18: Speaker 1 of 708 (C) begins with the facts of the case.
2:19: The fun begins! This bench is ready to pounce and already has!
2:21: Claimants to blame or not to blame? Speaker 1 goes into the engineering of the containers. Alas! He cannot go on for long, Judge intercedes and throws in factual questions.
2:23: We need to admit, Speaker 1 is pretty calm and is able to get back to his arguments despite having been detected by the Judges. Respondents busy scribbling on their notes.
2:25: 5 minutes left. Researcher using the facts to pass the blame to the Respondents. Takes a hit on the reports provided by the Respondents and how accurately he mentions. Speaker 1 seems to know his ship and the containers well.
2:27: Did we see a factual error? Judges definitely did. However, the Claimant does not hesitate to explain his arguments.
2:30: 2 minutes. Negation expression required in order to negate something in the Charter party. Claimant is making judges go through all the facts and reports with each point. Very calmly explaining the Arbitrators.
Judges seem satisfied! Speaker 2 moves on to next contention. Judges do not seem to be too scary now for Speaker 1. Handled well
2:31: Judge throws an obligation that Claimants have. Judge is keeping a poker face.
Another Judge asks explicitly "Do you admit to be at fault?"
Speaker takes a pause but confidently provides for case laws to save himself. Well played.
2:36: Speaker 2: She begins with pointing out more about how containers work.
Speaker 2 is very concerned about the temperature logs causing the bananas to become bad. She guides the judges very nicely to her compendium and case laws. She puts forth their facts and relates it to the facts at hand. Judges listen on keenly.
Speaker gets back to the bananas and the temperature shock. Session is filled with engineering and technical knowledge apart from just the laws.
2:43: Did we hear a stutter? Not anymore. The Speaker 2 lost her composure but she is back.
2:44: Judge: isn't it your responsibility too to have supplied the containers properly?
Speaker 2 going back to the bananas shows emotional attachment to them and passes the buck to the Respondents
Judge won't let her go though. Claimants can be at fault!
2:46: Speaker 2 might as well have got herself in a twist with not taking any admission of her fault in the container. "Why take it from me if you think it is not right?" Judges take a note of that argument.
Questions might be incoming.
2:49: Judges just won't let her go!
They are all down to discuss the containers. Speaker 2 is now in a twist.
1 minute left but it does not seem likely that her time is up. It is going to be a long 1 minute.
2:50: Extension to Speaker 2 granted. "Responsibility of your servant to give you the report". Claimants are running about for content!
Speaker 2 still shows confidence and tries to keep self together. Judges are still on the hunt and going through the case study, ready to rip them apart.
2:52: Speaker 2: "Due diligence of crew and sea worthiness go hand in hand". Respondents are at fault and they did not do what was agreed up. Speaker 2's confidence is back up and she is ready with cases and is going to finally get out of this without being charred.
2:55: 724 R (S1): "It takes two to tango" and that is how it works in an agreement also. Very nicely put!
Speaker 1 very confidently and calmly explains everything to the judges. Judges being direct to the Obligations of the Respondents. Speaker 1 is ready with all the weapons to tackle the battle with the Claimants.
The Battle of the Bananas keeps getting interesting
3:02: Respondents won't get relief from the Judges either. Judges grill them on their duty to take due care.
Respondent 1 answers calmly and moves onto the next issue putting the liability on the claimants.
3:06: if we were unsure about Respondents concerns over the Bananas, we are not anymore. Respondents stating it as "perishable" blames the containers of the Claimants.
3:07: Judges catch Speaker 1 on contractual question and the Speaker takes it and hits a run with utmost grace, but the match still does not seem to end, judge has seemed to catch hold of the argument and questions on whom the burden of proof lies.
The Respondent replies to them in confidence, maybe she did not get out after all.
3:10: Speaker 2 deals with the last issue.
"Will of the parties in the Charterparty should always be considered"
Respondents feel hurt by the blames being passed on them by the Claimants.
3:13: Speaker 2 is as calm as ever. He makes the judge pay heed on the survey reports.
Judges are back on the grilling board asking him again to respond on his obligation towards the Claimants. This show does not seem to get over.
3:15: Respondent is not in a fit. Unable to reply on the question of hire, he requests to move on.
Meanwhile, Claimants - as vigilant as ever - ready themselves for rebuttals.
3:20: Respondent 2 goes on to concluding his arguments. Judges ask him if he wants to limit his liability under any other law, getting a negative answer by him, the Judges ask him to move on.
Judges additionally ask him about the Crew. Respondent seems in a tussle. The Judges seem to have had them.
3:24: Judge asks him a factual question, but Speaker 2 seems to be nervous and unable to answer. The Researcher tries to assist and the Speaker subtly tries to get back on track. Judges however, have taken notice of the nervousness.
3:27: Rebuttals [Claimants]:
Respondent did not monitor our cargo; cases presented towards the same.
Claimants are not a party to mess with. They are breaking open the arguments of the Respondents in full force with full throttle.
Respondents race to get their arguments together
3:29: Sur-Rebuttals [Respondent]
Respondents won't have any of it. And are throwing factual arguments to prove their cause. They also save themselves by bringing up the contracts and the issue of due diligence. Ending the arguments with confidence
3:30: Rounds end. Judges get ready for feedback
VCR-4: [715 (C) v 707 (R)]
2:17: Session 2 of day 1 starts. The judges have heard the first round of submissions and are now even more clear with the minute details of the fact sheet.
2:23: The counsel begins with pointing out facts favourable and summarises the moot problem at length.
2:28: The arbitrators are asking the participants not to throw arguments in the air, but to substantiate their interpretation with case laws or statutory provisions.
2:31: The judges are leaving no scope for misinterpretations and are asking the speaker to iterate the facts of the case cited. The speaker steadies herself, and subsequently, elaborates the specifics of the case law cited.
2:37: Speaker 1 was well read and escaped the risk of not knowing the case law cited. Judges were content and did not intervene or disrupt the speaker by throwing queries.
2:39: Speaker 2 begins and picks up right from where the first speaker left.
2:42: The tribunal asked for more specific clauses and not a general clause to support the claimants argument. The speaker took his time, a moment of silence pursues, memorandum is flipped, fact sheet glanced at again. At last, the speaker was able to point out specific clauses and which one shall supersede the other. The arbitrators seemed to have agreed. Though, the speaker looks completely off track and is visibly shaken by the questions.
Another hot bench here, they took their time to get going.
2:46: The grilling continues and the counsel ends up contradicting his own stand as per the judges. The much arguable " counsel pleads ignorance" phrase is used.
2:48: However, it fails to give the desired result for the counsel, he is short on words, and is completely taken aback by the tribunal.
2:54: An off day, the speaker looks dejected.
Respondents begin with caution and are evidently nervous. Can't really say that they shouldn't be so, courtesy the tribunal.
2:59: A very pertinent point raised by the arbitrator, before the speaker could get into his structure of arguments, he was stopped and asked if he agrees with the narration of facts as made by the Claimants. He hurries and says "yes". The arbitrator takes note and nods. A mistake has been made by the respondent.
Another one goes down.
3:03: Speaker 1 from the respondent "pleads ignorance".
3:04: The same course of action follows. Judges continue bombarding the speaker with specific questions which cannot be answered by beating around the bush. The counsel commendably keeps his calm and finishes strongly.
3:10: Speaker 2 begins and is confident and clear with his speech. The Arbitrator asked for general practice in the shipping industry. Surprisingly, the counsel was unaware of that. Nonetheless he continues and continues well.
3:14: A distinction is sought by the tribunal on clauses binding and clauses merely substantive in nature.
3:17: The wrath of the tribunal takes in another victim, speaker 2 from the respondents side looked stable and well read, however he too "pleads ignorance".
3:20: To his credit, he too, like his co-counsel, steadies himself and delivers his submissions without panicking.
3:28: A good listener never misses a beat. Claimants point out a particular statement made by the respondents and back their case based on that. Logical and well-structured arguments are used.
Rebuttals put to good use.
3:34: The same can't be said for the respondents.
21st AUGUST 2020
VCR-1: [709 (C) v 723 (R)]
10:05: It’s the second day of the preliminary rounds. The participants and Judges of VCR 1 are fresh and ready for the session.
The Speaker 1 from the Claimants side starts. He is poised and very swiftly presents the facts of the case to the Judges.
10:11: As expected, the judges start grilling the speaker. The Speaker seems to have a well structured content and therefore even after being interrupted by the judges, he maintains his flow and doesn’t let anxiety ruin his composure.
10:14: Seems like the judge and the speaker are stuck in a never ending debate on the maintenance of the temperature log. The speaker struggles to satisfy the judge on this question, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy.
“Before proceeding on this, the counsel would like to state that time hasn’t been a good friend to the counsel, and therefore the counsel would seek a 2 minute extension.” When has it ever?
10:25: The time is up, yet the Speaker hasn’t been able to answer the Judges’ question. To quote the Judge, “I know, it’s a very technical question, and I won’t mark you according to that”.
10:30: Finally, the judges leave the Speaker 1 and give the floor to the Speaker 2 to argue his issues!
10:39- Silence in the Courtroom.. apparently the Claimants' side say something on the communication issue that brings a smile on the Respondents’ face and lines on the foreheads of the Claimants. On being further questioned on it, the Speaker goes numb for a moment and then collects himself!
10:49- The speaker is very hassled and it’s clearly visible how nervous he is due to the constant grilling
Judge- “Wait, wait Counsel, please take a breath and calm down. Go on..”
10:52- The Claimant side, done and dusted with their submissions, now hand over the podium to the Respondents. Speaker 1 starts, all confident!
11:01- “Don’t put words in my mouth, Counsel. Just refer me to the facts”
This statement baffles the speaker. She did not see this coming, neither did we!
11:05- The speaker seems confused, and fumbles.
Judge- “Counsel, I advise you to take a moment to structure your thoughts.”
11:15- The judges have a good laugh as they see the Speaker fall in one of their traps and states something contradictory to what they stand for.. The claimants are amused, so are we!
11:27- After numerous extensions, the Speaker 1 finally gets a break and the Speaker 2 takes the charge to continue defending their case! He begins swiftly.. but within a minute, he’s interrupted. He did see this coming, for sure.
11:45- Seems a never ending round. Speaker 2 and the judge get into a debate on the issue of letter of protest.. The judge is not satisfied, but the Speaker is not ready to give up! He is very confident and is not letting all the grilling get to him!
VCR-2: [726 (C) v 712 (R)]
11:04- Not doing enough: C S1 expresses worry about the lack of the owners to meet responsibility to do “everything possible”.
11:08- No beating around the bush: Judges ask C S1 to clarify “You say the apparatus wasn’t right to make the vessel seaworthy, but what was the fault?
11:14: Too long: C S2 expresses his concerns over the “100 hour delay” and no immediate action.
11:18: C S2 wraps up the case quickly and confidently with 4 minutes left on the clock. The prayer is placed on record with oral recitation and the baton is passed to the Respondent.
11:27: Judges raise eyebrows and ask the R S1 “How are you asking the entire onus of the malfunction to fall on the charterers?”
11:42: Confident counsels: R S2 declares while wrapping up his first argument “So, as the first part of my argument is submitted and conclusively proved” passing a positive self-assessment.
VCR-3: [716 (C) v 718 (R)]
10:05: 716 (C) - Speaker 1:
A very calm and composed start from the Speaker 1. Respondents calmly look on.
Due diligence seems to never get old in this competition. Speaker begins explaining the same and behold! Judge has caught her.
10:07: Speaker 1 goes to answer the technicalities. You think it's over, but it's not. Judge has a second question, "Yes or no? Justify". Speaker 1is responding. Do I see a smirk from the judges?
10:08: Speaker 1 goes on to explain their losses and pains. Cases are cited. Respondents seem to be polishing their weaponry in full throttle. The judges seem to have had a good breakfast! So much energy. 10 minutes in and the questioning streak just keeps going!
10:09: Judges trying to deter and making Speaker 1 question herself. We sense some nervousness but she still tries to keep her tone calm.
10:10: The heat is writing. We are sweating! Baton of questioning is being passed around between the judges and our Speaker 1 is caught between them.
10:12: 2 minutes left and Speaker 1 does not seem to catch a break! The Judges have done their preparation and they will not hesitate to throw the ball out of the park.
10:13: "Counsel, do you know about Maritime Operations? Yes or No?"
A mini teaching session ensues till the judge realises the paucity of time.
Speaker 1 gets back to her submissions. She has been a good warrior being able to tackle the blows in the best way she can and moves forward.
10:15: Speaker 1 gets 20 seconds to wrap up her arguments. Nervousness seems to be apparent in her. Parties and Judges look on.
10:16: Speaker 2 comes into the playground. The Judges are ready.
She does not seem to be detected by the Judges and goes on with her submissions with full confidence.
10:18: Judge is very interested in talking about Maritime Operations. There seems to be a crash course on Maritime Industry. However, the Speaker 2 will not have any of the deterrence. She gets back to seeking Banana justice. But judges will not have any of it. 20 seconds in, the new teacher is on the block.
10:21: We must say, the Speaker 2 is determined to get justice. She puts forth all her arguments and also gives additional explanations on them swiftly and efficiently. Judges listen on in silence, but for how long? We sit tight and wait.
"One wrong action could affect the entire bananas". Never thought Bananas to be such attention seeking fruit.
Judges ask for clarification and apparently seem to have heard a joke to make them chuckle. Intimidating much? Not for our Speaker 2. She will not get swayed by the mind games.
10:24 Judge sighs. He will not let go of the containers.
"Don't try to beat around the bush. Give me a straight answer."
He wants his containers and he shall have it.
10:27: Speaker 2 is trying to keep her cool, but the judges and their love for containers - and possibly the Bananas! - won't let her get away from the blunder the Claimants did with their containers per the Case Study. They want their fruit and they know whom to blame for their fiber not being on their breakfast table.
10:28: Judge 1: "You are just falling into your own trap... Who is to be blamed?"
Judge 2: "Your argument does not help your case"
The Judges seem to be sharing a telepathic joke and chuckling. We wonder what they are thinking.
10:30: That was very interesting to watch. Respondents watch out!
10:30: 718 (R) Speaker 1: He goes on to putting forward his issues and moves on to the jurisdiction. Judge counters and seeks clarification. Speaker did not see it coming but he gave a confident answer. But the Judge seems to seek to have more fun!
10:35: Speaker fumbles but gets back to his submissions.
10:37: One of our Respected Judges seem to be remembering or observing a joke. We wonder what it is?
"Why did you come to the Tribunal?" Oh, we now know the joke was thinking.
Speaker 1 fumbles but is going on hitting his bat. "Is the Arbitrator satisfied?"
Judge: "No, but go ahead"
10:40: The Speaker 2 cited; our Arbitrator's buddy.
Our Judge will now be taking this matter personally and will be ready to defend his buddy's statement.
10:45: the seas are calm now. And our sailor, Speaker 2, is back on sailing in a calm manner. His time comes to an end and he rushes to row his boat to the shore. One thing we can say: This Bench means business and will have none of it by both the parties. They are the true defenders of the bananas and will make it their mission to ensure they get the wrong corrected. Their breakfast is on the line!
10:47: Speaker 2 comes to the playing field. "Council shall proceed with the arguments." Judge: "I have a query" Where is the argument! The grilling tsunami keeps on coming and just taking arguments away!
10:52: less than 10 minutes left, Speaker 2 speaks about the survey reports and explains his limit of liability.
Claimants are preparing to shatter the Respondents. We will see how that goes.
10:57: 3 minutes left and Speaker 2 goes on to discuss seaworthiness and due diligence. Finally!
Judges seem to be more calmer than before. They let the Speaker proceed. Speaker uses this opportunity and regains his confidence and goes on to explain everything impeccably. But we need to watch out. Judges seem to have spotted something
10:59: And they did!
The Speaker is on his A game now and answered their question spot on
11:01: 20 seconds given to the Speaker to wrap up his arguments. He does so nicely.
Judges seem to again be having some telepathic joke going on. They seem amply satisfied. By the joke or the rounds? Only the Judges know.
11:04: Speaker 1 of the Claimants sums up their arguments and state having them refraining from a certain law
11:06: Respondents argue the opposite making the Claimants rather agitated.
Respondents also state Claimants to be at fault because of no reasonable time given.
Rounds end. Judges sent to the Breakout room for scoring.
VCR-4: [706 (C) v 704 (R)]
10:05: The claimants were asked whether there is a jurisdiction issue or not. Speaker 1 said yes that there is but she will be dealing with it in the rebuttals.
The judge said "give me one good reason why we should listen to your submissions, when you haven't yet established your jurisdiction yet".
An explanation for jurisdiction followed.
10:13: Arguments are well structured , the claimants are relying on basic terms such as "due diligence and reasonableness," and swiftly proceed with backing the explanation of each term with a case law.
10:14: Speaker 1 looks very composed and is clear with her content.
10:16: However, the arbitrators were quick to point out a discrepancy in the case law cited in the given factual scenario at hand.
Claimant sharply twists the fact into her favour, the arbitrators do realise this, but they seem to have liked the innovation.
10:19: Speaker 1 continues her composed delivery of arguments and is crystal clear on the fact sheet and their links with the arbitration clauses.
10:23: Cold bench or a fantastic speaker, either one of it could be the case. It pretty much looks like that this round was a blend of both.
10:25: Speaker 2 has the liberty of a beautiful stage set for him by his co-speaker and looks to take advantage of it. He immediately proceeds with his submissions and is quick to point out relevant abstracts from the fact sheet.
10:29: The counsel, however, jumped the gun and said that "all the prerequisites for this mechanism have been dealt with". This statement didn't go well with the tribunal and a question was asked that "in a dispute resolution mechanism are you aware of the modalities that need to be taken care of ?"
To this the counsel hurried and hassled, quoted a few obligations, however, couldn't satisfy the tribunal.
A pretty heavy statement made by the counsel doesn't end up well.
10:36: Any thoughts of this bench being a cold have waived away.
The counsel was bombarded with questions, he answered a few, skipped a few, and lastly resorted to the excuse that he's having a network issue and "can't hear the honourable tribunal clearly". One may say a smart move given the circumstances. What followed will significantly change the idea floated in the previous statement.
One of the arbitrator said and I quote "tough times call for tough measures, now answer me"
10:37: The internet connectivity was normal, voice clear, disturbances very few, and questions answered. The speaker 2 did answer the call.
10:41: "all the prerequisites needed for this dispute resolution mechanism have been dealt with"
10:46: Speaker 1 from the Respondents side looks calm and composed, and begins with a blunder.
Yes, a blunder, the tribunal asked him whether he would like to argue the issue that the claimants have no jurisdiction. To which he responded yes the claimants have.
10:47: The arbitrators asked, then why did you raise this issue in your written submissions. The speaker panicked and said he "concedes the issue of jurisdiction".
10:48: The tribunal is visibly displeased with the aforementioned statement, and says "if you are conceding and contradicting your own statement what credibility do you have ?"
10:50: 8 minutes into his speech the speaker cannot find his feet. The grilling from the tribunal is relentless.
10:56: The tribunal lets the speaker catch his breath, two good arguments have been forwarded, but he's really short on time.
10:58: Time's up. The speaker would be relieved for the moment. Deep contemplation will follow soon.
11:04: Speaker 2 is confident, for now, he seems to have ignored the first speaker's hardships.
11:05: He looks to steady the ship, slowly and gradually he catches wind in his sail.
11:09: He looks to establish his case and is simultaneously minimising the strength of the claimants case . He says, that the authority of an interpretation in a case law by a judicial body will supersede a definition provided in a legal authority.
11:11: The tribunal asks him to provide an authority wherein the same has been stated. To which, the respondent seeked permission to proceed with other submissions.
11:15: The tribunal is having none of the assertions made by the speaker on the notice sent. Making the speaker reiterate his own submissions, the arbitrator points out flaws and does not mince words when saying that "your arguments fall flat".
11:18: The rebuttals begin.
11:20: The claimants were excellent in referencing to the fact sheet for pointing out fallacies in the respondents submissions. The judges seemed impressed.
11:22: Sur-rebuttals begin
11:25: The respondents too, like the claimants made good use of the opportunity and confidently denied the rebuttals through the fact sheet and pointed out one particular fact which the claimants had totally missed.
With this end round ends.
11:38- The R S2 clarifies that the correspondence was only with regards to settlement of dispute in next 15 days and takes the tribunal through the timeline of the dispute.
VCR-1: [725 (C) v 713 (R)]
2:04: After a refreshing lunch break, the judges and the participants are rejuvenated and ready to conquer!
The Speaker 1 from the claimants side starts. She’s quick, but fluent and clear. Let’s see for how long she can maintain this flow.
2:10- Alas! The flow breaks. It’s not the grilling but the internet connection. While she fixes it, Speaker 2 takes the charge and presents her arguments. We hope nothing disturbs her flow, except of course the judges!
2:16: Seems like speed is one of the things that the Claimant team is really into. It’s like they have their minds made up that they’ll not compromise the speed in their speech! But the good thing is despite the speed, the fluency is maintained throughout.
2:20: The debate on the obligations of the owner regarding sea worthiness continues.... and not to forget, the due diligence debate.
2:41: The Speaker 2 ends her submissions on a satisfactory note! The judges now shift their attention to Speaker 1, who is back and has hopefully fixed the internet connection. She is relatively slow in her speech and presents her arguments well.
14:57: Best endeavour.. These words seem really simple to interpret and understand, but not according to the Judge as well as the claimant.. The debate on interpretation has been going on for 5 minutes and still continuing..
Will we finally conclude on this? Stay tuned!
15:04: We don’t think that we reached a conclusion on interpretation, but owing to the time constraints, we have to move on.
The baton is now in the hands of the respondents! The speaker one steps up and starts her submission. She has a pleasing, slow and a fluent voice. Let’s see if the Respondents are able to defend the allegations put forward by the Claimants.
3:20: The most impressive quality of Speaker 1 has to be her patience. She carefully listens to all the questions the Judges have to ask instead of jumping to answers abruptly. She is really articulate. She seems to have a good throw of voice and has a well structured content.
3:22: The Speaker 1 ends her submissions and invites her Co-Counsel to present the arguments on the economic aspects of the issues. He is compendious and crisp in his submissions.
3:25: We’re able to hear a lot of formulas and numbers in his submissions, considering that he is dealing with the economic aspects. He, through his calculations, holds that the amount of claim of the claimants is unjustified and invalid.
3:39: The Speaker 2 was questioned on the relevance of a new issue they added. He took his time and explained the relevance. Did the judges buy it? Let’s hope they did.
With this, he concludes his submission and leaves the floor for rebuttals!
VCR-2: [717 (C) v 722 (R)]
2:12: Fastrack: Claimant S1 proceeds the oral submission by initiating a 5-point fact background, only to be asked to directly proceed to the arguments.
2:21: Judges seek answers with regards to the Claimant’s relationship with the crew. In a heated courtroom, C S1 manages to slip out from the tight clutches by greasing with a certain clause on Respondent’s liability.
2:34: Across multiple questions and raised eyebrows, C S2 fervently maintained that the containers had no inherent defect and the erratic temperature control damaged the cargo.
2:40: The judges seek answers as to the kind of claim the Claimants are seeking. After giving it some thought, the C S2 requests a claim for indemnity.
2:47: R S1 starts off by placing reliance on the facts and pointing out specifically the clarifications issued to the case study to pierce the case of the Claimant.
2:51: 6 minutes into the respondent’s oral submission, the R S1 has left the tribunal flipping through documents.
3:01: After battling through her fair share of internet connectivity issues, R S1 remains calm and poised as she rejoins the session and is surrounded by questions immediately.
3:03: The judges ask the Respondents of what nature their duty is- out of common law or contractual? The Respondents discuss this from the perspective of Bill of Lading, Charter Party and common law.
3:06: Back to Basics: Judges grill R S1 on their basic knowledge of common law of contracts. The simplest concepts are revisited in court to see whether they applied to the Respondent as a subcontractor.
3:18: A thorough discussion on the Bill of Lading proceeds. R S2 tries to shift the burden to the carriers, the claimants.
After the round of rebuttals, the round ends and judges go into caucus.
VCR-3: [702 (C) v 708 (R)]
2:08: Speaker 1 begins with the facts of the case. Judges and participants listen on.
2:11: Judge: "I think I lost Speaker 1, ya phir mera internet kharab hai?"
2:13: Speaker 1 after the responding moves on but Judge 2 has more questions. Judges question the Claimant on facts and also on the number of Arbitrators and their validity.
Speaker 1 answering in a calm manner moves onto the next issue.
2:16 Judge interrupts and tests the Speaker's confidence. Speaker does not deter. Good job Speaker 1!
2:19: Judges seem to be going easy. But don't judge a book by it's cover. Factual questions are making the Speaker 1 go off course. However, she gets back on track immediately and goes on to explaining her facts.
2:23: Speaker 1 finishes her argument in her last 1 minute. Judges are silent, but silence is golden and Claimants should watch out for how that turns out for them.
2:26: Speaker 2 takes over the reign in full confidence. She picks up her bazooka filled with blames and is about to fire at the Respondents that Judges interrupt her with a legal question.
2:28: Claimants all over the VCRs are showing concern over the Bananas and our Claimant is no different. She is concerned about the maintenance of the reefer by the Respondents because poor Bananas will be deteriorated.
2:30: Speaker cites a case law but Judge is not cutting her any slack. She has to explain them the facts and how it is reasonable for her to cite the said case. Judges accept, Speaker 2 sails forward.
Meanwhile, the Respondents are busy turning pages. Has the Claimants caught them where it is to hurt? Let's find out.
2:35: Speaker goes on calmly dealing with every question thrown her way. Judges listen on, Respondents are still running around writing and sharing information. Should they watch out?
2:38: 1 minute left, Speaker 2 is rushing to finish her arguments, however the judge interrupts her questioning her on seaworthiness. Speaker 2 is rushing through her compendiums and documents. Seems like everyone in the room is in a twist. Judges meanwhile chill.
2:41: One of the Judges asks for a refresher and goes away. We now look at a wall of books. And people looking down at their notes.
2:42: still look at wall of books
2:43: Judge is back.
Speaker 1 of the Respondents comes up.
2:44: Speaker 1 goes on to talk about limitations of its liability.
2:46: Judges seem to have had a heavy lunch making us jealous.
2:51: Very curious case of Survey Reports are being discussed. Speaker 1 has got people turning pages but Judges seem to be too full with lunch to question anything. We feel a chill passing the courtroom. Brrrr. The case of a Cold Bench.
Boon or a Bane? Only the Judges can decide.
2:57: Speaker 2 takes over.
2:58: Speaker gives a confident introduction of her arguments and moves onto her arguments in detail with utmost fervor.
3:04: Speaker 2 moves onto her last issue without any questions thrown at her.
One needs a blanket to sit through this session, for it is cold!
3:05: FINALLY a question from the judges on correspondence. Speaker 2 replies in confidence. Judge seeks clarification.
Are the judges hinting the Speaker 2 to contest something? Speaker goes back to her previous answer and explains the same to the Bench.
Speaker 2 knows her bananas. Her botany is very accurate as she talks about the bananas, it's type and the damage.
This Session is a crash course for botany as well.
3:11: Speaker wraps up her arguments. Rebuttals begin.
3:15: Claimants S2: Claimants are angry! The stance of the speaker makes us want to shift back a little. She is ready to pounce in full force! She feels for her bananas, she wants justice for her bananas and she will make it her life's mission to win for the bananas.
Respondents S1: unseaworthiness is on Claimants' part as their containers were in bad shape and survey report is the evidence. There is no question of indemnity.
3:20: Rounds end. Judges Caucus begins
VCR-4: [711 (C) v 715 (R)]
2:00: Day 2 Session 4 kicks off !
2:01: The speaker 1 from the claimant sides followed the traditional model and asked if the judges needed a briefing with regards to the facts of the case.
2:02: The members of the tribunal have been here for a while now, and ask the counsel to proceed straightaway with her submissions.
2:04: A pertinent point made. Counsel wastes no time and makes the tribunal note that the respondent side in their written submission have not made any objection to the jurisdiction of this tribunal, and proceeds further.
2:13: Fundamentals definitely come in handy, however, when they may be put to test is a bit uncertain. In the instant hearing, the counsel is asked to elaborate on the very basic terms and what all elements constitute the term.
2:14: An "in arguendo" submission goes wrong. The arbitrators are looking to make the claimant concede, but she is poised enough, and dodges swiftly.
2:18: What do the basic mooting principles (if any) reiterate, read your facts. Read you facts again and read them in entirety. [note- bold by the co host]
2:23: Speaker 2 starts, the first impression is that he's a bit shaky. How the rest of the round spans out will be known soon.
2:25: He's stammering. However, facts and case laws are in abundance in his speech.
2:28: The judges sense the lack of confidence and pounce.
2:30: A set of questions are thrown the speaker ignores them and continues with his submissions. This didn't go down well with the tribunal and the question was repeated, the counsel was stopped and told to answer the question.
2:32: The counsel fell in the question-cum-trap and contradictions to his claim and the facts as given in the fact sheet was pointed out.
2:36: A strong finish ! A flurry of facts, clauses, and case laws the judges seemed content, however, the speech was too quick for the liking and a few words were eaten up by the speaker.
2:43: Continuing her strong start she points out a discrepancy in the claims made by the respondents in their memorial and those worded out in front of the tribunal.
Judges seemed impressed.
2:49: A free flowing and well-structured speech continues.
2:51: The tribunal attempts to thwart the flow by raising pinpointed queries and look to unsettle the so far fantastic counsel.
2:56: Specific answers and clauses follow. Every material on record was perused by the speaker be it the memorandum, clarification, arbitration rules, or the fact sheet.
2:57: The judges happily grant an extension for a minute, seems like they too were impressed by the first counsel for the respondents.
2:58: An excellent speech comes to an end.
Speaker 2 takes over the reigns.
3:03: Judges seem content and speaker 2 conveniently makes his submissions. It has to be said that he's reaping the benefits of the fantastic first speaker.
3:06: A loose word in such a proceeding can cause you a lot of trouble.
3:07: Speaker 2 realized the same, after he said that the information provided by the claimants in their communication was "not good enough"
3:10: The tribunal grilled the speaker and asked him to be cautious with his choice of words.
A "good enough" speech comes to an end.
3:11: Rebuttals begin.
3:13: The claimants did take note of the judges advice and in the opening statement pointed out an instance wherein the respondents provided an incomplete fact, which as per him was done to mislead the arbitrators. Pont well received by the judges.
3:14: Sur-rebuttals begin.
3:16: The respondents clear their stance and apologise for any miscommunication.
A superiority is sought to be established of standard form of contract over the arbitration clauses.
VCR-1: [719 (C) v 709 (R)]
6:02: The round begins. The Speaker 1 from the claimants starts with her submissions. She is barely just done with the introduction and greetings, that she is put off track as the Judge questions her on the jurisdiction. She clearly did not see this coming, neither did we. She fumbles, and struggles hard to get on track. However, she’s not able to satisfy the judges on the same.
6:10- The speaker still seems to be caught off-guard by all this. Kudos to her efforts to collect herself but the judges aren’t able to grasp much. She tries to condense her arguments, but the grilling isn’t helping.
6:18- The malfunction debate starts.. this might take some time!
6:19- The speaker is asked to sum up her arguments within a minute, which she does.
It’s now turn for Speaker 2 to continue the arguments. He seems to be under a little pressure, and therefore fumbles a bit during the introductions, but he’s good to go!
6:24: Judge Ahana Sikdar questions the speaker on the maintenance of the log book. The speaker is able to answer and satisfy her!
6:28: Speaker 2 satisfactorily concludes the second issue without any follow up questions asked. He happily moves on with the third. Sigh of relief.
6:35: While it appeared that the judges were satisfied, as the speaker went uninterrupted for quite a few minutes, he was startled when the judge asked him to explain the issue of Clause 16 of Charter Party, about which he had been speaking on for the last 5 mins.
Speaker- “As far as I’m aware.......” Judge- “I don’t want to know what you’re aware of, I want to know if you have something!”
6:41: The claimants are done with their submissions. It’s now time for the respondents to defend themselves, one last time for the date. The Speaker 1 steps up, very confidently and respectfully, to make his submissions.
6:46: The speaker seems to be on a roll here, going on with negligible grilling.
How long can he go on? Any bets?
Judge Ahana Sikdar, “The word is not ‘Uncontractual”, it is ‘Non-Contractual.”
6:53- The Speaker 1 wraps up his submissions, with the help of a two minute extension. He seems to have impressed the judges. It’s now time for Speaker 2 to maintain the bar set by his Co-Counsel!
7:10: The judges throw questions at the speaker, and he knocks them off with his clear cut answers! An extension of 2 minutes to wrap his arguments up!
7:19: The respondents reiterate their prayer and impressively finish the rounds. It’s now time to shoot rebuttals!
VCR-2: [710 (C) v 726 (R)]
6:19: As C S1 kicks in after a host of internet issues, judges ask the speaker to proceed with the facts. The judge questions regarding the claim and it is evident that the judges are particular about a structured discussion.
6:23: The judge puts C S1 in a tight spot by asking at their initial assumption and by seeking clarity on the facts mentioned as they try to seek further answers from the participants.
6:28: Piping hot bench - Arbitrators ask different questions to test the waters of basic assumptions of the C S1. “Where do you derive the obligation of notification from?” The speaker borrows time from her co-counsel’s time before the Tribunal and defends her case.
6:30: Clock’s ticking- C S1 concludes with a struggle against time to sum up the issue. Time and arbitrators really wait for none!
6:34: SOS - C S2 addresses the ways in which Respondents could’ve acted- sent spare parts or instructed the crew. The Arbitrator asks the viability of these acts in transit.
6:29: “Uncargoworthiness”- New dictionaries are written as tongues of counsels twists in a time-tight oral round. The pressure is showing.
6:38: Arbitrator Osama asks a question related to the facts and leaves the C S2 speechless trying to establish this as a fact. The hot Bench doesn’t let anything slip!
6:40: Navigation maps- The Bench seeks for reference of facts on specific page numbers from C S2 to agree to asserted facts.
6:42: “The owner doesn’t care about the cargo, they only care about one thing- the vessel!” The Arbitrators narrow down the interests of the owners acutely and C S2’s pace picks up to quickly fill in all doubts.
6:44: This or That: C S2 presses that the Reports are incomplete as they don’t contain rise in temperature across dates. “Please refer to the Temperature laws.” repeats the C S2.
6:45: Logic in law is being discussed as the debates continue with C S2. When all other tactics fail, logic resuscitates!
6:48: Bullet train- C S2 rushes through the submissions breathless by the tough questions and lack of time.
6:49: “Do you think it’s humanly possible to take care of 250 containers in a vessel everyday?” Arbitrator Osama battles logic with logic head on. Iron cuts iron, after all!
7:03: Nuke attack- Arbitrators pose the simplest yet most troubling question to R S1, with The Speaker hesitates before saying yes.
7:04: Dusting hands- “The mere fact that we used all our capacity..” says the R S2 while shirking their responsibility for gross negligence.
7:07: Knifing- The Arbitrators ask the R S1 as to what changed in 10 minutes of the submission that they went from accepting to denying a fact? “I can’t answer that.”, smiles R S1. What secrets are they keeping?
7:11: One minute into the speech, the R S2 is asked by the Arbitrator “Show me where it is.” “Answer the question right now, however long it takes.”and the counsel is asked a very pressing question. The counsel stutters and goes around in circles. This maze is spiralling him down.
7:13: Gentlemen’s Club: Judge Osama questions the R S2’s reliance on the facts by pointing out a specific issue. The exclusivity of application to parties is leaving the R on the sidelines! Will they be let in? Only time and arbitrators will tell.
7:16: “But where is it inserted?”
The R S2 directs the Bench to the relevant submission.
“Okay, you may go on.”
The R S2 finally takes a sigh of relief!
7:21: Medium Rare - The faces of all Speakers stand testimony to the grilling in the furnace of the courtroom.
7:24: Colour inside the lines- The Arbitrators lay down their strict rules for the teams to address their rebuttals. The teams are taken aback but wing it, nonetheless.
7:25: Blame Game- Claimants rebut the case of the Respondents saying they mistook the question of jurisdiction. “My learned friends were confused and were misleading the court. They are claiming something they aren’t aware of.”
7:28: “We needed notification, we needed immediate notification” The R aren’t letting go of their primary interest even in sur-rebuttals!
VCR-3: [724 (C) v 716 (R)]
6:08: 724 (C) - Speaker 1: With utmost confidence and calm, the Speaker explains the facts within two minutes, and moves onto jurisdiction.
6:09: "It takes two to tango". Classic Speaker 1. She moves on to stating Respondents did not fulfill their part of the contract. Respondents calmly look on.
6:10: Judge Prahalad questions the contractual obligations and the Speaker with full awareness and agility goes on to explain and directs the judge to the case study. Judges take note.
6:12: For seaworthiness, having machinery is not an obligation, obligation is also for it to work.
The Speaker will not take any negligence from the Respondents and directs concern of negligence on their part.
6:16: Judge Prahalad Bhat is all in on questioning Speaker 1 but she keeps her calm and merely replies to him and justifies her answers.
6:18: Judge Kriti Ranjan asks the Speaker about the time and distance between the two destinations. Now this has got the Council in a twist! But wait, has it? Seems not because she is back and explaining doctrines with full force.
6:20: Speaker 1 seems to have lost connection, but we can hear her. Some confusion but we are back on track.
6:28: Speaker is very calm and slow in explaining all his submissions.
He moves onto a new issue and Judge Prahalad Bhat is ever present and questions him on contractual and tort law.
Respondents are busy communicating and gathering arguments.
6:41: 716 (R)
Speaker 1: She very confidently and clear manner lays down all their issues.
Judge Prahalad Bhat is the voice of the Bench going right to business.
He questions the Council on case laws cited and compares the same with the facts at hand and the allegations against the Respondents.
6:44: "Owners do not have duty apart from taking superficial care if the goods".
"Cargo had inherent perishable quality".
Poor fruit is stuck in a tennis game between both the parties.
We feel deeply for the fruit.
6:46: Speaker 1 is in control. 2 minutes left, she very calmly concludes: "If it works, quacks, acts, talks like a duck, I will prefer to call it a duck." And this is how Respondents hit the ball back to the Claimants court! We are looking forward to the rebuttals
6:49: Speaker 2 takes over. She is as confident as ever and with apt pauses explains the her arguments
6:52: Speaker fumbles but is calmly answering questions of the judges deeply against the fruit
6:56: Speaker's arguments seem undisputed by the Judges. The Respondents however, think otherwise. They are busy getting their arguments ready. They can't losse against a fruit!
6:59: Claimants are back on the stage! They hit right on the ship. Ship never thought to have it's credibility questioned because of the Bananas getting rotten. But seaworthiness as an argument does not seem to get old
7:01: Respondents won't have it. They are going to save their ship. Literally and figuratively. Speaker 2 very softly passes the buck back to the containers of the Claimants. It's Bananas v Ship now. Let's see who ends up winning
7:08: Round ends. Judges’ Caucus begins.
VCR-4: [707(C) v 706 (R)]
6:05: The final session for the preliminary stages begins.
Session 5 Day 2 between teams 707 C v 706 R.
6:08: Facts are the first and foremost in a moot court competition, to be used to tilt a case in your favour.
Speaker 1 from the claimants side keeps this thing in mind and asks the Tribunal to narrate the facts of the problem.
The Tribunal obliges and asks him to narrate the facts.
6:11: The counsel starts off strong but the bench will not let him have his say with ease.
6:16: A flurry of questions are thrown at him and the counsel tries for 30 seconds if he could dodge the questions. Failing in his attempt, he was quick to "plead ignorance". One of the arbitrators had a wry smile on his face. Though the plea was accepted, there's a high chance that this instance will not be ignored while allotting the final marks.
6:20: Judge Aishwarye was quick to ask whether the counsel was relying on a fact, which is nowhere mentioned in the fact sheet?
The counsel replied that the said fact is mentioned in one of the annexures to the fact sheet.
6:22: Speaker 1 had his transitions. Freely flowing arguments and stammering in equal proportions.
An extension was sought by him for 1 minute. However, the tribunal being particular of the schedule, allowed 30 seconds only.
6:23: Those 30 seconds were put to good use. Speaker 1 quickly yet elaborately summarised all his points, and left the floor open for the second speaker.
6:26: Speaker 2 starts off by extending a greeting to the members of the tribunal and that his party is glad to have this arbitration proceedings amidst this pandemic.
6:29: The bench appears to be a hot one, speaker 1 was lucky enough to get away with so called "ease".
Judge Aishwarye asked a practical question and when answered with a vague argument said that "don't beat around the bush, I'm asking you a very simple question, answer me don't waste the tribunals time" .
6:31: The counsel was visibly shaken by such a confrontation and he too pleaded ignorance.
2 in 2 for the judges own little streak. The counsel gathers himself and proceeds further.
6:33: When asked for a practical solution to the cargo damage, he resorted to drawing an analogy to a hypothetical situation.
6:34: Not a wise choice, he was told to "halt his essay writing urges and provide a prudent solution if he has any".
6:36: To his credit he didn't panic and made his submissions. A tough round, well contested by the counsel comes to an end.
6:38: Speaker 1 from the Respondents side looks to calm the air. She begins politely and confidently.
6:44: Questions were thrown and her rhythm sought to be disrupted. The speaker did stammer for a few seconds, but she kept her poise and continued with her submissions.
6:48: The counsels submissions give an impression that the conditions of the bananas was a matter of sour grapes for her party.
6:52: Judge Saurabh made an observation that there lies "an implied duty" for the well-being of the cargo. To which it was replied by the learned counsel that clauses pertaining to the same are explicit and leave no room for interpretation.
The judges did not seem content with this argument.
A well balanced speech ends.
6:56: To her credit, she did not plead ignorance and managed to navigate her way to safety.
6:58: Speaker 2 feels confident about his case and uses the base created by the first speaker to build further.
7:00: The hot bench bombards him with technical terms, to which the counsel was totally unaware. He tried, tried again, and finally gave the tribunal what they were seeking for, he too "pleads ignorance".
Seems like the tribunal are here to make this session a memorable one not only for the participants but for themselves too.
Make the score 3 in 4 .
7:07: Judge Aishwarye is having none of the counsel when he said that the claim was not substantial enough to act upon. Judge Aishwarye replied "when a claim goes up what do you do? You sit idle with the ripe bananas or make an attempt to negotiate?"
7:09: The second speaker was caught off guard time and again. He couldn't complete his submissions.
7:10: The rounds so far look evenly balanced. The tribunal is really particular about the schedule and asked the courtroom assistant to tell the extra time taken by both the parties which was roughly a minute. After which the tribunal decided to take 30s away from the time allocated for rebuttals.
Time is of great essence indeed.
7:11: The decisive rebuttals and sur-rebuttals follow.
7:13: The claimants begin.
7:16: He begins in a hurry, points out a discrepancy in the memorandum submitted by the respondents. He hurries, to particular fact concealed by the respondents. He hurriedly then references a case law. 1.5 minutes full of substance but severely lacking any voice modulation or clarity to be understood. All one could hear was allegations.
7:20: The respondent adopted a totally contrary approach. She calmly went on with her submissions denied the allegations made in the rebuttals and concluded.
7:21: An evenly contested affair comes to an end.
22nd AUGUST 2020
Welcome to Day III of the 7th Bose & Mitra International Maritime Arbitration Moot, 2020.
We shall now be announcing the teams who have made it into the Quarter-Finals!
The teams, in no particular order, are:
School of Law, Christ (Deemed To Be University), Bangalore
Government Law College, Mumbai
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
Institute of Law, Nirma University
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
Symbiosis Law School, Noida
We heartily congratulate all the teams and wish them the best of luck for the upcoming Quarter-Finals. The stakes are about to go a notch higher so stay tuned!
We shall return with the live updates for the Quarter-Final Rounds shortly.
VCR-1: Institute of Law, Nirma University (C) v Symbiosis Law School, Pune (R)
3:17: After a nail biting preliminary rounds, it now time for the Quarter-Finalists to give their best to reserve their spots in the Semi-Finals.
The Virtual Courtroom is presided by Anubhab Sarkar, Deven Choudhary and Rishabh Saxena.
The Speaker 1 from Nirma University steps up and steps up confidently and begins presenting her issue.
3:20: It seems like the arbitrators were waiting for the Speaker to mention ‘Small Claims Procedure’. From the moment she mentioned , the arbitrators have been fixed on that.
When the speaker is not able to provide enough explanation for the same, she shifts the responsibility of explanation to her co-counsel. (Smart Move)
However, the arbitrators, being the smart men they are, ask the 2nd Speaker to step up and give the answer to the same. They clearly didn’t see this coming.
Sadly, he isn’t able to. The arbitrators smirk and move on!
3:27: Pressure builds up on the speaker as she now knows that she won’t be able to slide any statement in her speech without having a great backing for it! Arbitrator Deven Choudhary ensures the same by interrupting the speaker almost every 30 seconds.
3:35: Speaker- “I am so sorry, I misunderstood your argument.”
Arbitrator Anubhab Sarkar- “Counsel, you’re the one arguing, we’re only asking questions!”
3:40: The speaker is said to sum up her arguments within a minute. She does that beautifully and fluently. The arbitrators listen to her intently without any further questions. So far, so good!
3:42: Speaker 2 from Nirma has to fill the shoes of Speaker 1 now. He begins with providing a roadmap for his submissions and issues. Little does he know that he won’t be able to stick to that little roadmap drawn by him.
Arbitrator Rishabh Saxena interrupts the Speaker by questioning him on the correspondence and communication. He fumbles but tries hard to collect himself.
3:48: Speaker- “Sir, the opposing counsels haven’t raised this issue”
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “How can you be so sure that they won’t?”
A smirk and a moment of laughter follows.
3:54: Arbitrator Deven Choudhary questions the Speaker on the reason for applicability of the Hague Visby Rules on the facts of the case.
The speaker tries, but isn’t able to provide a reason for the same.
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “Do you want to plead ignorance?”
Speaker- “No Sir. I know the answer. But I don’t know the reason.“
Arbitrator Anubhab Sarkar- “(laughing)How??? I mean How can you know the answer but not the reason”
Looks like the speaker has no reason for this question, as well!
4:00: Eyes turn to the researcher as Arbitrator Deven Choudhary asks him if he knows the reason of applicability of Hague Visby Rules on the facts.
Sadly he doesn’t and the Court moves on to the next issue.
4:04: Looks like the Speaker is not a fan of pleading ignorance, even when it’s clear that he doesn’t know the answer.
Speaker- “I can’t...”
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “If you don’t know the answer, plead ignorance and move on”
Speaker- “I don’t know the answer...”
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “ No no, plead ignorance!”
Arbitrator Deven Chaudhary- “Plead Ignorance!”
Speaker- “(hesitantly) The Counsel pleads ignorance”
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “Fantastic! Move on!”
4:10: It’s now the time for the respondents, SLS Pune to defend themselves. The Speaker begins swiftly and is interrupted by Arbitrator Rishabh Saxena for a quick rapid fire on the facts of the case.
A question is asked to the Speaker related to Arbitration in which she requires an authority to back up. When she as well as her co-counsel is unable to do so, eyes turn to the researcher.
Researcher- “According to me, Arbitration is between two parties and it runs as and what they stipulate........”
Anubhab Sarkar- “We know that, Ma’am. Do you have an authority to back it up or not?”
Arbitrator Deven Choudhary- “Well she did start stating ‘According to her’ so maybe...haha!”
4:33: The Speaker confidently wraps up her arguments with the help of an extension of 2 minutes. The baton is passed to the second speaker who shall deal with the 3rd and 4th Issues.
4:41: The speaker claims that the presence of the owners during the survey is a customary practice.
Eyebrows raised, eyes popped. Seems like ‘customary practice’ is a wrong choice of words.
Arbitrator Anubhab Sarkar asks if the respondents have any case law to show that it is a customary practice. The Speaker denies the same and thus proves her claim wrong!
4:46: Did we just hear the word “perfect” at the end of an argument? Kudos Speaker 2!
4:56: Seems like the Speaker has fallen in the trap of the arbitrators and Arbitrator Deven Choudhary can’t control his laughter.
4:59- The speaker realising this confidently tries to reason her way, but we can’t comprehend whether she satisfied the arbitrators or not! Also, with this the time ends and it’s time for the rebuttals.
VCR-2: Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (C) v Symbiosis Law School, Noida (R)
3:10: The quarter final round at VCR 2 starts off in full swing with the C S1 initiating her oral submission. She charts out the factual matrix while guiding the judges across the pages of the case study.
3:14: Discussions ensue as to who the crew will listen to and who can instruct them. The judges guide the C S2 and make them review their submission. The deliberation ends in C S2 maintaining her original stance but admitting “There were some instances”.
3:18: Deliberations on the timeline of the factual matrix takes place. C S1 confidently and calmly works to satisfy the arbitrators.
3:20: Arbitrators break fundamental assumptions in the Claimant’s case. The questions of “Who’s servants?” cloud the courtroom. The C S1 takes a minute to process and moves to the second part of the submission.
3:26: The claimant submits the reason they are pushing for application of certain Rules. Under time constraints, they quickly try to address the third submission.
3:27: “It is their responsibility, they had to provide everything.” “It was because of their incompetence that the goods were damaged.” The C S1 throws in her final additions in the submission.
3:30: Extending on the foundation laid by C S1, C S2 proceeds his submission with addressing how the servants were under the instructions of the charterers. The arbitrators ask the C S2 for pinpointed facts in the problem.
3:35: After a smooth sailing submission thus far, C S2 points the Arbitrators to different parts of the compendium and refers to certain “reasonable assumptions”. Arbitrators seek clarifications.
3:37: The Arbitrators questions about a certain material fact. C S2 mentions boldly “That is a disputed fact, if the Arbitrators could keep that aside for a minute...”
3:45: C S2 is questioned about the receipt of Reports by them. Their response leaves the Arbitrators nodding.
3:48: The tribunal asks the C S2 if it can take cognizance of the notice. The counsel tries to satisfy the Bench with a fact. The Arbitrator seeks the legal point instead.
3:53: R S1 initiates her submission where she will cover the first legal issue in the dispute. She mentions “Our responsibility is defined but also limited”.
3:56: R S1 explains the working of the monitoring system and mentions that the failure of Claimant to explain it is the very basis of the dispute.
3:58: Arbitrator Prabhita Dutta shoots three questions directly at the R S1 that they had previously asked the Claimant.
4:03: R S1 fiercely puts it out there “Due to the power trip, your container couldn’t take the power.” After shifting the blame, she asks the Arbitrators “If this malfunction is clear, I would seek permission to move to the next malfunction.”
4:06: R S1 breaks the court into a technical analysis of the containers. They blamed the C for lack of coordination with technical logs.
4:09: “We have fulfilled all obligations casted upon us by the charterers.” R S1 declares without inviting any questions.
4:14: The R S1 concludes her submissions two minutes before the reserved time. The Bench comes up with residual questions. The case sounds convincing.
4:19: “If the tribunal is with me?” echoes across the courtroom throughout the submission of the Respondent. They hold the attention of the Bench tightly.
4:24: R S2 refers to an Indian judgement. “How does it bind us?”, asks Arbitrator Amanpreet Gosal. “I didn’t mean to bind the tribunal, I’ll not refer to it in that case.”, the R S2 chuckles in response.
4:28: “The tribunal will agree that this is a fairly elaborate Report”, the R S2 states, breaking down into different parts of the Report that they’re paying heavy reliance on.
4:32: “It was my client, only my client, my client...” R S2 very proudly defends the Respondent case.
4:38: Lonely Boy- “I’m not saying you invite me, you have no obligation” R S2 answers to a question posted by Arbitrator Anuj Dhowan. But goes on to contend it on other grounds.
4:42: Tug of War- “Is the tribunal with me?” echoes in the speech of the Claimant too. The courtroom has turned into a tussle for the Arbitrators’ attention.
4:46: Whataboutery- Claimant rebuts the case of Respondent by contending that the goods were safe in all other containers. It was the refrigeration’s fault.
4:47: 20 seconds of the sur-rebuttals are reserved by a discussion on whether the plug was correct or not and how the plugging and unplugging was problematic instead.
4:49: “It has been completely misinterpreted” the Respondent sur-rebuts. They cover technical grounds to say wrong inferences have been drawn.
VCR-3: School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore (C) v Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (R)
3:21: Christ (C)
Rounds start. Some technical setbacks, but Speaker 1 after all of that is able to start her speech with complete calmth. She explains to the Arbitrators the facts. Today we have on the Tribunal Arbitrators Mr. Prateek Sibbal, Ms. Aditi Maheshwari and Ms. Tripti Sharma.
3:23: The bench listens on keenly. They also seem to be going through their documents as the Speaker 1 goes on. Other parties keenly listen.
3:25: She lays down her case laws and guides our Arbitrators skillfully to the clauses of the contracts and the case study in order to explain the Respondents liability and the fault in the damage caused to the goods.
3:27: Arbitrator Tripti Sharma asks a factual question to the Speaker. She takes a pause and the answers in a straightforward manner. She sights the dates of correspondence and seeks permission to move on. Madam Arbitrator looks satisfied and allows.
3:30: Arb Aditi interrupts the speaker asking about citing cases from a different jurisdiction. A direct and confident answer from the Council let's her move onto her submissions.
3:24: Speaker 1 goes on comparing each and every important clauses of the Charter party to put the blame on the Respondents.
Madam Arbitrator Tripti catches her and questions her on the Master Servant relationship between the parties.
The Speaker seems to have seen the question coming and with brilliant confidence goes on to directing the Bench towards answer. Madam Arbitrator is nodding her head slightly.
3:37: Speaker 1 moves on to her next argument which makes her argue about clauses leading to Respondents look utterly guilty.
Respondents are seen skimming around their documents cross checking our Speaker 1's arguments
3:40: Arbitrator Prateek Sibbal asks the Speaker about their Containers. Speaker again seems to have seen this coming and she is very nicely answering referring to the survey.
Her speech is stopped as Arb Aditi goes on to attributing fault onto the Containers but our Speaker 1 is ready.
3:40: Everytime we seem to assume that the Speaker may be able to get out of this conversation, the Arbitrators get her back to it. The Speaker is calm and asks for a 5 minutes extension which is granted. She guides the Arbitrators to the case study and the Survey Reports and shows evidence attributing blame onto the Respondents.
3:42: She is now wrapped around in her own argument by the Arbitrators. Speaker 1's co-counsels look on. Our Arbitrators are in sync with each other and are questioning her on the containers and their power supply.
The Speaker speaks of a complex electrical engineering in the Ship and is allowed to move on to her next argument. We cannot be sure if the judges are satisfied but the Speaker is very smoothly able to go about presenting her remaining arguments.
3:47: 1 minute more extension grounded for the Speaker to wrap up her Seaworthiness arguments. The judges seem to be keenly paying attention to the Speaker.
The Speaker confuses the Tribunal with a Court but she comes back to present and gracefully wraps up her arguments
3:48: Speaker 2 - She checks her audibility and moves in confidence to explain her issues.
3:52: Our Speaker 2 receives no questions from the Tribunal 5 minutes into her arguments. She is very clearly and nicely going about sighting cases and is slow enough for letting our Arbitrators go through their documents
3:54: As we blog our aforementioned statements, Madam Arbitrator Tripti asks her a question on Charter party which Speaker 2 answers in a very composed manner.
The Researcher seems to have full trust in our Speakers and is seen calmly observing the arguments. The team argues smoothly. Respondents look on.
3:58: Only one question by the Tribunal, our Speaker moves onto her next issue calling for invoking the Arbitration clause and issues dealing with claims and determination of liability.
4:02: Madam Arbitrator Tripti questions Speaker 2 on consultation clause in the charterparty. Here our Researcher is sitting upright and is assisting our Speaker with the arguments. Speaker 1 looks on.
Speaker 2 confidently tackles this and Madam Arbitrator lets her go forward to discussing Survey Reports
4:04: She sets forth the documents they put their reliance on and the Tribunal looks on.
In her concluding remarks, Speaker 1 holds the Respondents completely liable. She relies on a Convention whose applicability is questioned by Madam Arbitrator Aditi Maheshwari.
Our Researcher is again quick on his feet assisting the Speaker 2 and Speaker 2 is a little hesitant but is trying to keep her calm while answering. Respondents seem to have sat back comfortably, overlooking what is being unfolded.
4:07: Madam Arbitrator has caught her on the applicability of the Convention and the Speaker 2 is trying to get out from the situation with as much confidence and prudence that she can. Madam Arbitrator seems to have caught her in a limbo. Speaker 2 pauses. The Researcher and Speaker 1 is up on his feet reaching towards his laptop assisting the Speaker 2.
4:09: 2 minutes extension granted and Speaker 2 concludes her prayers but is caught again in a cross fire by Madam Arb. But now, our Speaker 2 seems to be back in control. She explains her arguments as the Tribunal listens.
The moment we feel that she might be able to move on, a twist in the rounds happen Mr. Arbitrator Prateek Sibbal comes in to question her as well.
Speaker 2 is gracefully trying to get out of the limbo. 2 minutes more granted. Speaker 2 goes to conclude her prayer first. Granted.
4:12: it seems to now be a conversation between the Arbitrators. Speaker 2 is still caught up in the middle. Our Arbitrators have been waiting for this moment and they seem to have caught her. Speaker 1 and Researcher look on. Speaker 2 is now stuck in a labyrinth of questions. She tried to go around it however, nothing seems to work for her to get out of it.
4:16: Heavy Grilling is sti going on. Finally Speaker 2 gets to go back to her prayer. Maybe 3rd time would be a charm and she can finish it!
She goes back as confidently as she has started and calmly finishes her statement
4:18: RGNUL (R) Speaker 1- Checking his audio, he begins with laying down his issues.
4:20: Our Madam Arbitrator Tripti is clearly charged up with the previous grilling and two minutes in she goes on to throwing questions at the Speaker 1. He however, goes into giving simple and calm answers. He sounds a little nervous but his composure is pretty calm.
4:22: Madam Arbitrator Aditi also joins in the feast. Researcher is running in assisting the Speaker 1 with the questions.
4:24: speaker 2 finally escapes the gunfire and moves onto his further submissions limiting his liability in settlement of the claim.
4:29: with less than 10 minutes remaining, the questions have decreased and the Speaker 1 very nicely seeks permission to move onto the next contention. Granted.
Speaker 1:" Thank you thank you"
4:30: Malreef and Container reports are now being discussed upon. Speaker 1 very accurately recalls all the container numbers! Good memory.
He moves on to citing case laws and guides the Arbitrators to various clauses of the Charterparty trying to establish a Master Servant relationship and pinning the blame back on the Claimants.
4:32: Arbitrator Tripti has caught him on the same.
4:35: with one minute left, the Arbitrators have caught our Speaker 1 in a limbo. Researcher and Speaker 2 both are up and at assisting him. Speaker fumbles but tries to keep together and goes on to answer the questions.
4:38: The Arbitrators will have none of it. Time does not seem to be the concern of this Tribunal. Granting 5 minutes extension both the Speaker and the Arbitrators go onto looking into various clauses and discussions in the charterparty.
4:39: Speaker 1: The worthy opposing Counsel was very smart to state the rider clause shall not apply, but it shall apply.
Opposing Counsel subtly receives the compliment and goes onto shifting through her notes.
4:41: Madam Arbitrator Tripti questions Council on a certain clause of the Charterparty considering all the liability lies on the opposite party
4:42: Speaker 2 takes over.
Our Speaker 2 is as confident as ever. He calmly sits and has a very soft voice. He point by point lays down the arguments for the convenience of the Tribunal.
4:44: He goes on to discuss agreements dealing with the reefer and Container maintenance and its logs. Arbitrators keenly listen on. Researcher sits ready to charge in at the time of need
4:48: Bring in the Master Servant relationship, Counsel talks about customary industry practices and moves on with his submissions.
4:49: Mr. Arbitrator Prateek asks him about the extent of Master Servant relationship among the parties. How flamboyantly does our Counsel respond! Our Mr. Arbitrator seems satisfied.
4:53: Due diligence is a two way street and Claimants did not follow theirs and hence are to be liable as well.
5:00: Rounds seem to get extended. Our Arbitrators are ready with questions on the issue of the survey reports. Speaker 1 and Researcher are racing towards assisting our Counsel. He does not seem to be deterred at all and is keeping a good poker face.
5:01: Arbitrator Aditi questions the Counsel on factual matters. Madam Arbitrator Tripti seems to get Aditi's hint and joins in. Mr Arb Prateek looks on. Seems like he won't be quiet for long either.
The grilling keeps going.
Claimants too seem to be conversing among each other.
5:02: Two minutes left and Arbitrator Aditi questions Counsel on the applicability of certain rules. Counsel after all that grilling needs hydration. With a few seconds pause, he moves on.
5:03: discussing the applicability of certain rules, Arbitrator Aditi allows extension of time and asks the Counsel to clarify. Speaker 2 seems to be losing his poker face now. He tries his level best to keep himself together.
Claimants calmly sit and observe.
5:08: Counsel 2 seems to be apologising for the past few minutes. Finally he is given a chance to move forward. Let's see for how long.
5:10: Counsel makes excellent observation regarding the cargo before it was boarded. Arbitrator Aditi seems to agree, but Arbitrator Tripti goes on to going back to blaming the Respondents.
5:12: 1 minute extension granted. But it will not be enough. Our Counsel 2 maybe can now understand the plight of our Claimant's Counsel 2. Counsel spends the last ten seconds apologising and seeking extension for wrapping up his arguments.
5:14: Finally Counsel arrives to his final contention! His confidence and calm demeanor is back and he goes on to calmly explain his arguments
5:16: Arbitrator Tripti asks the Council if he wants to raise another issue with regard to the losses. Respondents clarify and we move on
5:20: Speaker 1 of Claimants has accused the Respondents of misleading the Tribunal. Respondents won't have any of it and are polishing their weaponry.
Respondents did not communicate any issues during the voyage and claim the crew and the vessel to be not seaworthy. The crew is being questioned here.
5:23: Our Claimants do not seem to catch a break!
We never thought she would be caught in crossfire again even during the rebuttals.
We sit and quietly observe. We wonder how the Sur Rebuttals will go.
5:26: Extension on extension, extension on extension.
5:28: This is a very interesting Bench so far. Questions after questions. No argument, no word is a safe space. This will be a close call. The participants are seen to be engaged in dancing on their chairs moving back and forth trying to communicate with their teammates. Meanwhile, Speaker 1 hopes to sail to shore despite being in a boat so turbulent.
5:31: Sur Rebuttals. Speaker 2 of Respondents take the risk of going into the Bermuda Triangle as well. He calmly and carefully uses his words watching out on sharks ready to pounce. We look out for our fellow Counsel, the Sharks ready to pounce. He sails on discussing the Cargo and inspection of goods. We expect a question coming.
5:34: Respondents sail well.
5:35: Rounds over. Judges’ Caucus begins.
VCR-4: Government Law College, Mumbai (C) v NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (R)
3:12: And so it begins!
Quarter final 4 starts with NALSAR and GLC Mumbai going head to head for a prestigious semi-final berth.
3:15: Arbitrator Miranda stopped the claimants less than a minute into their submissions and said that if there is a jurisdiction issue the respondents must go first and argue the same.
The fellow arbitrators agreed.
3:16: It's been decided that the time that the speaker from the respondent side takes for arguing the jurisdiction issue will be subtracted from her total time.
3:17: Right off the bat one side's flow is broken and the other side is called into action before than expected.
3:22: Arbitrator Sughosh, counsel "don't you think that the present forum operates with a fair mechanism for dispute resolution, if yes then don't argue that there is a prejudice"
3:23: The respondents finish their jurisdiction issues which is pretty much left in an ambiguous position.
3:24: The claimant now, takes the floor and argues that how this tribunal has jurisdiction.
3:27: Speaker 1 from the claimants side answers the first few questions and within a couple of minutes moves to her subsequent submissions.
3:28: Arbitrator Sughosh asks, "which case is this" speaker 1 from the claimants side, "it is a maritime case Mr. Arbitrator".
3:29: Arbitrator Sughosh "obliged counsel, thank you for letting me know it is a maritime case".
3:30: Every aspect of the case law cited was then questioned, the facts, the ratio, the type of goods, the duty imposed. Counsel answers a few and apologises for her lack of knowledge on the other aspects.
Safe to say that letting the tribunal know that the case cited was of "maritime law" was not a smart choice.
3:37: A certain survey report relied upon is scrutinized by Arbitrator Miranda and the counsel was questioned on the same.
Counsel smartly dodges the questions and proceeds. Only to be stopped by Arbitrator Damayanti, asking her about her "specific duties", she again manoeuvres her way around and looks to proceed. However, the questions don't seem to stop. Arbitrator Miranda throws a fresh set of questions.
3:39: The counsel relies on the first and foremost document, the fact sheet, and is managing well with the onslaught of queries by the tribunal.
3:44: The tribunal asked for the pin cite of a fact iterated by the counsel in her submission. The counsel fails to help the tribunal to the exact page where the same is mentioned. Researcher for the claimants was asked for help, however he too, couldn't help the tribunal with the same.
More than a minute is wasted in this search, time definitely not well spent.
3:46: Resulting in the counsel short on time even to begin her second contention.
3:47: The tribunal obliges her by granting a minute's time to wrap up the submissions.
3:51: She finishes confidently, only to be stopped again by the arbitrators to guide her to the page where one of the facts submitted by her is mentioned. She flips the pages of her material, points out the page(s), which unfortunately was not what the tribunal was seeking.
3:52: Speaker 2 from the claimants side starts.
3:55: He starts off strong, is fluent and precise with his submissions, so far the arbitrators seem content.
3:58: Speaker 2 appears to have covered significant ground and looks set to even cover for the shortcomings of his co-counsel.
4:00: He's not allowed to sail through his submissions without any hindrances, a set of questions is thrown at him and the confident counsel looks unsettled.
4:02: Arbitrator Miranda and Arbitrator Damayanti have clearly taken away the wind out of his sails.
4:06: He looks to play smart and answers a query by stating that the fact sheet is silent about a particular aspect. Only to be taken aback by the tribunal with a reference to a particular page in the fact sheet stating the same.
4:07: This didn't go down well with the tribunal. However, he keeps his calm, and brings the tribunals attention to other allied matters.
4:09: No bluffing is working today, the tribunal has gone through the entire fact sheet line by line.
4:13: Speaker 2 should be commended for his keeping his cool. His time is up.
4:14: Respondents speaker 1 takes the floor for the second time after previously arguing the jurisdiction issue.
4:16: The jurisdiction issue was not contested particularly well. However, the counsel looks calm and composed and she has answered the initial queries of the tribunals satisfactorily.
4:20: The so far fantastic speech continues, references are made to facts, then cross-reference is made to the arbitral clauses to be read together, and subsequently a case law backing the submission is provided.
4:26: A "bonafide intention" is argued and Arbitrator Miranda was quick to reiterate his questions totally ignoring the intent.
4:27: The fantastic speaker 1, seeked an extension for a minute to answer the question, and did so in a very concise and polite manner. The tribunal seemed content.
4:28: Speaker 2 takes over the reigns.
4:33: The counsel states that in case of maritime law, it is a general practice that a particular clause "takes precedence over" the other type of clauses.
Arbitrator Damayanti stopped the counsel then and there and asked for "any authority which observed this general practice".
4:34: The counsel stammers, takes his time and innovatively comes up with a American case law which had some bearance with his "general practice" argument.
4:37: However, Arbitrator Damayanti, said there is a "landmark case law w.r.t the same and the seat of this tribunal is in U.K so she's not bound by an American precedent".
4:43: Counsel heavily relies on a particular legal document. Arguments seemed well connected and clear. An unfortunate event that followed was when asked by the tribunal to read a particular clause of that legal document. The counsel apologised for his inability to do so as he doesn't have a copy of the same.
4:46: The tribunal straightaway asked to move to his next submission, since he doesn't have a copy of the document based on which he's substantiating his arguments.
4:50: However, the tribunal was considerate enough and duly noted the crisp and logically flowing arguments of the respondent and didn't take into account that the relevant material was not with him.
4:53: The respondent speaker 2 finishes off confidently and the arbitrators seemed content with his arguments.
4:54 Rebuttals begin.
4:55: The claimants realising that they have cover a few yards to finish the round at a balance started off swiftly and precisely. 4 points were rebutted by the claimant speaker in her speech. 4 points which the arbitrators took note of.
4:58: Utilising the full potential of the final few minutes the last gasp efforts seems good enough to balance out the odds.
5:02: The Respondents sense the efforts made by the claimants and start off with a sense of urgency of their own and within 2 minutes time finish their arguments
THE TEAMS WHO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE SEMI-FINAL ROUNDS, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, ARE:
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
Symbiosis Law School, Noida
School of Law, Christ (Deemed To Be University), Bangalore
We extend our hearty congratulations to all the teams. As we build up to the Semi-Final and Final Rounds to be held tomorrow, an enthralling battle is in store as teams will compete for a place in the final round.
23nd August 2020
VCR-1: School of Law, Christ (Deemed To Be University), Bangalore (C) v Symbiosis Law School, Pune (R)
We have made strides and have now reached one step closer to the Finals, i.e. Round 1 battle of Semi-finals begins.
We can see that all the participants are calm by faces yet nervousness can be sensed in the room.
9:15: The Arbitrators after contemplating decided to opt for traditional method, i.e. Claimants go first.
The speaker 1 of claimants started by explaining the facts of the case in a calm and steady manner.
9:19: Speaker 1 has explained the facts to the bench in the best manner possible and proceeded with her submissions regarding mishandling of the reefer and how due diligence is not adopted by the Respondents. We can see the Researcher of Respondent taking notes for the submissions made by Speaker 1. The arbitrators continue to listen to Speaker 1 for now. The arbitrators are also keeping a keen eye on the documents submitted by the parties.
9:22: Speaker 1 continues without any interruptions from the Arbitrators. She submits her contentions by navigating the Arbitrators through compendium and case study and seems to satisfy the bench for now by her first-fold argument.
9:23: The Arbitrator interrupts the flow of Speaker 1 as he 'lost the track of clauses' cited by the Speaker 1 and thus clarified to confirm. The speaker 1 clarifies the query by arbitrator well and proceeds with her second-fold argument for first submission.
9:25: Speaker 1 continues with her second fold argument and points out the temperature sensitive nature of bananas. The arbitrators seem satisfied for now. The researcher of claimants seems confident about her team-mate and has taken a back seat for now.
9:28: The one of the arbitrators does not seem satisfied with contentions of Speaker 1 and therefore interrupts her to verify the contention she is making.
He especially pointed out that as per the charterparty her contention does not stand.
The researcher of claimants is on feet but by mistake he sends a private message supposed for Speaker 1 to everyone.
Speaker 1 continues to answer the Arbitrator with a calm posture yet it is evident that she is fumbling. She answers the arbitrator regarding the seaworthiness argument.
9:30: The arbitrator again puts a question to Speaker 1 and directs her to another clause as he wasn't satisfied by the previous answer by the speaker. The bench seems kind and helped the speaker identify the clause for which the arbitrator seeks an answer for.
Speaker 1 is poised before answering. Must say, she handled the question well. And continues with her third submission.
9:32: Speaker 1 is interrupted again in the flow. It seems the arbitrators have attacked her with bullets of questions. The speaker seems impatient as the questions have eaten her time and she might not be able to finish her third argument within time. Yet she takes the questions well and is about to answer calmly. The researcher of claimants is on his feet to leave no leaf unfolded to help his speaker.
9:33: Speaker 1 tries to answer the Arbitrator however she couldn't as arbitrators ask her not to deal with the sea-worthiness argument for now.
For the second time speaker 1 tries to submit her third submission. But arbitrators do not seem interested in listening to the submission and interrupt her again.
No doubt the questions took a lot of the time of speech and a 3 minute extension is granted to her. She concludes third submission briefly where she points out lack of due diligence and failure on part of respondents to maintain logs. Also speaker is prudent to point out the claim by respondents in memorials and negates it by her submissions and pass the buck for breach of duty to respondents.
9:38: The researcher and speaker 1 of respondents are seen worried and taking notes for submissions made by speaker 1. The bench seems to have many queries and the arbitrator is not satisfied by submissions and uses facts to hold responsibility on part of claimants.
9:40: The second extension is denied and now the mic is shifted to speaker 2 of claimants. She is known for her coolness and calm nature. She carries and answers the preliminary questions put to her speaker 1. The arbitrator asks her not to deal in argument of sea-worthiness as it will save her time and ask her to accept the argument as it is, i.e. problem being at their end by saying 'avoiding the argument can be of more meat' to her.
9:42: Seems like speaker 2 failed to take the hint and continues with submission by pointing out the complex system of containers' power supply. Speaker 2 correctly points out that sea-worthiness is the same as cargo-worthiness.
9:44: The arbitrators are well versed with the clauses and they question Speaker 2 on the same. Speaker 2 answers the question with grace and is able to satisfy the bench. She continues with her further arguments of implied duty on part of the respondents. Also she is well-prepared with facts and has the skill to play with the facts in her favour.
9:47: The arbitrators seem to be fully charged with their morning tea and pounce with questions one after another to the speaker.
The question has put the respondents also to think. They can be seen flipping the pages to check the argument usage maybe in their favour.
9:50: Speaker 2 has maintained her calm throughout and taken all questions of the bench with zeal. Yet one of the questions by the arbitrator made her fumble.
The researcher of respondents might have sensed a mistake on part of Speaker 2 as ' smile says it all'.
She immediately informs her speakers of the same.
9:58: Speaker 2 is seen to emphasize on delivering prayer yet the bench is uninterested in the same and Arbitrators use the time well to put as many questions as possible. The Arbitrators question on the Time-barred aspect of the issue. The speaker denies the same.
10:00: The Arbitrators are in full mode of questioning and have put a difficult question to Speaker 2 based on the clause of Bill-Lading. She is granted time to find the answer for the same. She might be able to come back and answer with flying colours in her rebuttals.
10:01: Now finally after much anticipation, the Speaker 1 of respondents start with her speech. She is calm and slow. She tried to navigate the bench through her compendium.
10:04: The arbitrators fail to spot the navigated spot. Eventually it is realised that there was a mistake on part of the speaker in directing the panel. Finally we all are on the same page with the clause which the speaker 1 was pointing out.
10:13: The speaker 1 continues her submissions slowly now. She goes on uninterrupted till now. The arbitrator points out that her argument is weak and she can go ahead leaving this argument. Yet the speaker seems determined in making the bench understand her take and thus continues with her submission.
We can see that the last question put to speaker 2 of claimants has left her without an answer, thus the entire claimants' team is on their feet to find the answer for the same. The Researcher is the only hope for Speaker 2 now.
10:17: The arbitrators are aware of the memories of the party and are kind enough to ask Speaker 1 to avoid a part of the first argument as it will not help her case and ask her to proceed to the second issue.
10:18: Speaker 2 is clever and takes the suggestion of the arbitrators.
10:20: The arbitrator again interrupts the flow of the speaker and says 'It is a bit of a stretch to say so, it is a matter of email, not a big deal.'
10:24: The speaker 1 tries to answer the bench composedly. She is able to finish her arguments within time, which is surprising considering the time wasted in beginning for wrong navigation and the questions put to her.
10:25: Speaker 2 of respondents starts. She is calm and confident.
10:30: Seems like she is making good arguments, our hot bench is silent.
Well not for long, the arbitrators were mostly waiting for her to settle down and present her arguments. It is now a heated room.
The arbitrators are looking for straight answers - 'Yes or No' and not beating around the bush.
10:36: A certain hesitation can be sensed in the voice of Speaker 2 by the questions put to her yet she continues with her arguments.
The questioning from arbitrators continues. Speaker 2 is prepared and has anticipated the questions. Her answers are convincing for the bench. Thus, she continues with her arguments.
10:42: The arbitrators again questions Speaker 2 , breaking her flow. The arbitrator seeks to know the clause relied upon by respondents. Speaker 2 fumbles yet answers.
She again didn't answer straight and arbitrators asked her to answer straight. The arbitrator asked for granting a 2 minutes extension. We sense more questions coming her way!!
Also we can see speaker 2 mentally preparing herself for questions. It can be seen that speaker 1 of respondents has put her faith in the researcher, who is on her feet to help Speaker 2 in her best capacity.
10:45: Speaker 1 and Speaker 2 of claimants can be seen to prepare for the rebuttal. Seems it was a tough battle and respondents gave good competition to claimants.
10:46: The rebuttals started. Speaker 2 of claimants is ready to put all on a plate to negate the allegations made by respondents. She presents her points by legal arguments and arbitrators seemed satisfied yet had a few questions which the speaker 2 handled well.
The arbitrator provided her 1 minute extension to get his answer which was put based on Bill of lading clause put to her prior. The speaker answers well, but the arbitrators are not really satisfied.
10:53: The arbitrators are reducing the heat in the room and put a jovial question to both the parties 'When is our fee to be paid?' - Claimants' speaker 2 is witty to say that the blame is on part of respondents and thus they shall be liable for the same.
10:53: Speaker 1 of respondents starts slowly and gradually picks up the pace. She is confident and tries to aid the bench how the points put by claimants are not true. The bench is in full-swing. Seems like extension of time is provided only so that arbitrators can pose questions to the speakers. The speaker 1 was able to answer all the questions put to her with confidence.
11:00: The Round 1 for the Semi-Final has ended. The judges are in caucus. Both the teams can be seen nervous yet it was a commendable round on part of both the teams.
VCR-2: NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (C) v Symbiosis Law School, Noida (R)
12:36: We have just started and there is a twist in how things are going to work in this court. The Respondents shall be presenting their arguments first.
12:38: Today we have Arbitrators Ramya Dharmaraj, Siddharth Ranka and Prathamesh Kamat on the Tribunal.
12:38: Despite there being a full reversal in the ideal working of the rounds, the Speaker 2 of the Respondents begins.
12:40: Speaker 2 is very confidently and slowly explaining his issues to the Tribunal. He jumps into explaining the issues of the Claims of the Claimants.
12:42: Speaker 2 directs the tribunal towards primary consultation and reads and explains the Clauses of the Charterparty and the case study.
The oratory skill of Speaker 2 is spot on. He is very confidently moving on when he is interrupted by Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka.
The arbitrator questions him on the relevancy of certain clauses to the issues of claims.
12:44: Speaker 2 takes a pause and begins explaining. His team mates look on having a perfect poker face.
Claimants are seen running around in their seats skimming through their notes getting ready for their turn to fire.
12:46: The reversal of rounds has made us confused and it seems to be more of a challenge for the bloggers, rather than the teams to maneuver around.
Teams seem to be in their best calm demeanor.
12:48: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka interrupts Speaker 2 again on the relevancy of a Charterparty clause towards bringing forth the claim.
Speaker 2: "It is not just prior consultation, it is about a fair consultation that has not happened to me in the process".
12:49: Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat catches a contradiction argued by our Speaker 2 with regard to the Survey Reports and asks a straightforward question regarding Speaker 2 disputing the same or not.
12:52: 10 minutes remaining for our Speaker 2. He is simply asking for the Claimants to have consulted them. There seems to be utmost sadness and disappointment from the respondents towards the same.
12:53: What is happening in this courtroom?!
The Tribunal has now called upon Claimants to reply to the arguments of the Respondents.
Speaker 2 of the Claimants comes on.
12:55: Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat is in his element. He asks Claimants regarding the validity and correctness of the survey reports. He is now swinging towards protecting the interests of the opposite party.
Our Claimant is very much ready to counter back and gives a sensible and calm reply leading to the Arbitrator being satisfied. "Point Taken". Speaker 2 is asked to move on.
12:57: We like the demeanor of the Courtroom. It seems to be hot and filled with suspense. What will our Tribunal ask next? Who will be asked to Speak? Who will end up being grilled incessantly by the Tribunal?
Our Humble reporter is happy to observe the conversations going on.
12:58: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka is back and is questioning our Speaker 2 regarding their first correspondence.
"It seems like prejudice. Is the Tribunal obliged to look into a document marked with prejudice? We don't feel it should be evidence. Kindly explain it to us. Why should we consider it on the record?"
It is not a moot court anymore. Our Humble reporter is on the edge of their chair and reporting as fast as a bullet train.
1:01: We seem to have come back to the ideal format of our moot court. Our Speaker 1 of the Claimants comes forth and very politely and softly goes onto discuss the jurisdiction of the tribunal claiming the Charterparty to be negotiated and stating that the Respondents have conceded to the same.
1:04: Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat asks our Speaker 1 to move forward as there is no need for discussing jurisdiction. We now observe her discussing the merits of the claim and the technicalities of the Cargo.
1:05: Madam Arbitrator Ramya Dharmaraj, though a silent observer, is very keenly seen to be looking into her documents and assessing and analysing the same.
Respondents are seen to be having a conversation among themselves. The Claimants have laid their trust onto our humble Speaker 1 while they quietly observe.
1:06: Our speaker is now providing point by point observation of the temperature in the reefer through the survey and Malreef report leading to accusing the respondents of negligence in monitoring the same and providing them a notice.
1:07: Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat asks a question, which our humble reporter has been hearing since Day 1. He questions our Speaker 1 as to whose container was it? Speaker 1 too seems to have seen it coming and is directing Arb Prathamesh to the same. Other members of the Tribunal follow.
1:09: Respected Arbitrator Prathamesh accepts her contention but asks about clarification on monitoring of the containers of the ship.
Speaker 1 replies very calmly.
1:10: This round has been unique in its own way so far. We have forgotten the ideal schedule of the Court. We also observe the parties focusing more on the facts rather than case laws to prove their point.
1:11: Speaker 1 goes on to take up the Respondents on their failure of continued power supply.
1:14: The discussion on power supply and condition of the goods is going on when Arbitrator Kamat interrupts her on a factual clarification regarding the maintenance of the reefer Containers.
1:16: We finally observe a case law being cited. Our humble Speaker 1 explains their entire argument and Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka asks her about an ultimatum regarding the management of the vessel. "Are you saying there is a failure in the management of the vessel?"
For a nano second Speaker 1 seems to be taken aback but the way she goes on to answer the question leaves our humble reporter impressed. Good going Speaker 1!
1:20: Another argument which has been brought up since Day 1 comes up for discussion. Speaker 1 speaks of unseaworthiness and Hague Rules. She now goes on to explain the applicability of the same to Arb Siddharth Ranka.
2 minutes left, the Arbitrator is again trying to understand the mention of Hague Rules. He seems to have understood and Speaker 1 moves on.
1:23: 1 minute extension granted to further argue the issue.
1:24: Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat again asks about the argument of unseaworthiness. Speaker 1 discusses the technical aspects of the container and the ship's role in the same. Our humble reporter is learning a lot about the vessel and the reefer.
Further extension granted, Arb Ranka again brings the issue up. Speaker 1 keeps on explaining with confidence.
1:27: Arbitrators are satisfied and ask them to move on.
Speaker 2 is back. He deals with the issue of respondents not advising the Claimants on reefer malfunction.
1:30: Our Tribunal is keenly listening and looking into case laws and areas directed.
Madam Arbitrator Ramya asks Speaker 2 to explain to her the Malreef reports.
1:33: Arbitrator Prathamesh questions him regarding his claim being in tort or contract with regard to the master servant relationship raised by our speaker.
He very calmly explains his arguments.
1:37: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka questions our Speaker 2 on refrigeration on the containers which makes Speaker 2 take a pause but he is back now.
1:40: Speaker 2 concludes his submissions.
Respondents take over.
Speaker 1 comes and explains the facts of the case in a nutshell.
1:42: She goes on to discuss the plugging and unplugging of reefer Containers. Arbitrator Prathamesh asks her a question that she requests to answer in the forthcoming arguments. The arbitrator has noted the same and will be anticipating the answer ahead.
1:45: Speaker 1 post arguing her issues remembers the previous question asked and goes onto guiding the tribunal towards the same.
1:48: She seems to be engaged in a conversation and Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka has caught her at one of her statements and we see her fumbling. Mr. Ranka chuckles and asks her to move on and to deal with it later.
Speaker 1 composes herself fast and is guiding the Tribunal towards reports in the case study.
1:51: A side note by our humble reporter: Both the parties know their arguments and are ready to put forth their issues with utmost authority and observance.
We find ourselves to be filled with interest and are enjoying it fully.
Speaker 1 sounds very aware of her reports and her facts. She is responding in full confidence and it seems to be more of a conversation between the Tribunal and her rather than questioning and answering. The situation seems to have become very comfortable and easy.
1:53: We observe The Tribunal and Speaker 1 discuss the monitoring and plugging unplugging of the Cargo. The tribunal asks our Speaker to narrow down her issues to one aspect of the Charterparty. She does so and moves on.
1:54: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka: "Are you saying there is no duty of care?"
Speaker 1: We require you to properly care for the cargo in accordance with a sound system in place.
1:55: Arbitrator looks on and Mr. Kamat follows up from there and questions on Respondents checking the temperatures once daily.
And asks regarding two clauses to be read together.
1:56: Speaker 1 asks to answer the same in multiple layers and goes on.
Going via the Charterparty she pins the blame on the Claimants. The opposite party is seen to be active and very calmly have a conversation against the same. Other members of the Respondents look on.
1:58: she is now being grilled on the monitoring issue. She fumbles a little. Arbitrator Prathamesh Kamat will not leave her. We observe our co-respondents trying to assist her.
Mr. Kamat is seen smiling on Speaker 1's arguments. Madam Arbitrator Ramya also seems to be amused.
2:01: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka ends up trying to clarify and answer the doubts. Humble reporter is observing and is loving the beautiful conversations taking place.
2:03: Tribunal seems to be satisfied and requests her to move on.
Speaker 1 insists on extension and the tribunal jokes, "We might hold it against you, if you keep asking".
We then move on.
2:04: Speaker 2 of the Respondents is back.
2:06: Despite having been asked to speak before, Speaker 2 once again shall present with his arguments.
2:07: Our Speaker is referencing and cross referencing too much. He is humble enough to apologise for the same. The tribunal certainly does not seem to mind. We move on.
2:09: “There is a process. Temperature list to event logs to client. The moment we see something happen, we undertake repair and inform the Claimants. We do so in good faith though there is no express requirement.”
2:10: Arb Siddharth Ranka asks him about power malfunction.
Speaker seems to have hit the ball out of the park and how pleasantly does he blame the Claimants. But wait. Maybe Arbitrator Sir caught his hit. We see more clarifications on the issue going on.
2:13: Madam Arbitrator Ramya: Are you saying there is not a reasonable expectation from a crew as trained as yours with the containers regarding taking care?
2:15: Speaker 2 asks to address it one by one. He is very well versed with the issue and how beautifully he is submitting his arguments. We seem to be blown away by his calmness. It is seriously interesting to listen to the same.
Speaker 2, just like Speaker 1, seems to have now made us look at the current situation as a conversation between the Tribunal and the Speaker rather than a mere semi-final round. We are learning a lot about Maritime facts and issues with the contracts. Humble reporter will surely be going back to brush up her Maritime basics after such a hearty session!
2:24: Arbitrator Siddharth: "Why did you not try to limit your liability under the Bill of Lading and what will be the consequences of the same?"
Speaker 2 got caught in the middle.
Arb Siddharth: "Does the co-counsel have something to say?"
Speaker 1: No Mr Arbitrator
Arb Siddharth: okay. (chuckles) I'll just leave it to the Respondents to answer the same.
We move onto speaker 2 concluding his submissions.
2:26: Arbitrator Siddharth Ranka is testing our Counsel’s technical knowledge by asking about the alarm list.
Our Speaker 2 tries to show that he knows his ship pretty well. But Mr. Ranka takes his point and asks him again about the limitation.
Speaker 2: I'll take a second
Mr. Ranka: We'll give you a minute
Silence in the courtroom.
2:29: Light conversation ensues and Speaker 2 wraps up.
2:30: No rebuttals. Rounds end. Judges Caucus begins.
Reporter side note: Indeed a hearty session. We sit tight to see who comes out as a winner.
THE TEAMS WHO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE FINAL ROUNDS ARE:
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (C) v Symbiosis Law School, Pune (R)
Finale! The word which gives us mixed feelings of joy and nervousness, feelings of butterflies to our stomachs. Yet the winner is just a step beneath the title. It will be a tough tussle between two of the strongest opponents of the 7th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. IMAM 2020. No doubt, the arbitrators are soon to witness the best of teams competing. Let’s see who wins the coveted prize.
4: 38: Everyone is here in the room. The participants are filled with joy to make to this road of finals. We started the session with a video which is a summary of case study. Everyone is seen as enjoying the video. That rewards the hard work put by the team in making the video.
4:43: The rounds started with the introduction of our finalists.
Speaker 1 of claimants starts in a poised manner. She begins with her submissions as the judges are already briefed by facts, thanks to our video case study. The speaker focuses on the point that the owner failed to take due care in the part of their agreement to the charter-party.
4:46: Speaker 1 directs the bench through the charter-party agreement Clause 17. The Counsel brings the focus on the words used in the clause, emphasising on values on the agreement towards the consignment.
4:47: Speaker 1 lays her roadmap of arguments and starts with her first submission. She is calm and slow to ensure the bench is following her. She is well-versed with the charter-party agreement and uses its clauses in her best favour. The respondents' researcher is seen taking notes. She navigates the bench through case study and ensures that the arbitrators are with her. Quite impressive!
4:51: Speaker 1 points out how the owners failed to inform TCL for temperature fluctuations observed as she draws an analogy from a case law. The arbitrator is particular with the case and seeks the citation for the same from the speaker. The speaker is thorough with her compendium and is able to take the arbitrators through the relevant portion.
4:56: Speaker continues with her submissions and the arbitrators are satisfied. I think the speed is her best friend for the rounds.
4:58: Finally the arbitrator - Miss Janani starts grappling the speaker with her questions. The 2nd case cited by the speaker has not really yielded fruits to her. Speaker fumbles yet continues to hold herself to answer. Yet she fails to satisfy the Arbitrator in her query that the power shortage is not to be blamed as the reefer in itself, one supplied by the TCL, was malfunctioning and would fail to attain power supply.
5:00: Madam Arbitrator is bombarding questions to the speaker 1, yet she continues to answer the question. She agrees partially with the arbitrator very subtly that there is mistake on both sides. She requests the panel to continue with her other submissions and come back later to Madam Arb's query later as her submissions will suffice answers.
5:04: Madam Arbitrator lets the speaker continue however Madam Arbitrator does not take a back seat. She continues posing questions to the speaker. The Arbitrator points out that the duty to provide a sound container worthy of cargo is on TCL and when the Owner checked they found it in good condition, although Owners were never in position to open the container and it is not wise to blame them for malfunctioning of the reefer.
5:06: Speaker tries to answer by her compendium, thanks to the Researcher who assisted her. Arbitrator Amitava is very keen towards compendium referenced and ensures that the speaker is able to substantiate the claims.
5:08: Oh No! The speaker walked into the trap and she admits that the pre-shipment issue did exist. Tough time for speaker 1. Yet she tries to use the facts to answer that pre-shipment issues are merely a possibility as the bananas were packed in vacuum bags and had ethanol pipes to maintain temperature to make sure pre-shipment issues are minimal.
5:11: Arbitrator Amitava joins Arbitrator Janani, as he pounces on the issue of sea-worthiness on part of the Charterers.
5:13: Speaker 2 begins. He is resilient and uses the factsheet to make his case. The navigation of the team is splendid.
5:15: Speaker 2 brings the focus of the bench towards the conscious malafide on part of Owners while drafting of Charter-party citing clauses of the charter-party.
5:16: He continues that any neglect on part of the crew directly held the owners liable and cites the clause for the same.
5:17: The bench has taken a back seat, the speaker 2 must be good enough to satisfy the hot bench.
5.18: Speaker 2 lays roadmap for his arguments and continues with his submissions. He states that the acts indulged by his clients - referring to email is well within time frame.
Well the facts shown by the Speaker 2 does not seem to be in his favour and brings questions from the Arbitrator Amitava. The speaker is prudent and moves to his next submission which deals with the query of the Arbitrator.
5:22: The bench interrupts the flow of Speaker 2 submissions and directs him to facts which talks about the claim raised by the Claimants. That the email was asking for reimbursement and they failed to inform the respondents before paying.
5:24: Madam Arbitrator continues along the same line of questioning as put by Arbitrator Amitava. She posits that there was no legal duty imposed on respondents to pay the claim.
5:25: Speaker 2 is gritty and tells that the opinion of owners would have made no impact on the payment of claims and thus the claimants are correct in making the settlement.
5:26: The bench is not satisfied with the argument made by Speaker 2.
The respondents are keenly listening to the questions put to the claimants. The respondents' researcher and speaker 1 are also put to look down and check the facts, the questions by judges might turn out to help the respondents.
5:28: Arbitrators are shooting questions and thus speaker 2 is not to be left so easily. The questions regarding emails are being put. The Speaker 2 despite interruptions continues calmly.
5:30: The bench disagrees with the argument made by Speaker 2 regarding the statement made that the opinions of respondents are still of importance. We think that the speaker must take a hint and subdue but he seems adamant in proving that his clients were correct in settling the claim without consulting respondents. Thus he directs the bench to the fact sheet. Well he is trapped again, the Arbitrator asked him to focus on facts as a whole.
5:32: Speaker 2 requests the bench to identify the two claims, however, Arbitrator Amitava is not ready to buy the argument. The Speaker slyly puts that the other claim is as a result of the first claim.
5:34: Speaker 2 continues with the same contention and Arbitrator Amitava asks him to provide defence for the same. Time extension is sought for answering the query. Speaker 2 goes on with answering the same, just in a different manner. The Arbitrators are smart and are not willing to settle for contentions provided by the Speaker 2. Speaker 2 tries to rely on submissions made by Speaker 1 however fails again. Arbitrator points out that they never accepted the contention of Speaker 1 that the perfect condition of container were submitted'.
5:38: Researcher of claimants seems clueless too. And Speaker 2 continues explaining the quantum of claim as Madam Arbitrator asked for.
The nervousness can be sensed in the eyes of Speaker 1 of respondents as speaker 2 of claimants proceeds to concluding his submissions.
The ending line of speaker 2 is impressive as he said that he will give 3 numbers to his submissions - 16,17 and 23. 16 as date of shipment,17 as clause of charter party and 23 as clarification for number towards payment of claim after informing the respondents.
5:40 Speaker 1 starts calm and directs the bench to facts and charter-party towards her favour and then begins with her three fold submissions. She denies the duty of respondents towards malfunctioning of reefer, will establish the crew was competent and logs were timely provided.
5:45: Speaker 1 slowly and taking the bench with her starts establishing how the respondents are not to be held liable for malfunctioning of reefer and she directs the bench to ARF report. The bench has no questions for now, surprising!
5:48: Finally Arbitrator Sunip poses a question to the Speaker as when they learnt malfunctioning, 'what were you doing for 30 hours?'.
Speaker 1 sets that they were not provided with logs management. And thus buck passes the blame. She further establishes how overheating led to evaporating heat coil and affected cooling supply to consignment.
5:50: As speaker 1 continues, Arbitrator Amitava interrupts her and asks 'the damage could have been avoided in case you have been monitoring daily.' Also he emphasized since you claimed that the owner had a competent crew, so you must have managed the loss once you learnt about the fault.
5:53: Speaker 2 again passes the buck to claimants as temperature and monitoring logs were not provided timely to the respondents. Madame Arbitrator joins in the query and points a pertinent question that the respondent has been focussing on not having logs, in case they had, then what?
Speaker 1 handles the questions well but the answer made questioning the competency of the crew.
5:55: Speaker 1 directs the bench that the respondents did manage to repair the reefer. But Arbitrator Janani is not to leave her easily, and questions on technicality of reefer. We must admit the Speaker is prudent and answers wisely that 'there was no technical expert on the survey board and thus the matrix is silent about the same'. Madam Arbitrator is satisfied now and Arbitrator Simon Baughen poses the question to the speaker regarding electricity supply to the containers.
5:58: Speaker 1 confidently answers and shifts blame to default of containers. Other Arbitrators can be seen as scrolling through documents. More questions on there way?
6:00: The lined up questions by Arbitrator Simon are well addressed by the speaker. Mr. Simon is satisfied now and thus Speaker 1 continues with her arguments.
With permission of the bench she proceeds to issue sea-worthiness of the vessel. She presents the same in two fold - physician sound worthiness and competence of crew on board.
6:03: The hot bench continues to bombard the questions. Arbitrator Amitava seeks to have evidence on part of respondents that the vessel was sea-worthiness. Speaker emphasis on Part 3 of charter-party. But the answer does not satisfy the arbitrator as he is looking for evidence and not just obligation.
Speaker seeks extension to submit her answer and issue 2.
6:06: Was it the duty of the owner to advise the charteres in case of reefer malfunctioning. She lays that for a sound business transaction, obligation lay on both ends. The obligation on vessel owners was to just repair the reefer in case of default and putting more duty on them would just enhance their burden.
6:07: The Arbitrator’s last question regarding bailment was put to the speaker. Well she is versed with bailment law too. She satisfies the query well.
6:08: Speaker 2 of Respondents starts, she is loud and clear. She lays her roadmap and proceeds with her first submission. She wisely uses the facts, charter-party, towards the payment of claims. She is prudent to use the disadvantageous statement of claimants in her favour - that the opinion of respondents was of no relevance towards claim payment.
6:11: Speaker 2 continues her arguments citing the case and navigating the bench through the compendium for the same. She correctly points out that the email was sent just informing about the payment, which is incorrect and should have been pointed out in first notice. She also brings the contention of adequate time to be provided for the same. She does point out the extraneous amount of claim which claimants shouldn't have paid without consultation, she correctly points out the terms of email - pay in full and agreement - showing a seek of concurrence and not consultation.
As speaker 2 proceeds, the claimants' speakers are seen discussing over chat and preparing for rebuttals.
6:15: As speaker 2 continues, Arbitrator Simon puts a query as to where is deriving her argument from? Speaker directs the Arbitrator to the facts, email exchanges. Arbitrator Amitava joined in and said that even if the claimants asked for agreement and mere concurrence from you, claimants did provide you for documents and asked you - help to pursue the recovery.
6:18: Speaker 2 tries to outsmart that no such details for documents are silent. Madam Arbitrator joins in with Arbitrator Simon that you had the information and it is given the documents were attached.
6:19: Speaker 2 tries to answer and further the argument that without our discussion, the charterers closed the file.
Arb bombard again, they tell speaker 2 she is interpreting wrong, it was very open for discussion, and you never did it.
6:21: Speaker is shaken yet maintains her poise and answers well. Arbitrator Amitava questions again that 'What were your proactive steps? Apart from replies of Sorry and Bye?'
6:22: Speaker replies but the Arbitrator is not satisfied and points out the email reply in which respondents didn't act towards discussions and that they had closed the file.
6.24: Arbitrator Simon also adds to it. Speaker 2 while laying down her argument is interrupted again by Arb Amitava, he is witty and is looking for just one line answer which is in her support, yet the respondents are unaware of that line which says that the claimants are at fault for not being expressive enough about the discussion for claim settlement.
6:26: Speaker 2 points out that the claim was already paid and thus no window open for discussion. Madam Arbitrator questions again that as you never provided for feedback, what would they have done?
Speaker 2 points out that claim was raised post 5 months after delivery of consignment.
This brings the question of time-barred and making us look into Hague rules and HVR. Arbitrator Amitava took the opportunity to ask the same. Speaker 2 calmly answers and is finally left off hook after answering the time- limitation issue.
6:29: Speaker 2 with due permission of the bench continues with her further submission yet not really left at ease, another question put to her regarding time- barred by Arb Amitava.
Speaker 2 points out clauses and Himalaya rule to argue that the owners were to be informed.
6:31: Speaker 2 concludes with the prayer.
6:32: Arb Amitava, not done yet, he points out council to read clause 9 correctly. He clarified that it isn't a question, just a suggestion.
6:33: Speaker 2 begins with rebuttals, he starts with citing facts that respondents claimed that they were not provided with monitoring logs. But he says that the crew was to check the temperature daily. Cargo in itself was temperature sensitive. He continues that respondents cannot claim malfunctioning of the reefer as they had to ensure that it is not before starting voyage.
6.35: Speaker 1 of respondents starts slowly and points out to arbitrators the facts, saying that the owners have already established how charterers failed to perform their part of obligation. And also how they failed to inform respondents about the settlement of the claim.
With this, we finally come to an end to the lively and hotly contested final round.