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!