The National Law University Odisha welcomes you to the Virtual Oral Rounds of 8th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2021, organised in association with the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University, United Kingdom.
The moot is soon to begin and we are here to keep you updated on exactly what is going on! You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more insights. Wishing the best to all the participating teams!
8th April 2021
VCR-1: 820 vs 806
VCR 1 updates begin!
14:03 After some serious technical issues with a couple of judges, the rounds have finally commenced. Claimant Speaker 1 starts confidently but is immediately interrupted by the judge and is questioned upon a jurisdiction issue. She pauses and stumbles through her answer. Moving on with her submissions, she makes the judge note down her submissions but is interrupted again and again! In her nervousness, the speaker misspeaks and does not even realize it. She states, “Apologies Mr. Tribunal”. The judge corrects her saying he’s an arbitrator and not the tribunal. Oh, the horror!
14:10 The judges don’t seem to be satisfied with most of the Speaker’s answers and allege she’s trying to avoid answering their questions. The Speaker takes this in stride and finally answers that she does not have precedents in response to a question asked. In her defence, she’s facing quite a hot bench today.
14:20 It looks like the time for Speaker 1 is up! But the judges are not letting the speaker leave. They are having a grand time grilling the speaker as is evident from the grins on their faces. They know they’ve trapped the speaker and so does she.
14:22 Speaker gets an extension of 1 minute. She finishes her arguments and looks relieved to be done. The floor is now Speaker 2’s.
14:26 Speaker 2 is much more confident in her submissions and blazes through the repeated questions asked by the judges. She is asking for clarifications wherever she is unable to understand the question correctly and is being provided with the same. At one point, a judge asks her about ‘super cargo’ – a term she has never heard before! It completely throws her off her game and she hesitantly answers their questions. The judges don’t look happy with the answer though.
14:35 Speaker 2 realizes her time has run out and starts running through her last submission. She’s speaking it all in one breath and finishes it quickly. She then asks for an extension which she receives, thankfully. The judges ask her one last clarification which leads to another series of questions. She answers all of them quite clearly and finally reads her prayer. We can see the respondents gearing up for their turn.
14:54 Speaker 1 for the Respondents has made a big blunder it seems by questioning the survey report as the judges burst out laughing. She immediately asks permission to proceed with her arguments but looks like the damage is done.
14:55 The judges keep questioning Speaker 1 who answers each question with much vigour. She commits a faux pas by calling the case study a moot proposition. The judges are quick to rid her of that presumption and let her know that this is an arbitration and hence, moot proposition’ is not the correct term.
15:01 The judges are not at all convinced with the Speaker’s arguments and let her know that ‘her arguments stand on quite shaky grounds’. She swiftly proceeds to her next argument. The judges finally take pity on the speaker and ask her to ‘take a breath and calm down’. She lets out a nervous chuckle and thanks the judges for their consideration.
15:06 The judges and the participants share a light moment when a judge asks Speaker 1 whether she requires a time extension to which she replies, “Yes, please. 30 min would be good.” The judges tease her for it and she relaxes, finally.
15:06 Speaker 2 for the respondents starts with her arguments and is soon bludgeoned with questions from all the judges. She bravely faces them all but there is no rest for her.
15:19 The judges don’t seem convinced with one of Speaker 2’s arguments and soon grow frustrated with her answer. Their frustration reaches peak point when it seems that Speaker 2 is contradicting her submissions. They tell her in clear words that her argument does not have any legal backing and ask her to proceed but not before audibly sighing and rolling their eyes. Shudder!
15:25 Speaker 2 is almost done with her first submission and asks for any last clarifications. The judges ask her a few questions and then allow her to proceed to the next issue.
15:33 Speaker 2 quickly wraps up her 2nd issue realizing that she has less time. She faces hurdles in the form of questions at every step but somehow ends her arguments and states her prayer. The Rebuttals now begin!
15:35 The Claimants have a lot of points to counter and Speaker 1 for the Claimants takes the floor. The judges seem very satisfied with her points and nod along to her points, much to her delight!
15:38 The rebuttals are now over. Speaker 1 for the Respondents takes the floor and tries to sur-rebut every point raised by the Claimants. The judges seem a little perplexed trying to figure out what exactly the Speaker is aiming at. Judging from their faces, some points make sense, while some don’t. Well, only the scorecards will tell. We can only wait and watch!
VCR-2: 826 vs 816
VCR 2 updates begin!
13:29 The Respondent Speakers 1 and 2 appear clueless with the first session about to begin. However, the Claimants are relaxed and all set to go, as it seems.
13:36 The rounds have begun with the Claimant Speaker 1 taking the podium. The enthusiasm is clearly visible as Speaker 1 proceeds with his arguments by outlining the roadmap for his issue.
13:43 The Claimant Speaker 1 has been caught off guard with one of the judges questioning the use of Sulaamerica case as a precedent when the ratio has already been overruled in that particular context.
13:48 As one of the judges continues grilling in the context of the limitation period being over, Speaker 1 seems to have become restless in justifying the claim for his party. He swiftly evades the question by stating that his co-counsel shall justify the same
13:52 He concludes his issue by alleging that the Respondents have deprived Claimants of its right in this particular issue.
13:52 Speaker 2 for Claimant has taken the floor. She begins her case by establishing that her role would be confined to justifying to the Tribunal how Hague rules for compensation are applicable in the given context.
14:07 The Claimant speaker 1 seems to have faced serious internet issues. But she has managed to get back on track and is all set to justify her claim before the Tribunal. She begins her final issue with arguing that Respondents are liable for breach of contract and conversion.
14:09 The speaker 2 is all invigorated to put the blame on Respondents for their willful misconduct that has resulted in their client facing huge loss.
14:11 The speaker 2 concludes her issues by requesting the Tribunal to rely on conventions to provide compensation to their client and justifies why compound interest should be calculated. She makes her prayer to state that the Tribunal has jurisdiction, respondents liable, and that the Hague rules should be taken into account to give compensation to the Claimant.
14:14 The Respondent Speaker 1 has taken the floor. She is facing a major setback with her internet issues. Looks like the Respondents are going to have a hard time presenting their case.
14:19 Claimant Speaker 2 appears to be smirking at the arguments of Respondent Speaker 1, while Claimant Speaker 1 is making weird faces. Looks like Respondents arguments aren’t convincing enough for them!
14:23 Respondent Speaker 1 has successfully presented her case before the Tribunal and stepped down. The Speaker 2 has taken the floor. Looks like both the counsels for Respondents are having a hard time with network issues.
14:30 The Respondent speaker 2 seems to be confused between “submission” and “interpretation” as he goes on to interchangeably use them while arguing for his case.
14:41 Claimant Speaker 1 seeks permission from the Tribunal for rebuttal. He proceeds by categorically attacking every argument made by the Respondents. But, the Host intervenes as the speaker exceeds his time limit. Unfortunately, he had to stop midway with the Judges asking the counsel to step down.
14:45 Respondents Speaker 2 has taken the floor to give the Sur-Rebuttal. Surprisingly, he begins by conceding to the Claimants on one issue, however, puts the incumbent obligation on the Claimants to bear the burden.
VCR-3: 807 vs 817
VCR 3 updates begin!
14:09 After a long delay (due to technical glitch), finally the rounds of session 1 at courtroom 3 begins!
14:10 Speaker 1 of Claimant starts her argumentation.
14:11 Judges seem to be well versed with the facts of the case.
14:14 Judges are satisfied with the answer of the counsel.
14:19 Counsel argues that Hague Visby Rules will be applicable to determine the liability of the deterioration of the goods.
14:22 Judges ask if they are challenging the quality of the goods as it is not the act of the respondent but the act of the suppliers.
14:23 Counsel could not answer it up to the satisfaction of the judge.
14:24 Speaker 2 has taken the floor and starts her argumentation.
14:25 She seems confident and prepared.
14:30 Counsel argues that they have an insurable interest.
14:33 The judge asks the counsel to refer to the bills of lading and read out the definition of ‘Consignee’.
14:38 Counsel sum-up all her issues well with the time limit.
14:40 Speaker 1 of Respondent begins her argumentation. She seems calm and composed.
14:47 Counsel completed her first submission and the judges seemed to be satisfied with the submission.
14:49 The judge asks the counsel “How will you establish that the goods are not security, do you have any evidence for that?”
14:51 Judge grills the counsel on the issue of goods as security by saying that your entire argument is based on the assumption.
14:52 The counsel tries to justify her argument and with the permission of the tribunal proceed to the remaining submissions
14:53 Speaker 1 of the Respondent yields the floor and asks the co-counsel to complete the remaining arguments.
14:55 Speaker 2 begins his arguments. He seems prepared.
14:56 He submits his contention by referring to cases and authorities.
15:02 The judge asks the counsel to counter the claimant’s argument of they being a party to the contract by way of consideration.
15:03 Counsel could not understand the question first due to the breaks in voice but later on he answered that the claimant has already been indemnified. Judges seem to be satisfied with the answer.
15:11 Claimant begins with rebuttals on the points raised by the Respondents.
15:15 Respondents by giving sur-rebuttals try to make their case again.
15:18 Rounds of session 1 end here on a good note.
VCR-4: 808 vs 814
VCR 4 updates begin!
13:51 The rounds have finally started after a delay of 20 minutes on account of network glitches faced by one of the Judges. It was unanimously decided by the organizers and the other two judges to commence the rounds without any further delay. The participants sure did seem anxious at first but their spirits were unfettered.
13:51 The Claimant Procedural speaker takes the floor. Interestingly, while introducing herself, she mentions that she’s been keeping unwell and requested the Tribunal to be considerate if she faces breathing issues while making her submissions.
13:51 The Tribunal seems to be receptive and they ask her to proceed with her submissions.
13:53 The first Speaker of the round starts by giving a brief background of the case. She explains the facts in a crisp and concise manner.
13:55 The first issue she addresses is a jurisdictional one, the speaker quickly guides the Tribunal on the applicable law and arbitration rules in the present arbitration. She comes across as a confident speaker, who is well versed with the facts of the case.
13:56 The Judge has a question with respect to one of the submissions made by her. She responded to that in a confident manner backed up by an authority. The Judge seems satisfied, however, he mentions he’d like to come back to the same question after he confirms the authority by reading himself.
14:00 The speaker has been lucky so far to have managed to move ahead with her submissions without inviting questions. Her submissions involve a good combination of facts, logic and authorities mostly case laws.
14:02 The speaker in her submissions used a case law by Privy Council which caught one of the Judges’ attention. He asked the most obvious but tricky question – “How is the opinion by the Privy Council binding on us?”
14:02 The speakers’ seems to be a bit taken aback by this question but she with some quick thinking on her feet, she managed to answer the question satisfactorily.
14:06 After what seems to look like a great round, Claimant’s procedural speaker steps down and the merit speaker takes the floor.
14:19 The speaker swiftly moves ahead with his submissions without having faced any grilling or a lot of follow up questions by the judges so far.
14:22 The speaker has managed to make quite a convincing case for their clients. He wanted to conclude his submissions with the prayer for relief, but in the interest of time, judges asked him to conclude.
14:24 The respondent procedural speaker takes the floor. He seeks permission from the bench to address them as “Sir Arbitrator” and ‘Madam Arbitrator”. One of the judges jokingly asks him where is the madam arbitrator since her video had been off on account of network issues mentioned earlier. This brief moment of laughter eases up the tension in the courtroom.
14:26 The speaker started by giving a quick background to procedural issues. As soon as he started with his first submission, he was interrupted by the judge and he asked a fundamental question on jurisdictional issues. The speaker could sense he was about to be grilled. The speaker evaded the grilling process by saying he’ll address his concern in the next submission.
14:34 No further questions were asked by the speaker. He moves ahead swiftly with his submissions by including a couple of references from the facts and case laws.
14:37 Respondent merits the speaker take the floor. He briefly explains the issues that will be dealt by him in the course of his submissions.
14:45 Until now, the speaker has been consistent and has shown a seamless transition within his submissions. The judges look satisfied and have been able to follow his submissions. Tactfully, the speaker also rebutted one of the arguments made by the claimant speaker in his submissions.
14:49 The speaker’s flow has been interrupted by one of the judges on a question based on facts of the contract. Thinking he answered the question, the speaker tries to move forward with his submissions, but the judge is not satisfied with the answer.
14:50 Luckily enough, without inviting further questions the speaker managed to conclude his submissions on time along with the prayer.
14:51 It’s rebuttal time! The Claimant speaker takes a dig at respondents by mentioning how she has a lot of concerns in Issue 2. Quite so, there definitely are a lot of concerns on her end as she exceeded the time reserved for rebuttals and the judges had to remind her as to when to stop.
14:52 The respondents in their best attempt to ser rebut the n number of concerns made quite a structured case considering the limited amount of time.
14:53 Session 1 rounds have been concluded. Interesting and fun overall.
VCR-5: 818 vs 804
VCR 5 updates begin!
13:30 It is the First session of IMAM 2021. The teams and the judges are fresh and the enthusiasm is clear on their faces. The Judges begin by asking the respondents whether they are challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. He seems perplexed by this question and it is clear that he did not expect this. He tries to answer, but he seems to just dodge the question. They continue to do so for 10 minutes, after which they finally answer the question.
13:41 Finally, it is decided that the Respondents shall begin with their submissions first wherein they’ll challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. All eyes on the Speaker 1 of the Team 804 as he is finally allowed to begin with his submissions. He seems flushed, which is obvious, given the set of pre-round questions he had to deal with. He tries his best to gather himself and submit his arguments.
13:51 The speaker 1 of the respondents is on a roll here as he faces no questions from the judges. Now, whether this is a good sign or a bad one, that the scoresheet will only say! Let’s hope for the best.
13:53 Looks like Speaker 1 is paranoid given there are no questions from the arbitrators. He pauses his submissions and invites questions from them.
13:53 Looks like Speaker 1 is paranoid given there are no questions from the arbitrators. He pauses his submissions and invites questions from them.
13:56 The judges seem satisfied with the submissions of the first speaker of the Respondents. The Judges now ask the Speaker 1 from the Claimants to present his arguments for his side. He seems extremely confident and poised. He begins with stating the facts properly and laying out the structure of his submissions. May the odds be in his favor.
14:04 The speaker swiftly goes on with his submissions. The arbitrator questions the right of the claimants to sue and asks for an authority to substantiate the same. The speaker is prompt with the answer and his teammates nod when he answers the same. But, the authority cited by the speaker 1 turns out to be a case of 1912, which doesn’t satisfy the judges given how old the case is. The Speaker tries to submit another authority, which is again rejected by the Judge as it doesn’t address the issue at hand.
14:10 The Speaker strives to satisfy the concern of the arbitrator by every authority and explanation up his sleeve. However, the judge still seems dissatisfied and given the paucity of the time, he asks the Speaker to wrap his submissions. The speaker seems to be in a hurry as he rushed through the conclusions. On requesting for an extension, he is graciously allowed a 1 minute extension.
14:16 Speaker 1 of the Claimants now concludes his submission and passes the baton to the Speaker 2. The Speaker 2 is poised and continues the arguments for his side. He goes on uninterrupted for quite a long time. The judges seem to be listening and understand his arguments.
14:26 Finally, a question from the arbitrators pauses the flow of his submissions. He does not seem to be thrown away even for a minute. The confidence and the poise of the speaker is commendable. He tries to answer the questions very calmly and perfectly.
14:35 While the time is up for the Speaker, the questions seem never ending. The Speaker very wisely, through the answers, tries to divert the judges to his argument and finally concludes with the Prayer. Looks like it was a good round for him. Kudos!
14:40 It’s now the time for Speaker 2 from the respondents side to present his submissions. But he seems to be facing some issues with his camera which he thankfully resolved in a minute. He begins with his submissions, laying down the structure of his arguments.
14:48 The Speaker 2 goes uninterrupted till the end of his submissions, when finally, the judge asks a question regarding whether the authorities cited are binding on the Court or not. Well, he answers, but his answers don’t seem to address the concern raised by the judge. Another question makes him dig through the moot proposition. He takes a while to find the appropriate response. Let’s hope he finds it soon.
14:54 The main submissions are hereby concluded. It’s now the time for Rebuttals! The speaker 1 from the claimants takes the floor. He chooses to address a question that was left unanswered in their main submissions. Nice try, but the judges don’t seem to understand the necessity for him to do so and ask him to just use this time to rebut the arguments of respondents and nothing else. He proceeds with the same.
14:58 It’s now the time for the respondents to sur-rebut the claims of the Claimants. The Speaker 1 proceeds with sur-rebuttals. We can hear phrases like “They did not prove” and the substantiation of the same. He has an evident tone of accusation in his surr-rebuttals. Fair enough.
VCR-6: 821 vs 824
VCR 6 updates begin!
13:34 Since the Respondents seek to challenge the appointment of arbitrators, the Tribunal has asked them to begin first. The first speaker has conveniently referred to the 3 member Bench (unsuccessfully) to make her point.
13:40 The speaker seemed confused between lex arbitri and lex contractus or the governing law. This confusion was reflected in her arguments, with the judges using this as an opportunity to grill her on the seat-venue issue, leading to a plethora of follow ups.
13:49 The speaker tries to emphasise and reiterate her points on the insurance policy. However, no one except the speaker seems convinced on the argument being made.
13:55 The Tribunal decides to give the floor to the Claimant speaker in order to respond to the contentions of the first Respondent speaker.
14:01 The Claimant Speaker quotes the ratio of several cases to make his argument on the venue and lex arbitri issue. He seems confident in his submissions and answers the questions patiently. The judges seem convinced.
14:07 There is some back and forth on the argument of lex arbitri vs institutional rules. The Speaker resorts to using in arguendo arguments to make his point.
14:20 After an extended question-answer session with the first speaker, the second speaker for the Claimant finally began his submissions. The Speaker is very expressive, and verbally did a countdown of “3..2..1..” before beginning.
14:22 The speaker was asked about the burden in contra proferentem. His answer seemed unsatisfactory, as all three members of the Tribunal stepped in to provide the correct legal position for the sake of clarity.
14:28 The Speaker continues to be grilled on his argument on the negligence of the Respondents and concomitant obligations on the Claimant’s part. He jumps between facts and arguments but only invites more questions.
14:32 The Speaker, like the ones before him, asks for an extension citing that “there is more material to be covered”. When is there not?
14:40 The extension doesn’t seem to aid the speaker in completing his submissions: with every answer, he invites another follow-up and seems to get caught in the Tribunal’s web of questions. He cites the factsheet but the Tribunal manages to grill him there as well.
14:44 After a total of 7 extra minutes, the Claimant speaker is finally asked to step down. The Respondent speaker begins.
14:48 “The Claimant cant claim facts in their own favour”. The Tribunal interjects by saying that the Respondents cant excuse their own participation in the contract. However, the Speaker merely reiterates her point and continues with her pleading.
14:55 Much like the speakers before her, the last speaker of the round continues to be grilled by the Tribunal. She cites a case law but the Tribunal is not satisfied because it falls low in the hierarchy of Courts.
15:05 Like a ship caught up in stormy weather, the round seems to be stuck in a bout of endless questions. Parallel to a taken aback mariner, the speaker, much like the ones that came before her, is unable to assist the Tribunal with their questions. However, she doesn’t give up and continues to argue, instead of conceding till she is finally asked to move to the final submission
15:08 Taking into account the equality of parties, the Tribunal compensates for the additional time given to the Respondents in the Claimant’s rebuttal. The Claimant Speaker continues with the tradition of giving himself a verbal countdown before starting his rebuttal.
15:15 The Rebuttal and sur-rebuttal does not invite any questions. The Respondent speaker rushes through her sur-rebuttal and only stopped once the Tribunal kindly requested her to respect the time. The judges have moved to deliberate on the round as the teams anxiously wait for feedback.
VCR-7: 822 vs 819
VCR 7 updates begin!
13:45 The battle has begun! Speaker 1 from the Claimant side has zealously started presenting her side. Owing to certain connectivity issues, there have been certain lags, however the judges have been generous enough to restart the timer and the speaker is putting forth her arguments with full vigour and enthusiasm.
13:48 The judges look a little agitated owing to the constant disruptions considering that their question was not audible to the speaker. However, they were kind enough to let her proceed without interrupting her anymore.
13:53 Despite the rocky start, it seems that Speaker 1 is catching up, beating all the nervousness engulfing her and is citing authorities and substantiating her arguments.
14:00 The judges have started unleashing their questions on the speaker asking her whether she has the “Bill of Lading” or not to which the Speaker is trying her best to cater to the technicalities of the question.
14:06 The second speaker has taken the floor and is vehemently putting forth her claims citing the Hague Rules and requesting the arbitrators to take note of the same and arguing on the point of due diligence which was supposed to be exercised by the respondent.
14:12 The speaker is further being bombarded with questions from all sides by the arbitrators to which it seems like she has not been able to furnish a satisfactory answer. Here come more questions on the valuation of the cargo and the profit as received by the claimants.
14:19 The arbitrators are all set to grill the speaker by throwing more questions on the condition of the cargo countering the authority cited by the speaker and subsequently asking for any other credible authority.
14:23 Though the speaker tried to move ahead with another authority, the arbitrators are not satisfied with the same and state that “It does not answer their question on damages”. Time is running out but it seems like the Speaker could not appease the arbitrators with her arguments. However, the Speaker has been allowed to move on and submit the pleading of the Claimants.
14.29 The Respondents have started presenting their side with equal amounts of enthusiasm attacking the arguments of the claimants referring to the contract entered into by the parties. Speaker 1 from the Respondent side is putting forth her arguments in two folds and countering the appointment of the bench of arbitrators.
14.37 One of the arbitrators looks dissatisfied with the argument of evading liability and is countering the same on the basis of Hague Rules.
14.41 The speaker has moved on with her other arguments claiming the question put forth by the Arbitrator would be covered by her co-speaker. She is however charged with another question on pre payment of freight charges as argued by the respondent. The arbitrator looks satisfied with the answer of the Speaker and grants her the permission to move on.
14.42 The baton has been passed to the co-speaker of the Respondent and has started presenting his arguments citing authorities from various jurisdictions. The arbitrator paused the speaker to check where was the same cited in the memorial of the respondent. The speaker took a pause but calmly pointed out the clause of the memorial where the same was cited.
14.50 The speaker is yet again countered by the Arbitrators on an authority cited by the Respondents. The speaker and one of the arbitrators seem to be stuck in a loop over the point of applicability of Hague Rules. The arbitrator doesn’t wish to get over this particular point. The speaker fearlessly cited an authority and is trying to convince the arbitrator with his argument.
14.58 Time has elapsed however, the arbitrators have been kind enough to grant an extension of 2 mins to the speaker so that he can wrap up his arguments. The arbitrator has pointed out a factual error pointed out by the speaker of the respondent to which the speaker has pleaded ignorance.
15:02 Speaker 2 has pleaded to rest his case and is now submitting his prayer before the Arbitrators but the arbitrator has pointed out that the respondents are not challenging the “quantification of the damages”. The speaker begs pardon for the error in the prayer to which he is mocked at by one of the arbitrators.
15:07 The rebuttal round has begun and the Claimant side has fluently countered an authority cited by the Respondents to which the Respondent side does not have an answer and has requested to forego the right of surrebuttal. The arbitrators are challenging the respondent side with some more mind boggling questions to which the respondents took a brave attempt but somehow could not please the arbitrators with their answer.
15:13 The fun and enriching session of the preliminary rounds has come to an end. The judges are discussing the scoring criteria in a separate and private room while the participants eagerly wait in the Prep Room for feedback.
VCR-8: 823 vs 812
VCR 8 updates begin!
13:53 Starting with the first session of IMAM 2021 which is filled with excited faces. As soon as the Claimant begins the submissions, the judges begin their questioning regarding the jurisdiction of the tribunal. In an exciting turn of events, the Respondents have to begin first to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
13:55 The Respondents seem confident and have no issue taking over. The speaker is assertive about her submissions.
14:04 The Claimant then takes over to answer the objections raised by the Respondents with respect to the jurisdiction. The judges begin questioning rigorously, the speaker is confident and answers all questions.
14:25 The Claimant is getting questioned about the quantity of the claim however, the judges seem dissatisfied with the answers. The questioning seems never ending and at this point the speaker seems to have lost her confidence. However, she begins with the next issues.
14:43 The Respondents begin their submissions and are extremely confident and assertive. The questioning begins and slowly the speaker starts struggling with answers and eventually has to plead ignorance to proceed further.
14:51 The Respondents begin to make submissions regarding mitigating the amount for damages to be received by the Claimant however the judges seem to be of the contrary view. The Respondent is adamant about her position and defends her stance.
14:56 The Claimant begins their rebuttal. The Respondent seems perplexed but tries to frame the answers in a short time span. The rebuttals have ended and with that the end of the first session for this Courtroom.
VCR-1: 827 vs 826
VCR 1 updates begin!
16:50 Unfortunately, the round has started with Speaker 1 for the Respondents facing serious internet issues. The Speaker, nevertheless, powers through her preliminary submissions. The judges listen intently but are distracted by her voice echoing.
16:56 The Speaker is asked her 1st question. The question is technical and she has an answer ready. The judge counter questions her but to her dismay, her internet connection is lagging and the judge has to repeat the question thrice. The judge tries to accommodate her issue and quickly types the question in the chatbox. This sets the pace for all questions asked hereonforth. Answering the questions from the chatbox seems to work until the Speaker realizes she does not have a lot of time left. She pleads ignorance to the last question and requests the judges to allow her to proceed.
17:05 Speaker 1 is finally done with her submissions and Speaker 2 is asked to proceed. It is really commendable how well Speaker 1 handled the pressure of having a bad internet connection. Moving on to Speaker 2’s submissions!
17:10 Speaker 2 leads with her technical arguments but the judges ask her about the jurisdiction issue. Her answer is satisfactory enough as the judges don’t raise any counters to the same.
17:12 Oh no! It seems like Speaker 2 has run into trouble as she answers one of the judges’ question with an answer that sounds like a question of its own. The judges then ask her a series of questions regarding the temperature of the container to which her response is quick. The judges let her proceed.
17:16 Due to the internet issues being faced by Speaker 2 as well, the rounds progress slowly. The judges refrain from asking a lot of questions. If that is a good thing or bad, is what remains to be seen.
17:25 It has been 6 minutes since Speaker 2 has been continuously answering the judges questions regarding the conditions in the reefer container. She is definitely stuck! Realizing the same, she pleads ignorance to their question and proceeds but the fact remains that she has wasted quite a lot of her time on this already.
17:28 Oh a possible blunder in the making! Looks like Speaker 2 misspoke a major fact. One of the judges immediately calls her out on it. Speaker 2 apologizes but there is a pause in her speech that lasts longer than it should, betraying her nerves. The judge asks her to confirm her facts but she is confused and stares at the screen blankly. The judge asks her to consult Speaker 1 but Speaker 2 requests for permission to proceed. She somehow completes her submissions but by now, the judges look disappointed.
17:38 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins his preliminary submissions with his own set of connectivity issues. The judges are quite exasperated and wonder what’s going on with the teams today. Tough luck!
17:42 Speaker 1 has been speaking for some time now with no interruptions from the judges. He quickly finishes his first issue and moves on to his next. The judges have their poker face on and so, we do not know if this silence is an indication of an incoming storm or not.
17:45 Speaker 1 is interrupted and quite dramatically too! Both the judges have questions to ask and at the exact moment. Speaker 1 fumbles with his answer as a result and the judges begin their counter questions. Well, the silence was good while it lasted.
17:47 The judges are not at all convinced with Speaker 1’s answers and at one point, exclaim, “No!” straightaway rejecting his arguments. The Speaker seems unsure on how to proceed now and hesitantly puts forward some points which are again rejected. The Judges then expand on their questions for the speaker’s benefit but Speaker 1 is unable to answer the Judges. He asks permission to proceed which is then granted to him. The Judges don’t look happy.
17:55 Speaker 1 is asked what ‘subrogation’ means. He answers the question but is then asked a lot of counter questions where he stumbles again. The anxiety is quite clear on his teammates’ face with his co-counsel straight up shaking her head when he misstates a fact. Yet again. The judges correct the speaker twice but they look irritated. This does not look good at all.
18:22 Speaker 1 for the Claimants begins with her rebuttals and instead of enumerating her points, seems to be elaborating on one with the help of a case law. An unusual approach indeed! The sur-rebuttals begin. The judge is quick to interrupt the respondents as they seem to be summarizing the rebuttals instead of answering the same! Another unusual approach to sur-rebutt, we must say. Thus, the rounds have come to an end and as the judges leave to deliberate in their room, both the teams heave a collective sigh of relief.
VCR-2: 815 vs 807
VCR 2 updates begin!
16:00 The teams have joined the second session. After a good warm up in the first session, everyone seems prepared as they wait for the third judge to join the meeting.
16:17 The Claimant Speaker 1 had a rough start to the session with bad internet connectivity.
16:20 Finally, she’s back to save her Client’s interest in this dispute.
16:27 The bench appears to be cold. The speaker 1 for Claimant submitted her issues and made her case very smoothly without much grilling from the Tribunal.
16:28 The Speaker 1 from the Respondent side has now taken the floor. She seems a little flustered.
16:38 The judges have caught the Speaker 2 off guard.
16:45 The Speaker 1 from the Respondents side has handed over the floor to the Speaker 2 of the Claimant. It looks like she was unsure about her decision. The Speaker 2 from the Claimant, however, seems pretty confident with her arguments as she takes the floor. The Court room suddenly appears more lively with her invigorating energy.
16:57 Seems like the Arbitrators are finally satisfied with every justification that the Claimant Speaker 2 has provided backed by logical reasoning and factual analysis for the same.
17:01 As the Speaker 2 for Claimant continues to confidently make her case, the Tribunal seems to enjoy questioning her on logical analysis of the factual and legal disputes concerning the issues before them. Seems like the Counsels for Claimant might have managed to keep the Tribunal engaged in a fruitful discussion over the issues.
17:07 One of the judges seems perplexed as the Respondent Speaker 2 addresses his question as “answer” to which she is expected to answer indeed.
17:20 The Speaker 2 from Respondents has suddenly become energetic in her submissions. Her addressal to the Arbitrators “Can you understand what I am saying” is a testament to her commitment to ensuring her claims are heard.
17:24 The Speaker 1 for Claimant has begun with her Rebuttals and looks like she has some really strong points to deconstruct the case made by the Respondents. The Respondents are taking time as it seems in deciding whether to take sur-rebuttal or not. Finally, the Speaker 2 for Respondents has decided to take the floor. With 25 minutes having already been taken up by her during the rounds, it still appears that 1 minute for surrebuttal might not be sufficient.
VCR-3: 813 vs 808
VCR 3 updates begin!
16:42 Judges and the participants are here in the courtroom.
16:45 Prior to the beginning of the rounds, the speaker 1 of Claimant informs the judges that they are going to follow the C-R Rule by which claimants are going to argue first.
16:46 Before delving into the issues of merit, the counsel of Claimant starts his contention on the number of the arbitrators in the tribunal. He contents that a sole arbitrator is a better alternative.
16:48 To substantiate the arguments the counsel refers to various authorities.
16:49 Judge interrupts that the addendum to Bills of Lading is signed by carrier in the presence of claimant, and you the claimant have not objected to it at that time. Now, how can you bring a claim on the point which you agreed earlier.
16:50 The counsel agrees with the judge’s observation.
16:51 While arguing the counsel used certain vague words related to the moot problem which was then and there pointed out by the judges. Judges advise the counsel to be aware about the words you use.
16:55 Judges continue asking questions on the applicability of the SCMA rules for the appointment of arbitrators.
16:59 Counsel exceeds the time limit while answering the question and asks for an extension of 5 minutes and the judges give only 3 minutes extension.
17:00 Claimant’s counsel submits that they are the rightful party to the contract.
17:01 The judge asks a question on the relation between the bills of lading and the letter of credit.
17:03 Counsel seems unable to answer the question upto the satisfaction of the judges.
17:04 No extension of time was given to the speaker and judges asked the co-speaker to answer the question w.r.t. relation between bills of lading and letter of credit.
17:05 Speaker 2 of Claimant begins his argument.
17:06 Judges advise him to maintain anonymity.
17:08 Judges continue grilling speaker 2 on the previous question, however, the counsel pleads ignorance as the question is not from his issues.
17:12 The judge asks questions on the facts of the case but the counsel was unable to answer it properly.
17:13 Counsel states that they are not the party to the bills of lading and that statement agitates all the judges because it then raises the point of locus standi.
17:14 Counsel could not answer the question properly.
17:20 Counsel asks for an extension of 2 minutes to complete the remaining submission which is given to him.
17:23 Claimants complete their argument and it seems that judges are not well satisfied.
17:27 Respondent speaker 1 begins, judges inform her that they are going to get an extra 5 minutes for their submissions. (Seems that judges believe in equity)
17:30 Counsel argues that bills of lading is not a document of title. Judge interrupts by stating that by this submission you are disputing the main function of bills of lading.
17:31 To answer the judge, the counsel states that bills of lading needs to have certain essential ingredients. Answer does not satisfy the judge.
17:34 Counsel brings alternative submission in order to satisfy judges that sounds impressive.
17:38 Counsel proceeds to the final submission by satisfying the judges.
17:40 Counsel yields the floor to the co-counsel for the remaining issues.
17:48 Speaker 2 of Respondent begins and apologies for the technical glitches.
17:50 Counsel begins with disputing the applicability of the Hague Rules
17:52 Judge asks the counsel as to whether they perform due diligence in maintaining the temperature
17:53 Counsel agrees with the point that the damage to the goods happened in-transit, however, they are not the one to bear the liability.
17:58 The judge put forth two questions before counsel and the counsel answer them by citing the appropriate authorities.
18:01 Counsel for the respondents completes his submission and ask the judges’ permission to proceed with the prayer.
18:04 Claimant begins their rebuttal.
18:06 Judges advise the respondent to restrict their sur-rebuttals only to the points mentioned in the rebuttals by the claimant’s.
18:08 After listening to both the parties the rounds of session 2 ends.
VCR-4: 806 vs 818
VCR 4 updates begin!
16:05 After a short break from Session 1, the participants and judges have regrouped and Session 2 commences.
16:07 Claimants’ procedural speaker takes the floor. He starts by giving a quick brief of the facts of the case. In his submissions he comes across as asssertive and well versed with the applicable arbitration rules in the present case.
16:09 While proceeding with the submissions, the speaker makes couple of references from the moot proposition. He is moving fast in doing so, as one of the judges requests him to stop for a minute in order to catch up with his submissions.
16:13 The judge catches a logical inconsistency in one of his submissions and of course, decides to grill him on it. The speaker tries his best to answer the question satisfactorily, but he’s stuck in a loop. He invites a couple of follow ups wherein the Judges ask him about the significance of the authority cited by him. Realising he’s caught in a precarious situation, he decides to concede that he would not be able to assist the tribunal with their concern.
16:22 Thankfully, the speaker did not invite any further questions and was able to conclude his submissions on time.
16:23 Claimants’ merits speaker takes the floor now. Before introducing herself she politely asked the Tribunal whether she was both audible and visible. The bench nodded their heads answering in affirmative.
16:25 The speaker has been successfully moving ahead with her submissions without any interruptions from the bench.
16:35 One of the judges breaks the flow by seeking a factual clarification. They need evidence on record from the moot proposition. She seems to be a bit under confident about her answer. Gracefully, she seeks a 10 second pause in order to recompose herself and rephrase her answer. Jumping on that opportunity she strikes back with an answer that impresses the bench.
16:38 After concluding her submissions, the speaker wishes to recite the prayer but was denied by the Tribunal since she had exceeded her time.
16:39 After a successful pleading by the Claimants, it is now the Respondents turn to take the floor. The procedural speaker exchanges greetings with the “learned panel” in their own words.
16:40 Something really interesting happened. The procedural speaker made a brief submission on the jurisdictional issue and then he directly questioned the Tribunal to pitch in and respond to his submissions. Initially, there was an awkward pause when the speaker was waiting for the judges to respond and they just looked at him confused and wondering they were supposed to respond. Finally, one of the judges had to categorically ask him to proceed and not expect a response from the bench.
16:44 Yet again, a strange thing is happening in this courtroom. The speaker while making his submissions drew a parallel between pizza delivery and delivery of containers without any justification for the same. This particular statement sure did catch a lot of attention ,however, doubtful if it was a good catch.
16:46 Not sure if the speaker was soaring with confidence or it was his natural speaking style, but he came across as an aggressive speaker showing a lot of hand movements. This does not seem to sit well with the bench since they have a lot of follow up questions and in their words they could not see any significance in his submissions or answers.
16:55 With no further questions from the judges, the procedural speaker steps down the floor. The merits speaker steps in.
16:56 The speaker after greeting the bench, starts off on a good note by giving a background to the case. Contrary to his co-speakers’ style he has a very calm and natural tone of speaking. Having said that, the speaker was moving a bit too fast with his submissions making it tad bit difficult to follow.
17:01 Five minutes into the submissions, the judges catch him off guard with a great fact-law combination based question to which he does not have an answer prepared. Smartly enough, he manages to give an alternate answer along the same lines and is let off the hook.
17:12 It is rebuttal time! The claimants raise a lot of concerns in a short span of time. They found many logical inconsistencies and loopholes in the submissions made by the respondents. They are on a roll. Maybe, it was this excitement that made them lose track of time.
17:16 Since the rebuttals took 2 minutes, the respondents also took up 2 minutes to sur rebut exceeding their time limit. Keeping that aside, the respondents in a structured and effective manner managed to counter most of them.
17:17 The round ends! Judges’ Caucus begins.
VCR-5: 816 vs 821
VCR 5 updates begin!
16:48 After an unfortunate delay, Session 2 has started. As expected the judges enquire with the Respondents whether they are challenging the jurisdiction of this tribunal. The Respondents get confused at the beginning, but end submitting that they are indeed challenging the jurisdiction. The Judge then claims that in that case, there is no need to listen to the respondent’s side at all. This flusters the speaker, but he very skillfully gathers himself and manages to get out of this trap.
16:50 Having successfully dodged the trap set by the judge, the Speaker 1 from the Respondents takes the floor and very confidently begins with his submissions. He is faced with a question after just a minute after having begun, but his poise self doesn’t allow him to be hurried or afraid.
16:55 The judge questions the speaker on the prevalance of the principle of party autonomy. The Speaker tries to give an answer with reference to the present case study. But seems like the Judge just needs a Yes/No answer. The Judge again asks a follow up question on the same, which on the face of it is perfectly answered by the Speaker.
16:57 This concludes the Respondent’s submission on the jurisdictional issue. Now the floor is open for the Claimants to argue their stance on the same. The Speaker 1 begins with his submissions very calmly and slowly. He seems to have grabbed the attention of the judges well enough.
17:02 The Speaker is finally asked a question after having concluded. He answers that without wasting any time. His answer is clear, concise and probably correct, given the judge seems satisfied. He now proceeds with his second issue.
17:10 The speaker has been going uninterrupted for a long time now. He has almost reached the conclusion of his submissions. Too good to be true?
17:15 The Speaker concludes his arguments and just as he is about to leave the floor, the judges pose a series of questions towards him. This was clearly unexpected, but the speaker didn’t let this shock get to him. He remained the same poised zone and answered the questions directed to him one by one.
17:18 The Speaker 2 from the Claimant’s side begins. He is barely just done with the introduction and greetings, that he is put off track as the Judge questions him. He clearly did not see this coming. He fumbles, and struggles hard to get on track. However, he’s not able to satisfy the judges on the same.
17:22 The speaker still seems to be caught off-guard by all this. Kudos to his efforts to collect himself but the judges aren’t able to grasp much. He tries to condense his arguments, but the grilling isn’t helping.
17:30 Speaker 2 from the Claimant side is now done with his submissions. The Speaker 1 from the Respondents side takes the floor again to submit the second part of his arguments.
17:35 Speaker 1 is really articulate in his submissions. He seems to have a good throw of voice and has a well structured content.
17:39 The judges are kind enough not to interrupt the Speaker during his submissions and reserve his questions for the end. The Speaker carefully listened to all the questions the Judges have to ask before answering the same instead of jumping to answers abruptly. That seemed to work for the judges.
17:42 The Speaker 2 from the Respondents has the floor now! He has probably taken notes on how to deal with the bench by seeing the Claimants and hi Co-Counsel. He starts and his speech confident and insistent. The speaker gracefully struggles through the grilling. He tries hard to maintain his calm and is visibly successful in doing so.
17:46 “Fair Enough, proceed Counsel”. These words from the Judge brings a smile in the faces of the Respondents. They have successfully satisfied the judges. A great feeling!
17:54 Both the speakers from the Respondents side have three things in common; speed, accuracy and fluency. They are extremely assertive in every thing they say which is evidently working amazingly well for the judges. The judges look satisfied.
17:56 The Rebuttals are here. The claimants allege on 3 main points. The Respondents handle the surrebuttals very well. Great round for both the teams.
VCR-6: 817 vs 822
VCR 6 updates begin!
16:19 After a brief discussion on which side is to proceed first on jurisdiction, the Respondent Speaker has taken the floor to contest the appointment of arbitrators.
16:22 The first speaker is calm and composed. She answers with poise and does not let the Tribunal hinder her confidence with follow-up questions, answering in a clear and direct manner.
16:24 After a brief and direct submission on the first issue, the Respondent speaker gives the floor to the Claimant speaker to address the challenge to the number of arbitrators. She is calm in responding to the questions. The Tribunal is sharp to identify the inapplicability of the cited case laws to the matter at hand. However, the speaker tries to draw the attention on where the facts are similar, rather than where they are different. Follow up questions by the Tribunal do not affect the clarity in her submissions.
16:32 The Tribunal asks the speaker to highlight the difference between curial law and lex arbitri, the counsel is unable to answer. After a little back and forth, she continues with her pleading
16:38 The question of the nature of rights that the Claimant has was left unanswered by the first speaker, despite exhausting her time. The Tribunal posed the unanswered questions to the second Claimant speaker who addressed the same in a relatively structured manner. The Tribunal posed further questions to his submissions which the speaker addresses with the help of both fact and law. The judges seem satisfied. So far, so good.
16:50 Seems like the Tribunal has finally managed to catch the speaker. Small smiles are let out as the speaker is left at a loss of words, while he tries to think about the correct answer. He doesn’t give up and tries to bring the attention back to the fact sheet and finally retracts his previous submission. With the position now clear, the Tribunal asks him to proceed.
16:57 The speaker asks for an extension of 90 seconds. Unable to provide the exact factual point to support his submission, he seeks permission to proceed with the subsequent submissions. In the interest of time, the Tribunal asks him to directly move to the issue of damages. Indeed, true to the nature of arbitration between commercial parties, time is money at the end of the day.
17:05 The Respondent speaker takes the floor. She admits that the Respondent is not absolved of all liability but relies on the contract to mitigate the liability of the Respondent. Judge: “How can a contractual clause override the incorporated law?” Speaker: “Contract is based on consensus ad idem.” The Speaker is unable to provide reasoning for her argument on the validity of the contractual clause and ultimately pleads ignorance.
17:12 In an unprecedented development, the speaker completed her submission and her prayer with 6:52 minutes to spare. The additional time was added to the time of the first Respondent Speaker, who sought to complete the arguments on issues 1 and 2. It’s anyone’s guess whether the second speaker was sad or happy with such a development.
17:21 The Speaker relies on mercantile practices to highlight exceptions to the concerns pointed out by the Tribunal. Unsure about the value of such a reasoning, the Tribunal asked for a judgement to seek assurance. While the speaker cited the judgement, she was unaware of the bench and other specifics when probed by the Tribunal.
17:23 The Tribunal exercises its discretion and rightly so to state that counsels must adhere to the time limit very strictly. The Claimant speaker begins on a strong note by challenging the arguments of the Respondents on a point by point basis. He states “I do not agree with the Respondents’ submissions”. When would you ever?
17:26 The Respondent speaker scheduled to give the sur-rebuttal unfortunately dropped out of the room due to network issues. The second speaker swiftly stepped up to take her place. In an another unfortunate event, she also dropped out. The third strike was when one of the arbitrators dropped out due to network issues when the Respondent speaker finally re-joined. Clearly, technological and network glitches continue to be more evil than necessary.
17:30 The hosts had to resort to switching to the alternate video room to finally have everyone under one roof (albeit virtually). 20 seconds in, the round finally ends. A relatively smooth sailing with strong winds of network glitches
VCR-7: 814 vs 823
VCR 7 updates begin!
16:06 The second session has begun on a positive note free of connectivity disruptions. The first speaker from the claimant side looks fresh and confident and has started with the formalities to which one of the Arbitrators interrupted and asked him to straightaway delve into the arguments. The speaker is vehemently arguing his first issue. The arbitrators look satisfied with his claims and without posing any further questions allow him to move on to his second issue.
16:10 Owing to certain connectivity issues, the arguments of the first speaker hit a snag and he had to leave the floor. However, showing much enthusiasm and composure, the second speaker of the claimants has taken over and is now fluently arguing his side citing numerous authorities.
16:15 The speaker is countered with questions from the Arbitrator on the point made on Hague Rules which he was able to overcome with a satisfying answer. The speaker is vehemently arguing on German Maritime law and has taken up a significant portion of his time elucidating on the same. One of the arbitrators has thus asked the speaker to proceed to the other points of his claim.
16:20 The speaker is caught off guard with a tricky question pertaining to constructive possession of the cargo. The speaker took a long pause and failing to answer the question posed by the arbitrator chose to move on to a separate point.
16:25 Time is fleeing but the arbitrators can never get over grilling the counsels over intricate details. Right now, Speaker 2 and one of the Arbitrators are in a tiff over the point of unjust enrichment on the part of the claimants. The speaker is unable to put forth a convincing answer to which the Arbitrator excused him and granted him the permission to move on to the other arguments.
16:31 Tough time has lapsed. The Arbitrators and the Counsel are engrossed in a discussion over the citation of a particular authority. The current speaker just like the previous team is challenged with questions on quantification of damages which seems to be the bone of contention. The arguments of the second speaker have finally come to an end after an engaging discussion on the damages claimed.
16:43 Coming back to the first speaker, he had to encounter several connectivity issues which impede him from joining the actual courtroom. However, he was able to get into an alternative video room within the VCR. What sorcery is this? However the connection in this room is stable and the speaker calmly puts forth his arguments.
16:49 The speaker uses the argument of equity jurisdiction which the Arbitrators have immediately opposed to stating that the bench is not vested with such jurisdiction considering that arbitration takes place at the will of the parties. The claimants have successfully wrapped up their arguments and the dais is passed on to the Respondents.
16:56 Speaker 1 from the Respondent side has started on a positive note and has put forth her side negating the claims of her opponent. One of the arbitrators throws a question on the inspection report to which the speaker was able to furnish a satisfactory answer.
17:01 Arbitrators have drawn the attention of the speaker to a point mentioned in the memorial based on which they are firing questions at her. The speaker however retains her composure and continues answering the questions though the judges felt that she digressed from the issue at certain points.
17:04 The second speaker from the Respondent side has taken the podium and is vehemently arguing on the point of applicability of Hague Rules in the particular case stating that Brazil is not a signatory to the same.
17:09 The speaker confidently sails through the other arguments contending the parties of the contract and delving into the other arguments to which the arbitrators did not pose any question as of now.
17:13 The arbitrators are countering the speaker on the point of name of the consignee on the bill to which the speaker calmly responds with a convincing answer. The arbitrators allow her to proceed with her prayer following which the respondents successfully wrapped up their side.
17:15 The rebuttal round has started where the claimant came on strong and boldly answered the question which was previously posed by the Arbitrators. Additionally, the claimants have countered certain arguments made by the respondents which the counsel of the respondent has refuted claiming it to be hearsay.
17:22 The arbitrators and the counsel of respondents seem to be stuck in a loop over the issue of applicability of Hague Rules. While the respondents are constantly arguing that Hague Rules won’t be applicable to them absolving them of all liabilities, the arbitrators are pestering the counsel to deviate from their stance. However, the Respondents come out strong and refuse to change their stand which is much appreciated by the Arbitrators.
17:28 With that, the second session of the preliminary rounds of the much awaited event comes to an end. It was a fun-filled and exciting session.
17:35 The judges are engrossed in an intense discussion over the scoring scheme while the participants patiently await their response and feedback. The feedback session has commenced following which we will be done for the day and will gear up for the Day 2.
VCR-8: 802 vs 820
VCR 8 updates begin!
16:19 The Claimant begins his submissions confidently and is questioned by the judges about the arbitral clause at the onset itself. The judges bombard the speaker with questions but the speaker still holds a smile on his face while dealing with them.
16:22 The judges request the speaker to provide them with authorities to support his assertion and the speaker is able to satisfy their concern perfectly.
16:30 The judges request the speaker to first satisfy the concern with respect to the jurisdiction of the tribunal, however, the speaker dodged the same and proceeded with other issues.
16:45 The second speaker for the Claimant begins and is extremely eloquent in his submissions and answers. He seems to be satisfying the judges on all fronts and is incorporating a perfect combination of facts and law to prove his assertions.
16:56 Finally the speaker has to give in to the judges and the disappointment is filtering in through the screen. But the speaker comes back stronger than before trying to convince the judges about the liability of the Respondent to the best of his capabilities.
17:02 The speaker is feeding the judges with witty analogies to support his submissions. Seems like he will stop at nothing to support his claim!
17:06 After an unusually long extension the Claimants finally leave the floor and the Respondents begin. With questions being fired left, right and centre, the bench can definitely be labelled as an extremely active one and the speaker might not be loving it!
17:27 With the time running out the speaker sure is nervous to complete her submissions however the judges owing to their inquisitive tendency have granted multiple extensions for the speaker to cater to the questions.
18:05 The second speaker for the Respondent is grilled just as much as the other speakers but is able to answer the questions without giving in to the pressure. After what seemed like an unending round, the Respondent is finally relieved and the rebuttal begins.
18:15 The round finally comes to an end giving the judges much to deliberate upon. The feedback from a bench like the instant one sure will be enlightening for the teams.
ROUNDS FOR DAY-1 CONCLUDE!
9th April 2021
VCR-1: 822 vs 807
VCR 1 updates begin!
11:15 Rounds on Day 2 begin with yet again internet issue being faced by Speaker 1 for the Claimants. Nevertheless, the rounds proceed with the speaker laying down the facts of the case wherein she is asked a couple of questions by an Arbitrator which she answers confidently. Speaker 1 has her poker face on and continues uninterrupted for quite some time.
11:23 Speaker 1 is being asked to justify her stance on the jurisdiction issue – a question that has been popping up in every round so far. The Arbitrator tries to lead her away from the answer but Speaker 1 perseveres and is successful in satisfying the Arbitrator. He then asks her to proceed.
11:27 With each passing minute, the questions are getting more technical. It has been five minutes since the speaker has been allowed to move on with her submissions. She is backing up her answers with precedents and statutes but the Arbitrators are relentless in their questioning. She realizes that she has lost a lot of her time and finally pleads ignorance. The Arbitrators allow her a time extension of 2 minutes to complete her next submission. Phew! That was a tight corner she had allowed herself to be put in. Speaker 1 moves on with her 2nd argument.
11:35 Speaker 1 now hands the baton to her co-counsel, Speaker 2. She begins by explaining the applicability of the Hague Rules to the case study. The Arbitrator interrupts her asking why the Hague Visby Rules won’t apply. The Arbitrators are puzzled with her justification and ask her counter questions. Speaker 2 is unable to answer them and pleads ignorance. The Arbitrators are not happy.
11:44 The Arbitrators ask Speaker 2 about her knowledge of the way reefer containers function. Speaker 2, dodging the question, begins explaining the facts stated in the case study. She falls into her own trap when she misstates a fact. The Arbitrators refuse to accept her reasoning. Speaker 2 looks nervous and we can hear the anxiety in her voice.
11:55 With every question asked, Speaker 2 seems to lose her confidence and starts stumbling and stuttering through her answers. She somehow finishes her submissions. It is now time for the Respondents to take the podium.
12:07 Speaker 1 for the Respondents is not allowed a smooth start as the Arbitrators are persistently questioning her on the application of law in the present case. She is then asked to state the application of the ‘inherent vice of the goods’ principle in the case study. She is also asked to justify their fulfillment of the conditions for the inherent vice defence. Speaker 1 is unable to answer the questions directly and the Arbitrators direct her to “stop introducing new facts” at this point. It also looks like Speaker 1 is looking for a way out because she soon starts speaking over the Arbitrators and quickly shifts to her second submission. The Arbitrators quickly cut in and let her know that ‘they are not convinced at all’. Woah, this spells trouble!
12:22 Speaker 1 completes her submissions but the Arbitrators ask her one last question before Speaker 2 is allowed to proceed. She answers the question and now it is time for Speaker 2!
12:26 The round continues with an awkward moment where Speaker 2 refers to the bench as “Mr. Arbitrator” when in fact, the Bench is overwhelmingly, female. Speaker 2 looks taken aback and apologizes for her oversight. All is not well from here on out for her.
12:34 The rounds seem to be going out of hand for Speaker 2. At one point, she point blank asks the Arbitrator, “Are you understanding what I’m trying to say?”. The Arbitrator says, “No”. Ouch!
12:36 Speaker 2 has some serious conceptual issues in her arguments and the Arbitrators look exasperated. She is now being quizzed on contract law concepts, not something we expected would happen today. Speaker 2 ends her submissions and now it is time for rebuttals.
12:42 The speaker for the Claimants is done with her rebuttals in under 30 seconds. The speaker for the Respondents makes a point and is done with them in under 10 seconds. Fast! After such a brutal round, it remains to be seen how well the participants have fared. We’ll get to know the same from the Arbitrators’ feedback. Hope all goes well!
VCR-2: 823 vs 808
VCR 2 updates begin!
11:08 It’s the second day for preliminary rounds of 8th IMAM. Session 3 in Court room 2 is about to begin. Teams 823 and 808 have arrived. The session is delayed by 15 minutes due to some unprecedented issue faced by one of the judges. Claimant and Respondents seem pretty confident and prepared for their first rounds of the day after a series of grilling sessions from Day 1. It will be interesting to watch both the teams be all energetic as they decide which format to follow for the session about to start.
11:10 The judges have decided to begin the session without any further delay. Team 823 speaker 1 has taken the floor and has requested the Tribunal to proceed with her first issue. Having begun very calmly, the speaker 1 Team 823, representing the Claimants, has been abruptly interrupted by one of the judges upon making a case regarding the jurisdiction dispute.
11:19 Soon after the judges interrupted, the Speaker for team 823 seems to have been overcome with the restlessness that followed. She seems to struggle with justifying their claim regarding the interpretation of the Arbitration Clause.
11:24 Although the time for Speaker 1 from team 823 is up, one of the judges seem to have extended her time to enquire about mandatory provisions that the counsel has been emphasizing upon for quite some time now. The Arbitrator’s question seems to have caught the speaker 1 off guard. In any case, she manages to make her case and yield the floor to the next speaker from Respondents Team 808.
11:28 The Respondent Speaker 1 for team 808 has taken the floor. Looks like the defense counsel was very vigilant throughout the Claimant Speaker 1 from the team 823 rounds, as she tries to deconstruct their case regarding compensation and Jurisdiction claim.
11:35 Speaker 1 from team 808 sped up like an ALFA-X version of the Shinkansen train soon after she was interrupted by one of the Judges.
11:40 The Speaker 1 from team 808 seems to be back to her normal pace. For quite some time now there has been constant badgering by judges with questions concerning containers’ dispute, however, the Speaker 1 is pretty stable and consistent with her arguments. It’s unclear though whether the judges questioning implies their curiosity towards her case or dissatisfaction with her reasoning.
11:46 The time is up for Speaker 1 from team 808 but one of the judges is still enquiring about her factual and legal analysis concerning Respondents’ carrier containers. It is pretty exciting to watch her justify Respondents’ claims without faltering.
11:50 After a great round of interrogation of the Respondent Speaker 1 from Team 808, the Claimant speaker 2 for team 823 has taken the floor. Before she could even make her case, 2 out of the 3 judges have unexpectedly stopped her to clarify Claimants’ request for compensation claims.
11:54 A series of questions have been following up for last four minutes. Speaker 2 for team 823 looks anxious with all these questions being thrown at her, wondering if she has been thrown off track by the Tribunal. But the Speaker 2 has managed to answer every question very calmly. Looks like the speaker has realised her entire case for 16 minutes will have to be made by answering questions only.
12:09 After an elaborate session of answering by Speaker 2 of Team 823, the Tribunal tactfully questioned the Counsel on a two-fold concern that still appeared to prevail in their minds. Those being, the capacity of the Claimants to sue and regarding the applicability of the insurance. The Speaker 2 tried to evade the question by requesting for an extension of time. However, with the grant of additional 2 minutes, the speaker 2 could neither justify this nor cite any source for value of compensation claimed. It was indeed very apparent that one of the judges appeared to be very interested in testing the Speaker 2 on her basic research preparation.
12:13 The speaker 2 for team 808 is the last speaker for this session before the rebuttals begin. Upon taking the floor, he appears to be unaffected by his surrounding, like the wise old man from one of Shakespearean Plays. He begins the rounds with a brief introduction, and lays down two issues that he shall be addressing, mainly the damage to containers and if claimant has a right to compensation claim.
12:37 Just like the Speaker 1, the Respondents Team 808 Speaker 2 managed to present an impressive performance with great oratory skills and logical analysis of the disputes before the Tribunal. Fortunately, the Tribunal seems to have enjoyed their engagement with the Speaker 2 from team 808 during the session.
12:40 The Speaker 2 for team 823 has taken the floor for Rebuttals. Her arguments are very responsive to the arguments presented by the Respondents Counsels before.
12:44 The Speaker 1 for Respondents team 808 is backfiring with factual evidence to make their case even stronger in the sur-rebuttals.
12:50 After a great round with some interesting discussions and deliberations by Teams 823 v. 808, the session 3 has come to an end. Participants are eagerly waiting for their feedback before they can get back on track for the next session.
VCR-3: 818 vs 820
VCR 3 updates begin!
11:10 Rounds for 818 v 820 begins in court room 3 in the presence of the judges.
11:11 With regard to the format, the Claimant informs the judges that the Respondent has challenged the jurisdiction of this tribunal and therefore they should be the one to argue. The judges let the parties mutually decide on this.
11:14 Speaker 1 of the Claimant begins after the bilateral decision between the parties on who will argue first.
11:15 Counsel lays down the issues and bone of contention before the tribunal.
11:19 Counsel argues that mandatory provision of section 9 will prevail over SCMA Rules.
11:22 Judge brings counsel’s attention to the attendum ask the applicability of the Rules and ask him to justify his submission.
11:24 Somehow the counsel tries to satisfy the judges by his contention and proceed ahead with the next submission.
11:26 “Who is the lawful holder of the bill of lading ?” – the judge has asked the counsel.
11:28 Judge asks what is the nature of the document in order to finance the transaction, it seems that counsel does not know the answer to it.
11:30 Judge continues grilling the counsel on the technicalities of the transaction and conditions attached to it.
11:31 Two extra minutes are alloted to the counsel so that he can answer the questions asked by the tribunal.
11:33 Judge asks the counsel to summarise the remaining issue within next 30 seconds.
11:34 Counsel yields the floor.
11:34 Speaker 2 continues the claimant’s argument on the issue of coversion of containers.
11:36 Judge pointed out that if the facts are silent then how can you come to the assumption that there was conversion of the containers.
11:37 Counsel concedes to the observation pointed out by the judge.
11:39 Applicability of Hague Rules is contented by the counsel and utilised to answer the questions raised by the judges.
11:42 Counsel seems to convince the judges with the rules of interpretation to justify his contention.
11:47 Claimants speaker 2 completes his arguments. He has eloquently argued and answered the panel’s questions.
11:51 Respondent speaker 1 begins with her submissions.
11:56 5 minutes up. No questions have been asked. The bench seems to agree with the speaker’s submissions.
11:59 The panel questions the speaker on whether a multi-model bill of lading is a document of title?
11:59 The speaker cites several authorities to establish that such a bill would not constitute a document of title.
12:05 The panelists continue to grill the speaker. The speaker fumbles.
12:06 Speaker 1 completes her submissions.
12:07 Speaker 2 takes the floor and is immediately faced with multiple questions.
12:16 The judges question with regard to the liability of the carrier and about whether the respondent followed the principles of seaworthiness?
12:16 The speaker answers amidst heavy grilling. She maintains her composure and continues to respond.
12:24 Speaker 2 completes her submissions. Rebuttals and sur-rebuttals commence. It has been a fulfilling yet challenging round for both teams.
VCR-4: 821 vs 826
VCR 4 updates begin!
11:05 And Day 2 of IMAM is in session! Having caught up on sleep and well rested, all the participants and judges in the courtroom look fresh. Looks like we are about to witness a great pleading this session. With one of the judges being absent, the organizers had no choice but to follow the protocols and commence the round with a two-member bench.
11:06 As proposed by one of the judges, the teams deliberate whether they are in consensus with the idea of following a RCCR speaking model as followed by traditional arbitration moots. The respondents seem to be in agreement and procedural speaker from Respondent side is ready to take the floor.
11:08 First speaker of the day, Respondents’ procedural speaker begins with his submissions. His style of speaking comes across as very natural and seamless, he uses his hands to emphasise on facts that are in favour of his client. Now that the judges are fairly well versed with the facts of the case, he is not investing a lot of time on background to the issues, which seems like a smart move giving him more time for his submissions.
11:11 Until now the speaker had been moving in a very smooth uninterrupted flow, however, he muted himself by mistake which breaks his flow. The judge had to unmute herself and point it out to the speaker. He stopped immediately, unmuted himself and apologized to the bench. After this brief pause on account of technical difficulty, the speaker proceeds with his submissions.
11:17 What seemed like a cold bench till now, suddenly turns into a hot bench now. Lot of procedural questions are thrown at the speaker. He is finding it difficult to keep up with the questions. The judge has caught the speaker in a loop with a question on the fundamental principle of arbitration, whether arbitration rules prevail over lex arbitri. With about six minutes still left on the clock, the speaker steps down the floor and requests to continue with his submissions after the claimants’ have made their case. The judges allow him to do so clearly allowing a modification in the traditional RCCR model.
11:18 Now the claimants’ procedural speaker takes the floor. He takes a couple of seconds to himself and takes a deep breath before he starts speaking. This is a very common practice shown by seasoned speakers and reflects nothing but confidence.
11:25 With the bench already set in the mood to grill, the speaker is having a hard time in making his submissions without being interrrupted almost every 30 seconds. . What was evident is that the speaker knew the answers to all the questions but since the judge kept rephrasing his questions in order to confuse him, the speaker got a tad bit impatient.There were a couple of instances where he interrupted the judge while he was asking a question which might be taken as an offense by a hot bench. We can only hope that the judges in this session didn’t.
11:34 Having run out of his time and still stuck in a loop of follow up questions, the speaker in a respected and a tactful manner puts his point across the table with the help of his conclusion. We can see a look of satisfaction on the face of the judges as well. The merits speaker for claimant takes the floor.
11:44 Unlike the composure shown by his co-speaker, the merits speaker is definitely not handling a hot bench well. Flustered with the plethora of questions thrown at him, the speaker had a hard time to move back to his submissions
11:47 With time running out of his hands,the speaker knew he had to get out of that loop and smartly enough, he requested the bench to allow him to conclude with his submissions and address the remaining concerns of the bench in the conclusion. This particular statement was received well by the bench and they gave him a nod.
11:50 Now, the respondents’ procedural speaker takes the floor again with almost six minutes left on his clock.
11:55 With five minutes into his submissions, the speaker suddenly realizes that the hot bench has turned cold during his pleading. He takes a moment of pause and asks the bench whether they have a concern. One of the judges politely reply that they have been able to follow his submissions and he need not worry. After receiving this affirmation, the procedural speaker smoothly sails ahead and wraps up his submissions on a great note.
11:56 Everyone turns their eyes on the final speaker of the round. With the best presentation and video set-up among all the speakers, the respondents’ merits speaker takes the floor. She seems a bit nervous as she begins introducing herself. However, a few minutes into the pleading she has deftly regained her confidence.
12:05 Gracefully, moving ahead with the submissions, the speaker incorporated a couple of references from the moot proposition which gauged the bench’s attention really well thereby enabling her to conclude with minimal interruptions.
12:10 With one minute of rebuttal time in hand, the claimants’ merits speaker made a 3 point structured and impactful rebuttal.
12:11 Surprisingly, the sur-rebuttal was taken by the respondents’ procedural speaker rather than the merits speaker. However, he managed to make quite an impactful case for his client.
12:14 The rounds are over! The judges move into a seperate room for deliberation and scoring.
VCR-5: 824 vs 827
VCR 5 updates begin!
11:38 It’s the second day of the preliminary rounds. The participants and Judges of VCR 5 are fresh and ready for the first session of the day. As expected, the judge asks the respondents if they are challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The respondents affirm the same and subsequently, the Speaker 1 takes the floor to present her submissions for the jurisdictional challenges.
11:42 Seems like the Internet is not a friend for the respondents today. The speaker 1 powers through the unfortunate glitches gracefully and continues with her submissions. She has a certain amount of calmness and poise in her voice which is proving to be an incentive given her internet condition.
11:47 The question for the applicable law is now here, as the judge asks for an authority to justify the same. She pleads ignorance and this marks the end of her submissions.
11:50 Now it’s the time for the claimants’ Speaker 1 to contest her stance. The vigour and the force in her voice leads to a sudden change in the otherwise silent and calm environment of the Courtroom. We could see one of the judges startled as she started with her arguments. Let’s see how this vigour and energy works with the judges.
12:00 “The judge interrupts her flow with a question regarding the genesis of the doctrine of subrogation and what is its value in the International Commercial Arbitration. The Counsel claims that this tribunal has never had a problem with the application of the same.
Judge: Do you have any case law to the effect?
Speaker: No, Mr. Arbitrator, but the Counsel has researched and read and I insist that the Tribunal has never had a problem with the application of doctrine of subrogation.
Judge: But do you have any authority?
Speaker: Currently, Mr Arbitrator I do not. But the researcher will send across the case law and the relevant portion and the counsel shall read it out when she sends. If this suffices, Mr. Arbitrator?
Judge: That’s fine. But do not think I am going to forget about this. If you are trying to be smart and dodge it, I suggest you think again!
Speaker: (Awkward Laugh) Sure Mr. Arbitrator.
12:06 Turns out the researcher’s authorities did not satisfy the judge’s concerns. After giving it numerous tries, the Speaker finally gave in. This marked the end of her time on the podium today. She passed the baton to her Co-Counsel .
12:15 Seems like claimants are very enthusiastic! The Speaker 2 starts her submissions and she is amazing! Speed is one of the things that the Claimant team is really into. It’s like they have their minds made up that they’ll not compromise the speed in their speech! But the good thing is despite the speed, the fluency is maintained throughout!
12:30 The Speaker 2 ends on a satisfactory note. The eyes turn to the Respondents, for now it’s their chance to defend themselves on the allegations put forth by the claimants. They face some very serious network issues, but they finally manage to secure a connection and the Speaker 1 commences with her submissions. Her calmness despite the technical issues is commendable.
12:58 Through all the technical issues, the respondents struggle to make their submissions and the questions certainly aren’t helping the situation. Bad day for them!
13:01 Time for Rebuttals! The claimants jump at the opportunity and point out each and every fallacy in the Respondents arguments. The respondents try to sur-rebut, it is very hard to say whether they did satisfy all the concerns or not.
VCR-6: 804 vs 802
VCR 6 updates begin!
11:09 Ready for an early start, the teams deliberate in their prep rooms to decide the order of speaking. Since Respondents are not challenging the jurisdiction, they let the Claimants go first.
11:16 After a slight delay due to technical issues, the first counsel for the Claimant has finally taken the floor. With no questions on the matter of number of arbitrators so far, seems like its smooth sailing for the counsel
11:19 The Tribunal directs the counsel to the arbitration clause as well as the provisions of the SCMA to contradict his argument. The counsel responds by arguing that the IAA constitutes lex arbitri and is in application, together with SCMA. The Tribunal does not seem satisfied and asks for a hierarchy of laws, “Why are we going to the lex arbitri in the first place?”
11:22 The counsel seems to be adamant on his argument of the mandatory provision of the SCMA rules and says that they are not in contravention of the rules when they apply the lex arbitri. The Tribunal does not seem satisfied, making it evident. In the interest of time, the Tribunal permits the counsel to proceed to the second issue.
11:25 With no questions on the second submission in entirety, the counsel quickly proceeds to the third issue. Are the arguments convincing or is the counsel rushing through his transcript to complete it in time?
11:28 The counsel quotes Salmond on torts to make his point, along with several cases. The Tribunal does not intervene with questions but is listening intently to every word.
11:29 The temperatures run cold today: The counsel before concluding, asks if the Tribunal has any further questions. The Tribunal responds with a unanimous No!. Without a solid landing, the counsel passes the baton to his co-counsel who begins with laying down a roadmap.
11:32 “Member of the Tribunals”: The tension is visible as the counsel starts fumbling. The Tribunal uses this window to question him on his argument regarding Clause 11(3) of the contract. He cites a clarification to answer the concern, albeit unsuccessfully. The counsel then provides an alternate argument on conduct to prove the applicability of the Hague Rules. Finally, the Tribunal is content.
11:36 The Tribunal is unable to understand “what” the negligence of the Respondent really is? After two follow-ups, the counsel makes his point. Even then, the Tribunal is not convinced how this conduct makes them liable? After an uncertain response, the counsel soldiers on.
11:41 “What is the basis for making this statement on market value?”. Without mentioning the exact clause, till he is asked to do so by the Tribunal, the counsel answers the concern. A Sponge-bob themed ringtone keeps interjecting more than the Tribunal. The Tribunal finally asks for the timer to be paused till the counsel puts his phone on silent. “Ma’am priorities matter, the Tribunal is my priority”. “That is okay, just put your phone on silent“. The Tribunal sets an example of being calm and composed during testing moments.
11:46 The counsel for the Respondents has taken the floor. He begins with a polite and calm tone. He waits for the Tribunal’s nod periodically. He seems to have doused the fire created by the Claimants during their pleading.
11:48 We are unsure if its the polite and calm demeanor of the counsel that is helping his case or the soundness of his arguments, but the Tribunal does not interject with questions.
11:50 The Tribunal finally asks him a question. The counsel tactfully answers it in his next submission, using the logic of the Claimants argument itself. His enunciation seems to contribute to his argument some more.
12:03 He finally concludes, ending as calmly and politely as he began. His co-counsel has taken the floor, beginning on an informal note befiting an arbitration.
12:06 After a rather elaborate roadmap and introduction, the final speaker of his round begins his arguments. On his first submission itself, the Tribunal points out how there is no explicit exclusion in the case at hand. The counsel is glad that the Tribunal asked him this, he answers briefly while stating that he will address it in a more detailed manner in his subsequent submissions. He keeps quoting Lord Diplock.
12:19 After two extensions, the counsel finally concludes his submission. The rebuttal is extremely responsive to the submissions of the Respondent and sharply points out that they relied on an overruled case law. The sur-rebuttal is short but the sweetness is subjective to the Tribunal’s liking.
12:28 The counsel for the Respondents exceeds his extended time in the rebuttals as well. The Tribunal has to finally ask him to step down. Before the judges move for deliberation, the counsel for the Claimants clarifies a point that was used in the sur-rebuttals ‘for information sake’. The Tribunal politely nods even though it was information that no one asked for.
VCR-7: 812 vs 813
VCR 7 updates begin!
11:30 The Session 3 has commenced after a slight delay and conflict between the parties as to which side will go first considering that the Respondents would be challenging the jurisdiction itself. However, the Arbitrators have used their discretion and allowed the Claimants to present their side first.
11:33 The first speaker from the claimants’ side looks determined and is presenting her arguments with a lot of conviction. Her arguments are well laden with citation of authorities from numerous jurisdictions and she is confidently using the same to substantiate her arguments.
11:36 It seems like the arbitrators are well-satisfied with the arguments framed by the speaker on the appointment of a sole arbitrator in accordance with the rules of the International Arbitration Act. The arbitrators did not interrupt the speaker for questions during the entire course of 10 mins in which she spoke.
11:36 It seems like the arbitrators are well-satisfied with the arguments framed by the speaker on the appointment of a sole arbitrator in accordance with the rules of the International Arbitration Act. The arbitrators did not interrupt the speaker for questions during the entire course of 10 mins in which she spoke.
11:40 The podium has been passed to the second speaker who is confidently putting forth the claims and will be speaking for 18 minutes in total. The Arbitrators are attentively listening to the arguments made by the counsel.
11.45 Finally, half way into the arguments of the second speaker, one of the arbitrators has interrupted her and is bombarding her with questions pertaining to the bill of lading. It seems like the speaker is not clear with the questions so she pleads the arbitrator to repeat himself. The Speaker finally took some time and explained her side to which the arbitrator asked her to proceed with other points. However, she is immediately interrupted by another arbitrator who is spinning questions on the applicability of Hague Rules.
11.50 The speaker is yet again countered with another question pertaining to the Tort of Conversion following which the Arbitrators seem to be roasting her not claiming damages. However, the speaker maintaining her composure enthusiastically responds that the issue will be dealt with at a later stage.
11:56 The speaker is wading through her arguments when she is impeded by a tricky question from one of the arbitrators. Time has elapsed but the arbitrators have considered the request of the counsel and granted her an extension to wrap up her arguments.
11:59 The speaker pulling herself together is presenting the last part of her arguments which primarily deals with the damages claimed by the claimants. The arbitrators are not convinced by the amount claimed by the claimants, however the counsel representing them were humble enough to accept any change as may be made by the arbitrator in the quantification of damages. With this, the claimants have successfully wrapped up the arguments of their side.
12:05 The first from the Respondent’s side has taken the floor now and is vehemently arguing on the point of Bill of lading addressing the issue of possession of the cargo. It seems like the issue of the bill of lading is attracting a lot of questions. The counsel is attacked with several questions regarding the same.
12:11 The arbitrators refuse to go easy on the respondents and continue to bombard him with questions on the MMT bill of lading. The arbitrators are reading out clauses from the bill and posing more questions. The speaker however, does a commendable job maintaining his composure and steadily addresses the questions raised by the arbitrators.
12:16 The arbitrators propose a certain solution to the counsel of respondents to which the speaker refuses to concede and strongly puts forth his stance citing authorities and landmark judgements. The speaker has been able to successfully wrap up his arguments a minute before his time elapsed which is applausable. The dias has now been passed on to the second speaker.
12:20 The second speaker verifying the stability of his connection begins unravelling his assertions and arguments. His first argument pertaining to the non-applicability of Hague Rules remains uninterrupted by the arbitrators. The second counsel of the respondent has made a point regarding non-liability of the party for any mishap taking place in a South American country. This point is immediately countered with numerous questions and the arbitrators label his argument as “dichotomous”.
12:25 The counsel humbly moves ahead to address the questions of the arbitrators referring to various rules, documents and landmark judgements where different interpretations have been given by Courts. After an engaging discussion over the issue, the Counsel is gestured to proceed with his further arguments.
12:30 The speaker from the respondent side concludes his side and the rebuttal rounds begin with much anticipated excitement. The claimants’ side raise objections to certain arguments of the respondents and submit to the tribunal following which the respondents have come up with a forceful surrebuttal response.
12:35 The participants have given the arbitrators much content to deliberate upon owing to which the arbitrators have been shifted to the Judges’ room. The feedback session will commence in sometime following which the session 3 will come to an end.
VCR-8: 819 vs 815
VCR 8 updates begin!
11:20 After an exciting first day the teams are all set to begin the second day with just as much enthusiasm! The Claimant begins confidently and the lack of questions definitely helps with the flow.
11:22 Well that didn’t last long as the judge starts asking the questions and to the speaker’s dismay she had to plead ignorance for the first question itself.
11:35 The speaker seems to be pleading ignorance on way too many instances which is definitely not helping her case. However, she tries to keep her composure and proceeds with her submissions. Despite several attempts the speaker struggles to answer the judges’ questions and yields the flow to her co-counsel while leaving the judges dissatisfied and disappointed.
11:41 The second speaker begins while the researcher endeavours to find the answers to the judges’ questions posed to the first speaker. The second speaker faces the same issues as the first one. Baseless assertions can definitely not fly with this bench of active arbitrators. The team is evidently struggling due to the research loopholes.
12:02 The second speaker continues the streak of pleading ignorance and leaves the stand on a similar dissatisfactory note. The Respondent begins and since the speaker had already conceded to the jurisdiction the speaker is asked not to contend that issue. The sudden improvisation evidently throws the speaker off, she struggles but tries to proceed with her submissions.
12:39 The Respondents face severe connectivity issues to answer the rebuttal and after waiting long enough the rounds finally conclude. The judges enter the room for deliberation and the teams wait eagerly for the feedback.
VCR-1: 824 vs 816
VCR 1 updates begin!
13:50 The session begins and Speaker 1 for the Claimants is off to a grand start. The Arbitrators have started asking questions and the speaker is putting forth her points confidently. A hot debate ensues and the Speaker and the Arbitrator have different opinions. After an interesting exchange of concepts and reasons, the discussion finally ends with the Arbitrators nodding their heads along with Speaker 1’s points. A first in this courtroom, we must say!
13:54 Speaker 1 comfortably finishes her first issue and if the expressions on the Arbitrators’ faces are to be believed, she’s doing a great job. Although as the round progresses, it looks like Speaker 1 is toeing the line between being assertive and outright rude. Emphasizing her points, she tries to explain her arguments with head nods and hand gestures. The Arbitrators do not ask any more questions.
14:16 Speaker 1 completes her submissions and Speaker 2 begins her submissions. She is soon interrupted by the Arbitrators who ask her a slew of questions about the cargo and the reefer containers. She answers them patiently and does not lose her composure at any point. The Arbitrators continue to try to rattle the speaker but in vain.
14:26 It has been almost 10 minutes since Speaker 2 has been allowed to proceed with her submissions. Shots are being constantly fired and Speaker 2 is proving adept in avoiding them. Her arguments are multi-layered but coherent, allowing her to face the Arbitrators’ constant battering. It does not look like this war of words is ending anytime soon enough though!
14:33 Speaker 2’s successful stint finally comes to an end when one of the Arbitrators’ ends up asking her an unexpected question, judging by the nervous pause in the room. She stumbles her way through an answer that leads to more counter questioning.
14:41 There again comes a point where the Arbitrator and the speaker have different opinions but Speaker 2 is successful in convincing the Arbitrator who nods and allows her to proceed. An unprecedented feat in this courtroom! Bravo!
14:45 Woah! It looks like the Claimants have one last trick up their sleeve when Speaker 2 quotes Benjamin Franklin in her speech saying, “Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes more money”. The Arbitrators burst out laughing and the mood is lightened considerably.
14:48 Speaker 2 is finally done with her submissions and it is now time for the Respondents to speak.
14:50 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins her submissions with a slight tremor in her voice but soon picks pace and is comfortable. She is not interrupted and completes her first issue with hardly any interruptions. The Arbitrators continue to listen closely.
14:59 Speaker 1 has run into trouble soon and soon pleads ignorance to move forward with her submissions. She completes them quickly and Speaker 2 takes the floor.
15:03 Speaker 2 has not even completed his first sentence and is interrupted.The Arbitrator informs Speaker 2 that is not a ‘petition’ and the speaker has misstated. He apologizes and the round moves on. Unfortunately, it only gets worse from here on. He’s asked a series of questions and is unable to answer any of them satisfactorily. Judging by the heavy silence in the courtroom, Speaker 2 needs to do some damage control and now!
15:16 Speaker 2 is granted an extension of 2 minutes to complete his arguments. His voice sounds shaky and his face betrays his nerves. Stuttering, he completes his arguments and now it is time for rebuttals!
15:19 Speaker 1 for the Claimants makes her points quite aggressively, almost being snarky! The Arbitrators are highly amused and are hiding their smiles behind their hands. Speaker 2 sur-rebutes but he does not have as many points to make. Do the number of points really matter when it’s their quality that is being judged? We don’t think so.
15:20 The rounds are finally over and the participants now wait for the feedback session. Well, the rounds were quite interesting so we can only hope the feedback will be the same if not more.
VCR-2: 819 vs 817
VCR 2 updates begin!
13:49 Session 4 in Court Room 2 has begun. Teams 819 and 817 have joined the room and so have the judges. The atmosphere inside the courtroom is as pleasant as the weather outside..
13:53 Speaker 1 from team 819 has taken the floor and shall be arguing for the jurisdiction issues. Looks like the grilling from last session has made the speaker as calm as the water in the Mahanadi River.
14:03 Just like winter comes and goes away before even the people of Odisha get to feel it, Speaker 1 from Team 819 managed to make her way out of her first round in session 4. However, Claimants are so eager to argue their case and protect their client’s interests that the Speaker 2 from Team 819 forgot that the teams were following the CRCR method. Thankfully, the observant Host made sure the rightful speaker 1 from team 817 got her chance to defend the interests of Respondents vested in its container ships.
14:14 Claimant researcher from team 819 seems confused and stunned at the arguments made by Respondent Speaker 1 from team 817. The researcher seems to be frantically searching for something as the Speaker 1 from team 817 continues to confidently back her arguments with facts and laws.
14:51 Claimant speaker 2 from team 819 has faced a major setback with his internet connectivity. It no longer seems as pleasant for the Claimants’ Counsels as neither his internet nor the microphone is working. After a delay of more than 10 minutes, the organizers have found a solution to the problem. The Speaker 2 for team 819 has been allowed to continue without his video. It is good to see that after so much delay, confidence has not faltered for the speaker as he continues to smartly answer the Tribunal’s questions.
14:55 Identity is unique to every human, as it is for Team 819. Upon an enquiry by the judge to Team 819 as to “Who are they?”, Speaker 2 from team 819 has managed to preserve their identity as “We are the Claimants”. Seems like the Claimants are here to etch their name for posterity.
15:15 After a lot of hardships as faced by the Claimant Counsels during the rounds, the session 4 for court room 2 comes to an end. There’s no rest for the teams though, as the next session is about to begin in a few minutes. More grilling and more discussions to take place in deciding whether the Claimant really has a claim for compensatory relief or whether the Respondents are right in defending their position before the Tribunal.
VCR-3: 804 vs 806
VCR 3 updates begin!
13:43 Round for session 4 begins. Claimant counsel takes the floor.
13:44 Judges are well versed with facts, therefore, the counsel proceed with his submission. He seems confident and clear.
13:50 Counsel tries to answer the judges but it seems that the response does not up to their level of satisfaction.
13:51 Judge places the question of how having a sole arbitrator going to help them in execution of the award. Counsel could not hear the question due to the network issue. But somehow he answers it.
13:54 Counsel submits very conveniently argue that they are the lawful holders of the bill.
13:56 Stating that every person is liable for unlawful conversion so does the respondent.
13:57 Panel grants 2 minutes of extension for completion of the submission.
14:05 After resolving the internet issue, the Speaker 1 completed his contention.
14:07 Speaker 2 is facing connectivity issues due to bad weather.
14:43 Speaker 2 continues the claimant’s submission after resolving the internet issue. He seems nervous.
14:47 Counsel apologise to the panel for the connectivity issue, the judges console the counsel by saying that this is something unforeseeable.
14:50 The panel begins grilling on the applicability of Hague Rules.
14:51 Counsel’s justification does not seem enough to justify his contention.
14:55 Panel has put forth a series of questions on the counsel.
14:57 An extension of 3 minutes is granted by the generous Panel.
14:59 Counsel fumbles a little bit while answering the questions.
15:00 Another extension of 1 minute is granted by the Panel.
15:03 Counsel concludes his submission.
15:04 Respondent begins the submissions and Speaker 1 takes the floor. She seems confident and fluent.
15:08 Counsel with very clarity submits on the issue of arbitration.
15:11 Counsel proceeds with the issue of merits.
15:14 Judge simply puts forth a very basic question as to ‘What is a bill of lading?’
15:15 Judge grills the counsel on the issue related to the bills of lading and it seems that she is not able to convince them.
15:19 An extension of 3 minutes is granted by the Panel.
15:22 Speaker 2 takes the floor in order to complete the remaining issues and the unanswered questions. She seems calm and composed.
15:27 Counsel answers the question asked by the panel.
15:32 Counsel tries to convince the panel by her argument.
15:37 Due to the paucity of time, the counsel seeks permission to proceed to the last issue.
15:40 An extension of 2 minutes was granted.
15:42 Counsel could not complete the issues at hand within the given time and then she hastily concludes the submission.
15:44 Speaker 1 of the Claimant’s takes the floor for rebuttal. He mentions that the respondent themselves contradicted their own submissions.
15:50 Speaker 2 of Respondent comes for sur-rebuttal and submits her contention.
VCR-4: 815 vs 822
VCR 4 updates begin!
13:50 After having faced some technical difficulties with one of the participants, which is a given in a virtual setup, the next round is finally in session.
13:54 The claimant begins with enthusiasm, laying down a structured roadmap and time division for her issues along with the time reserved for rebuttals.
14:03 So far, so good or did I speak too soon? One of the judges caught the speaker citing an authority which was in fact, not used by the team in their written memoranda. The look on the speakers’ face reflected she knew what was coming for her next. The judge asked if she was aware about the rule that requires oral pleading only on the basis of written memoranda. She quickly retrieved herself from the precarious situation by emphasizing or rather shifting the benches’ attention to the facts of the case law cited by her. It seemed like a good save and hopefully the bench takes it into consideration.
14:17 As the claimants’ merits speaker takes the floor, we lose her from the courtroom as she is facing connectivity issues. We can see her teammates’ getting anxious,thankfully, after a few minutes she is back and begins with her submissions. She comes across as a confident speaker unfettered by the hindrances faced by her prior to her submissions. However, her flow keeps getting interrupted, unfortunately not by the judges but because of the internet connectivity.
14:30 With a smile on her face and mannerisms constantly appropriate, the speaker summarised her pleading answering all the questions posed by the judges in the process. It is safe to say that no amount of technical hassles faced by the speaker could shake her confidence and spirit.
14:35 It is now the respondents’ turn to take the floor and make a strong case for their clients. The procedure speaker starts off by laying down the groundwork, to put it simply, explaining the intricacies of the procedural aspects of the case. The road map was crisp and clear, we could see one of the judges nodding their head, which ideally is indicative of a positive response.
14:40 The speaker is thrown off for a minute when the judges catch a loophole in one of her submissions. In order to retrieve herself from that situation, she uses a case law to put her point across, the bench does not seem quite convinced, but they ask her to proceed anyway.
14:42 Now we turn our eyes towards the last speaker of the round. It has been established that the judges are not particularly in the mood to grill today, however, give them a room for error and they would not let you go easily. Something similar happened with the claimants’ merits speaker. The judge caught her on a factual point of error which ultimately led her to concede.
14:52 Now that the pleadings have ended, it is rebuttal time. This is where the teams get the chance to make a final impact on the judges. Rising to the occasion, claimants used their one minute effectively. Respondents on the other hand did an average job sur-rebutting the same.
14:53 And the rounds are over! We shall see everyone on the other side for feedback.
VCR-5: 813 vs 823
VCR 5 updates begin!
13:50 After a refreshing lunch break, the session 5 begins smoothly. Now, the eyes are on the Speaker 1 of the Respondents while she makes her way to the podium to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. The speaker seems to be in a flow and makes it hard for the judges to interrupt her. Good going so far!
13:55 Looks like the speaker 1 misled the judges when she claimed that she was challenging the jurisdiction. She now claims that she is not challenging the jurisdiction, but the locus standi of the claimants. This evidently annoys the judges as she is not sticking to one point.
13:56 “Don’t beat around the bush, Counsel. I asked you a simple question, give me a simple answer”!! Silence in the Courtroom.. This definitely stifled the Speaker. We hope she gathers herself together!
14:00 A debate starts on the necessity of three arbitrators instead of a sole arbitrator. The Counsel answers the same. The Judges don’t have any follow up questions. This concludes the Respondent’s arguments on the locus standi.
14:07 The Speaker 1 takes the floor and we must say, he is very clear, crisp and articulate with his submissions. He properly lays down a structure for the bench, making it more interesting and engaging. Great work!
14:20 The Speaker faces a good amount of questions and by the looks of it, he strives and is successful and is satisfying the judges in their concerns. He then concludes his submissions perfectly summarising all the reasons why there should be a sole arbitrator. His reasons have definitely convinced me, I hope the judges are convinced too.
14:22 Speaker 2 of the Claimants has to fill the shoes of Speaker 1 now. And may I say, he does justice to his side. His fluency and confidence is at peak. He begins with providing a roadmap for his submissions and issues. Little does he know that he won’t be able to stick to that little roadmap drawn by him.
14:29 Soon after he laid down his structure, he is derailed from it when a never-ending debate starts between him and the judges regarding the Hague rules. It’s now starting to look like the speaker is kind of satisfying the concerns, but thescore sheet will only say how convincing he was. Good luck to him for that. He respectfully requests for a 2 minute extension, and he is graciously granted the same. He sums up his arguments within a minute. He does that beautifully and fluently. The arbitrators listen to him intently without any further questions. So far, so good!
14:35 The Speaker 2 from the respondents starts! There is something unusual and amazing in her tone and the way she is speaking! It’s refreshing as it breaks the monotony. We love it!
14:45 “Judge: Counsel, you just can’t claim the defence that you have no hard proof for every other argument. You are making it a practice now. Ouch! That had to hurt.”
14:52 What seemed like a never ending round has finally ended. We now move to the rebuttals wherein The Speaker 2 from the Claimants very clearly laid down their concerns with the Respondent’s arguments and the respondents subsequently stand firm on their contentions.
VCR-6: 812 vs 814
VCR 6 updates begin!
13:46 Beaming smiles for a screenshot and the rounds commence with the Claimant taking the floor first, as the Respondents refuse to contest jurisdiction. A lag in the network does not dim the confidence of the first counsel, she proceeds calmly.
13:53 The counsel argues that IAA can overrule the SCMA in case of a conflict. “Where is the conflict?” The counsel doesn’t answer directly. “When does the lex arbitri overrule the institutional rules, and does it matter in the case of arbitrators?” The counsel responds by saying that this question falls within the realm of the discretion of the Tribunal. A network glitch pauses the proceedings and gives her some much needed respite in a grilling session.
14:00 With 2 mins left on the clock, the counsel’s train leaves the station of oral submissions, moving at a speed of 500km/hr. She concludes her submission on her first and final issue at the speed of 750km/hr.
14:04 The second counsel seems confused, she makes an argument on both contractual and non-contractual or tortious liability. The Tribunal tries to clarify the position, but to no avail.
14:06 The Tribunal is patient and calm, pausing the timer with every network glitch. The counsel musters through.
14:08 The Tribunal asks for a judicial pronouncement to clarify a particularly contentious position. She reads from her submissions to find a case law and tries to answer. The Tribunal points out that the question at hand and the ratio of the case deal with two different points of law. They let her proceed with her submissions but network problems continue to ruin the day.
14:12 After an extended interruption, the Tribunal sighs. The adept courtroom managers suggest the counsels to switch devices, since they were participating from the same window. The Tribunal also graciously accords an additional minute so that the counsel can compose herself and complete her submission in time.
14:19 The Tribunal asks whether they have the discretion to award non-contractual damages, being a Tribunal and not a Court of law. They wonder if it’s a discretion or excess of mandate. As basic as the question may be, the counsel is unable to answer and says that she would not be able to assist the Tribunal. It’s ironic that the counsel pleaded a request for relief that she isn’t even sure falls within the mandate of the Tribunal to award.
14:29 Tribunal:”What is the excess amount you want? ” Counsel:”Anything that the Tribunal finds its discretion to give” Tribunal: “Why do you claim market value? Does common law allow you to claim it?” The counsel again merely asks the Tribunal to exercise its discretion, without specifying whether they have that discretion in law or under the contract or what that discretion even means ?
14:32 In the interest of equality of parties, the Tribunal grants additional time to the Respondent, equivalent to the Claimant. The counsel for the Respondent begins in a calm manner. His demeanor doesn’t waiver even as the Tribunal starts grilling him, 30 seconds in.
14:36 His confidence doesn’t take a hit, even though he is unable to answer the Tribunal’s questions.
14:41 Counsel: “May I ask the Tribunal to ask the questions after I have finished?” The Tribunal bursts out laughing, and so do we.
14:45 Tribunal” “If you are arguing intention, give us any one case where intent overrides the provisions of the contract?”. Counsel : “The Counsel is not aware, but the counsel is also arguing a different point”. When a question was asked on that different point, the counsel responded with “the counsel has no answer”. He concludes his submissions weakly, giving way to his co-counsel. The co-counsel makes up for the disintegrating enthusiasm of the first speaker in his submissions.
14:54 The counsel is unable to answer the concerns raised by the Tribunal. There is an awkward silence, with the timer ticking on the screen. The Tribunal finally politely asks the counsel to proceed.
15:00 The Tribunal questions the counsel, the counsel sticks to his point. He also presents an alternative argument. When the counsel is questioned on the first argument again, he sticks to his guts and the Tribunal prima facie seems to accept it. Slow and steady wins the race, as the Respondents seem to finish strong after a rocky start and a rocky middle interspaced with a few questions.
15:02 The counsel takes the additional time to add some arguments on the interest issue. His point doesn’t seem to apply in the context of the fact that the governing law is the law of England. When questioned by the Tribunal, he repeatedly states that the same was merely a point of persuasion and proceeds to the prayer.
15:06 Unlike Evergreen stuck at the Suez Canal for more than a week, much like the main round, the rebuttals were quick and to the point.
VCR-7: 802 vs 818
VCR 7 updates begin!
13:45 Session 4 has had a rocky start owing to tons of connectivity issues. However, overcoming all the obstacles the session begins with a cheerful roar in the alternate room. Speaker 1 from the side of the Claimants has started putting forth his arguments but is immediately objected to by the point of number of arbitrators to be appointed for the matter by the arbitrators themselves.
13:50 The speaker is fluently presenting his side on the point of applicability of Hague Rules. The arbitrators are unleashing questions of applicability of two rules and questioning whether damages can be claimed twice or not. The Speaker smoothly answers the questions with much compassion and steadily proceeds with his other arguments.
13:57 The arguments presented by the first speaker were succinct and comprehensive which did not attract many questions from the arbitrators and wrapped up his arguments with 5 mins to spare which is commendable.
14:01 The limelight has now shifted to the second speaker from the claimants side. The speaker is now arguing on the Bill of lading referring to the dates on which they received the same and is urging the Arbitrators to deliberate on the point of inequality in bargaining power.
14:07 The speaker is humbly requesting the arbitrators to put themselves in the shoes of the claimants to which the arbitrators have retorted that merely because a contract is onerous it doesn’t mean that it should be frustrated. The arbitrators and the counsel of claimants are stuck in a loop over the issue of bill of lading and the arbitrators refuse to get off his back regarding this issue and demand for citation of authorities.
14:11 The Claimants’ side have requested for some time to look up the questions posed by the arbitrators while the speaker is confidently walking the arbitrators through another pertinent authority which has been cited in the memorial and trying to explain his side using the same.
14:19 The arbitrator seems a little upset with the argument on the inspection report and has engaged in a discussion with the speaker. The spell of being stuck in a loop is finally over and the claimants were allowed to wind up their arguments concluding the same.
14:23 The first speaker from the side of the speaker has now taken the floor and is aggressively challenging the jurisdiction of the matter while directing the tribunal through significant parts of the memorial.
14:29 The tribunal looks a little worn out and is taking brief breaks in between the rounds. However, the speaker is patiently and tirelessly unfolding the arguments framed. He is now countered with questions from one of the arbitrators on the point of responsibility and liability of the respondents. It seems like the questions have taken up most of the time of the speaker and he is cut off by the arbitrators after his time has elapsed.
14:35 The baton has been passed on to the second speaker representing the Respondent side who is steadily strutting through his arguments citing substantial authorities on the point of liability of the respondents.
14:44 He is further explaining various common law doctrines incorporated by numerous jurisdictions in order to corroborate the arguments framed by him.
14:49 The speaker is now contending the quantification of damages claimed from them and have in turn orally introduced counter claims which the arbitrators didn’t allow considering that the same was not mentioned in the pleadings.
14:52 The second speaker humbly submits his prayer and wraps up his side following which the claimants pouce upon the respondents with their contentions in the rebuttal rounds and are citing significant authorities to strengthen their side. This is followed by surrebuttal rounds from the respondent side who pick at the loopholes in the claims made by the claimants. The claimants refuse to back off and demand for a sur sur-rebuttal. However, that is not allowed by the tribunal and with that the round comes to an end.
15:00 The rounds are over well within the prescribed time and the participants are eagerly waiting for the feedback of the judges who are deliberating upon the phenomenal rounds they witnessed. It was a fruitful and enriching session for all and with that the session 4 comes to an end.
VCR-8: 827 vs 821
VCR 8 updates begin!
13:50 The 4th Session begins and in an exciting turn of events the Respondent requests the Arbitral Tribunal to proceed first to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal as a preliminary issue. The tribunal allows the same and the speaker for the Respondent begins aggressively.
14:04 After the Respondents are done addressing the procedural issue, the Claimant begins to prove the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The speaker seems calm and composed and the judges listen eagerly. However, the connectivity issue seems to persist and the speaker struggles.
14:30 The Claimants face major connectivity issues and after multiple tries the team finally is able to complete its submissions. The Respondents take the floor to defend their stance.
14:42 “Starting in 3, 2, 1..” is how the second speaker for the Respondent begins his submissions. Needless to say he has all eyes on him now. It will be interesting to see if he lives up to the expectations of the judges while defending his stance.
14:53 With his courtroom etiquettes on point the speaker is adamantly putting forth his submissions. The lack of questions from the judges indicates a certain degree of satisfaction which also helps the speaker to maintain his flow. However, the inevitable perils of a virtual moot, the speaker starts facing connectivity issues.
14:53 The speaker faces continuous questions and answers all of them to the judges’ satisfaction. He seems to be extremely thorough with the facts and the legal position and is undoubtedly impressing the judges with his knowledge.
15:01 The speaker gets questioned about the damages and compensation, he begins by distinguishing them but then changes his stance by saying that they mean one and the same. The judge’s reaction makes it seem like the speaker was caught in a conundrum.
15:05 With the culmination of the rebuttal and the surrebuttal the rounds come to an end and the judges proceed for deliberation.
VCR-1: 808 vs 812
16:13 The rounds begin with Speaker 1 for the Claimant laying down her preliminary issues before the Arbitrator. She is asked a question to which she pleads immediately pleads ignorance. We can appreciate how she does not attempt to dodge the question or attempts answering knowing she’s going to make it up as she speaks. This saves her a lot of time!
16:21 Her first submission over, she now proceeds with her second one. The Arbitrators look amused with the creativity of her arguments and grin at each other. We love this new development and hope this sets the tone for the entire round.
16:25 She finishes her submissions with a minute to spare and yields the floor to her co-counsel.
16:29 Speaker 2 for the Respondents is off to a smooth start and submits his first submission with no interruptions. Is this a good thing or bad? Well, only the scoresheets will tell.
16:32 Speaker 2 has now been speaking for almost 5 minutes and the Arbitrators do not have any questions for him. Noticing the same, he asks them whether he can be of any assistance but the Arbitrators shake their heads. He quickly makes 2 more submissions but the Arbitrators don’t engage with him at all. This is a bit odd and the confusion shows on the speaker’s face. Nonetheless, he completes his arguments without any further hitches.
16:44 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins her submissions with a creative argument which has our Arbitrators raising their eyebrows at her. She does not lose her composure and proceeds to explain the reasoning behind that argument. The Arbitrators nod their heads which is a good sign. They, however, ask no questions. The silence is starting to rattle us a bit. Brrr! The bench has turned cold.
16:50 It almost feels like we’re in Switzerland with how cold the Bench is. Speaker 1 completed her submissions without even one interruption, an unprecedented feat in this courtroom for sure. Speaker 2 takes the floor and so it continues.
17:00 Oh, the Respondents have finally been asked their first question. Time to rejoice! Speaker 2 answers the questions confidently but the Arbitrators don’t look satisfied. On the contrary, they’ve started looking annoyed.
17:07 Oh no! It looks like Speaker 2 has committed a blunder by disputing the survey report itself. The Arbitrators grill her on this point while Speaker 2 faces an internet connectivity issue aggravating the pressure in the room. She tries her best to get out of the tight corner she has put herself in with hesitant answers. The Arbitrators do not ask any counter questions.
17:13 Speaker 2 finally completes her arguments and the rebuttals begin. Speaker 2 for the Claimants begins with his rebuttals making one too many grand claims against the Respondents. The Arbitrators interrupt and thus, begins an interesting round of questioning and counter-questioning, a feature that we really missed in the actual rounds. The rebuttals end only after the speaker pleads ignorance to one of the Arbitrator’s questions. Now on to the sur-rebuttals!
17:28 Speaker 2 for the Respondents tries to enumerate her points but is interrupted by the Arbitrators. Oh! Her internet is acting up again and she asks the Arbitrators to repeat their questions. The alarm is sudden on her face when she is asked a question she does not know the answer to. She goes quiet but does not plead ignorance. It looks like she’s buying time for her researcher to back her up on this. The Arbitrators wait but her internet connectivity gets from bad to worse. The Arbitrators are on a tight deadline and due to the paucity of time, simply proceed to their discussion room. We guess that’s the end of sur-rebuttals. Fingers crossed for both the teams!
VCR-2: 820 vs 804
16:24 After a delay of 25 minutes, the session 5 for Court Room 2 has finally begun. The Teams 820 and 804 have agreed on following a CCRR method for this session.
16:27 The Speaker 1 for team 820 has taken the floor and she appears all confident with her preparation. Unlike the previous sessions, it looks like the Tribunal is interested in testing the knowledge of the Speaker 1 on basics of Arbitration. This could be a real testing situation for the Speaker to impress the Tribunal on interpretation of the Arbitration Clause in their Agreement.
16:35 With one of the judges interrupting the Speaker 1 from team 820 with regards to specifics of Arbitration in their Agreement, it seems like we may have another participant to compete the Speaker from team 817 for the title of “Who can answer with the fastest playback speed”.
16:40 The Speaker 1 from team 820 has managed to keep the Tribunal engaged throughout her rounds. She has been successful in securing an extension of 2 minutes to complete her submissions that concern the interests of the Claimant. Looks like she does not want to miss any scope in proving the liability of the Respondents’ carriers.
16:44 As the Speaker 1 ends her submissions smoothly, Speaker 2 from team 820 has taken the floor. The first mistake she could have avoided was not addressing herself as the counsel for the Respondents. But, gladly she got back to her senses before she could have fallen for that trap!
16:54 Very smart move by Speaker 2 from team 820 to seek an extension of 30 seconds upon realising that only 60 seconds were left. Afterall, prevention is better than suffering “collateral damage” for not being able to make submissions.
17:09 Speaker 1 from team 804 is a very articulate oralist as he defends his Respondents’ interest with artistic expressions further accentuated with his background filled with law books.
17:16 Although the speaker 1 was thankful to the judges for granting him an extension, it was rather his restlessness and anxious behaviour that could have possibly made the judges do so.
17:29 The Speaker 2 from team 804 has successfully submitted his arguments before the Tribunal amidst the internet issues. Unfortunately, we lost connection with him during his last 9 seconds. The Tribunal has decided to proceed with the Rebuttals from both sides owing to the paucity of time.
17:37 The Speaker 1 from team 820 has presented her rebuttals and she categorically addressed every issue argued by the Respondents. With the sur-rebuttals, Respondents representing team 804 have concluded their final submissions. Everyone now awaits the results for Quarter Finalists as the judges are almost done with their scoring.
VCR-3: 826 vs 824
16:28 All the judges and the participants are here in the courtroom.
16:29 With the permission of the Panel, Speaker 1 of Claimant begins his submissions. He seems confident.
16:32 Speaker 1 firmly submits that the sole arbitrator should be appointed.
16:34 As the Speaker 1 proceeds with the next issue, he provides a roadmap to his submission.
16:36 Speaker 1 convincingly submits that they are the lawful holders of the bill of lading.
16:40 Judge puts forth a series of questions to the counsel of claimants.
16:41 Speaker 1 while answering fumbles a little bit.
16:42 The panel grills the Speaker 1 on the issue related to the bill of lading.
16:45 Speaker 1 answers the questions asked by the panel and proceeds with the remaining issue.
16:46 Speaker 1 yields the floor and Speaker 2 starts her submissions.
16:47 The panel interrupts her by asking her to justify her contention on the tort of conversion.
16:49 Speaker 2 is a bit fast while arguing.
16:52 The panel asks the same set of questions on bill of lading to Speaker 2 that were unanswered by Speaker 1.
16:53 Speaker 2 answers the questions and proceed ahead with the next submission.
16:56 Speaker 2 continues her submission on the applicability of Hague Rules. She cites cases to justify her contention.
17:00 It seems that the Judge is not satisfied with the response given by the Speaker 2.
17:01 An extension 2 minutes is granted.
17:04 Claimant’s Speaker 2 summarises her arguments and leaves the floor.
17:08 Respondent takes the floor.
17:09 Speaker 1 begins her contentions, she seems confident.
17:11 Speaker 1 continues her explanation on the arguments by establishing that the cases referred by Claimant’s are not applicable in the instant case.
17:16 Speaker 1 submits humbly that a panel of three arbitrators should be appointed.
17:20 Speaker 1 has lost internet connection. The panel asks the host to note the remaining time of the Speaker 1.
17:22 Respondent’s speaker 2 takes the floor and continues on the remaining submissions. She seems thorough with her arguments.
17:31 Judge grills the Speaker 2 on the issue of temperature.
17:35 The panel has put forth a series of questions to Speaker 2.
17:37 It seems that the panel is not satisfied with the response given by the Speaker 2.
17:41 Speaker 2 concludes her arguments within the given extension of 1 minute.
17:44 Speaker 1 takes the floor and begins her remaining argumentation.
17:51 Speaker 1 answers all questions raised by the panel very efficiently and it seems that the panel is satisfied.
17:51 Respondent rests the case well within the time.
17:53 Teams proceed with the rebuttal and sur-rebuttal.
VCR-4: 807 vs 819
16:01 Right on schedule the last round of the day is in session! Adhering to the traditional arbitration RCCR speaking model, the judges request the respondent procedural speaker to take the floor.
16:03 The speaker confidently lays down the structure and road map of her submissions. In an attempt to gauge the bench’s attention she uses a catch phrase which seems to have done the trick. And it looks like the bench is in a mood to grill. Let’s see if she is able to keep up.
16:11 Well, let’s just say she is having a hard time keeping up. Now that the judges are fairly well versed with the facts of the case, they have a lot of content to grill the speaker on. In an attempt to save herself from the loop of questions, the speaker pleads ignorance and moves on to her next submission.
16:16 Having run out of time and one entire issue left, the speaker seeks an extension of two minutes which is granted by the bench. Finally, ready to conclude the speaker is interrupted by one of the judges asking an authority to back up one of her assertions. She fails to provide for authority but makes a good logical argument.
16:20 It is now the claimants’ turn to make their argument on jurisdiction. She starts off by introducing herself and her co-counsel. Within a few minutes of her pleading she is posed with a question on fundamentals of arbitration. Her confidence shakes off a little but after taking a quick second to recompose herself, she strikes with a crisp and concise answer.
16:28 There are a lot of questions being thrown around so the speakers’ flow is not quite smooth, however, it is really impressive how the speaker is able to circle the bench back to her submissions while answering the questions at the same time.
16:33 Claimants’ merits speaker had a pretty smooth round going so far while answering all the questions very tactfully. The judge has a question on facts for her, which she tries to evade clearly indicating that she was aware it went against her submissions. The judge however, calls her out for being evasive. He rephrased his question requesting her to give answer the same first and then move ahead. She does the same, however, the judges do not look quite satisfied.
16:40 Luckily enough, she is able to complete a major chunk of her pleadings without inviting any further questions.
16:44 The final speaker of the day takes the floor. The respondent speaker begins with his pleadings with the use of a metaphor. This ought to have caught the benches’ attention. He is off to a great start!
16:54 And yet again, the bench catches a loose end in the speakers’ submissions. They have him stuck in a loop for three minutes! The speaker realizes there is no way he can get out of this without wasting more time, he concedes before the bench and in his own words, admits to his clients’ liability.
16:58 The pleadings have ended and it is rebuttal time. Looks like the claimants do not have a lot of concerns. With thirty seconds still left on the clock, they are done with the rebuttals. Showing eagerness on his end to sur-rebutt, the respondents’ speaker a tab bit aggressively made his case.
16:59 The judges leave the room for deliberation and scoring of the team. A great and fun session!
VCR-5: 806 vs 802
16:05 We are here, in the last session of the day as well as the last preliminary round of IMAM 2021.The teams, despite having faced three hectic rounds, their energy and vigour remain intact. The spirit of mooting is unbelievable and can be felt here.
16:10 The Respondents do not challenge the jurisdiction. Therefore, the Speaker 1 from the Claimant makes his way to the podium to make his submissions. He looks confident as he carefully lays down the structure of his submissions.
16:17 “The third party claim debate is here again! The judge is fixated at the point that the claimant as a third party cannot claim an arbitration. The counsel for the claimants tries to substantiate the point citing the COGSA Act, but the judges don’t seem to be satisfied. The judge demands for an authority in the international commercial arbitration for the substantiation. The speaker tries to stifle through his papers to find one authority and he cites the moot proposition for the same.
Judge: I do not care about that. I just want a credible authority. If not, then you cannot be a claimant in the present case.
Speaker: *nervously* If Mr. Arbitrator is not satisfied with this argument, may I proceed with my further arguments?
Judge: So do you concede to this point?
Speaker: Mr. Arbitrator, the counsel currently does not have an authority but..
Judge: So do you concede?
Speaker: *hesitantly* Yes Mr. Arbitrator
Judge: Okay, proceed.
16:20 After a very engaging round with the 1st speaker, the time is now for the 2nd Speaker to fill the shoes of the 1st Speaker. As soon as she takes the floor, the Judge questions on the fact that why should they hear the merits of the case when her Co-counsel conceded that he is not supposed to be a claimant as you are a third party. Looks like she was ready for this question, and started answering very fastly and fluently.
16:29 It has been 10 minutes, and the counsel has not been able to satisfy a nexus between them and the agreement. I don’t think the Judges are gonna leave this point of contention, neither is the Speaker going to give up. Finally, left with no recourse, she turns to her researcher to provide an authority for the issue at hand so that she can proceed with her submissions meanwhile! All hands on deck for this!
16:34 Having got a green signal to proceed, the Speaker hurries through her submissions. It doesn’t look like she’s gonna put brakes on her submissions any time soon.
16:41 The Claimants have now rested their case. Let’s see if the Respondents can defend the allegations put forth by them.
16:54 The Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins. He has a pleasing and a calm voice. He is surely able to grab the attention of the judges. Good start!
17:00 The speaker has a calm and very peculiar way of speaking. As if he’s explaining a 3 year old. And the speaker seems to be very well acquainted with his issues and arguments, and that’s why it’s not easy for the judges to derail him. Judges appear satisfied.
17:11 Even with the paucity of the time, he does not rush for even a bit. Very impressive. He now passes the baton to his co-counsel to present his issues and conclude the case.
17:21 The Second Speaker starts! I have to say, the speaking and the research is on point with this speaker. One of the best speakers in the CR today. The Judge tried to confuse the Speaker on the terms loading, unloading and trans shipment. From what we can see, the Judge is poking the very fundamentals of the Speaker. The Speaker, very precisely and fluently shows how well versed he is with his fundamentals and the fact sheet and nothing can derail him. Simply amazing!
17:26 A very satisfactory round by the Respondents. The faces and the expressions of the judges speak volumes! It’s now time for the rebuttals and sur-rebuttals!
VCR-6: 816 vs 827
16:16 The teams are ready and the final preliminary round commences with a deliberation on which side goes first. The Respondents seek to challenge jurisdiction and decide to go first.
16:20 The counsel for the Respondent has taken the floor. She begins her pleading by relying on a case law, explaining the background of the case to make her argument.
16:23 She completes her argument on jurisdiction and with no further questions, gives the floor to the counsel for the Claimant.
16:25 Like his opposing counsel before him, the counsel for the Claimant also decides to split his time between the jurisdictional issues and the other issues.
16:28 The counsel for the Claimant drones on, rather monotonously. Perhaps the soundness of his arguments will make up for the lack of enthusiasm.
16:33 Relying on case laws and a rather elaborate background, the counsel moves on, seeming confident about his arguments. He is questioned about the facts of the cited case and he relies on the ratio of the case to support his conclusion. The Tribunal is not convinced and doesn’t see the “business reality” in the argument being made.
16:39 The counsel relies on the addendum to make his case. The Tribunal interjects once or twice and the counsel proceeds accordingly. His tone is consistent and the Tribunal listens intently, seeking clarifications on the additionally cited provisions wherever necessary.
16:42 The counsel has finally upped his tempo to 1.25x as he nears the end of his extended time. He finally steps down from the podium, giving way to his co-counsel.
16:47 The counsel heavily relies on the factsheet to make his argument, taking the Tribunal with him and reading every clause as necessary. The Tribunal is following him to the T and seems satisfied.
16:50 The counsel makes a plea for a non-contractual remedy. When asked about that remedy falling within the mandate of the Tribunal’s power, he explains, rather elaborately with the help of a full case background, that it was indeed an alternate argument.
16:58 The counsel finally concludes and the Respondents take the floor once again. She begins her pleading in a calm and composed manner, beginning with a reference to the factsheet.
17:05 With a few interjections in her pleading, the counsel takes her time to direct the Tribunal to the factsheet to address their concerns,
17:08 She leaves the podium to her co-counsel, along with yielded time. The second counsel continues pleading in the same consistent demeanor as her co-counsel, also taking the Tribunal through the case file during her submission.
17:12 The counsel tactfully uses the questions as opportunities to make her submissions.
17:18 The Tribunal asks for a clarification on the authority of the cited case laws since it differs from the standard trade practice. After a clarification, the counsel proceeds with her submission. When asked why the Tribunal should disregard clause 13, she responds by clarifying her position as not disregarding clause 13 but rather, affecting the quantum of damages. The Tribunal asks follow-ups, she responds to the questions by reaading the relevant portions of her transcript.
17:23 The counsel for the Respondent concludes her submission with some additional time, a rarity! Nevertheless, the counsel for the Claimant delivers a solid, responsive rebuttal which hits at the arguments of the Respondents in a point by point manner. The counsel for the Respondents, in her sur-rebuttal picked only one point from the rebuttal and contradicted the Claimant’s position with a case law.
VCR-7: 817 vs 815
16:20 The rounds of session 5 have finally commenced after encountering numerous connectivity issues on the part of one of the parties. Nevertheless, Speaker 1 of the Claimant side has taken the floor has passionately started arguing her side. She is however interrupted by one of the arbitrators who is posing questions on the point of number of arbitrators.
16:24 The counsel is asked to move on to her next argument and she is confidently pacing the tribunal through her well framed arguments. She is yet again interrupted with a question on subrogation which she has successfully been able to answer. Since she has sufficient time in hand, she is summarising her arguments for the convenience of the tribunal.
16:29 The co-counsel from the claimant side has now been invited to take over the podium who are quoting arguments from his memorial on the bill of lading. He is now building a premise by referring to various authorities which interets the tribunal.
16:33 The speaker is now urging the tribunal to refer to the case study and his memorial. The tribunal is either quite impressed with his arguments or is too tired to pose questions at this stage because the speaker haven’t encountered any query as of now.
16:39 The co-counsel has moved on to his next argument. Finally the monologue is ended by one of the arbitrators who throws a vital question to the co- counsel on liability of the carrier. The speaker addresses the question in parts and furnishes a satisfactory answer to the query of the Tribunal.
16:43 The tribunal is now posing pertinent questions on the credibility of the inspection report countering the evidence to be hearsay. The speaker fumbled a little and despite his persistent efforts could not put forth a convincing answer before the tribunal.
16:49 The floor is now open to the Respondents and the first speaker has spontaneously taken charge of the same. She was assertively defending the respondents defying the applicability of COCSA. She is further contending the provisions of the contract to which the tribunal has objected and pointed out a factual error.
16:55 The tribunal is very engaging and is leaving no opportunity to indulge in a discussion with the Counsel for the Respondent which in a way encourages and challenges participants. The speaker rests her case with a minute to spare to which the tribunal sarcastically whether she was sure of her submissions. The counsel putting a smile across her face steps down and leaves the floor for the second speaker to take over.
17:00 The dedication and efforts of the co-counsel representing the respondent side deserves to be applauded since she is giving her rounds sitting in an internet cafe owing to the various connectivity issues she was facing at home. Despite, all the background disturbances, she is going strong and without stuttering or fumbling presenting her side beautifully. It seems like the tribunal is equally sympathetic towards her situation and is asking moderate questions.
17:10 The second speaker has successfully completed her round after which the claimant side has taken over for the rebuttal round. The claimant side has cunningly pointed out a case law used by the respondents and contended its validity. This move was much appreciated by the tribunal.
17:16 The respondent side is no less as they boldly bounce back with answers to every question posed by the claimants and justify the same in the sur-rebuttal round. It was an interesting and interactive session and it would be even more fascinating to see who will the judges would pick considering that both the parties were equally phenomenal.
17:22 With that the rounds of session 5 have come to an end. Though the day was tiring, it was all worth our time and efforts. The feedback session was quite insightful and we hope the wise counsel prevails. With that we call it a day.
VCR-8: 814 vs 813
16:14 The final preliminary rounds begin and continuing the pattern, the Respondents start to question the jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Respondent is able to address his issues seamlessly as the judges do not question him at all. Is that a good sign or not, time will tell!
16:26 The Claimant begins to defend the jurisdiction of the tribunal and seems perplexed by the silence in the room. The speaker is confused as to whether this silence will work in favour or not. The judges finally start questioning the speaker and he is able to answer the questions without any sign of hesitation.
16:35 The first speaker argues confidently despite the continuous questioning and finally yields the flow to his co-counsel. The second speaker began confidently however questions seem to leave him confused. Trying his best to keep his composure. This team undoubtedly has its mannerism on point, but will it make this team proceed further is what we will find out.
16:45 The second speaker for the Claimant is being bombarded with questions and he is clearly not taking it well. Trying his best to frame the appropriate answers, the judges just don’t seem convinced. While his submissions are fluent, questions seem to render him perplexed and doubtful.
16:57 Nevertheless, the speaker is granted an extension to sum up his submissions. The Respondent begins by summarising the facts of the case and pointing out the fallacies in the arguments of the Claimant. He is interjected by the Arbitrator to provide legal backing for his assertions which he is able to handle well.
17:00 The Respondents have a very engaging session with the judges. However, it is interesting to note that somehow the team didn’t have the authorities they were relying upon in their written memorial. The Claimant and the Respondent engage in an interactive rebuttal and finally the preliminary rounds for CR 8 culminate!
ROUNDS FOR DAY-2 CONCLUDE!
We are at the end of two days and five sessions of intensely argued, closely fought – in short, exhilarating mooting and it has been an absolute pleasure to witness such top notch research and advocacy skills from all participating teams in the preliminary rounds. IMAM definitely seems to punch above its weight year on year, and this edition is no exception. This also brings to the tough job of analysing the Judges’ scoring for the purpose of elimination, to ensure we have the top 8 teams for our Quarter Finals, and we shall release the results shortly!
See you on the other side!
RESULTS FOR QUARTER-FINALS
The following teams have qualified for the quarterfinals (in no particular order):
Army Institute of Law, Mohali
Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia University
Government Law College, Mumbai
Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur
National Law University, Jodhpur
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab
School of Law, Christ University
ILS Law College Pune
We heartily congratulate all the teams and wish them all the best for the Quarterfinals. These teams will give a cut-throat competition to secure a spot in Semi-Finals.
10th April 2021
Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur
Govenment Law College, Mumbai
15:01 And so the ultimate race to the finish begins! We have Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur and Government Law College, Mumbai facing off in this CR. The participants are all set to give it best shot for a seat in the semi-finals. The Courtroom today is presided by Mr. Deven Choudhary, Mr. Rishabh Saxena and Mrs. Anna Lacovou Stylianou. Speaker 1 for the Claimants takes the floor and begins his preliminary submissions.
15:04 Speaker 1 is soon interrupted by Mr. Rishabh Saxena who wishes to know whether the capabilty of an arbitrator is any benchmark that determines whether there shall be one arbitrator or more. The debate soon moves to whether SCMA Rules will take precedence over the governing seat rules. The speaker has an answer ready to every question but the Arbitrators are not convinced.
15:10 It is commendable how well Speaker 1 held his composure and finally has the Arbitrators nodding along with him. Nevertheless, the questioning continues. The speaker is made to read through the Model Law and starts stumbling through his answers. The Arbitrators shake their heads and simply ask the speaker to proceed. Speaker 1 finally looks anxious.
15:14 The speaker is now onto his next submission. He has Mr. Deven Choudhary nodding along to his points with surprising vigour. This confuses the speaker and he pause to ask if the Arbitrator has any question for him. Mr Deven chuckles and asks the speaker to proceed with his arguments. Speaker 1 lets out a nervous chuckle and moves on.
15:18 Speaker 1 is tested on his factual knowledge by Mr. Deven Choudhary which ends eating up a lot of his time. Oh no! Speaker 1’s time is up. He requests the Arbitrators to grant him an extension of 4 minutes which is apparently absurd because both the Arbitrators and Speaker 1 let out a sudden laugh. Mr. Deven leaves the decision to Mrs. Anna who takes mercy on the speaker and acknowledges that they have been asking the speaker quite a few questions. Haha. The speaker gets his 4 minutes and the rounds continue. As soon as Speaker 1’s time is up, he again asks for an extension of 1 minute. The Arbitrators are now thoroughly amused and look to say no. The speaker now bargains with a pleading twinkle in his eye and the Arbitrators are gracious enough to grant him 40 more seconds. He finishes his arguments and Speaker 2 now takes the floor.
15:29 Speaker 2 begins his submissions but is not allowed to continue smoothly for long. Mr. Deven interrupts him asking whether there are different versions of Hague Rules in different countries. He replies in the affirmative and boy, do the counter questions begin! The rounds soon seem to be going out of hand for Speaker 2 as Mr. Rishabh Saxena at one point exclaims,
“I do not accept your argument at all!”
Looks like Speaker 1 is unable to convince the Arbitrators on why the German version of the Hague Rules will apply in this case. He has now begun to stutter and stares wide eyed at the screen. Mr. Deven Choudhary watches on with a serene smile on his face. Oh! Have the Arbitrators been successful in their attempt to deviate the speaker from his thought-out structure of arguments? Well, it’s a yes!
15:30 Speaker 2 gets a time of 2 minutes which is riddled with more interruptions. Oops! Speaker 2 misstates a fact and is immediately corrected by Mr. Deven. Not something the speaker should laugh at but oh, well. The round proceeds.
15:45 Mr. Rishabh Saxena shaking his head, states that he has only one problem with Speaker 2’s arguments. According to him, the Claimants are a subrogee. Speaker 2, in his answer, explains the concept of subrogation and relates it to the fact sheet thus, satisfying the Arbitrator. Good going.
15:51 Speaker 2 relies on a case law to substantiate his final argument and requests permission to state his prayer. However, Mr. Rishabh Saxena has one last question for him. He asks the speaker what a CIP policy entails. This stumps the speaker prompting the Arbitrator to state that the CIP Policy is incoterm. The expansion on the question does not help and the speaker stays mum. The Arbitrators allow him to proceed with the Claimants’ prayer. Speaker 2 heaves a sigh of relief.
15:57 Speaker 1 for the Respondents takes the floor. She begins her first submission by stating that the SCMA Rules will apply in the present case as the parties have agreed to follow it. She is quite confident and successfully answers all the Arbitrators’ queries.
16:05 Speaker 1 faces a slew of questions from Mr. Deven Choudhary. She relies on certain case laws to substantiate her answer but is immediately shot down. The Arbitrators refuse to accept her arguments stating that they cannot rely on century old case laws because of the absence of current Rules at that time. Mr. Deven scoffs and says,
“I would’ve taken your arguments if we were in 1921, but we’re not.”
Speaker 1 sure does not have a retort for that statement. Yikes! He ends that particular line of discussion by letting the speaker know the argument is beyond them. Speaker 1 looks pained but moves on to her next submission.
16:18 Mr. Deven Choudhary now draws an interesting analogy to question Speaker 1’s reasoning. He says that he will go to a bank tomorrow morning and says that he needs a loan. His intention is to pay the bank through EMIs and therefore, he will not be submitting any collaterals. Intention to pay is enough, isn’t it? Speaker 1 is puzzled until she realizes that the Arbitrator means to say that her arguments regarding the ‘intention’ in the pledge between the bank and the buyer make no sense. The speaker stumbles her way through a justification but she’s asked to proceed. Tough luck!
16:27 Speaker 1 is soon done with her arguments and Speaker 2 takes the floor. He is interrupted twice in quick successions, both times being asked to substantiate his arguments with a case law. He points the Arbitrators to them and all is well for some time.
16:34 The Arbitrators are quick to point out major differences in the facts of the case laws and the current fact sheet. They make the speaker circle back to the application of the Hague Rules in the present case. The speaker is not ready to bend and neither are the Arbitrators. Swords are drawn, case laws are referred and a verbal war ensues! However, Speaker 2’s armour is stronger and he shines through soon winning over the Arbitrators. Mr. Deven Choudhary nods along and finally states that he is now satisfied and Speaker 2 may proceed. A head nod well deserved!
16:44 The questions now move on to the addendum and Mr. Deven Choudhary strictly disagrees with the speaker in respect to the date of the addendum being 14th January. Speaker 2 attempts to convince the Arbitrator but in vain. He accepts defeat and moves on to his subrogation argument.
16:52 Speaker 2 is granted an extension of a minute and he quickly sums up that submission. Mr. Deven Choudhary finally wishes to know the Respondents’ stand on compound interest and thus, the speaker is granted another extension in which he makes their stance clear. He is not asked any questions. The rounds proceed to the rebuttals.
16:56 Rebuttals begin with the Claimants just bringing the Arbitrators’ attention to one point, i.e., clause 8 of the MMT document. To counter that, Speaker 2 for the Respondents refers to the commercial invoice on page 13 of the case study. She is, however, quickly interrupted by Mr. Deven who states that her point is not an answer to what the Claimants just spoke. She lets out an audible sigh and says that she would again have to come back to that century old case law that the Arbitrator refused to accept earlier. Both Mr. Deven and the speaker chuckle and he allows her to complete her sur-rebuttals.
16:59 With the sur-rebuttals over, the judges retire to their room for deliberation while the participants wait with bated breath to hear the outcome of this exciting round. May the best team win!
ILS Law College, Pune
Army Institute of Law, Mohali
15:05 After successfully sailing through the 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 Andrew Jeffries with Damayanti Sen and Ajar Rab as members of the bench. We have ILS Law College, Pune and Army Institute of Law, Mohali facing off in this CR.
15:06 Respondents do not wish to challenge the jurisdiction first, therefore, they request the claimants to begin with the pleadings.
15:08 Presiding arbitrator requests the CS1 to briefly introduce him to the facts of the case before he actually starts making his submissions. Obliging to the request, the speaker within a well-rounded thirty seconds time frame, is able to lay down the factual matrix of the case along with the timeline of events.
15:21 Presiding Arbitrator brings the counsel for claimant to an important interpretation of the law of the Singapore Act –
“The provision does not say that the number of arbitrators is to be one. It is not a mandatory provision, it is just a default if the Parties have not said anything or made any indication to the country or the Rules agreed upon.“
Arbitrator Damyanti adds on to that
“counsel why should we not look at SCMA Rules which provide for three arbitrators and go by the default provision instead?“
A direct and crisp answer on point of law satisfies the bench and he proceeds ahead.
15:28 With a lot of follow up questions and considerable grilling on the questions of law, the speaker concludes what seems like a great pleading session and hands over the floor to the respondents.
15:32 Something very interesting happened right now! Just before the respondents’ clock was started, the Presiding Arbitrator asked
“Counsel do you accept that the bill we are talking about is a Bill of Lading?”
The counsel responds in affirmative, his clock starts.
15:39 The bench has a lot of questions for the speaker and he is ‘much too obliged’ (in his own words) in answering the same. For one of the questions posed by Arbitrator Damyanti, the counsel uses an Indian case law which according to him is a ‘binding authority on this Tribunal’ . Arbitrator Damyanti raises an eyebrow and says she is not convinced with his answer. The counsel, however, says
“much obliged Madam Arbitrator”
and moves ahead.
15:51 Arbitrator Rab seems to have held on to the statement made by the counsel on the authorities that bind the Tribunal. He gets the counsel to accept that ‘there is no such thing as a binding authority in arbitration.’ With that out of the way, the counsel proceeds with his pleadings with two minutes left on the clock.
15:59 The counsels’ extended time is also up. He seems to have a lot of content left to deliver. Presiding arbitrator requests the counsel to wrap up in ten seconds, however, the counsel goes on to speak for another minute which does not sit well with the Bench. Even after repeated requests made by the Bench, the counsel was not ready to step down and became a bit too informal with the Bench.
-said the Presiding Arbitrator.
That got the job done and finally, Claimants’ merits speaker takes the floor.
16:06 The Claimant speaker seemed to be having a smooth ride until now, but, but now she is flooded with questions. Perhaps this is why she forgot her stance maybe and made a submission that forced Arbitrator Rab and Damyanti to ask her to pause and re-think her position. After recollecting her thoughts, the counsel was able to clarify her position with an elaborate and slightly over-compensating answer.
16:21 Arbitrator Damyanti has a question for the counsel, however, Arbitrator Rab intervenes and says
“Please do not answer with a case law. You all seem to be highly obsessed with case laws without talking about facts or logic.”
Carefully taking into account Mr. Rab’s observation, the counsel uses the facts from the moot proposition and draws a logical parallel to answer and conclude her submissions.
16:25 All eyes on the final speaker of the day. After exchanging greetings with the bench the claimants’ second speaker makes a rather special request. He wishes to clarify the position maintained by his co-counsel with respect to the bill of laden. He suggests that there might have been some miscommunication between the Bench and his co-counsel. The Bench does not have a response to that and he begins with his pleadings.
16:33 Uh-oh! Arbitrator Rab had a question for the speaker to which the speaker replies that his co-counsel has answered the same. Arbitrator Rab laughs it out and says “Counsel when we asked your co-counsel the same question he said you will answer it and now you say that he answered it.”
16:48 The counsel is at the end of his submissions, he has managed to answer the Bench’s concerns really well so far. The counsel’s oral advocacy style comes across as very natural and spontaneous. Great skill to have for an arbitration setting. Notably, he keeps asserting that he is keen to answer any concerns that the Bench has with respect to his co-counsels’ submissions as well. Well, no points for guessing that someone is trying to compensate.
16:51 It is now rebuttal time! We are always excited for this one, aren’t we? The Claimants go first. They jump in all feet with elaborate pointer based rebuttals. And following the trend one minute reserved for rebuttals falls short fall for the claimants. In order to respond to the rebuttals, the respondents’ made the Bench refer to the facts sheet which didn’t seem like a great idea, however, they sure did make quite an impact via logic.
16:52 And we are done for the day! The judges are in caucus now. We’ll have to sit tight and wait for the results.
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab
Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia University
15:06 After the nail-biting preliminary rounds, it now time for the quarter finalists to give their best to reserve their spots in the Semi-Finals.The Courtroom is presided by Anuj Dhowan, Hakirat Singh and Khaled Chowdhury. The claimants and the respondents look extremely fresh, confident and ready to argue their stance. May the best team take the Semi Finals spot! We have Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law and Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia University facing off in this CR.
15:08 The Speaker 1 from RGNUL takes the floor. She begins her submissions and lays down the structure and five pertinent facts relevant to her issue. There is a great level of calmness and confidence that is depicted in her speech. Let’s see if she can keep this up once the grilling starts.
15:20 Arbitrator Anuj Dhowan interrupts the otherwise smooth flow of the Speaker’s submissions. He asks a series of fundamental questions relating to the SCMA Rules along with the substantive and procedural law applicable in the present case. The Speaker answers the question promptly almost in a single breath. Looks like she is perfect with her fundamentals!
“When you have no title, how can you sue?“
The question that has often derailed a claimant is finally asked. Looks like the experience of four preliminary rounds have paid off, as the Speaker is so firm in her stance that since they have the bill of lading – they have the right to sue. The Judge tries to confuse her yet again, but the effort goes in vain.
15:33 This marks the end of the time for the 1st Speaker. She yields the floor for her Co-Counsel, who is equally good in her speech. She makes it a point to refer the bench to every document for the ultimate substantiation of her submissions. Good move!
15:45 13 minutes into her speech, there has been no interruption yet. The Speaker is now visibly worried about the same and she enquires with the bench several times if they have any reservations regarding her speech. Despite literally inviting questions, the judges don’t seem to have any concerns whatsoever.
Very strange. Is it a good sign or a bad one? Voting lines open till 7pm!
15:47 With almost 4 minutes left in her timer, the speaker is done with her submissions. One of the rarest of the rare cases in a moot! It’s now the time for the Respondents to defend the claims put forth by the Claimants. The Speaker 1 from Jamia Islamia takes the floor and begins with her submissions.
15:50 She seems to have a totally different pace and speech from that of the Claimants. Let’s hope this works well with the judges.
15:55 Arbitrator Hakirat Singh interrupts the Speaker questioning whether the Hague Rules would apply or the hague Visby rules would apply in the present case The speaker responds that the Hague rules are applicable. The judge doesn’t look satisfied or rather has a poker face to this.
What is the answer???
15:57 The Speaker is interrupted by Arbitrator Anuj Dhowan when he claims that the evidence clearly shows that the Respondent’s non-maintenance of the temperature logs led to the damage. To this, the speaker replies with sentences starting with “maybe”, which indicates that they are basing their stance on assumptions. Maybe, the Judges are not satisfied with all the ‘maybes’’.
16:05 The Speaker 1, after a lot of questioning, finally concludes her submissions and leaves the floor for her co-counsel to proceed with further issues of the Respondents.
16:16 Being the last speaker of the round, She seems to have taken notes as to how to handle the questions and have a smooth sailing round at the same time. She gets a lot of questions, but she handles them well. Arbitrators try to break fundamental assumptions in the Respondent’s case.
16:20 After getting derailed a few times, the Speaker arrives to her final contention! Her confidence and calm demeanor is back and she goes on to calmly explain her arguments
16:30 Claimants are back on the stage! They hit right on the fallacies of the Respondent’s arguments! The judges seem to be in agreement with them, but what do we know! One can never ascertain what goes on in their minds. The Respondents, as expected, deny all the allegations and substantiate the same! Ṭhis marks the end of a smooth Quarter Final round!
National Law University, Jodhpur
School of Law, Christ University
14:51 National Law University, Jodhpur and School of Law, Christ University have joined the Court Room 4, looking all confident and prepared for their next big step – to ace the quarterfinals! Mr. Patrick Dahm and Mr. Pabitra Dutta have joined the Court Room already. While we wait for the third judge to join us for this session, Mr. Dahm is perturbed by the fact that the judges are hydrating themselves before the rounds but not the Counsels.
15:17 Considering the inability of the third Judge to be present owing to unforeseen circumstances, Mr Patrick and Pabitra Dutta have decided to proceed with the rounds. The teams weren’t able to come to a consensus with regards to the procedure to be followed. The Judges have finally decided that the participants shall be following RCCR for this session.
15:25 The Speaker 1 from team 821 takes the floor and has decided to argue on jurisdictional challenge before the Tribunal. He emphasizes on the importance of party autonomy in Arbitration and how it should be interpreted in the given dispute. During the course of his speech, Speaker 1 takes an unexpected decision to boldly announce to the bench –
“Please feel free to stop me and question me on any point”
He then proceeds by categorically interpreting the elements of the arbitration clause to address the dispute concerning the goods in the Containers.
15:30 Arbitrator Pabitra Dutta questions Speaker 1 from team 821 on number of arbitrators who can preside over the present dispute. To this Speaker 1 from team 821 tries to persuade the judges by explaining the need to have a three-panel arbitrator to judiciously decide the container dispute. Although his arguments seem persuasive, it’s confusing how confidently he could claim so from a Tribunal that is constituted of only 2 Arbitrators. It’s high time for the Claimants to maybe take a note of this fallacy from circumstantial evidence.
15:32 With the Speaker 1 from Respondents having yielded the floor to speaker 1 from Claimant team 817, the respondents speaker somehow decides judiciously to not use his remaining 23 seconds rashly. Bold but smart move by the Respondents team 821.
15:33 Speaker 1 from team 817 was addressing the jurisdictional issue on the composition of the Tribunal when Arbitrator Pabitra Dutta abruptly interjects the speaker to clarify her point since the question before the Tribunal is with regard to whether the composition of the Bench should be one, two or three.
15:58 Upon Speaker 2 from team 817 claiming that Hague rules were voluntarily included by Respondents,the Speaker 2 from Respondents team 821 seems to strongly deny this as he vigorously shakes his head at this statement. Looks like the Respondents won’t concede to Claimant’s contentions.
16:17 Mr Pabitra questions what has the respondent got to do with an issue between Claimant and Insurer as it is not privy to their agreement. Respondent Speaker 1 has been reminded twice by Mr Pabitra Dutta for interrupting while questioning. Counsel trying to prove no misdelivery by Respondents and assertive to prove Claimants have no case
16:29 The floor has now been taken by the Speaker 2 from Respondents Team 821. It appears like he’s all invigorated to defeat the case of Claimants.
16:30 The Speaker 2 for team 821 declared that he shall be relying on Claimant’s report to prove to the bench that there indeed is no report for the case of the Claimant to be backed by. It is quite evident now as to why Respondents were insistent upon Claimants’ speakers taking the floor first before Respondent Speaker for merit argues before the Tribunal.
16:40 Upon trying to defend the Respondent’s case on interest involved, Speaker 2 of team 821 has been abruptly interjected by Mr. Pabitra to not delve into unnecessary facts of the case. He explicitly makes it clear for the Counsel to speak in terms of Interest that concerns the Respondents.
16:56 Both the teams have now taken the floor for rebuttals with Claimant Speaker 2 followed by Respondent Speaker 2. While the Claimant’s Rebuttal time was reserved for 5 minutes, the Respondents have limited themselves to just 2 minutes. Even at this stage of the rounds, it looks like the Respondents are pretty confident about their case, and this is quite apparent from Speaker 2 from Respondents who has started addressing the claims raised by Claimants categorically, issue by issue. However, the Respondent researcher’s expressions have been misleading throughout the sessions. Wonder if she’s being the wise old man from the Greek Mythology who does not want to reveal her intentions before a court full of participants.
17:05 The rounds have finally come to an end. The participants are now eagerly waiting for the feedback. It would be a tough decision for sure, given the level of performance by both teams.
17:17 Mr. Patrick and Mr. Pabitra Dutta are back with their individual feedback. Indian students have yet again managed to give the impression to international arbitrators that the culture of summarizing cases runs through our blood, no matter what subject area we are arguing about!
With this, we come to an end to the Quarter-Final Rounds. The results for the Semi-Final Rounds will be streamed Live on our Facebook and YouTube Page at 19:00 today!
RESULTS OF QUARTER-FINALS
The following teams have qualified for the Semi-Finals (in no particular order):
Government Law College, Mumbai
ILS Law College, Pune
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab
School of Law, Christ University
We heartily congratulate all the teams and wish them luck for the Semi finals. The stakes will be a notch higher now, so stay tuned!
11th April 2021
ILS Law College, Pune
School of Law, Christ University
9:15 One last hurdle to cross before the teams reach their ultimate goal – the Finals! We’re here at the Semi-Finals today and the teams look geared up to give it their best shot. To reach the Finals, the teams will have to impress a bench comprising Mr. Aditya Krishnamurthy and Mr. Ashwin Shanker.
9:17 Speaker 1 for the Respondents begins his submissions but is soon interrupted by Mr. Aditya. He asks the speaker to present their letter of subrogation to back their claim. The speaker states that there is no such material on record. Predictably, the Arbitrator is not satisfied. He further asks the speaker to differentiate between subrogation and assignment. The speaker seems a little unsure but stutters out an answer with the assistance of his researcher. He is then allowed to proceed. The discussion now moves on to the procedural issue on hand.
9:25 Mr. Aditya again interrupts Speaker 1 asking whether the SCMA arbitration is ad hoc or institutional. The speaker confidently states ad-hoc and is immediately informed by the arbitrator that he’s misinformed. The speaker retorts it is immaterial whether the arbitration is ad-hoc or institutional. Oh, the gal! He is repeatedly being asked conceptual questions, the answers to which he is not aware of if we go by the nervous tone in his voice. However, the speaker cleverly diverts the discussion back towards the facts of the case study and is saved. Phew!
9:32 Proceeding with his substantive arguments, Speaker 1 for the Respondents completes his submissions without any further interruptions. So far, so good.
9:33 It is now time for Speaker 1 for the Claimants to make his submissions on two issues – the number of arbitrators to be appointed in the present case and whether the claimants are entitled to sue. The Arbitrators interrupt him by asking whether the consignee should be a necessary party. Speaker 1 has not even started answering the question when the Arbitrators pick his words and start correcting his understanding. It doesn’t look like Speaker 1 is off to a good start at all. Nevertheless, the round continues.
9:40 Mr. Ashwin interjects the speaker again who is by now completely flustered. The arbitrator asks him if the insurance company shouldn’t be suing in its own name. The speaker deflects the answer stating that he’ll answer it ‘crisply’ soon. Not sure if that’s the best approach but the Arbitrator accepts it for now.
9:43 The Arbitrators do not cut the speaker any slack who is made to substantiate his every argument as Mr. Aditya puts Speaker 1’s conceptual knowledge to the ultimate test. The speaker is next interrupted when he is arguing that the Respondents are the lawful owners of the Bill of Lading. He relies on a judgement but Mr. Aditya interjects stating that the Claimants’ entire claim is an afterthought. It is quite clear that the Bank passively consented to the customer taking delivery of the cargo. The speaker has a ready answer and quickly directs the Arbitrator to the fact sheet.
9:51 Mr. Aditya questions the speaker on the difference between the Indian Bill of Lading Act, 1856 and the Indian COGSA, 1992. Without pausing for a breath, he next asks what does a lawful holder even mean. The counter-questions keep coming and Speaker 1 has no choice but to keep saying “Indeed, Mr. Arbitrator” an alarming number of times. Yikes! In fact, at one point, the conversation goes such:
Mr. Aditya: Where, where, where, please show me!
Speaker 1: Indeed, Mr. Arbitrator.
Mr. Aditya: No, show me. 1 second.
Mr. Aditya finally acknowledges he is splitting hairs at this point and the round continues.
10:01 Speaker 1 is interrupted one last time when he’s asked to differentiate between title and proprietorship. The Arbitrators do not accept the speaker’s answer but allow for a time extension of 1 minute allowing Speaker 1 to summarize his submissions. Although he gets an extension, the speaker does not get an opportunity to speak! His time ends with Mr. Aditya correcting him on his ‘ownership rights’ point. He states that the Claimants are not the owners but only the financiers. Speaker 1 does not have a response to that. Speaker 2 for the Claimants now takes the floor.
10:09 Speaker 2 is not faring any better than Speaker 1 as she is asked numerous conceptual questions, such as the difference between a house bill of lading and a master bill of lading. She pleads ignorance to all of them. She is next tested on her knowledge of the Hague Rules.
10:17 At one point, Speaker 2 is interrupted by Mr. Aditya who states, “Madam, you’re contradicting your colleague’s arguments!” She replies. “Umm, yes Mr. Arbitrator. To answer your question, umm…”. Mr. Aditya asks her to go back to her submissions and onwards she goes.
10:23 Speaker 2 is next quizzed on the COGSA, 1972 and is asked to locate a provision which states instances when the Act will have the force of law. Two counter questions immediately follow up. Speaker 2 is successful in answering them. Phew! A welcome relief.
10:27 The fulcrum of the Claimants’ third submission is that Article 3, Rule 8 of the Hague Rules will be enforceable in the Bill of Lading in the present case. Mr. Aditya asks for a case law to back the argument. She provides the same and is allowed to proceed to her fourth submission that deals with the compensation point.
10:31 Onto her fourth submission and Speaker 2 is stuttering badly. She braves through her nerves and makes a compelling point. This is her first submission wherein she has a smooth run with hardly any interruptions. Her arguments over, Speaker 1 for the Respondents returns to the floor to complete his arguments.
10:38 Speaker 1 starts by stating that cost-saving is not a valid point to consider for the appointment of a sole arbitrator. Surprisingly, he goes on to make further points without being intercepted by the most active Arbitrators’ panel.
10:42 The peace does not last long in this courtroom, that’s for sure. Mr. Aditya is not taking any prisoners today. He exclaims, “You’re not understanding my question, counsel. You have parted with the goods without surrender of the Bill of Ladings and that makes you directly liable!” Speaker 1 holds his composure and directs the Arbitrator’s attention to Section 2(1)(c),COGSA, 1992. The Arbitrators do not accept the answer all the while questioning the applicability of the section to the present fact sheet. A heavy debate ensues.
10:51 Speaker 1 has moved on to his submissions regarding the Claimant’s right to sue. The round of questioning continues. Allegations are made and light is thrown on the fact the the case study is silent on whether the Bill of Lading was produced before the parties or not. Mr. Aditya, after some time has passed discussion the nuances of the delivery of the Bill of Ladings, hotly remarks, “You’re splitting hairs with the facts which I believe is beyond the scope of this moot. Please, next contention, Counsel.” Ouch!
10:59 Speaker 1 has not yet recovered from the last blow and is still making his last argument when Mr. Aditya retorts, “No! You’re absolutely wrong. What makes you say that? Where is the authority to back you up?” The speaker, not having an appropriate response, deflects and continues on with his submissions.
11:01 Speaker 2 for the Respondents now takes the floor. Here’s to hoping it all smooths out from here on out. Some time later, he is quizzed on his knowledge of the contra preferentum rule. Mr. Aditya, not completely pleased with his answer, goes on to explain the rule to the speaker who listens on nervously.
11:07 Proceeding with his second submission with regard to the application of the Hague Rules, Speaker 2 begins with pointing fingers at the Inspection Report given in the case study. He is quickly shot down by Mr. Aditya who remarks, “Please argue on law and not facts which are so muggy, they do not warrant any discussion, Counsel.” And there goes Speaker 2’s entire second submission. How unfortunate!
11:14 The speaker is next questioned on res ipsa loquitur by the Arbitrators. A follow up question is asked on the ‘inherent vice’ of the goods. The speaker answers incorrectly and Mr. Aditya is quick to explain the concept to him. The discussion now moves on to the liability of the Respondents under tort law.
11:19 The discussion circles back to the Inspection Report and Speaker 2 speaks uninterrupted for quite some time. The Respondents breathe a collective sigh of relief! He sums up his arguments and it is now time for rebuttals.
11:26 Speaker 1 for the Claimants takes the floor but Mr. Aditya interjects. It seems as if the Claimants have misinterpreted one of the Respondents’ submissions. Speaker 1 is asked to justify his remarks and he finds himself in a fix! He reiterates that he has 4 points to make in his rebuttals and so he may be allowed to proceed. The Arbitrators are gracious enough to grant him the permission. The rebuttals continue.
11:29 Speaker 1 for the Claimants makes his final point regarding the inability of the Respondents to follow international trade practices. It is now time for the sur-rebuttals.
11:31 Speaker 2 for the Respondents starts confidently but ends up stressing on the wrong facts. Alleging that each party had a Bill of Lading falls flat on the speaker’s face as the Arbitrators shake their heads and reject his arguments. Mr. Aditya lets out a chuck and reminds the speaker to focus on the law and not facts that are murky. The speaker nods his assent and finishes his sur-rebuttals. The Arbitrators now thank both the teams and retire to their room for caucus. It is finally time for them to decide who proceeds to the ultimate battle. We wish both the teams the best of luck! May the odds be ever in their favour.
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab
Government Law College, Mumbai
12:16 The crescendo tempo is building, as are the jitters, with the four teams inching closer to the finish line. This session of semi-finals will see the clash of the titans, RGNUL, Patiala and Government Law College, Mumbai. The teams will be proving their mettle to the panel comprising the Honourable Arbitrators; Mr. Aditya Krishnamurthy and Mr. Ashwin Shanker.
12:18 The round begins! The Speaker 1 from RGNUL takes the floor and begins with her submissions. She is at her best poised self. She carefully lays down the structure of her arguments for the ease of the Arbitrators and seeks permission to proceed with her first submission.
12:25 Well looks like the Arbitrators already have concerns. They don’t allow her to proceed with her submissions and question the very locus standi of the claimants for the present dispute. The Speaker seems to have an answer ready and she answers perfectly.
12:27 You cannot choose to follow the SCMA rules as per your will and not entirely! You have to abide by all the provisions of the SCMA if you choose to refer to it! Looks like Arbitrator Aditya Krishnamurthy will not accept this.
12:30 Arbitrator Krishnamurty is successful in derailing the Speaker as he asks the Speaker to throw some light on the position of the Indian law in the present issue. The Speaker clearly did not expect this question and flutters through her notes as she tries to recall. Finally, she pleads ignorance on the position of the Indian law citing the reason that it is not relevant, to which Arbitrator Krishnamurthy relies that the Singaporean and the Indian law have similar positions, and therefore the relevancy cannot be questioned.
12:32 Seems like the Arbitrators are more interested in knowing the fundamental and the conceptual clarity of the Speaker than her arguments. It has been almost 12 minutes since the Speaker has started her submissions, but she still has not been able to begin her arguments. Only if she knew that she will not be able to stick to that little roadmap of her submissions she drew in the beginning.
12:35 Mere adopting the rules doesn’t expressly require the follow of number of arbitrators required according to Section 9. This answer finally enables the judge to mute their microphone. Phew! Let’s see how many minutes/ seconds this lasts!
12:36 Finally, the Speaker is allowed to return to her transcript as she begins addressing her contentions. Let’s enjoy the silence from the Arbitrators, while it lasts.
12:42 Arbitrator Krishnamurthy interrupts the Speaker as he very confidently claims that
“Possession of the goods doesn’t give you the right to sue. You’re at the highest, a pledgee and you have no ownership whatsoever.”
This question was quite capable for rattling a claimant, but looks like our Speaker is ready with a case law to substantiate her stance. The Arbitrator is satisfied.
12:46 This marks the end of the Speaker 1’s time and she now yields the floor to her co-counsel to rest their case. She seems sufficiently confident, but equally cautious, given the veracity by which her co-counsel was grilled. We don’t blame her! She begins with her submissions.
12:48 2 minutes into her speech, she is interrupted by Arbitrator Krishnamurthy as he begins asking a series of questions on the applicability of Hague Rules on the present case, where he stresses on the fact that Hague Visby rules should be applicable. When she is able to rule out the application of the Hague Visby Rules, the Arbitrator claims that just because Hague Visby rules are not applicable, how does that make the applicability of the Hague Rules valid? To this, the Speaker refers the Arbitrator to the clarifications of the Case Study to substantiate her point. After some more arguments on the same, the Speaker hears the three golden words from the Arbitrator, i.e.
“Okay! Perfect! Proceed”
What a relief and happiness on the faces of the claimants!
12:55 The Arbitrator now asks the Speaker to refer to the Point 4 of the Survey Report, wherein he claims that it was all hearsay and there is no probative and admissible value of such a report. The lines on the forehead of the speaker is indicative of the fact that she was in no position to expect such a question. She then tried to refer the Arbitrators to other points of the Survey Report in order to defend herself. But it is not acceptable to the Arbitrator as he is firm in his stance.
13:03 If one were to sum up the condition of the CR at this point, it would go like this:
The Claimants keep bowling their best arguments to Arbitrator Krishnamurty on the crease, who hits all of them out of the park! Dire situation for the claimants.
13:07 The Arbitrators in the best of their knowledge are trying to haul and confuse the speaker, but little do they know that the speaker is in her best state of calmness and anxiety is not one of her emotions.
13:09 Given the fact that Arbitrator Krishnamurty is pretty tough to convince and how he is almost never satisfied, it is really funny how the Speaker literally pauses for a moment in utter disbelief when he actually says the words like
“Perfect and Proceed”
13:15 Seems like the Arbitrators are not that tough when it comes to giving extension. They are gracious enough to grant almost 7 minutes of extension.
Arbitrator Krishnamurty: “Since you are such a fan of the Hague Rules, can you please refer to Article IV.5 of the Hague Rules?”
The Speaker smiles as she knows that the Arbitrator has caught a weak spot. But kudos to her as she is able to dodge the weak spot and satisfy the Arbitrator.
13:20 Finally, the Claimants rest their case and now the Speaker 1 from GLC, Mumbai takes the floor to defend the allegations put forth by the Claimants.
13:27 The most impressive quality of Speaker 1 from GLC has to be her patience. She carefully listens to all the questions the Arbitrators 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. Let’s see how long she can maintain this.
13:32 Arbitrator Krishnamurty asks whether the Goods are identified or unidentified? To this, the speaker contends that in the present case, the goods are ascertained. She points some case laws and rules to substantiate the same and the Arbitrator is satisfied.
13:38 A heated debate goes on the nature of the bill of lading. This might sound too good to be true, but Arbitrator Krishnamurty is actually silent while he intently listens to the arguments of the Speaker. I’m afraid that it’s a perfect example of ‘Calm before the storm.’
13:48 After a very engaging time with the Speaker 1, it is now time for the Speaker 2 to fill her shoes and rest the case. He begins with his submissions. He is clear, concise and crisp. He seems like he knows his stuff too well, so he will not give a chance to the Arbitrators to derail him from his track of arguments.
“It is not the fault of the containers and they were sea worthy. It is the clear fault of the refrigeration facilities, and not ours.”
This statement is like the Bible of the Respondents and they shall not deviate from this.
“Counsel, your oral submissions are contrary to your written submissions.”
Arbitrator Shanker says this as he points out a fallacy in the written submission of the respondents. But looks like there is nothing that can shake the firm grip of the Speaker in his submissions. Let’s hope this rigidity does not result otherwise.
14:15 Well, gladly, the Speaker was able to justify the alleged fallacy in their written submission and satisfy the Arbitrators at the same time. Master Class!
14:15 Well, gladly, the Speaker was able to justify the alleged fallacy in their written submission and satisfy the Arbitrators at the same time. Master Class!
14:20 The Speaker is almost about to leave the floor, having concluded his submissions, when he is surprised with a series of questions by Arbitrator Ashwin Shanker. He answers each of the questions properly and only then he is allowed to leave the floor. Phew!
14:26 It is now the time for rebuttals. Nobody expected the Arbitrators to raise concerns during the rebuttals. It is a good thing that the Claimants reserved 5 minutes for the rebuttals.
“I think the time is nearing to end. Just hit the nail in the head and conclude”
– Arbitrator Krishnamurty makes this comment as he is satisfied with the Claimant’s rebuttals.
14:29 Amazing surr-rebuttals by the Respondents where they full on attack the case laws cited by the Claimants. They are very clear as they do so.
14:33 With this, we come to an end of the semi-finals. Well, we sympathise with the judges as they have a very very tough time to decide the winners of the rounds. May the Best team take the seat for the finals!
The results of Semi-Finals, and the teams qualifying for the Finals will be announced through live streaming on our Facebook Page at 15:00 today. Stay tuned!
THE TEAMS WHO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE FINAL ROUNDS ARE:
GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE, MUMBAI
ILS LAW COLLEGE, PUNE
We heartily congratulate all the finalists. The finals will begin at 16:00 (IST), and will be live streamed on our Facebook page as well!
GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE, MUMBAI
ILS LAW COLLEGE, PUNE
It is the time for the Final Rounds of the 8th IMAM 2021! The nervousness is in the air. This is the final leg! It will be a tough tussle between two of the strongest opponents of this edition of IMAM. i.e. the team from GLC, Mumbai and ILS, Pune. Let’s see who wins the coveted prize!
The Finale Session starts with a screening of a video briefing the Arbitrators on the case study of the present edition.
16:31 And so it begins. The Speaker 1 of the Claimants, represented by GLC Mumbai, takes the floor to submit her arguments for the last time. She sure looks confident and poised. Despite her being under the weather, she powers through it and calmly takes the panel through her arguments.
16:37 Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn seeks to clarify whether there exists a Bill of Lading under COGSA. The Speaker, having made her way through four preliminary rounds, a quarter final round and a semi-final round, answers the question promptly and correctly. A follow up question is again asked, which is satisfactory too.
“That makes the issue much clear. Thank You, Counsel.”
These words from Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn boosts the confidence of the Speaker and brings a smile on the faces of the Claimant team.
16:42 Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn again interrupts the speaker to throw light on the fact that the Bank was merely in the possession of the Bill of Lading as security and they did not own the same. The speaker, in order to satisfy the Arbitrator’s query, relies on a case law with similar facts and stresses on the fact that the endorsement of the Bill of Lading was personal to the Bank.
“We rely on the liability of breach as well as the liability of conversion”
The Speaker from the Claimant’s side clarifies.
16:49 This marks the end of the submissions of Speaker 1 and she yields the floor and the remainder of her time to rebuttals. Speaker 2 takes the floor and begins with laying out the structure he will be following for his submissions.
16:55 Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn interrupts the speaker for seeking a clarification on a case he relied on. He says that the case he cited involved a deliberate breach on the part of the respondents, which is not the present case and thus it renders the application of the said case invalid. The Speaker, in response to this concern, refers the panel to the case study and the addendum in order to establish that the respondents, in this case, in fact had the knowledge of the breach, thus making it a deliberate breach. This perfectly addressed and satisfied the Arbitrator’s concern.
17:00 Arbitrator Amitava Majumdar seeks a clarification on the responsibility of the warehouse for the damage occured. The speaker proves the responsibility by citing them to the Inspection Certificate, Survey Report and the case study. He also states that according to the case study, the respondents have agreed that such responsibility was accrued to the warehouse.
17:09 Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn asks,
“If all the Hague rules are not compulsorily applicable, what is to stop the carriers from excluding their liability under the same?”
The speaker has an answer for the same, rather a ‘simple answer’, in his words. His answer perfectly answers the query.
17:12 Arbitrator Simon Baughen asks whether the Bank can make a profit at the present situation. The speaker seems to misunderstand and dodge the question and he answers something unrelated. Arbitrator Amitava Majumdar again brings him back to the question, after which the Speaker addresses the concern. Not sure if the Arbitrators were satisfied as they asked a follow up question.
17:18 The Speaker then proceeds to conclude by urging the bench to allow a compound interest on their amount. This marks the end of the Claimant’s submission. The Arbitrator Amitava Majumdar recalls Speaker 1 back to the floor and asks,
“How do you bring the duty of the carrier to you, when on the date of damage, you did not have a title for the same ?”
The Speaker tries to answer the same by relying on the law of contracts, which is not acceptable by the Arbitrator as they claim that since a case was made under the Law of Torts, it must be answered likewise. This rattles the speaker for a moment, but she gathers herself and answers the same, thus satisfying the Arbitrator.
17:21 The floor is now open for the Respondents as now is their last chance to defend all the allegations and claims put forth by the Claimants. The Speaker 1 from ILS Pune takes the floor and begins his submissions by laying down a roadmap on the issues he and his Co-Counsel shall be dealing with. Let’s hope he is allowed to stick to that.
17:25 Arbitrator George Leloudas questions the relevance and application of the Arbitration Act of Singapore. The Speaker misunderstands the concern and gives a dissatisfactory answer. But, on further clarification, he answers correctly and satisfies the query raised.
17:32 Following up on such observation, Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn seeks an authority which says that if no immediate protest is raised, the carriers will not be liable.
The Speaker cites two cases and satisfies the concern perfectly.
Arbitrator Amitava Majumdar- “Do you have an authority which supports your stance regarding the liability of the tort of conversion?”
Speaker- “Yes, I have two Chinese case laws which says the same.”
Arbitrator Amitava Majumdar- “Is it binding on us?”
Speaker- “Mr. Arbitrator, since this is an arbitration proceeding, nothing is binding, everything has persuasive value.”
Arbitrator Andrew Tettenborn- “The Chinese do not recognise the liability of conversion in their tort law. We are open to persuasion, but you have a very steep hill to climb.”
Speaker- “Thank you Mr. Arbitrator. The counsel is determined to climb this hill.”
17:48 The Speaker 1 concludes his submissions and invites his co-counsel to rest their case. Being the last speaker of the day, she sure has taken notes on how to tackle the questions and the general environment of the Courtroom. She begins her submissions with good pace and flow. Let’s hope that the Arbitrators show a little mercy on her as compared to her Co-Counsel.
18:00 “Assuming and not accepting”. This seems to be the mantra of the Respondents.
18:12 The speaker is rather uninterrupted. Seems like our wishes before have paid off. She, without much interruption, concludes her submission. The judges seem fairly satisfied.
18:15 The Speaker 2 from the Claimant takes the floor for the rebuttals. He attacks each and every contention of the Respondents and doesn’t leave any room for ambiguities. He even addresses the point of the respondents wherein they blamed the Claimants for not raising any protest on the delivery. We could see some nods at this point. Surely a great rebuttal.
18:19 An equally well surr-rebuttal marks the end of the Finale of the 8th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot, 2021.
Both the teams have their anxiety levels on peak as they wait for the valedictory session. May the best team win!
“There are always new, grander challenges to confront and a true winner will embrace each one”
– Mia Hamen
GRAND FINALE CONCLUDES!
The most awaited moment of Valedictory Ceremony and the announcement of results will be live streamed on our Facebook Page at 18:30 (IST).
The valedictory ceremony can be watched live on our Facebook Page
THE PRIZES FOR 8TH NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY ODISHA BOSE & MITRA & CO. INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ARBITRATION MOOT 2021 ARE AS FOLLOWS:
BEST MEMORIAL: RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW, PUNJAB
BEST SPEAKER: RAJ RISHI, SCHOOL OF LAW, CHRIST UNIVERSITY
RUNNERS UP: ILS LAW COLLEGE, PUNE
WINNERS: GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE, MUMBAI
The 8th edition of the prestigious National Law University Odisha Bose & Mitra & Co International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2021 conducted from 8th-11th April saw 20 enthusiastic teams worldwide competing in Virtual oral rounds. This four-day event was only made possible by the participating teams’ sheer perseverance, who gave it their all to win the ultimate prize – the winner’s title. Now, we would be remiss if we did not thank the Organizing Committee, who have been working tirelessly to make this event such a success. We would also like to applaud our judges without whom this event could not have been possible. Maritime law being such a niche area, we’re sure the participating teams gained a lot from their exposure to such industry stalwarts. We’ve immensely enjoyed having the judges with us and hope we’ll meet them again next year, preferably under better circumstances!
When we say the teams gave it their best shot, we mean it wholeheartedly. The last four days witnessed the participants having all sorts of aces up their sleeves. The judges requited, and it made our day. One courtroom witnessed a team quoting Benjamin Frankin to the judges’ bench to make a convincing compensation argument! Well, we don’t know if the trick worked, but the judges were surely amused when the speaker, with a twinkle in her eye, spoke, “Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes more money.”
Yet another courtroom witnessed a judge rejecting a case law while calmly retorting, “I would’ve taken your arguments if we were in 1921, Counsel, but we’re not.” Not a single person was spared, and it had us grinning. But as all good things must come to an end, so does this event. With the final rounds over, we had the valedictory ceremony, followed by a vote of thanks.
As we conclude our successful journey through the four days of intensive rounds, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our title sponsors, Bose & Mitra & Co., our Associate partner Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University, our Resource Partner Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution, our Global partner Singapore Chambers of Maritime Arbitration, our supporting organization CIArb- India Branch, our knowledge partner Informa Law and our exclusive Media Partners SCC Online and Eastern Book Company for their unwavering support during these testing times. We would also like to thank our Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ved Kumari and our Registrar, Prof. (Dr.) Yogesh Pratap Singh for their continuous support.
We would also like to express our humble gratitude to Prof. Andrew Tettenborn, Chair in Law(LLM Shipping and Trade Law), IITSL, Swansea University; Prof. Simon Baughen, Professor (Maritime Law), IITSL, Swansea University; & Dr George Leloudas, Associate Professor, IITSL Swansea University, who drafted the problem for this year’s IMAM.
We would also thank all members of the Core Committee and The Moot Society, who worked tirelessly behind the stage to make the IMAM a grand success.
We would also like to thank our Live Bloggers team – Aastha Singh, Ananya Sharma, Anjali Soni, Apurva Vats, Harsha Tiwari, Khushi Agarwal, Shreya Kapoor, and Sneha Rath. We especially thank Abhinav Singh Chauhan, Devansh Sehgal and Sushmit Mandal, who kept this blog running, providing real-time updates.
See you again next year. Till then, Adios!