The National Law University Odisha is pleased to welcome you to the live blogging of the Oral Rounds of 10th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2023. This event is organized in collaboration with Bose & Mitra & Co. as Title Sponsors of the Moot, International Institute of Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University as Strategic Partner; Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution as Resource Partner, Lloyd’s List Intelligence as Knowledge Partner and SCC Online-EBC as Media Partner.
Bose & Mitra & Co. is one of the oldest and largest steadfast law firms in the field of Maritime Law in India, with a client base worldwide. They have been ranked as a band 1 law firm by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in the field of shipping. Recently, they received an award for excellence in “Maritime Jurisprudence” from the Indian Corporate Counsel Association.
Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (IISTL), Swansea University, dedicates specialist research and professional training centre within Swansea University’s School of Law. IISTL has gained a worldwide reputation for its contribution to research, policymaking, professional training and teaching in various areas of maritime law.
Informa Law (www.informa.com), via its online platform www.i-law.com delivers expert case reporting, commentary, and analysis across eight specialist areas of commercial practice. Informa’s industry expertise means it does not just provide the information: its analysis tells what it means for you, your clients, and your business. And connected content and powerful search functionality, give the broad perspective you need when conducting legal research.
Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution (AIADR) is the first not-for-profit member-based Asian Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) forum. AIADR is endorsed by the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) and was launched in April 2018 by His Excellency Prof. Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, the then Secretary-General of AALCO. AIADR is currently helmed by its president, Datuk Prof. Sundra Rajoo and is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with over 800 members and 40 jurisdictions.
The case study of this edition of IMAM has been drafted by Prof. Andrew Tettenborn, Chair in Law, LLM Shipping & Trade; Prof. Simon Baughen, Professor (Maritime Law), LLM Shipping & Trade; & Prof. Dr. George Leloudas, Professor, LLM Shipping & Trade; at IISTL, Swansea University, The United Kingdom.
We will make it a point that you feel as involved as ever during this journey where talented mooters will go through the emotions of ecstasy, heartbreak, delight, shock, surprise all within 3 days.
For keeping tabs on regular updates regarding IMAM, we encourage you to follow us on our Social Media Handles Instagram and LinkedIn for more regular insights. We wish the participating teams the very best of luck! May the odds be ever in your favor! For all the latest updates on the 10th NLUO Bose & Mitra Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot, 2023 follow us on the SCC Online Blog:
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2023
COURTROOM-1: Dreadnought vs Valentina
12:15 PM- It’s a sunny day in Cuttack. The Judges have entered the courtroom and are interacting with the volunteers.
12:18 PM- They have now seated themselves and are going through the documents. They can’t wait for the session to start!
12:27 PM- The wait is finally over as the participants arrive in the courtroom. Both the teams are slowly taking their places.
12:33 PM- The round has finally begun. The first counsel from the claimants has started with the statement of facts. He then moves on to the issues at hand.
12:41 PM- The Bench is slowly coming into its element now and is dropping numerous questions on the speaker. The speaker is a little flustered with their sudden intervention so early in the game but he carries on. The Judges have asked him to proceed to the next issue. This court is moving fast!
12:46 PM- The CRM team signals with a placard that the time is running out. The Speaker must manage time wisely in order to finish his arguments in time. The Judges are questioning the nitty-gritties of the matter at hand and look half-convinced with the justification given by the first counsel.
12:51 PM- The speaker looks in a fix as a judge puts up a trick question. He proceeds to answer it but stops in between for a water break. There are infinite questions in the Bench’s bag as the speaker battles through them to utilize the remaining minutes well.
12:54 PM- The Judges stop the speaker after he refers to an old judgment. They look for it in the memo and ask the speaker to continue. The Bench is listening attentively as the speaker cites cases to support his argument.
12:56 PM- The Bench signals the second counsel to take the platform and present his arguments for the remaining issues at hand. The second counsel begins.
1:01 PM- The Judges are quick to correct the speaker as he presents a twisted explanation of a procedure. The respondents are gearing up for their turn and discussing amongst themselves. Time’s up! The second counsel requests for an extension. He is granted one.
1:04 PM- Time’s up again! But the second counsel is allowed to complete his arguments. The time management of the claimants is not looking very good right now. The Judges have many queries which are now being put up in front of the second counsel.
1:09 PM- The grilling continues. The respondents are listening intently and are noting down points for future reference.
1:13 PM- The first counsel of the respondents takes her place and the judges signal her to proceed. She begins confidently and proceeds directly to the issues at hand. The Judges listen intently.
1:18 PM- The Bench again starts in full swing and poses different questions in front of Speaker 1 of the respondents. She listens to them carefully and starts answering them. The judges counter-question. The exchange continues.
1:22 PM- Series of disagreements between the Judges and the Speaker 1 follow. While the judges look for more clarity in the justification, the first counsel strives hard to satisfy them.
1:26 PM- Oops! Another contradiction within the arguments of the first counsel caught by the bench. The first counsel looks weary with the continuous interrogation but carries on.
1:28 PM- Time’s up! The first counsel looks for an extension and the bench allows. The judges look unconvinced with the reasoning given by Speaker one for the third issue and direct her to certain provisions. She gives a reference to the memo and slowly makes way for the second counsel.
1:30 PM- The second counsel for the respondents starts with a bold voice and fills the courtroom with energy. She proceeds with her arguments. The Judge nods twice and presents her with a question. She answers it well.
1:35 PM- Speaker 2 of the respondents continues confidently, but is stopped as the judges inquire about a specific paragraph in a memo. The judges smile as the second counsel gives a vivid description of the clause in question including aspects like font and colour.
1:43 PM- With just a minute left, the judges direct the second counsel to proceed to the fifth issue. The judges while listening to the reasoning ask for a specific clause. Time’s running up! It’s high time for the respondents to gear up.
1:50 PM- The judges do not look happy with the answer given by speaker 2 and explain the reasoning gap in the arguments. The voice of the second counsel lowers down as the courtroom becomes colder. She requests to proceed with the prayer but is politely denied.
1:51 PM- REBUTTAL TIME! The judges instruct the teams to stick to their time limits in the upcoming sessions. The claimants start strong and the respondents, even though dazed, listen carefully. The judges lean forward to listen better.
1:54 PM- The claimants make amends by finishing their rebuttal in due time. The respondents bring in the sur-rebuttals.
1:57 PM- The respondents also finish their sur-rebuttals in the given time period. The oral rounds have been concluded. The bench addresses both the teams and applauds them for their performance. They are then asked to leave as the judges start an internal discussion and note down their scores.
COURTROOM-2: Eastland vs Holland
12:15 PM- Good Afternoon and welcome to the Preliminary Rounds of The 10th Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM) 2023. The judges are comfortably seated and conversing among themselves as we wait for the participants to take their places.
12:25 PM- The atmosphere of the courtroom is quite jovial as the judges go through the bench memorial awaiting the arrival of the participants.
12:27 PM- The participants have arrived in the courtroom and are slowly taking their places. The room is suddenly charged with anticipation.
12:30 PM- Hurried and last moment discussions are taking place among the teams as both teams await the final nod from the judges to begin.
12:34 PM- The Claimants submit their compendium to the bench and we are a go! Speaker 1 has taken their position
12:35 PM- Speaker 1 is explaining the facts and their structure of the arguments. They seem well versed with the facts. This seems to be appreciated by the Bench.
12:36 PM- Two minutes in and the questions have started. Speaker 1 seemed taken aback but seems to have answered satisfactorily.
12:40 PM- Speaker 1 has asked for permission for time to answer a volley of questions that they have just been subjected to.
12:43 PM- Speaker 1 is in the middle of answering questions to an issue which the bench seems quite critical of. The “1 minute” left placard goes up. But extra time has not been asked for.
12:45 PM- From a prompt from the Of-Counsel, Speaker 1 asks for extra time but the same is denied. Speed of Speaker 1 has increased palpably.
12:48 PM- Due to shortage of time, the bench has picked up what they feel is the most critical issue and is asking questions on that. They seem to be trying to get an understanding whether the Speaker has clarity in the basics of their claim.
12:51 PM- Speaker 2 is speaking much slower than their predecessor. The bench is finding it easier to understand the arguments presented and is not asking many questions.
12:53 PM- The flow of arguments of Speaker 2 is much more structured with proper enunciation and pauses. But alas- the first question has been asked! Will they be able to answer with the same composure and persuasiveness?
12: 55 PM- Speaker 2 answers confidently but the bench does not seem too satisfied. However, permission is given to proceed. Speaker 2 continues with their arguments in the same engaging momentum.
12:58 PM- The Respondent team is quietly taking notes for their own arguments. Will they use the opposing points from the bench in their arguments? Only time will tell.
1:00 PM- Speaker 2 is done with their submissions with sufficient time in hand. All eyes on the Respondents while they take their place and start their arguments.
1:02 PM- Speaker 1 of the Respondents starts with quite an energetic gusto. The bench is startled but pleased at the same time.
1:03 PM- The bench asks the Respondents to come to the crux of their submissions and Speaker 1 starts with their second argument.
1:08 PM- Speaker 1 seems to be losing the attention of the bench. The bench seems to have lost clarity on which issue the speaker is submitting on.
1:10 PM- Speaker 1 seems to be losing confidence due to the barrage of questions that they are being subjected to. But they will not be going down without a fight. They are trying to satisfy the bench in all ways possible.
1:12 PM- The bench is deliberating among themselves on whether they have been satisfied with the submissions of Speaker 1 or not. Finally, they have given permission to Speaker 2 to come forward.
1:15 PM- Speaker 2 is continuing with the same pace as their predecessor. But the bench does not seem satisfied with the submissions and is asking questions to get clarity.
1:23 PM- Is the Respondent side contradicting themselves? That is what the bench thinks. Will the Respondents be able to maneuver themselves out of this?
1:24 PM- “2 MINUTES LEFT”- Speaker 2 has been given permission to proceed due to paucity of time.
1:26 PM- “TIME’S UP”. Speaker 2 asks for 5 extra minutes but the bench is keen on summaries instead of full submissions. Does Speaker 2 have the skill to present their arguments in such a short time?
1:28 PM- “TIME’S UP”- the bench allows for one last argument in brief. The speed of Speaker 2 has increased substantially and the bench’s attention is focused. They might pull this off!
1:30 PM- The bench asks a question that the Speaker 2 cannot answer. The bench seems adamant on getting an answer so permission is given for the Of-counsel to research on the same.
1:34 PM- Arguments are over! Speaker 2 of the Claimants comes forward for the rebuttals with confidence and points out the fallacies of the arguments of the Respondents. Tension in the room is at its peak.
1:35 PM- The rebuttal is filled with pointed attacks and the Respondents seems to be taken aback. It’s now their turn to pull out the guns.
1:36 PM- The Respondents have not backed down. They emphasise their points based on the case study in the sur-rebuttals.
COURTROOM-3: Bounty vs Skate
11:04 PM- After the unexpected delay from the day before, we have finally arrived at Prelim round – 1. The arbitrators seem enthusiastic and have asked the hospitality team for a cup of coffee. It would be interesting to see how intense the grilling goes today.
11:11 PM- “Are the counsels ready?” asks Mr. arbitrator. Counsel from the Claimants approaches the podium and greets the bench positively.
11:13 PM- “You can stand here or you can sit and submit your answers, considering that there is no one standing in usual arbitration proceedings”, the lady arbitrator makes a keen observation and allows the counsel to practise their discretion. The counsel chooses to sit and proceed further.
11:21 PM- “So it is your argument that there should be three arbitrators?”, Mr. Arbitrator asks. Thereafter, the counsel is thrown with multiple questions in the middle of their first issue, but they manage to tackle them all prudently.
11:30 PM- The counsel requests for an extension but the bench refuses. The bench asks the co-counsel to lead with the unaddressed issue first and then lead with their own. The co-counsel takes 10 seconds to gather their thoughts.
11:40 PM- The co-counsel begins their last issue. “Do I sense a query, Mr. arbitrator?”, the co-counsel asks, trying to gather the bench’s attention to their arguments. The bench presents a plethora of questions.
11:45 PM- “TIME’S UP!” the placard goes up and the co-counsel successfully concludes their arguments. The bench directs to skip the prayer and call upon the Respondents to present their case.
11:55 PM- Lady arbitrator notices the paucity of time and instructs the counsel to merely summarise their arguments on summary disposal. Contrastingly, Mr. Arbitrator juggles with the issue and poses multiple questions. The bench seems unconvinced with the counsel’s response.
11:58 PM- The co-counsel presents their initial contentions and immediately demands attention of everyone in the room. Mr.arbitrator highlights a flaw in the statute used by the co-counsel and the latter concedes.
12:05 PM- The co-counsel fails to present the material as asked by the bench for reference. The respondents seem to be visibly dejected, but proceed with the remaining submissions.
12:10 PM- The co-counsel argues with great conviction. Mr. arbitrator vocalises his satisfaction and demands a citation of relevant authority from their written submission.
12:16 PM- And the time runs out ! With barely a min left on the clock, the bench repeatedly questions the inconsistencies in the presented factual analysis. To make their way through the rapid line of questioning, the counsel requests an extension on time, but the bench refuses, and the submissions come to an end.
12:20 PM- Both the sides come forth with their rebuttals for one another, with negligible interference from the bench.
12:22 PM- With this, we have come to the end of Preliminary Round – 1. The bench hands over materials to the respective teams and urges them to vacate the courtroom.
COURTROOM-4: Hunley vs Argonaut
12:14 PM- The Judges have seated themselves comfortably. The general tone of the conversations seem to be light and engaging. A good start to the competition’s 1st day.
12:28 PM- The teams have entered the room. There is a slight nervousness coupled with a positive attitude. Spectators have taken their seats to witness the well prepared arguments of the parties. The Court Room Managers have taken all the necessary information.
12:35 PM- The Claimant side’s Speaker 1 has started with a warm introduction. Slight temperature adjustments have been requested by the Judges. The Speaker proceeds with the structure of their arguments and is engaging well with the bench.
12:36 PM- Claimant has begun with their first submission. The judges seem to be cordial so far. The Claimant side’s speaker 1 is complimenting their arguments with expressive hand movements.
12:37 PM- And there comes the first clarification from the Judge. Oh! Another one follows merely a few seconds later. This one seems to be a challenging one.
12:38 PM- The Claimant side’s Speaker 1 has briefly shifted the burden of the answer to their co-counsel. Another question by the judges, the Claimant Speaker 1 has answered this question and backed it with a case law.
12:44 PM- Time stamp for 5 minutes left on the clock has been signalled by the Courtroom Manager. The Speaker seems to have taken note of the same. There is some visible tension however, they remain composed. The submissions go on.
12:45 PM- The Judge asks pertinent questions based on practicalities of a submission and the co-judges nod in favor of the question. Claimant side’s Speaker 1 has tackled this.
12:48 PM- TIME’S UP! The speaker has humbly requested for a 2 minute extension and this has been granted.
12:50 PM- TIME’S UP! The Speaker has rested their submissions. The Judges have also rested their questioning for Speaker 1.
12:51 PM- Speaker 2 from the Claimant’s side has taken the podium. Speaker 2 is a calmer speaker as opposed to their co-counsel.
12:57 PM- With 10 minutes left on the clock, the questioning has begun in relation to the assignment of liability. Speaker 2 has given what they think to be the right answer, the Judges have given the green light to proceed.
1:00 PM- The Respondents seem to be taking note of the general tenor of the judges. The judge seems to place the submissions of the Speaker in a succinct and clarificatory manner.
1:08 PM- Speaker 1 from the Claimant’s side has made a few attempts to prompt their co-counsel with some relevant information to tackle the heat of the judges’ questions. The Judges note the same and immediately request to stop prompting.
1:09 PM- TIME’S UP! Speaker 2 is now summarizing their arguments. Seems to be the end of a heated questioning for the Claimants.
1:10 PM- Respondent Speaker 1 has taken the stage and begins with their Statement of Jurisdiction. Oh! The judges seem to be in a questioning mood, the first question rolls in within the Speaker’s first statement!
1:13 PM- The Respondent begins their submissions with regards to the number of arbitrators to be appointed as per the respective laws. There comes a question from the Judge! The Respondent seems to have been slightly shaken because of the constant questioning but they remain confident in their responses, ending it with a poised smile.
1:22 PM- The Judge questions the weight of the Respondent‘s argument and the Counsel smartly answers this using a case law. Ah good try indeed but the Judges question the facts of the cited case on procedural aspects.
1:25 PM- TIME’S UP. With a 2 minute extension granted for the purposes of summarization, the Counsel for respondents continues to make submissions. There is a slight stammer in their voice, a challenging round indeed.
1:26 PM- Respondent Side Speaker 2 has taken the podium. The second speaker is a calm and composed speaker. The judge asks a question and the Speaker, confident in their knowledge, answers swiftly.
1:31 PM- The judge asks for a more recent case law to substantiate the Counsel’s argument as opposed to the old case that the Counsel has cited. The Respondent Side’s speaker 2 answers in the negative.
1:35 PM- A very challenging question is posed by the Judge on the grounds of the Respondent Side’s speaker 2. There is visible tension in the Speaker as they take a few seconds to reply.
1:38 PM- The judges point to the Speaker to take note of the time stamp. An extension is requested. 1 minute left on the clock.
1:42 PM- The Respondent completes their submission with their humble prayer. The judges thank the speaker with a smile. This draws close to the submissions on both sides.
1:43 PM- REBUTTALS have begun. From the Claimant’s side, Speaker 2 has come to rebut the arguments of the Respondents. They defend their case using relevant case laws however, the speaker is very fast and flustered. The minute has ended.
1:45 PM- Speaker 2 from the Respondent’s side has come for rebuttals. The speaker has rebutted the case well and the judges seemed satisfied with the responses.
COURTROOM-5: Titanic vs Clermont
12:23 PM- The judges have arrived and are engaging in pleasant conversation among themselves and others present in the room. They have requested the participants to be sent it.
12:30 PM- The teams have entered the room and seem confident yet a little anxious as the anticipation of the next few hours lingers. We hope that the months of effort they put in will surely be fruitful.
12:37 PM- The first counsel has made his way to the dias and is setting the stage off in a confident manner. The judges are listening intently and have raised a question about the applicability of the Hague convention.
12:44 PM- The counsel so far is doing an excellent job in tackling the clarifications being sent his way. The Bench seems satisfied. Kudos to him and his preparation!
12:48 PM-The counsel has summarized his issues in a wonderful manner and has now passed the baton to his co counsel.
12:54 PM- The Bench is listening and is giving a lot of thought to all their questions. The counsels are putting just as much thought and knowledge to their responses. They really have given their all to this competition!
12:56 PM- Oh what do we see here? The Bench is requesting for more clarity and the counsel is remaining calm and trying his best to sail his team’s ship through this turbulent sea!
1:00 PM- With five minutes remaining, the co counsel is summarizing his arguments and it can be said that their ship has moved past the high waves.
1:05 PM- The counsel from the respondent is equally as confident and is directing the Bench towards the moot proposition to substantiate his arguments.
1:11 PM- The Bench has asked the counsel what the judgements being cited by him have ruled and how they apply to the Bench. The counsel seems to be trying to satisfy them. His team looks at him in assurance.
1:16 PM-15 minutes left and the counsel requests for an extension of 2 minutes. The counsel seems to be summarising his arguments and talking in great detail about how the facts of the case play out in their favour.
1:20 PM- The co-counsel has now started presenting her arguments and is correlating her arguments to the facts of the proposition and is guiding the Bench with her.
1:32 PM- Here begin the rebuttals. “You would be given two sentences” The Bench makes the round even more interesting with this. The counsel plays along.
1:35 PM- The round has been concluded and the Bench is now scoring the participants after engaging in thoughtful discourse.
COURTROOM-6: Beagle vs Carpathia
12:10 PM- Warm Regards to everyone. With only a few minutes left before we start with the first preliminary rounds for the day, the judges look cheerful. Let us see if the participants can lead the session with the same mood, we surely do hope so!
12:14 PM- With the pleasantries out of the way, the judges seem to now have engaged themselves with the documents relevant for the upcoming rounds.
12:31 PM- Finally! Tensed faces but confident smiles, the claimants have walked in. As they wait to be seated the respondents join the session. Both the parties seem to have a wonderful composure.
12:34 PM- The counsel seeks permission to approach the bench! And here it begins.
12:37 PM- There seems to be some discussion between the judges and the counsel regarding missing page numbers in the submission, but the judges did not seem to focus much on the error.
12:42 PM- The counsel is done with her submissions, the judges have begun to now critically question various sections of the written submission. The judges seem to have some specific doubts in certain submissions for which the counsel is now giving her answers.
12:47 PM- The respondents seem relaxed and deeply engrossed in the submissions of the claimants. Now that the session has sufficient fluency, the counsel has picked up the speed of her submission and has actively maintained a polite and humble composure.
12:49 PM- The judges offer an extension to the counsel and ask a quick question, though it seems that the answer didn’t quite catch the judges’ attention. We now have the next counsel at the podium and she has begun with her submissions. The judges seem to have engrossed themselves with the problem once again while also attentively listening to the ongoing submission, since they do not seem to be losing out on any opportunity to question the counsel.
12:56 PM- The judges seem to have caught some major confusion in the written submissions, in the furtherance of which they actively question the counsel. While the counsel appeared confused for a split second, she timely caught her composure and has been actively involved in a question-answer based discussion with the judges.
1:00 PM- Growing tired with the interrogation, the judges seem to have taken up a calmer composure where they seem to be actively listening to the submissions by the counsel, and simultaneously informing her of the core problem.
1:02 PM- The request for a short extension by the counsel has been approved after which she has been bombarded with more questions. The conversation has taken quite an engaging turn and the judges have returned to actively listening and have paused the questions for now.
1:06 PM- The claimants end their submissions on a warm and cheery note with a presentation of their final prayer, the judges seem very hard to read at this point.
1:08 PM- The respondents have begun with their submission after seeking requisite permissions from the judges. The speaker seems confident enough with his submissions and seems to have caught the attention of everyone in the room.
1:13 PM- The speaker seems to have a moment of stutter. Though he managed to regain his composure just as soon as he lost it. The judges, once again, are on an active questioning spree.
1:14 PM- The judges point to the fact that the respondents have been using the definitions provided according to their convenience, and skipping out on them when not per their use. The judges appear dissatisfied with the present submission but the speaker accepts his error, and the session proceeds!
1:20 PM- With the end of submission by the first counsel, the second counsel has drawn the attention of the judges with his warm and calm composure and the smooth presentation of his arguments. The counsel states a brief structure of how he shall be proceeding with his arguments throughout his submission.
1:26 PM- The counsel seems to be confused with his arguments, since the judges are having a hard time comprehending them. The counsel has been instructed to clarify on what his proper arguments are.
1:28 PM- The counsel proceeds with the second issue. The counsel seems quite adamant about his reasoning and is putting active effort in convincing the judges of his reasoning. The calm demeanour of the second counsel is appreciable since he has been persistently questioned by the judges throughout his submissions and yet, manages to find a prompt reply to every question.
1:34 PM- The counsel has begun with the summarisation of his issue points. He is now being questioned on certain citations presented in his submissions and the relevancy of the said citations. The speaker seems to have satisfied the judges since they ask him to proceed ahead with his argument summarisations.
1:36 PM- The respondents have ended their submission. The claimant counsel briefly joins us at the podium and points out a few couple disparities that they could find in the written submissions. The points made focus more over technical errors in the submission and less over any factual disparity.
1:41 PM- The first rounds of the day have come to an end! The teams have been instructed to leave the room, which they seem more than happy to comply with!
COURTROOM-7: Nautilus vs Lenin
12:07 PM– Welcome all to the first session of IMAM 2023. We are in Court Room 7. The judges have arrived and have started looking into the documents. The counsels are awaited!
12:14 PM- While the counsels are yet to join us, the judges are engaging in a cheerful conversation. This Bench sure looks excited for the upcoming rounds and is ready for some grilling!
12:24 PM- Here comes the teams. They seem to be a bit nervous, and are busy sorting their documents. Ladies and Gentlemen, get ready to witness some amazing deliberation in the next few hours. Looks like we are good to go!
12:30 PM- The counsel has started with great zeal, and mentioned their structure of arguments. The judges have seeked initial clarification on the structure of the ensuing arguments. So far, so good!
12:32 PM- With commencement of the arguments, the counsel has swiftly guided the judges to the pages of their memorial, and has started with his first issue.
12:35 PM- The counsel has asserted that the arbitration shall be conducted based on the LMAA Rules. He mentions “an ICC case”, to which the judge has promptly asked the name of the case. The counsel seems to have lost his track, and is fumbling. There, he finds it!
12:37 PM- “Is that the LMAA Rules you are reading from?” asks the judge. The counsel clarifies on the same.
12:39 PM- The judge points out and asks the counsel to state his reasoning behind the contention that the LMAA Rule would prevail over the English Arbitration Act. The judge doesn’t seem convinced with the answer and has posed a counter-question. He seems hard to convince!
12:41 PM- The counsel seeks permission to move to the second issue. However, the bench seems to have a few more clarifications on the first issue itself. The respondents seem to be listening attentively to the arguments of the claimants.
12:45 PM- Looking at the paucity of time, the judges have allowed the counsel to move to the subsequent issue. The counsel is continuously referring to his written documents and compendiums, the judges are following his lead.
12:51 PM- The judges have graciously allowed 30 more seconds to the counsel to wrap up his arguments.
12:52 PM- The second counsel has taken the mantle. She has informed the judges of her being unwell and that she may take breaks to sip water. Quite a humble request!
12:57 PM- Oh wait! “Do not read, you are reading too much on the references.” One of the judges seems to be disappointed at the continuous reading of the memorial by the counsel. Not a good sign!
12:58 PM- The Bench today is on a roll! They are posing very pin-pointed and sharp questions at the counsel. This seems to have made the counsel a bit edgy, leading to a lot of stumbling on her part.
1:03 PM- The judges are shooting queries left, right and centre. Quite a hot bench I would say. The respondents are seen chatting among themselves, a not-so-attentive approach!
1:05 PM- With just 1 Min left, the counsel still has a long way to go to fully satisfy the judges who are seeking more clarifications.
1:08 PM- The claimants have collectively stood up to present their prayer. The bumpy ride for the claimants comes to an end! It is now the turn of the respondents to put forth their contentions. Good luck to them!
1:10 PM- The counsel looks very confident and has started off with a great note. He has rapidly moved to his submissions for the case at hand.
1:13 PM- The judges have asked the counsel to establish the things that the claimants have failed to do. The counsel seems to have quick and clean answers to the questions of the bench.
1:21 PM- The counsel has begun with Issue 3 which pertains to the bill of lading being of bad tender. He moves to establish his reasoning as to why it is bad tender.
1:27 PM- TIMES UP, the courtroom manager has indicated! However, the claimant still continues without asking for an extension. The judges are paying full attention.
1:29 PM- A request for extension was denied, the counsel has now handed over the baton to his co-counsel.
1:33 PM- One of the judge started reading out the RETLA clause, and asks about the counsel’s stance on breach of duty on the part of the claimants.
1:36 PM- The judge sitting in the middle seems to have laid a trail of counter-questions for the counsel. Seems like the counsel is not able to give a proper answer to his questions. The atmosphere has turned a bit tense at the moment.
1:39 PM- The counsel stands firm on her ground and is trying her best to substantiate her position on the issue at hand. The counsel seems to be intimidated at the sizable questions being posed at her.
1:47 PM- The counsel for the claimants has started off her rebuttals by swiftly pointing out the lacunas in the respondent’s submissions. She has been stopped in the middle since her time’s up. It’s now the respondents turn to give a befitting reply to the contentions raised against them.
1:49 PM- The respondents have adopted a very calm and light tone while answering to the questions posed by their opponents, she seems to be exuding confidence while presenting her stance.
1:52 PM- With this, this intense battle of deliberations, and cross questioning has come to a conclusion.
COURTROOM-8: Fulton vs Lusitania
12:20 PM- Hello and Welcome to each and all. The participants walk in with troubled faces and confused looks. They are ready for round one of IMAM.
12:27 PM- The round is yet to start. However, the room is filled with a blend of different emotions. The participants are now seated ready to put their opponent’s skill to the test.
12:30 PM- The round has begun. The Claimant begins to put her case forward. She seems confident and well prepared. Their opponents glare at her waiting for the first slip-up.
12:46 PM- The bench is going through the relevant documents. They have agreed to extend the speaker’s time by two minutes.
12:54 PM- The second speaker faced a barrage of questions from the judges. The tedious questions have managed to faze her. She asked for a minute to collect her thoughts and now, she is back with her answers.
12:58 PM- The line of questioning has ended. The judges do not seem satisfied. When asked if the claimant could proceed to the second issue, the judges said, “Sure” with a simple nod.
1:00 PM- The speaker stops in between her submissions. She says that she sensed a concern and whether the judge wished to ask anything. The judges refuse and ask her to simply continue.
1:01 PM- The speaker seems to have succumbed to the pressure. She fumbles yet pulls herself back.
1:03 PM- The speaker rested her case. The Respondents have now taken the podium.
1:08 PM- The Speaker has made a minor mistake with respect to the definition of an important term. The judge rectifies the slight error and asks the speaker to proceed further.
1:13 PM- The judges ask three questions at once. The speaker seems lost. The judges seem annoyed. The Speaker has not satisfactorily answered the questions asked by them.
1:15 PM- Much to their misfortune, the judge remarks, “Counsel, we are going in circles. Please, just answer my question.” The Speaker fails to convince the judges with her answers.
1:20 PM-The second speaker takes the podium. She speaks confidently but will she be able to survive the line of questioning.
1:25 PM- The second speaker speaks dramatically and emphasises on multiple terms. However, the judges seem unfazed and unaffected.
1:30 PM- The speaker ended their submissions. The Claimants now punched upon the opportunity of rebutting. The Claimants choose to utilise their 48 seconds in order to dismantle the submissions made by their opponents.
1:33 PM- The judges were considerate and awarded a minute to the Claimants. The Claimants took the podium to point out an error in the case laws mentioned. The judges do not seem satisfied with the question asked.
1:36 PM- The rounds have come to an end. The participants vacate the hall with confused faces. The adrenaline rush has come to an end.
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2023
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – SESSION 1 CONCLUDES!
COURTROOM-1: Scharnhorst vs Eastland
3:10 PM- After a break, the judges are all ready to begin with Session 2! The teams have started arriving in the courtroom and are slowly taking their seats. The judges are waiting for them to settle down while engaging in a friendly banter with each other.
3:19 PM- The judges, with their chins resting on their clasping hands, listen to the arguments intently. The first counsel confidently proceeds with his arguments.
3:21 PM- The judges start dropping-in questions which are answered by the first counsel one-by-one. The judges continue with follow-up questions whilst discussing something amongst themselves.
3:23 PM- The rounds are getting interesting as the second issue at hand is taken up by Speaker 1 of the claimants. The judges are nodding from time to time to reflect their understanding of the arguments. Good going!
3:28 PM- The respondents can be seen noting points diligently from time to time. Looks like they are gearing up for their turn. The judges ask the first counsel to summarise his arguments. Only a few minutes are left as the second counsel replaces Speaker 1.
3:33 PM- The second counsel for the claimant now moves on to the next issue. The judges inquired about a particular matter for which Speaker 2 answered that the facts are silent on that matter. The judges directed the counsel to continue.
3:40 PM- “You can’t have it both ways, counsel”. Oops! There seems to be some disagreement between the judges and the second counsel as he tries to answer a question by one of the judges. But it is quickly resolved as speaker 2 continues with his arguments.
3:43 PM- AND, TIME’S UP! But the second counsel is granted an extension as the judges continue to listen to the argument with great interest. The speaker is then directed to end the arguments due to paucity of time.
3:46 PM- The first counsel of the respondents comes to the podium and greets the judges. Speaker 1 smartly indicates the time limit of arguments beforehand, reflecting the team’s efficient time management. He starts with the arguments issue-by issue, right away.
3:55 PM- One of the judges puts in a query which leaves the first counsel in a fix. They ponder upon it for sometime. The whole courtroom falls silent. The question is then answered and it is answered well. The judge gives a quick smile and asks the first counsel to carry on. Phew!
4:00 PM- The second counsel of the respondents now replaced the first counsel at the podium. The session continued with the third issue.
4:05 PM- The judges put forward a tricky question and the second counsel gets stuck on it. The judges address the dilemma of Speaker 2 after which the arguments are continued.
4:14 PM- In between the queries, the judges take a second to point out the fundamentals related to the issue at hand and then ask the second counsel to move to the final issue.
4:17 PM- The judges instruct both the teams to stick to the time limit before the starting of the rebuttals.
4:18 PM- Rebuttal time! The counsel for the claimants start the rebuttal in full swing and leave the other team awestruck as they frantically take pointers.
4:20 PM- Rebuttals are finished in due time. The sur-rebuttals begin with a good thrust. The claimants are absorbed in the arguments and listen attentively. The sur-rebuttals are also finished within the stipulated time period.
4:23 PM- “Good Job and Best of Luck!” And with these words, the bench bids adieu to both the teams before moving on to the marking of the rounds. The orals rounds for session 2 have been concluded successfully.
COURTROOM-2: Savannah v. Bounty
3:11 PM- The Claimants are off to a good start. With a commanding and clear voice, Speaker 1 is explaining the structure of their submissions.
3:12 PM- Speaker 1 has chosen to present facts through the timeline of events and the bench is appreciative of the same.
3:15 PM- The bench seems engrossed with the submissions of Speaker 1. Well done!
3:19 PM- Is Speaker 1 speaking too fast for the bench to get an opening to ask questions or are they just that good? 10 minutes in and no questions yet.
3: 21 PM- The first question comes in. A long winded answer to a crisp question on the Bill of Lading.
3:32 PM- Speaker 1 is not wavering in their argument nor is their confidence. Citing a case from their compendium, they are finally able to satisfy the bench.
3:36 PM- “5 MINUTES LEFT” and Speaker 1 starts on with their second issue. The time crunch can be felt from the palpable increase in the speed of the Speaker.
3:43 PM- Speaker 1 is being bombarded with questions and time is running out-TIME’S UP-Speaker 1 leaves with a tinge of frustration. Phew!
3:44 PM- Speaker 2 comes up and the questions have started already on the structuring of issues in the memorial. The bench asks the Speaker 2 whether they would be willing to reframe their issue.
3:48 PM- Speaker 2 seems to be at a loss. Silence ensues as they contemplate on whether they are willing to reframe.
3:49 PM- Speaker 2 finally concedes to the newly reframed issue and the arguments continue.
3:55 PM- The bench has pointed out that Speaker 2 gave a long answer to what could have been answered in a crisp manner. Oops!
4:00 PM- “TIME’S UP”- Speaker 2 is unable to satisfy the applicability of the arbitration rules but rushes to the Prayer with a request for extension.
4:02 PM- The floor is now open to the Respondents. Speaker 1 speaks with an assuring certainty as they explain their structure and have taken over the room.
4:10 PM- Speaker 1 is not giving a clear answer to a Yes/No question. The Bench points it out but asks the Speaker to proceed in the interest of time.
4:15 PM- The Bench states that if they are unwilling to accept the Respondent’s primary argument, what is the exceptional circumstance which separates the Respondents from the rest. Time is almost up and this is quite a loaded question.
4:18 PM- Speaker 1 takes a bold move and on their own attempts to answer the question from the bench their opposing side was unable to answer. The bench is smiling- they are pleased with the initiative and the answer!
4:23 PM- The bench is conversing among themselves- they seem to be concerned about the paucity of time. Speaker 1 asks for extension but the same is denied in the interest of letting Speaker 2 speak.
4:28 PM- Speaker 1 is pushing their time limit and the bench is dissatisfied. Speaker 2 finally enters the playing ground. Will they be able to finish with a bang?
4:33 PM- Discussion on certificates and policies continue. Speaker 2 is aiming to satisfy the bench.
4:35 PM- The bench seems adamant on admitting arguments based on cases in the compendium and memorials. The Speakers are playing quite a risky game!
4:39 PM- What is a bad tender? Time is running out as the arguments come to a close and the Respondents try to prove their point.
4:41 PM- Did the bench just use the Respondent’s arguments against them? Speaker 2 has to come out of this in the most efficient way possible.
4:44 PM- Accept your mistake and move on or stick to your arguments? That is quite a thin line to walk on!
4:45 PM- “TIME’S UP”- but it is up when the bench says so! Speaker 2 grapples to answer a crucial question raised by the bench.
4:47 PM- Everything stands still as the bench decides whether they are satisfied or not. The silence is quite terrifying.
4:53 PM- Arguments have come to an end. Time for the rebuttals. Will the Claimants be able to make a lasting impact? The bench has asked for two best points. Can they deliver?
4:55 PM- The Bench is impatient and unwilling to listen to anything other than responses to the said arguments. Respondents seek some time to arrange their sur-rebuttal and the same is granted.
4:57 PM- “Make it count”, the wise words to the Respondents on their sur-rebuttals. The Respondents give their very best, albeit at very high speed. And we have come to a close. A thrilling round in a highly charged atmosphere! Now the scoring begins.
COURTROOM-3: Mayflower vs Hunley
3:08 PM- The three judges are well seated in the courtroom. They can be seen engaging in a pleasant conversation. The atmosphere feels welcoming at the moment. It would be interesting to see how the mood changes as the round commences.
3:11 PM- The teams have entered the room and exchanged glances with one another. The tension is visible.
3:15 PM- The judge lays down the procedure as there seems to be a potential conflict of interest. The teams have the option of deciding whether they wish to proceed with a panel of three judges or merely two, considering one of the judges is acquainted with one of the team members.
3:17 PM- The courtroom has taken a slightly dramatic turn. The teams are asked to submit their decision a yellow chit. The court master has been asked to collect the same.
3:18 PM- The teams have decided to proceed with a two-judge bench. The counsel for the claimants has approached the podium. They reflect confidence as they lay down the time allocation and issue distribution for their team.
3:19 PM- The judge seeks clarifications from the counsel regarding one of the authorities cited. The counsel slightly flusters but resumes with clarity.
3:21 PM- “Who were the documents tendered to, counsel?”, the judge asks. The counsel mentions that the facts are silent about the matter.
3:22 PM- The counsel is thrown with another question regarding the facts and they can be seen scanning the materials.
3:25 PM- The counsel repeatedly refers to their transcript. The judge engages with their submissions and bombards them with questions one after another. The panel asks them what their claim is and seems unsatisfied with the answer as they try to tie them in a loop. It would be interesting to see how they navigate the ship.
3:26 PM- The counsel answers well and reverts back to their submissions with ease.
3:27 PM- The judge asks them a question regarding the application of certain rules as cited by the counsel. The counsel can be seen trying their best, as is evident from their frequent hand gestures, to convince the panel with her justification.
3:28 PM- The counsel directs the panel’s attention to the case study to establish how the present matter falls within the rules thus cited. The judge bombards them with another follow-up question. The counsel suffers a slip of tongue and accidentally refers to the arbitrators as ‘counsel’.
3:33 PM- “TIME’S UP!“, holds the court manager but the judges are unhinged in asking questions. The counsel fails to ask for an extension.
3:34 PM- The counsel seeks permission to proceed with their further arguments but is again made to take a halt by the judges as they vehemently say “no!”, being unsatisfied with their answer.
3:35 PM- The counsel hands over a document to the panel, for reference. The panel reminds them of the time constraints.
3:39 PM- Counsel 2 for the claimants walks over and introduces themselves. They appear to be a little tense and speak in a low voice. They approach their team for assistance with their memorial, as the panel asks to be directed to a relevant footnote number.
3:43 PM- The judge asks how the claimants can assume that a particular clause is applicable to their case, “Is it written anywhere in the moot proposition or did you seek any clarification?”. The judge raises his voice and asks for a relevant judgement. The counsel cites a case but the panel sits unconvinced.
3:50 PM- “2 Minutes left”, the court manager announces as the panel engages on facts of the case.
3:53 PM- The counsel successfully summarises their submissions within the stipulated time. The Respondents walk over confidently.
3:55 PM- Counsel 1 of the Respondents says that they disagree with one of the facts stated by the claimants.
3:57 PM- The counsel seems too keen on answering questions as the judge interjects “I have not finished my question!”.
4:04 PM- “Your argument is very circular”, the panel is visibly confused as the counsel fails to establish whether or not arbitrators have the discretion to adopt their own procedure.
4:11 PM- “TIME’S UP” but the panel expresses their reservations as they feel that the counsel is misleading the tribunal, due to her failure to present valid rules under which the present matter falls.
4:15 PM- The panel seeks clarifications regarding definitions presented by the counsel. The counsel cites an authority from their memorial to justify their understanding. The judge highlights a contradiction between their oral submissions and their memorials.
4:20 PM- The counsel summarises their submissions. Counsel 2 moves towards the dias.
4:24 PM- With the incessant questions, the counsel directs the panel to the moot proposition but they struggle to resolve the queries. The panel sees “no way forward” in this argument and thus, urges the counsel to proceed with the next issue.
4:30 PM- “Do you have any judgement to show that the RETLA clause is ambiguously worded?”. The counsel delivers an answer but the judge vocalises his discontentment.
4:35 PM- “I don’t see any merit in this argument”, the judge grants an extension of one minute, anticipating an assuring answer. The counsel answers and concludes his submissions.
4:42 PM- The round comes to an end. The teams collect all the material and move out of the courtroom. The judges are seen interacting with the court managers as they hand over the score-sheets.
COURTROOM-4: Valentina vs Titanic
3:13 PM- The lunch break provided much needed energy as everyone has positively made their way back. The Claimants have begun with their first Speaker giving a very well structured introduction to their speech. They maintain a straight face without a hint of expressions. All clear, no questions so far.
3:16 PM- The claimant side’s speaker 1 has smartly predicted the argument of the other side. Here comes the first question of the round!
3:20 PM- The Judge has posed a question and while the Speaker couldn’t answer it, they highlight the possible irrelevance of the question, to the issue at hand. Expressions are still neutral and composed, even as questions follow.
3:22 PM- The Judge, showcasing their experience, points to the Speaker the potential mistake in citing a very specific case. The Speaker justifies its usage on procedural aspects regardless.
3:28 PM- The Respondents listening to each point intently and seems to be scribbling away important notes to use it to their advantage when their turn arrives.
3:28 PM- The Respondents listening to each point intently and seems to be scribbling away important notes to use it to their advantage when their turn arrives.
3:30 PM- The judge once again posed a similar question as in the last round. The question has left the counsel confused. An interesting question indeed. Speaker 1 has now passed the baton to Speaker 2 from the Claimant’s side.
3:36 PM- Speaker 2 is a steady one. They are taking time with every answer. The judges seem relatively calm, the questioning has decreased.
3:41 PM- 2 MINUTES LEFT ON THE CLOCK! With hands on their chin and deep in thought, the judges pose a question yet again on the existence of any recent cases. It seems that the judges are not too intent on age old cases.
3:43 PM- TIME’S UP! Extension granted to summarise the arguments. The tenor of Speaker 2 was consistent throughout the round. 30 SECONDS LEFT on the extended time.
3:46 PM- Speaker 1 from the respondent’s side has taken the stage. They proceed directly to their arguments. Their speech is complimented with expressive hand gestures which signal their preparedness.
3:51 PM- The speaker seems to be well-versed with the problem. Most of the arguments seem to be based on pure logic and a clear understanding of the problem.
3:53 PM- Despite repeated questions, the Speaker remains calm and composed. The Judges question the persuasive value of cases from other jurisdictions and their probable binding nature.
3:56 PM- The judges seem to have found a loophole in the Speaker’s arguments on the admissibility of cases from other jurisdictions.
4:07 PM- 8 MINUTES ON THE CLOCK! The Speaker on the respondent’s side seems to have lost track and has taken a significant amount of time. The Judge, clearly taking note of this, asks the speaker to call upon their co-counsel for a fair chance to submit their arguments.
4:09 PM- Speaker 2 from the Respondents taking note of the lack of time left to make arguments, speaks at a much faster rate. Clearly they are in a hurry. The Judges continue to prioritise questioning them irrespective of the lack of time.
4:10 PM- However, the Speaker tackles every question. Notably quick on their feet!
4:12 PM- While the Speaker tries to justify their case, they seem to be arguing in a friendly manner. Everyone is smiling at the answers given by the Speaker, even as they continue to try and justify themselves.
4:15 PM- 2 MINUTES HAVE BEEN GRANTED. Two issues left to be discussed. Unfortunate indeed. Speaker 2 is speaking at a visibly faster rate to try and complete their submissions. The judges take note of this and smile as they mark the Speaker accordingly.
4:18 PM- Speaker 2 leaves the podium and everyone is smiling. A slight confusion has occurred with regards to the rebuttals. One minute has been granted by the humble bench to both the teams.
4:20 PM- The round has come to an end. The feedback session has begun. Constructive feedback on the importance of story creation, teammate discussion, timestamps, body language, etc. A mix of positive notes as well as points to improve upon.
COURTROOM-5: Holland vs Beagle
3:08 PM- The second preliminary rounds for the day are set to begin in a few minutes.
3:13 PM- The counsel is very precise with their words and appears confident enough to maintain proper eye contact with the judges. The judges seem to be involved in a small internal discussion while simultaneously going through the written submissions.
3:15 PM- In a turn of events, the judges interrupt the counsel and instruct them to move on with their next submission. Due to the sudden nature of the request, the counsel took a few seconds to regain their composure, after which they proceeded with the next part of the submission.
3:17 PM- And we have the first question! The counsel is seen focusing on the question and behold! Unsurprisingly she manages to answer the judge without the delay of a split second. The judges seem satisfied.
3:19 PM- The second counsel begins with their submission after the requisite permission has been granted by the judge. The claimants are full of confidence as is evident from the way each of them are managing to express their emotions along with their oral submissions.
3:21 PM- Without the intrusion of any questions yet, the counsel is on a ride with their submissions. The judges flip through the written submissions and seems to be deeply engrossed in listening to the arguments by the counsel.
3:25 PM- The judges, after a short round of questioning, instructs the counsel to stick to case laws mentioned in the written memorial only. This came as a consequence of the counsel not being able to elaborate upon a certain point questioned by the judges.
3:31 PM- The judges are increasing the tension in the room by indulging in an interactive questioning of both the facts and the legal knowledge of the counsel.
3:35 PM- The judges seem to be confused about a certain part of the oral submissions of the counsel. The counsel is persistently being questioned by the judges, and from the looks of it, the judges are in no mood to be convinced anytime soon!
3:38 PM- Once again, the counsel makes a certain argument and is subsequently questioned about the absence of those arguments in their written submission, which the judges feel is a very crucial part of the argument.
3:42 PM- The responding counsel starts with their submission. The counsel seeks the permission to proceed ahead with issue 1, 4, and 5.
3:45 PM- In an attempt to lighten the tense environment, the judges jokingly ask the counsel, “if given a chance, which one of us would you want to be removed from the room?”. The counsel continues with their submissions.
3:47 PM- The judges seem very academically critical of any irrelevant information that may have been added in the written submissions as they repetitively question the counsel on the relevance of the points mentioned or talked about in the submission.
3:50 PM- The judges seem to have gotten comfortable with the questioning and are gradually focusing on picking apart every part of the counsel’s arguments. The counsel seems to be losing track of the arguments but quickly regains their composure and finishes with the submission.
3:54 PM- The second responding counsel starts with their opening statement.
3:55 PM- In a surprising turn of events, the judges have started their questioning from the first minute itself. The way the counsel managed to retain their composure and stay unfazed is appreciable.
3:58 PM- The counsel appears to be overwhelmed by the repetitive questioning, further, the fact that the judges are not expressive in their statements does not seem to help the situation for the respondents.
4:00 PM- It seems that the judges have some serious questions, since the counsel is not being given the permission to proceed to the next issue without sufficiently answering the questions and doubts of the judges.
4:02 PM- With 10 minutes left to the submission, the counsel is instructed to shift to the next issue by the judges.
4:05PM- The counsel seems to be stuck with a certain argument as they take a couple of seconds to restart speaking after being unable to answer a certain question by the judge. The judges were understanding of the situation and instructed the counsel to proceed whenever comfortable.
4:07 PM- With 5 minutes remaining, the respondents stand and end their submissions on a warm and cheery note with a presentation of their final prayer.
4:08 PM- The counsel from the claimant side takes hold of the podium and makes the necessary rebuttals in a minute. After which the responding counsel walks up to the podium and confidently makes their points against the rebuttal.
4:10 PM- The rounds have ended. The judges seem to be engrossed with taking a final look at the written submissions and are individually deliberating. The parties seem sufficiently tense for it to be evident on their faces. An exhilarating round indeed!
COURTROOM-6: Skate vs Nautilus
3:11 PM- The judges are seated, participants have arrived. The volunteers are making sure everything is in place. The rounds are set to begin anytime now.
3:15 PM- As the judges give a nod to start the rounds, the counsel for the claimant starts off by briefing the bench on the facts. The counsel sign-posts the arguments and starts with their submission with the bench’s permission.
3:18 PM- The bench seems to be focusing on the claimant’s memo as the counsel makes contentions on claimant’s behalf.
3:23 PM- As the counsel for the claimant makes their submissions, the respondents are preparing for their replies. They are listening intently to their opponent’s arguments.
3:29 PM- The co-counsel is arguing for issue 3 while citing relevant legislations. They seem very confident and is engaging the bench by referring to the memo and the moot problem.
3:34 PM- The bench is grilling the co-counsel on the 3rd issue as the courtroom managers indicate that the time is running up. The judge clarifies the question and re-frames it as they seem to be looking for a specific answer to their question.
3:45 PM- The time is up for the claimant, the bench gives additional time to the counsel to finish their arguments.
3:46 PM- The counsel asks for extra time for concluding the arguments, however the bench denied the same.
3:49 PM- As the respondents were starting with their submissions they were interrupted by the judge, who sought clarification on the respondent’s main contentions.
3:56 PM- The bench points out certain facts in the fact sheet to oppose the reasoning of the counsel. The judge demands the counsel to further substantiate their submission.
4:00 PM- The Counsel is trying to define the scope of the issues they are dealing with. With the bench’s permission they sum up their argument and move to next issue.
4:04 PM- The Co-counsel greets the bench and continues with the further issues.
4:06 PM- The bench wants the counsel to support their arguments with a legislation. The co-counsel attempts to answer the bench by citing various provisions and precedents in the respondent’s favour.
4:13 PM- As the time limit is exhausting for the respondent’s side, the bench poses questions.
4:19 PM- Only one-minute of extension is provided to the counsel, they fast track through the last issue and state their prayer to the bench.
4:21 PM- The arguments from both sides are over. The bench seems eager to hear rebuttals from the parties.
4:26 PM- The rounds are over. The judges make themselves comfortable with friendly chatter among themselves, as they discuss the participants’ performance and scoring.
COURTROOM-7: Argonaut vs Fulton
3:09 PM- Welcome back, dearest readers! It is showtime again. The judges and the teams have settled down. The rounds shall start shortly!
3:14 PM- The judges have green-flagged the start of the rounds. The first counsel from the claimants side has taken to the podium.
3:16 PM- The counsel has kickstarted their arguments with the contention surrounding the number of arbitrators. They have put forth firm grounds to substantiate their position on the said issue. They sure sound convincing!
3:22 PM- The counsel has kept numb after a lengthy question that came up from the bench. The judge reframed their question and the counsel attempts to answer, but nearabout fails.
3:24 PM- The judge catches the counsel making a mistake with the name of a legislation, the counsel is prompt in rectifying their mistake. Close save!
3:26 PM- One of the judges has walked up to the counsel to seek clarification with respect to the documents presented by the counsel. This just gets more and more interesting by each second!
3:28 PM- Extension of 2 minutes has been granted to sum up the arguments. The counsel is interrupted by the bench who seeks the reasoning on the applicability of the law to the facts at hand.
3:31 PM- The counsel starts off by apologising on the part of their co-counsel for not being able to answer certain queries.
3:37 PM- “If you carry a bottle of water for a long time in the sun, it will get evaporated” the counsel seems to be resorting to metaphors to answer the questions raised by the bench. One of the judges loved the water example and continues it further. This just gets better!
3:40 PM- The counsel seems at ease, with a hint of smile on their face, which is commendable looking at the back to back grilling they are being subjected to. Let’s see if that plays in their favour, or not!
3:44 PM- The counsel seems to have lost their grip over their arguments, owing to the multiple questions as there is silence on their part. The judges are kind enough to give him a minute to gather their thoughts and answer.
3:48 PM- Next up are the respondents, who have started by greeting the bench. They directly move to the contentions. They have begun by addressing the bench with the issue of insurance certificate.
3:53 PM- One of the judges is seen cracking their knuckles, maybe getting ready for some intense grilling?
3:58 PM- Ending the arguments on the insurance certificate, the counsel has moved on to the argument pertaining to RETLA clause. Within a minute, the judges, sipping their coffee, are ready with more questions.
4:03 PM- The counsel has concluded with their submissions. But wait, the judges have a two-fold question for them before the next counsel comes up. They are allowed to answer at a later stage.
4:05 PM- The second counsel seems not so well versed with their arguments. They seem a bit clueless. The judge is reframing their question, trying to illicit a satisfactory answer.
4:11 PM- The co-counsels have sent a chit to their aid. But to no avail. The judge guides the counsel to their memorial and has been posing numerous close-ended questions.
4:12 PM- Phew! The last few minutes were quite stressful even to the spectators. The counsel finally moves on to the remaining of their contentions.
4:14 PM- We can see the co-counsels rubbing their forehead, looks like they are more stressed than the counsel at the podium. On the other hand, the claimants are seen chit-chatting among themselves, not quite attentive to the arguments of their opponents.
4:17 PM- “Are you saying the three of us are not competent to sit before you and adjudicate the matter?” asks one of the judges. The rest of the bench smiles. The opposite side smirks, probably deriving joy out of the grilling.
4:20 PM- The judges seems confused with what the counsel is wishing from the bench, and seeks a sharp clarification. The Bench seems to have some tricky questions up their sleeves.
4:23 PM- The claimants are back for the rebuttal rounds. They start by answering the question which they had reserved for later. This might earn them some cookie points!
4:25 PM- Stick to the points raised by the claimants in their rebuttals, clarifies the bench to the respondents who come ready for their sur-rebuttals.
4:30 PM- The respondents seem to have forgotten one of the questions by the Bench. They wish to return to the podium for the same. The judges are impressed by the memory, or are they?
4:34 PM- With this, Round 2 has come to an end. It was a thrilling experience witnessing such great rounds. Feedback session has commenced.
COURTROOM-8: Argus vs Dreadnaught
3:08 PM- We are back after a hot lunch. The judges seem as lively as they can be. With cold juices on the table, our judges are well prepared for hot-headed rounds.
3:10 PM- The participants have entered the room. They are going through their sheets for one last time. They seem to be in a heated discussion. Are they discussing their arguments or the nap they wish they could have had? Only time will tell.
3:14 PM- The Claimants are off to a shaky start. The judges interrupt in the first 15 seconds and demand the restatement of issues and not the facts.
3:20 PM- Two back-to-back questions from the Bench and the speaker has started fumbling. As they flip through their pages, the researcher flips through theirs to find the right answer. Oh, if only they could whisper the right answer !
3:23 PM- The judges pointed out an error in understanding and the Claimant had to admit to it. Seconds feel like years as the room falls silent. The researcher covers their gasp as if to hide their horror.
3:26 PM- With each tiny slip-up, the opponents make notes. They seem prepared to exploit the loopholes left behind.
3:30 PM- The second speaker has now taken the podium only to be questioned in the first 2 minutes. The Res have now resorted to ease up. With their arms on their chairs, they seem as cool as one can be.
3:32 PM- As the judges continue their line of questioning, the first speaker can be seen mouthing the answers. She quickly jots something down on a note and sends it over to the speaker.
3:35 PM- The Speaker fumbles and comes to a brief halt. The judges help her complete the sentence and there, she goes again. She seems anxious and has lost the command over her voice that she initially had. The submissions now sound monotonous.
3:41 PM- On being asked whether the judges would prefer a brief account of the facts, they received a cold response. The judges said, “We are well versed with the facts. Please, just proceed.”
3:43 PM- The Speaker’s throat has dried up and he continues coughing. The judges offer him water only to start their questioning as soon as he takes the first sip.
3:44 PM- Our judges ask why something should be literally interpret when the law that they are talking about is silent about the same? Is this a question to disrupt the speaker’s calm or is it one that is seemingly simple yet infinitely complex.
3:45 PM- The responding counsel requests to be allowed to continue. They have no answer. The judge smiles and allows him to proceed and take a breather.
3:54 PM- “Counsel, who are you actually arguing for ?” asked the judges. “I am genuinely sorry”, replied the speaker. One can hear the death knell ringing from a mile away or is it just the respondent side’s bellowing heartbeats.
3:58 PM- The judges ask the Speaker 2 to proceed to the next point. The team is not as calm as they once were.
4:06 PM- The judges asked a question and the counsel started fumbling. His researcher comes to his aid with a sheet of paper and whispers an answer that he believes was right.
4:12 PM- The Claimants utilise their time for rebuttal and attempt to expose their opponent’s glaring weaknesses.
4:17 PM- The Respondents were prepared with their questions and efficiently utilised their time reserved for sur-rebuttals.
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2023
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – SESSION 2 CONCLUDES!
COURTROOM-1: Nautilus vs Bounty
05:28 PM- And WE’RE BACK! The session is all set to begin as the judges and teams have taken their places and are settling down right now.
05:29 PM- The judges have given the permission to Speaker 1 of the claimant to proceed. The counsel has taken the podium and has started his arguments for the first issue.
05:33 PM- The judges are looking at the documents as the counsel continues with the submissions. Time is running out as the judges are directing trick questions at the first counsel.
5:41 PM- Time for the claimants seems to be running faster than anticipated as the first counsel struggles to move to the next issue.
5:45 PM- Time’s up! As the sun sets in Cuttack, it is time for the counsel to summarise his arguments and make way for the second counsel. But not before he answers the queries of the judges. As a result, they are granted an extension.
5:48 PM- The second counsel takes the podium and starts with the arguments for the remaining issues at hand.
5:52 PM- The judges are leaning forward and being vigilant. They are engaging in questioning and counter-questioning whilst sipping lemon ice-tea. The session is moving smoothly.
5:57 PM- The judges make an observation and Speaker 2 thanks them for the same. The judges nod and the arguments continue. The judges now direct the counsel to move to the next issue.
6:00 PM- The counsel struggles a bit while making a point as she is presented with a trick question but later answers it satisfactorily.
6:09 PM- The counsel for the respondents takes the place at the podium and arranges the relevant documents. They greet the bench and give an insight into the estimated time allocation for the arguments. The submissions begin.
6:14 PM- Speaker 1 continues with the arguments confidently. The judges trick the counsel with the same question that they had posed in front of the counsel of the claimants. An unexpected move! Interesting.
6:22 PM– The bench and the counsel seem to be stuck on an issue and are going back and forth with the reasoning and questions. Finally, the counsel moves to the next issue.
6:26 PM- With the time running out, one of the judges moves directly to a critical question. The counsels seemed to be a bit taken aback.
6:28 PM- The second speaker now takes place at the dais as the first speaker moves back after finishing the submissions. The counsel continues the submissions with the remaining issues.
6:33 PM- The claimants can be seen gearing up for the rebuttals as they simultaneously listen to the arguments of the counsel for the respondents. The judges continue with their queries and questions.
6:38 PM- To make up for the paucity of time, the counsel refers the judges to the written submissions, along with the oral arguments. Upon this request, the judges surprise the speaker with new questions taken form the memos.
6:44 PM- The second counsel takes up the challenge and continues to answer the questions in a calm and composed manner. The speaker then moves on to summarise the arguments.
6:47 PM- Rebuttal! The counsel for the claimants start strong and continue to give out their arguments fluently.
6:48 PM- It’s a race against the clock, but the Rebuttals are completed within the time limit and the judges call upon the counsel of the respondents for sur-rebuttal.
6:49 PM- SUR-REBUTTAL BEGINS! The opposing counsel comes forward and exudes confidence while delivering the sur-rebuttals. They too manage to finish it on time.
6:50 PM- “Great round teams!”, “Awesome round!”, “Best of Luck”, and on such positive notes, the oral submissions of this session come to an end. The teams slowly vacate the courtroom as the judges proceed to fill up the marking sheets for the rounds.
COURTROOM-2: Fulton vs Hunley
5:47 PM- And we are off to a start with Session 3. The judges are now well versed with the arguments and the participants can expect an increasingly unyielding bench.
5:50 PM- Speaker 1 from the Claimants takes immediate control of the room. The Respondent listens attentively, taking down what they intend to use against the Claimants.
5:51 PM- Issue one is quickly covered without much opposition from the bench. Questions start with the second issue.
5:53 PM- The law is in the details! Certificate or policy? Simple words but enough to make anyone go around in circles.
5:54 PM- The bench is smiling while looking at the memorial. What might be the reason? Speaker 1 continues with their arguments without any hesitation.
5:58 PM- Speaker 1 has a tendency to look around while speaking. Are they the only ones getting distracted? It is quite difficult to pay attention when arguments are unable to engage to their full potential.
6:05 PM- Speaker 2 of the Respondents take the floor. The opening statement seems weak but they gain momentum after receiving encouraging smiles from the bench.
6:09 PM- Speaker 2 cites an old case which has not been mentioned in their written submissions. The bench is quite unwilling to accept the same in light of recent developments in the field but Speaker 2 fails to satisfy.
6:13 PM- The room is losing the energy that Speaker 1 brought in. But the bench is intently listening, eager to ask questions whenever such an opening arises.
6:19 PM- “30 SECONDS LEFT!” Speaker 2 seems to be unable to answer the bench’s query with confidence. The bench allows them to summarise and conclude their main submissions. Time for the Respondents to show their worth!
6:24 PM- And we start off with the Respondents. Speaker 1 seems quite confident and is gesticulating to enunciate their points.
6:29 PM- Speaker 1 of the Respondents tries to use the arguments of the bench in their own favour. However, the bench is quick to reject the same eliciting laughs throughout the bench and the courtroom.
6:35 PM- The Respondents seem to have agreed to a proposition against their favour. Will they be able to manoeuvre their way out of it by demonstrating an exception that separates them from the rest?
6:39 PM- “TIME’S UP” but Speaker 1 asks for an extension to complete their issues. However, they leave certain unanswered questions for their co-counsel to the bench’s dissatisfaction.
6:44 PM- The bench is losing interest in the arguments. Hopefully, the Speaker can revamp their pace and answer instead of deflecting to their co-counsel.
6:46 PM- Speaker 2 has taken the dias and has been asked to speak a bit louder. The bench is finding it difficult to understand the arguments of this Speaker.
6:53 PM- The bench is trying to get clarity on what exactly the arguments of the Respondents are. They are refusing to admit any argument which is not mentioned in the memorial. Speaker 2 finally concedes and agrees to the bench pointing out the fallacy of their arguments.
7:03 PM- The slow-paced round finally comes to an end. Will the momentum change with the rebuttals and sur-rebuttals? One minute is given to both sides.
7:04 PM- The Claimants try their very best to engage in a very short duration of time. The Respondents respond but the bench does not accept the arguments.
7:06 PM- Session 3 comes to a close. The judges now have to decide on the scores! A thrilling time indeed!
COURTROOM-3: Titanic vs Dreadnought
5:23 PM- The teams have entered the court room and exchanged non-verbal pleasantries with the panel of judges.
5:25 PM- “Claimants, whenever you are ready”, the judge exclaims. Counsel 1 of the claimants comes forward. Prelim Round 3 BEGINS!
5:30 PM- The counsel confidently cites the Hague convention and defines the discharge code, while engaging with the judges. The counsel, however, speaks over the judge in the middle of his question, and answers unclearly.
5:37 PM- The judge asks to be guided to the relevant part of a case study, on which the claimants seems to be arguing. Though the counsel does not specifically direct the panel, they manage to provide a justifiable explanation. “Understood, please proceed”, says the judge.
5:39 PM- “TIME’S UP”, Counsel 1 successfully concludes his submissions and Counsel 2 seeks permission to approach the podium.
5:43 PM- The panel directs the counsel to Page 8 of the Case Study, in perusal of relevant arbitration clauses. However, this exchange remains open-ended as the counsel moves forward with the next argument, with the panel’s approval.
5:47 PM- The counsel is thrown with a fundamental question and stands silent, visibly perplexed. The judge asks to be directed to the paragraph of their memorial which cites relevant rules.
5:53 PM- The counsel urges the tribunal to consider the merits of the case as far as the respondent’s rejection of summary disposal is concerned. The panel hands over a document to the counsel, as the latter addresses their issues.
5:59 PM- “TIME’S UP” announces the Courtroom manager. However, the counsel continues with full zeal and the bench too, engages equally.
6:04 PM- Counsel 1 of the Respondents walks over and demands the panel’s attention with his confidence and knowledge of law.
6:06 PM- The bench directs the court to a pertinent paragraph of the case study, to assess what rules shall be applicable in the present case. The counsel delivers a convincing answer and addresses every follow-up question as well.
6:09 PM- “Ma’am arbitrator and Sir arbitrator”, addresses the counsel and proceeds with each submission, without having to repeatedly read through their transcript. The bench looks pleased.
6:12 PM- The bench asks if the bench chooses to not consider their argument, would the Respondents be willing to concede and move forward? The counsel smiles and answers “If there is no other resort, then yes”.
6:15 PM- The counsel when posed with a question on one of their issues, the counsel engages with relevant rules and satisfies the tribunal.
6:20 PM- The counsel asks for an extension of three minutes to conclude their arguments. The bench permits. The counsel quickly provides the law and factual analysis for their his penultimate issue. The bench chooses not to hear the last issue, due to time constraints.
6:22 PM- Counsel 2 of the Respondents moves forward and adopts a brilliant strategy. They begin by elaborating their co-counsel’s last unaddressed point. The bench permits.
6:25 PM- The bench bombards the counsel with questions. The counsel cautiously listens and resolves all queries, thus, successfully evading inconvenient loops.
6:32 PM- “Can you show us authority on your claim for the (relevant) clause?”, asks the judge. Meanwhile, the hospitality team brings coffee on the request of one of the judges.
6:38 PM- “30 seconds left”, holds the Court manager. The counsel is granted an extension for their last issue.
6:39 PM- The judge interestingly asks a question while gesturing air quotes. The counsel quickly answers and brings their submissions to an end.
6:42 PM- The claimants are invited to present their rebuttals, which they do in a very concise manner.
6:43 PM- The respondents come up with their sur-rebuttals and contradict the claimant’s contentions.
6:45 PM- THE ROUND COMES TO AN END. Teams leave the courtroom, interacting amongst themselves. The judges hand over memorials and score-sheets to the court managers.
COURTROOM-4: Beagle vs Eastland
11:08 PM- The second day has begun. A sunny day here in Cuttack and the heat is only rising with each argument in the courtrooms. The teams have made their way to the Courtroom and the judges seem to be in a jovial mood. A great start.
11:12 PM- The Claimants’ Counsel has started their introductory speech, they have laid out a good structure and just before the submissions begin, comes in the first question of the day.
11:23 PM- The judges start off with a tricky question pertaining to summary proceedings, the Counsel, however, while initially slightly confused, is able to quickly gather necessary information and attempts an answer by citing authorities.
11:25 PM- The counsel is trying to convince the judges on the merits of three arbitrators, the Judges catch on and here comes a line of questioning. “More arbitrators, more the cost as well isn’t it, counsel?”, states the Judge passively.
11:27 PM- 30 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK. The Judge tells the Counsel to note the time. And the time runs out ! The Counsel has concluded their speech. A tricky start for the Claimants today, let’s see how their co-counsel proceeds.
11:29 PM- The Co-Counsel for the Claimants has made their way to the Podium. The counsel starts off and is immediately met with the first question. The counsel attempts to answer the question, tries citing authorities. “It’s a simple yes or no question” say the Judges. As the claimants try to battle their way through the line of questioning, the bench repeats “yes or no? Just answer the question, Counsel”.
11:42 PM- It’s a race against the clock, with barely 30 seconds left, the Counsel signals their last submission. And the time is up ! The Counsel leaves. The counsel for the respondent now enters the playing field, and boldly approaches the podium.
11:52 PM- The Respondents’ Counsel seem to have caught on the Judges comment on the high financials incurred in more arbitrators, they smartly use it in their own reply.
11:56 PM- The counsel of respondents is met with a line of rapid questioning. As they attempt to satisfy the bench, and battle their way through constant cross questioning, one has to wonder whether it is a losing battle. The Co- Counsel for Respondents now takes the podium.
12:00 PM- The Co-Counsel starts off strong and surprisingly there is a complete absence of questions by the bench. The Counsel also tackles some of the arguments presented by the Claimants, the Judges still pose no questions. Will the Counsel get off without any questions whatsoever ?
12:04 PM- And here comes the first question for the co-counsel on Respondents’ side. Initially, the Counsel is able to tackle the questions, but wait, it seems like the Judge has to repeat their question. The Counsel however maintains their calm and strategically maneuvers through the rapid questioning and takes the bench to the last of their submissions.
12:09 PM- With good time management, the Counsel presents their Prayer with time left on the clock. The Judges noting the same, pose the last few questions Uh oh, the counsel has dug herself a rabbit hole of questions by mentioning a new term. The judges smirk as they proceed to question the counsel on the same.
12:11 PM- The Co-Counsel from Respondents smiles as they state that they are unaware, the Judges thank them as they proceed. REBUTTALS BEGIN.
12:15 PM- The respondents rebuttals begin as they address the claimants directly. The judges intervene, “please address us when you state your rebuttals, counsel.” A few questions follow however the Counsel is unable to tackle them, the judges smirk as the Counsel leaves the battleground, rather distraught.
12:22 PM- The round comes to a close with some great advice and feedback for the future. Congratulations to the teams.
COURTROOM-5: Carpathia vs Scharnhorst
4:48 PM- the parties are seated and the third preliminary rounds for the day are all set to begin. Meanwhile, the judges are taking their time to go through the written submission and documents on the table.
4:55 PM- The counsel starts with the first issue and tries to draw the attention of the judges to the specific fact in conflict. The counsel is trying patiently to maintain proper eye contact with the judges whilst trying to be specific in his arguments without having a break of confusion.
4:57 PM- A few minutes into the round and we have our first question! Just like the previous two rounds, the judges are presently very critical of even the slightest disparity they find.
5:00 PM- With the change of the hour, there is a sudden change in the environment inside the courtroom too. The counsel is going through their notes persistently in the hopes of finding an apt answer to impress the judges.
5:02 PM- With the courtroom hitting the 20 minute mark, the judges present their last question to the counsel. The counsel falters and while they do seem to have an answer, they seem to be having problems in framing and presenting it in front of the judges. The counsel presents his last submissions and takes a seat.
5:07 PM- The counsel seems to be having some difficulties with certain factual disparities that the judges seem to have pointed out in their written submission. Though, putting aside the critical discussion for the time being, the judges ask the counsel to proceed.
5:14 PM- The courtroom has a pin drop silence aside from the counsel giving their arguments. For the past couple minutes even the judges did not interrupt the speaker or ask any questions.
5:21 PM- The judges further question the counsel on certain oral facts mentioned. The counsel is accepting of their mistake and makes the requisite clarifications.
5:22 PM- With the time for submission coming to an end, the counsel requests for an extension to sum up their points and makes a final summarisation of his arguments. The judges seem sufficiently satisfied for the time being.
5:25 PM- The respondent counsel, after the requisite permission from the judges, begin with their submission. They make a brief summary of the issues under question, after which they mention that they shall be dealing with the first two issues only.
5:28 PM- The judges present the first question to the respondent counsel. The counsel seems unfazed and after seeking a minor clarification from the judge, proceeds with his answer.
5:30 PM- The judges try to question the counsel over certain factual aspects of the submission, the counsel very skillfully tries to satisfy the judges by directing them to the relevant parts in their written submission.
5:36 PM- The judges and the counsel seem to be on a loop of questioning. The judge seems to have caught the counsel lacking in a certain part of the oral submission, due to which he is now bombarded with similar further questions by the other judges too.
5:38 PM- While the counsel tries to put full effort into answering the question and even seeks requisite clarifications, the judges seem too interested in the issue to let go of it. Let us see how long this discussion goes on for.
5:42 PM- The counsel rests his arguments for both his issues and takes a seat. The second counsel seeks permission from the bench to proceed with his submission.
5:46 PM- In an evident display of skill, the second counsel begins their submission with a permission from the judge to answer the question that was directed towards the first counsel a few minutes ago. The judges allow and seem satisfied with the answer provided by the second counsel.
5:49 PM- The judges are actively focusing on the submission of the counsel, even though they have not made a single question in the past 3 minutes. The lack of questions does seem to help the counsel regain their composure.
5:52 PM- The judges yet again pointed out an irregularity in the oral and written submission of the respondents, in the furtherance of which the counsel exclaims that the disparity exists since their oral submission came as a reply to the submissions of the claimants. The judges seem satisfied.
5:57 PM- The time for the counsel ends and the judges very graciously provide them with an extension of one minute to sum up their arguments. The counsel takes a seat. The rebuttals begin. The claimants seem to have captured the interest of the judges with the points made in the rebuttal. The claimant counsel further seeks certain clarifications from the respondents.
5:59 PM- The respondents very actively make their submissions against the rebuttals made by the claimants. This is their last opportunity to earn credit from the judges. The judges make no further questions and thank the parties for the round.
COURTROOM-6: Clermont vs Argus
5:42 PM- The Judges and Participants have taken their seat. The atmosphere is tense. The proceedings are yet to start.
5:45 PM- The judges are listening with full attention to the first counsel for the claimants. The counsel has started on the first issue of the case.
5:47 PM- The first question has been asked and the counsel answers the same with full confidence. The Judges seem to be content with the answer given by counsel 1.
5:51 PM- The counsel has referred to a relevant case law similar to the present case. The counsel proceeds to ask for permission to proceed to the next issue but the judges decide to continue grilling him.
5:53 PM- The counsel has started their arguments on the second Issue. The atmosphere in the court room is tense.
5:56 PM- The counsel wants to continue with his submissions but he is continuously interrupted by the judges. The counsel looks a little frustrated.
6:00 PM- The counsel moves on to the next issue providing a threefold argument for the same. The judges do not let him continue and bombard them with questions.
6:05 PM- The counsel seems to be flustered by the question of the judges. He takes a small break and continues with answering the question confidently.
6:08 PM- The Courtroom managers mention that only five minutes are left for the arguments to end. The counsel asks for an extension and is granted the same.
6:11 PM- TIMES UP !!! With only 2 minutes left the counsel has been asked to sum up his arguments in the same time.
6:16 PM- The second counsel begins with their arguments. Their assertive voice echoes in the courtroom as they continue confidently and the Judges look convinced by their arguments.
6:22 PM- TIMES UP !! The Counsel for the claimant completes their submissions and proceeds to take their seat.
6:24 PM-The counsel for the respondent begins with their arguments and lists down the issues of the case.
6:28 PM- The judges continue the questioning. The counsel seems flustered while the Judges seem to be amused by the answers of the counsel.
COURTROOM-7: Lusitania vs Mayflower
5:42 PM- Welcome one, welcome all! We have reached the second half of this wonderful day, yet the batteries are fully charged. This is Session 3 of IMAM 2023, from Court Room 7.
5:43 PM- The claimants have opened their arguments and are taking the judges through the summary of their upcoming arguments.
5:45 PM- The other counsels in the room are seen jotting down certain points, prepping for their upcoming rounds. The judges are flipping through the documents infront of them, as the counsel leads them to particular paragraphs of the case study.
5:48 PM- The respondents are engaging in something which looks like the game of Chinese whisper. The first question from the judge brings back their attention to the proceedings.
5: 50 PM- Madam Arbitrator, sits with crossed arms, and is listening paying close attention to the arguments put forth.
5:56 PM- The counsel is making strong arguments, with a very relaxed body language, which indicates that they are well versed with their contentions. The judges however have a lot of clarifications.
5:58 PM- The discussion now surrounds the claim of a summary trial, as against a regular trial. The counsel is doing a great job at answering the witty questions of the Bench.
6:01 PM- Being granted with a short extension, the counsel hurries at putting forward her remaining contentions. The second counsel has picked up the baton.
6:04 PM- The second counsel speaks with a gentle tone. When posed with a question, they reserve their right to answer it along with their next submission.
6:07 PM– The deliberations are going smoothly, with the Bench asking minimum questions to the counsel. They seem to be convinced with what is argued before them.
6:19 PM– The claimants have concluded their submissions. Its now the respondents’ turn to convince the Bench of their stance.
6:23 PM- The Bench enquires repeatedly on the question of procedure and the appropriate seat of arbitration. They were not provided with good enough answers.
6:27 PM- The discussion has now moved to the insurance certificate. The counsel states multiple judgements to substantiate their argument on the question of such certificate.
6:32 PM- The researcher is asked to point out the exact pages which contain the judgements which are being cited. Time is running out fast, the counsel is lagging behind. They must pick up speed.
6:35 PM- To tackle the remaining issues, here comes the second counsel for the respondents. Their focus will be on the bill of lading.
6:38 PM- When asked about the citation of a particular case law, the counsel flips through their memorial and points it out for the Bench’s perusal.
6:44 PM- “Perfect!” remarks the Bench, and poses a follow-up question. The counsel tries to clarify their position, but ends up saying “the counsel has no answer.” Lets see how that pans out for them.
6: 47 PM- The counsel concludes with their prayer. The rebuttals begin!
6:50 PM- The respondents are back with their sur-rebuttals. They are doing a great job at quoting the rebuttals, and establishing their position on such claims.
6:53 PM- The rounds have come to a conclusion, what a roller coaster! Hope the readers had a good time being a part of this courtroom.
COURTROOM-8: Lenin vs Savannah
5:24 PM- Welcome to the third round of IMAM. The Claimants are off to a great start. The speaker is confident and seems imperturbable. The judges are listening with rapt attention as the speaker transitions from one limb of their argument to the other.
5:28 PM- The judge asks the first question and the speaker seems undisturbed. The speaker gives a concise and convincing answer.
5:30 PM- The judges are back in their element. Their barrage of questions knows no bounds. The speaker is calm and composed and continues to direct the Bench to the relevant portions in the memo.
5:32 PM- The Speaker tactfully deflects a question and promises to answer the same in the process of establishing the other prongs of his argument.
5:34 PM- As the speaker explains the details of a CISF contract, the judges equip themselves with the questions. The Speaker confidently without any further delay stays true to his statement and asks the judges if they have any further questions.
5:37 PM- The speaker’s preparation is reflected by their commendable composure. They confidently direct the Bench to the relevant portions of the Memo and further elaborate on the same.
5: 38 PM- The Responding team has begun their own preparations. Various sheets of paper are sprawled across the Respondents’ table. They seem equally prepared. They might have found a worthy match!
5:40 PM- TIME UP! The Speaker requests for a minute’s extension. The judges award him. The Speaker is more than grateful.
5:41 PM- The bench had a question. However, they hesitated to ask the same and asked the Speaker to continue. They seem convinced.
5:43 PM- TIME’S UP. A question has been asked. The Speaker, unfazed, acknowledges that the time has elapsed and that he would want to answer. The Bench allows him to give an answer irrespective of the time left.
5:45 PM- Twenty minutes have elapsed since the beginning of the round and it is now that the Speaker has come to a halt. A question put by the Bench has taken the Speaker by surprise. He makes an error and the Bench quickly points it out. The Bench has yet again proven their command over the subject.
5:47 PM- The Co-counsel has begun speaking. The judges have not asked any questions.
5:50 PM- It seems as if the Bench can foresee the argument’s direction.
5:51 PM- The judge calmly takes a sip of their coffee and starts a barrage of questions. The second speaker fumbles and requests the Bench to allow them to continue with their arguments.
5:53 PM- The respondents have their eyes fixed on their notes. With new notes pasted on their sheets, they seem to be brewing but the right recipe for a victory.
5:57 PM– The Claimants make their final submissions and get seated. The Responding team demands the Courtroom managers to indicate time individually. This is a special request. Maybe, the Respondents need that clarity in order to present their multifaceted arguments.
6:01 PM- The judges have begun their line of questioning. The Bench has an insatiable appetite for tricky questions but it seems as if none of the speakers have been able to fulfill their needs.
6:06 PM- The Speaker seems to have lost the judges. Will they be able to revive their interest ? The speaker, in a desperate attempt to do the same, asks if the Bench has any question. While two hesitate, Madam Arbitrator gives them yet another opportunity.
6:09 PM- The first Speaker from the Claimants side, starts scribbling on a piece of paper. Is it the light that they were looking for at the end of the dark tunnel? Was it dark in the first place?
6:12 PM- The Bench interrupted the Speaker while they attempted to answer a question and asked for yet another clarification. The Respondent team members look at their teammate who is being mercilessly questioned by the Bench.
6:14 PM- It’s a race against the clock, the speaker requests an extension, the bench however refused. The Speaker had to end their submissions for that issue.
6: 16 PM- The Co-counsel has begun their submission. This time, the bench sits back and takes their time with questions.
6:22 PM- Seconds seem like hours and hours extend into days as the Speaker attempts to inch closer towards the end of their submissions. Every passing second without a question seems oddly bare.
6:23 PM- The speaker did not anticipate this complete absence of any questions, is taken aback and starts fumbling. The bench seems to be playing with the psyche of the speakers by changing their pattern of questioning.
6:25 PM- The First Speaker from the Claimants side continues to jot his points down. The question is whether he would be able to encapsulate his thoughts and present before the clock runs out when it comes to rebuttals.
6: 26 PM- The bumpy ride has come to an end and the second speaker for Respondent moves to their prayers. Their confidence, once faltering, now now seems to have made its comeback.
6:27 PM- The Claimants begin their rebuttal with the statement, “The Respondents mischaracterised the issue.” The Court Managers interrupt for the first time in the entire day. “You did not have any time left.” Dismay evidently takes over the speakers’ faces as they come to the realisation that they had not asked for time for rebuttals.
6:29 PM- The Bench comes to the Claimant’s rescue. Such is the game of chance that the Bench awards the speaker a minute to sum his rebuttals up. Rejuvenated, the speaker asks his questions. But he returned hoping he had a few more seconds on the clock.
6:30 PM- The Respondents had what the Claimants did not, i.e., time sur- rebuttals. With four minutes on the clock, they make a rather strong comeback.
6:32 PM- Time has elapsed and the Bench thanks the participants with a smile on their faces. The judges, clearly exhausted, demand a cup of coffee and the participants, clearly drained vacate the room for a break.
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2023
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – SESSION 3 CONCLUDES!
COURTROOM-1: Carpathia vs Holland
7:17 PM- What a day it has been! We have finally arrived at the last session for today. The teams have taken their seats and are now waiting for the judges as they go over their arguments one more time.
7:20 PM- The judges have arrived. All rise for the judges! The first counsel for the claimants takes the podium. They proceed to the issues directly.
7:23 PM- The session begins with a good flow of arguments as the judges go through the documents provided to them. We are yet to see where the session goes provided the fact that after 3 full sessions, the judges are very well versed with the matter. It will be an interesting run.
7:26 PM- The judges, without delay started with the questions, seeking clarifications and clearing up queries, leaving no stones unturned. The counsel pauses for a few seconds before they proceed to answer them.
7:30 PM- The respondents are observing the submissions with utmost attention. The CRM indicates that the time is running out. The arguments by Speaker 1 continue.
7:35 PM- Upon being asked by the judges, the counsel replies, “the respondents do not have a claim”, to which the judges correct him by stating that the counsel should first focus on building their own arguments first. The counsel apologises and carries on. Phew! Close call.
7:35 PM- Upon being asked by the judges, the counsel replies, “the respondents do not have a claim”, to which the judges correct him by stating that the counsel should first focus on building their own arguments first. The counsel apologises and carries on. Phew! Close call.
7:36 PM- The second counsel for the claimants takes the podium to put forward their arguments for the remaining issues. Speaker 2 begins with the submissions.
7:45 PM- Here comes a tricky question! The counsel falls silent for a few seconds. The courtroom is immersed in pin-drop silence. Slowly, the counsel starts speaking again but the answer does not satisfy the judges as it is met with more counter-questions.
7:50 PM- The judges have a good laugh at the irony of the phrase “good faith insurance company” and move forward with the questions. The CRM indicates that the time is up! But the counsel is allowed an extension.
7:54 PM- The first counsel for the respondent now takes the place in front of the judges and states the issues clearly. The submissions begin and the speaker confidently leads the room through the arguments.
7:56 PM- The judges warn the counsel to refrain from jumping from one issue to another resulting in only superficial discussion of all the issues, unless there’s a connection between them. The counsel apologises and carries on.
8:00 PM- The judges seem intrigued by the arguments of the counsel upon the sudden mention of an Indian case and proceed with clearing their queries on the same.
8:05 PM- The second counsel for the respondents now takes the place at the podium to present the remaining issues at hand. Speaker 2 starts with a bold voice and it echoes through the room. A sudden rush of energy!
8:15 PM- The grilling continues in full swing simultaneous to the arguments being put forth by the counsel. A few minutes remain and the time management looks good from the respondent’s side.
8:22 PM- And TIME’S UP! But the judges continued questioning which resulted in an automatic extension to the counsel of the respondents.
8:26 PM- The counsel has concluded the arguments. The judges advise the counsel of the claimants for the rebuttal. REBUTTAL BEGINS!
8:30 PM- The sur-rebuttals were clean and concise and ended timely. The judges smiled at both the teams and said “Good job! Well done teams.” They also smiled to themselves for they knew this was the last session for today. Oh, What a day! And with this, the fourth session and the second day of IMAM comes to an end!
COURTROOM-2: Lenin vs Skate
7:29 PM- Session 4 starts; the most difficult round yet. The Bench is clear on what they expect and the participants have also borne the brunt of excessive grilling. Will they persevere through the last round of the day?
7:31 PM- Speaker 1 of the Claimants seems to be in no hurry. They take their time explaining their structure and a brief summary of facts before proceeding to the issues.
7:33 PM- Speaker 1’s speed of presenting arguments has suddenly increased, giving no opening to the bench to ask questions.
7:35 PM- Speaker 1 is very eager to answer the question presented and categorically states that they do not agree to the point raised. A very bold move but it seems to have paid off! The bench is satisfied and has given permission to proceed.
7:38 PM- One phrase-one question-multiple answers. Which is the correct one? The bench is careful not to showcase any indication of their satisfaction in this regard.
7:40 PM- The bench disagrees with the argument of Speaker 1. Will they be able to answer according to what the bench wants to hear?
7:45 PM- “TIME’S UP”, but an extension is given subject to whether Speaker 1 can answer one thing on procedure! The importance of this moment cannot be emphasised upon enough!
7:48 PM- Speaker 2 comes in to take over the momentum of their submissions. But the bench does not seem much interested in the arguments presented. Instead the bench re-poses the questions their predecessor was unable to answer.
7:52 PM- The bench is going back to the basics on the applicability of international covenants. This is the optimum time for Speaker 2 to show their grasp over the law.
7:56 PM- So much discussion on rust! But doesn’t the case study talk of steel? Scientific discussions incoming!
7:58 PM- “I have no answer to that”- the most dreaded statement that any mooter can make in front of a bench. Will this make them lose their resolve or will they prevail despite the visible displeasure of the bench.
8:00 PM- Time is running out! Speaker 2 has to pick up the pace and ensure they continue to hold the attention of the bench which is slowly getting impatient while presenting their final issue. The urgency in the room is felt.
8:04 PM- The Claimants are conceding to the counterclaims under pressure from the bench which is trying to confuse Speaker 1. Speaker 1 was unable to get out of the loop that the bench put them in and have been given permission to proceed to the Prayer.
8:07 PM- The submissions for the Claimants have come to a close and the stage is ready for the Respondents to take. Will they be able to establish their presence and regain the waning attention of the room?
8:10 PM- The bench is looking for simple answers to simple questions. It is up to the Speakers to understand what the moment demands instead of traversing a long winded path that circles back to where it began.
8:15 PM- The Bench is trying to get the Respondents to agree to the point of view of the Claimants which according to them is fair and just. Speaker 1 will need to demonstrate substantial skill to satisfy a bench that seems to have made up their mind.
8:18 PM- Time is almost up. Speaker 1 has been unable to answer but the impatience of the bench is visible as they ask the Speaker to quickly summarise and conclude.
8:19 PM- Speaker 2 of the Respondents takes over the room immediately. They are pumped and eager to present their arguments and the same is reflected in increased enthusiasm of the bench. The Respondents are on their way to finish with a bang!
8:25 PM- The bench is engrossed in the beautiful presentation of arguments of Speaker 2 and is now engaging into a debate on the issues involved. The enthusiasm of both the parties on the same is electrifying the entire room.
8:29 PM- Speaker 2 is demonstrating commendable grasp over jurisprudence that the bench is appreciating. At the same time, the energetic presentation of arguments is encouraging a volley of questions that the Speaker is taking care to answer. The bench seems quite impressed.
8:33 PM- A time crunch is felt and Speaker 2 proceeds to the final issue. The lack of time makes even the most proficient speakers break into sweat.
8:35 PM- “TIME’S UP”. Should one take the time to satisfy the bench or demonstrate time management and gain brownie points through that? Quite a thin line speakers must walk on.
8:41 PM- The final minute is upon us. The parties have one last opportunity to show how well they can protect the interest of their clients. Let us see who impresses the bench the most.
8:44 PM- The rebuttals and sur-rebuttal conclude without much upheaval. After an exhilarating Day 1, Court Room 2 closes its sessions for the day. We look forward to what Day 2 brings as teams will return with renewed energy and battle it out for the final crown. Thank you and Good Night!
COURTROOM-3: Clermont vs Valentina
7:23 PM-The Judges and participants have taken their seats. The Judges seem to be in a jolly mood. The Judges are taking a look at the memorial of the participants. The arguments are yet to begin.
7:25 PM- The Counsel for the claimant begins their submissions . They mention the 3 issues that they will be dealing with. But wait! The judges ask their first question without letting the counsel continue with their arguments.
7:34 PM- With only 15 minutes left for the round the counsel is yet to proceed to their second issue; with the bench being keen to explore the first issue thoroughly.
7:38 PM- Only 30 seconds left on the clock the counsel continues with his arguments referring to a case law on the place of arbitration, the judges seem satisfied.
7:39 PM- TIMES UP!!!! But the judges continue to grill the counsel.
7:44 PM- The counsels decide to invite his co-counsel to continue with their submissions. With only 10 minutes left, concluding the arguments in the given time will prove to be difficult.
7:48 PM- The counsel moves to their next issue with the permission of the bench. The judges now point to a contradiction in the arguments of the counsels and they realise the mistake and apologise for the same
7:53 PM- The co-counsel asks for the permission to put forth the prayers, but the judges decline citing paucity of time.
7:56 PM- The judges continue with the questioning. The judges seem to have teamed up and continue to grill the counsel on a single point and the counsel seems flustered.
7:59 PM- The counsel has only 30 seconds left and the judges decide to stop the questioning. The counsels rest their case . Now the respondent have started with their submissions.
8:04 PM- The judges seem confused by the submission of the counsel and ask them to clarify their position.
8:08 PM- The counsel is flustered at the question of bench and seems to be at a loss of words. Getting a chit from their co-counsel they gain their composure and continues answering the bench.
8:17 PM- The counsel hands over the podium to her co counsel and she begins with her submissions.
8:19 PM- The bench asks the first question and the counsel continues answering the same with confidence. Their answer has seemed to impress the judges as they have stopped making queries.
8: 28 PM- The counsel seems to be at a loss of words due to the bombardment of questions by the bench. The bench seems frustrated at the answers of the counsel and keeps interrupting them.
8:32 PM- TIMES UP !!! The counsel asks for 1 minute to complete her final submission but the bench only agrees to give a extension of 30 seconds. The counsel continues with her submission and completes her submission in under 30 seconds.
8:35 PM- The counsel for the claimant is back on the podium for the rebuttal. The counsel first answers the question asked earlier and then proceeds to the rebuttal.
8:37 PM- The counsel for the respondent is here for the surrebuttal.
8:38 PM- Both the sides rest their case and the judges ask the participants to exit the courtroom so they can allot the scores. The Participants exit the courtroom with perplexed faces.
COURTROOM-4: Savannah vs Nautilus
7:07 PM- Last session for the day has begun! Speaker 2 from Claimants has taken the podium. They boldly open their submissions with a well aligned structure. They are engaging well with the bench and clearly lay out their submissions.
7:11 PM- The Speaker has asked the judges to their well curated compendium. So far no questions. The Speakers storms ahead.
7:14 PM- The clear, confident and structured speech by Speaker 2 seems to be working well in their favor. The judges ask their first question with 10 minutes left on the clock.
7:16 PM- With their composed tenor, Speaker 2 calmly addresses the Judge’s question pertaining to the RETLA Clause.
7:19 PM- A question regarding the Hague Rules has come up which the Speaker seems to handle well. One judge nods in agreement with their reply. 5 MINUTES LEFT ON THE CLOCK.
7:20 PM- On a follow up question on the Hague Rules’ applicability, the Speaker defers to the Fact sheet.
7:23 PM- 30 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK. A 2 minute extension has been requested by the Speaker, judges approve. Another question follows, once again the Speaker defers to the Fact Sheet in search of the answer.
7:25 PM- A question is put forth, the Speaker attempts at the answer. The judges repeat their question, in a more expressive manner than usual.
7:26 PM- TIME IS UP! Uh oh, one more issue is to be addressed. The Speaker requests for an extension of 1 more minute. Granted. The Speaker proceeds.
7:29 PM- TIME IS UP once again. The Principle judge has 2 more questions. The judge asks the courtroom manager how long the Speaker has spoken for; seems like everyone has realised the long duration of Speaker’s 22 minute speech.
7:31 PM- Speaker 1 from the Claimants has taken the podium. They are left only with 8 minutes to present their submissions along with a minute for rebuttals. Quite a task indeed.
7:34 PM- Just as the Speaker is about to move ahead, the Judge asks a question on the fundamentals of arbitration law.
7:38 PM-TIME’S UP! The Speaker’s submission seems to have not convinced the Bench.
7:40 PM- Questioning on the point of appointment of arbitrators continues. Amidst this arises a question by the judge on the principles of justice in relation to arbitration.
7:45 PM- After a gruelling session for the Claimants, the Respondent Speaker 1 has taken stage. Within the first few statements itself arrives the first question.
7:49 PM- The Judge poses a question on the appointment of arbitrators in accordance with the LMAA Rules. In answering this, the Speaker refers to an answer that is unexpected by the judges.
7:56 PM- The Speaker from the Respondents takes a minute, coughs and gathers their thoughts. The speaker attempts at a reply, the judges unconvinced yet again. However, a greenlight to proceed with the remaining submissions is granted.
8:05 PM- The Judges smirk, and pose one last question. The speaker concludes with pleasantries and the Speaker 2 takes the stage. 8:15 PM- There is some strong questioning from the bench, the Speaker confidently tackles them without hesitation.
8:17 PM- The Speaker in a show of brilliant time management begins their prayer. Their co-counsel and researcher in a show of respect stand up at this point.
8:21 PM- The judges are very keen on getting the answer to a theoretical aspect of arbitration law. They expect a clean and clear answer. The researcher hands in a chit to their counsel for help. Thank god for researchers indeed!
8:24 PM- The judges in a merry tone tell the Counsel that in case an answer is not known they can simply state so. The Counsel states exactly that, everyone smiles and the Counsel for respondents exits. REBUTTALS Begin!
8:25 PM- Rebuttals are completed. Just before feedback is given, the judge asks one last informal question to the Claimants asking whether they have a recent case law that can rebut the Respondents. The judges are sure it’s there, can the counsels find it?
8:31 PM- The last round for the day comes to a close. Some constructive feedback is given by the Judges with great advice. The day comes to a close with heaps of knowledge gained by everyone.
COURTROOM-5: Lusitania vs Argonaut
7:23 PM- We are all set to begin the fourth and final preliminary rounds for the day.
7:26 PM- The rounds have begun. And post the requisite permissions, the claimant counsel has begun with their submissions. The judge denied the offer for a summary of facts and directed the counsel to proceed with the submission.
7:30 PM- The counsel has not yet been interrupted. They continue to gracefully present their arguments with fluency and command.
7:36 PM- With 20 minutes remaining, the judges fire a quick question at the counsel, which unsurprisingly, is taken up very confidently by them. The counsel tries to answer the question by substantiating their arguments with certain aspects of their written submission, but the judges do not seem fully satisfied.
7:43 PM- With less than 15 minutes remaining, the counsel seeks to move to the next issue and presents their arguments with the help of a two-step approach. The counsel is well aware of when to give prompt replies and when to excuse themselves and refer to the written material for help.
7:48 PM- The second counsel begin with their submissions and seek to address two issues.
7:55 PM- With a couple minutes remaining, we seem to have reached an impasse in the session. This is the second question that the counsel has been unable to answer but they swiftly recovered and after prompt apologies, shifted to the next part of their submissions.
8:01 PM- The respondent counsel steps up to the podium and begins with their submission in a warm and confident manner. Again, the judges seem quite focused on listening to the oral arguments and do not have any questions as of yet.
8:08 PM- Some more heavy questions flying towards the counsel, though it seems that at this point the counsel has grown accustomed to the pressure of the questions and seems much more confident and accurate in their answers.
8:10 PM- Counsel directed to move to the next issue. The tribunal seems to have taken up a more questioning stance, and with 30 seconds remaining on the table, the counsel must make swift answers.
8:15 PM- The second counsel began with their submissions. They start with mentioning the issues that they shall be addressing in their submissions, and simultaneously build upon the preceding issue established by the first counsel.
8:19 PM- The counsel misses a question. The judges take a few seconds to explain the answer before the counsel is allowed to proceed, and is interrupted again by another judge. The repetitive questions seem to be overwhelming for the counsel since the counsel plead ignorance for the second question in a row.
8:26 PM- With 30 seconds remaining, the counsel attempts to answer a question sent their way by referring to certain points of the written submission. This seems to be a smart choice since the judges seem pleasantly satisfied.
8:28 PM- The claimants seek permission to make rebuttals and take hold of the podium. Two major rebuttals are put forth. The way the respondents reply to the rebuttals is going to play a major role in the decision of the rounds.
8:29 PM- With hopeful eyes, the respondents request for the extension of a minute, to which the judges reply with “1 sentence”. The mood of the room lightened up significantly towards the end of the round and despite the joke by the judges, the respondents were allowed to sufficiently finish their submissions.
COURTROOM-6: Mayflower vs Fulton
7:23 PM- The judges are relaxed and well seated. They talk among themselves as they wait for the teams to walk in.
7:24 PM- The teams are here. The courtroom managers provide the bench with respective teams’ memorials and announce that the rounds shall start in two minutes.
7:30 PM- The room is all geared up. The round begins!
7:36 PM- The bench directs the counsel towards the case study, while putting forth the first question of the round. The counsel confidently answers and satisfies the judges. However, the counsel fails to answer the follow-up question and proceeds with their submissions.
7:39 PM- The counsel cites a case law in response to a question posed by one of the judges. The bench urges to be directed to its citation in their written submissions. The bench seems unconvinced with the counsel’s argument.
7:44 PM- Proceeding with the next submission, the counsel refers to their transcript repeatedly. The bench asks a question regarding their factual analysis and the counsel associates pertinent rules with the facts; however, the judge still seems to be perplexed.
7:49 PM- The counsel seeks permission for an extension of additional 3 minutes for their last submission. The bench grants.
7: 51 PM– Counsel 1 concludes their arguments and invites their Co-counsel to address the remaining issues.
7:53 PM- The bench asks a question on definitions and the counsel successfully answers. Further, the counsel engages with the facts which are crucial to establish their side of the case.
7:55 PM- The bench seeks to be directed to the relevant part of the case study which has specified the authority/clause that forms the basis of claimants’ argument.
7:58 PM- The counsel gets flustered at the loop of incessant grilling. They approach the team for assistance. However, on failing to find a befitting answer, they proceed with their following submissions. The judge seems confused and asks what exact issue the counsel is presently addressing.
8:00 PM- 2 MINUTES LEFT! The placard goes unnoticed by the counsel as well as the judges.
8:04 PM- The Claimants’ conclude their arguments. The Respondents’ walk in and demand immediate attention of everyone present in the courtroom. Counsel 1 of the Respondents exudes confidence and provides a well-defined structure.
8:10 PM- The judge vocalises his dissatisfaction at one of the answers delivered by the counsel. The counsel seeks an apology and tries to answer through factual logic, due to lack of authority.
8:19 PM- The team buddy of the Respondents’ hands over a chit from the team to the counsel. The counsel does not feel the need to refer to it and proceeds to summarise their last argument.
8:21 PM- Counsel 2 of the Respondents comes forward and prudently signposts their submissions. The counsel satisfactorily answers a question hurled regarding their first argument.
8:28 PM- The counsel again takes a while to ponder over the judge’s query; and provides an adequate answer. Meanwhile, three consecutive chits are delivered to the counsel from their team.
8:35 PM- 30 SECONDS REMAINING! The counsel seeks an extension for a few seconds to answer the judge’s fresh question. They direct the judges’ attention to the case study, in order to justify applicability of the cited rules.
8:39 PM- “TIMES UP!”, holds the court room manager for the fourth time. The counsel requests for a right to appeal as the respondents felt dissatisfied with the tribunal’s assessment.
8:42 PM- The Respondents take a few seconds and come forward with sur-rebuttals. The counsel asks for an extension to answer the questions raised in the rebuttals. The judges allow and seem to be convinced as the counsel’s surrebuttals approach the end.
8:47 PM- PRELIM ROUND 4 COMES TO AN END! The judges ask the team to move out so that they can ensure confidentiality while handing over the score-sheets.
COURTROOM-7: Argus vs Titanic
7:28 PM- Ladies and gentlemen, join us as we start with the last session of Day-1 of 10th IMAM 2023. Court room 7 is all geared up and ready to engage in some significant deliberations. Let the show begin!
7: 30 PM- The claimants have taken the floor, making their position heard loud and clear. They speak with conviction, and seem to have a strong hold upon their arguments and reasonings.
7:35 PM- Upon being asked where the counsel is reading from, they rapidly give an answer. Sign of good preparation.
7:43 PM- 4 minutes later, the chain of questioning and counter-questioning on the same issue continues. The temperature in the courtroom is steadily rising!
7: 48 PM- The second counsel for the claimants has assumed the mantle. May the force be with them!
7:51 PM- The discussion has shifted towards the meaning and usage of the maxim lex arbitri. The counsel has sailed swiftly through the floodgate of questions.
8:00 PM- There, a chit arrived at the podium. However, they decide not to refer to it and plead ignorance once again. Hope it doesn’t cost them major points.
8:01PM- It’s now the turn of the respondents. The first counsel has started off with the third issue.
8:04 PM- “I am sorry, I am a little lost with your references” comments the Bench. The counsel must do a better job in pinpointing at the references.
8: 05 PM- The bench is comparatively silent in this session. They are focusing on jotting down their remarks on paper. The counsel is quickly covering all the substantial points around the issue of the bill of lading.
8:09 PM- The Bench seems to be stuck at one particular landmark judgement, and is shooting numerous questions on its applicability to the case at hand.
8:12 PM- The second counsel has kickstarted their submissions on the remaining issues at hand.
8:16 PM- There is a lot of fumbling on the part of the counsel at the beginning. They quickly get back on track and make their submissions on the issue of number of arbitrators.
8:20 PM- The Bench has thrown a googly at the counsel, which the counsel has handled smartly. Crisis averted, it seems.
8:26 PM- The Bench has posed quite a lengthy and detailed question, mentioning certain principles of law surrounding summary proceedings. The counsel seems to be a bit puzzled.
8:30 PM- The rebuttal rounds have commenced. The claimant has come prepared with a befitting answer to the respondent’s contentions. They end by putting a question for the respondents to answer.
8:33 PM- While the sur-rebuttals are going on, the claimants abruptly start speaking. The Bench stops them instantly.
8: 35 PM- We have come to an end to this engaging round of arguments. Feedback session has begun. Thank you for your patient reading!
COURTROOM-8: Scharnhorst vs Beagle
7:10 PM- We are back for the last round for today. The participants have walked in and have taken their respective seats.
7:12 PM- The Claimants begin their submissions. The judges start their questioning, earlier this time.
7:15 PM- The Bench asks if the claimants would go through an “irreparable loss”. The Counsel agrees. The Bench asks why the Claimants demand summary disposal. After a few unsuccessful attempts, the Counsel finally gives a convincing answer.
7:20 PM- The Speaker seems perplexed by the questions being raised by the Bench. However, the Counsel answers without a flinch.
7:21 PM- There seems to be a conflict between the understanding of the Bench and the Claimants. The judge rectifies the error committed by the Speaker. But the speaker seems convinced that they are right.
7:24 PM- The Bench differentiates between two significant terms and explains how the Claimants have wrongly understood the problem.
7:25 PM- The Claimants disagree. The Bench discusses pecuniary jurisdiction and explains its meaning. The Speaker tries to buttress their point with a case. However, the Bench explains how the cases are different. The Speaker fumbles and seeks permission to bring their compendium of cases.
7:28 PM- The Counsel ends his submission. The second speaker takes the podium. He sounds confident and readily accepts the questions.
7:31 PM- Questions from the Bench have resulted in the Speaker losing their composure. The confusion was apparent. The researcher seems disappointed with his hands covering his face. They desperately look at the Bench in order to judge whether they are buying the answers made.
7:40 PM- The Counsel confidently uses case laws to enforce his points. However, he fumbles on being asked tedious questions. He is making the final submission related to the CISF contract.
7:47 PM- The Responding speaker begins their submissions. The judges delve into definitions that are important for the subject matter. The Speaker fails to give a convincing definition. This error might push the team in the wrong direction. Or will they be able to recover ?
7:51 PM- The Bench disagreed with the Speaker’s understanding of what held persuasive value. The judge handed a document to the Speaker to read out a specific section. The judges do not understand the approach being taken by the Respondents. The Claimants listen with rapt attention as their opponents make slip ups.
7:58 PM- The Co-counsel has now taken the podium. The Speaker takes a simplistic approach and begins with the definitions of important teams. They do so while also referring to relevant case laws.
8:05 PM- The Bench has fallen silent. Is it because the submissions are uninteresting or is it because they are curious to explore more details about the same ?
8:11 PM- The Counsel seeked permission to present their prayers. However, the Bench denied. The Claimants took the podium for the rebuttals. While it did not severely change the circumstances, they utilised whatever little time they had. Both Speakers from the Respondents side took the podium to ask their respective questions.
8:15 PM- In a light banter, the Bench asked the Claimants if they wished to ask subsequent rebuttals. The Claimants’ eyes glimmered with hope as they asked , “Can we do it?”. The Bench smiled and denied. The room was rejuvenated by a unanimous laugh from the participants and the Bench.
DAY 1 | 24TH MARCH 2023
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – SESSION 4 CONCLUDES!
DAY 2 | 25TH MARCH 2023
COURTROOM-1: Hunley vs Lusitania
12:40 PM- Good afternoon and welcome back to the 10th edition of the International Maritime Arbitration Moot (IMAM), NLUO. It will be interesting to see the rising competition as some teams gear up to go forward while others get eliminated in the process. Stay tuned for the updates!
12:50 PM- And the Show begins ! The bench calls the counsel of the claimants to the dais. The rounds finally begin with a lot of enthusiasm and listing of the issues at hand.
12:54 PM- The counsel looks confused with the facts of the bill of lading and fumbles a bit before clearing it up for the arbitrators. No further questions are asked and the arguments continue.
12:59 PM- “English Law? English Law”, and with these words, the bench leaves the counsel in a dilemma regarding their stance on the issue at hand. The counsel is then instructed to move on to the next issue.
1:02 PM- The bench today seems to be in the mood for crisp and direct answers, and abruptly retorts “Answer in yes or no, counsel” ! It remains to see how well the teams can answer to the point to satisfy the arbitrators.
1:06 PM- “I will get back to you on this, Mr. Arbitrator.” The tricky questions seem to be putting the counsel in a state of confusion as they attempt to battle their way through the queries of the bench.
1:12 PM- As the time runs out for the first counsel, the co-counsel of the claimants takes the podium to argue upon the remaining issues. The arbitrators, resting their elbows on the table, listen intently.
1:17 PM- Oh no ! The co-counsel directly passes the documents to the arbitrators without the aid of the CRM. The arbitrators find it to be a bit informal but nonetheless ask them to carry on.
1:23 PM- One of the arbitrators asks the counsel, “Is that what the judgement says?” as they find inconsistencies in the oral submissions. The counsel concedes on the inconsistencies, apologies and corrects it immediately.
1:28 PM- The counsel moves on to the next issue but is immediately interrupted with another trick question inquiring about the coverage. The counsel, and in fact the entire courtroom is taken aback and falls silent ! The counsel gathers up courage and finally stumbles their way to an explanation, however it seems to leave the bench half-convinced.
1:32 PM- As the counsel concludes his arguments, the bench takes note of the total overtime of the claimants. The arbitrators then invite the counsel of the respondents to present their arguments.
1:38 PM- The counsel is immediately met with a rapid line of questioning. “I fail to understand the legal basis for your claims counsel. !” The bench shows their disapproval of the reasoning given by the counsel and asks them to elucidate on it.
1:45 PM- The grilling continues as the counsel is posed with various other trick questions. The co-counsel observes the session carefully trying to gauge the pattern of questioning.
1:50 PM- One of the arbitrators raises their eyebrows and nods after an explanation by the counsel. This leaves the courtroom covered in a wave of fear as they fail to bring a conclusion out of this mixed signal.
1:55 PM- The counsel claims that the issue at hand inquired about by the arbitrator is meritless. The arbitrator exclaims, “And who gets to decide that?” Woah! The bench and the counsel seems to have reached an impasse. Let us see where this goes.
2:04 PM- The courtroom is now absorbed in a constant line of questioning, with the counsels unable to satisfy the bench it ends with a “Apologies, I do not remember that Mr. Arbitrator”.
2:12 PM- The latter half of the counsel’s submissions seems to be uninterrupted by the bench and the respondents sail smoothly towards the concluding submissions. And you guessed it right, It’s REBUTTAL TIME!
2:16 PM- The oral rounds for session 5 seem to have been concluded after the sur-rebuttals from the counsel for the respondents. The bench wishes them good luck for their future and ends the session with marking the rounds.
COURTROOM-2: Dreadnought vs Clermont
12:46 PM- Welcome to Day 2 of the Preliminary Rounds of the 10th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2023! This is the last preliminary round after which only 8 teams will go forward in the competition. The bench is geared to make it as difficult as possible. Will the teams learn from yesterday’s mistakes and make the cut?
12:49 PM- And it’s a go! The bench starts off with, “Skip the facts-get to the point”, there is no point painting a pretty picture today. The first counsel for Claimants starts with their arguments.
12:52 PM- How many arbitrators? A novel argument is presented and the bench seems convinced.
12:54 PM- “You want a summary disposal but you want us to hear you!”- the bench is using the counsel’s own argument against them. Can they figure a way out of this?
12:58 PM- Bills of lading and trans-shipment ports-the discourse gains momentum and the counsel cites to substantiate, and satisfy the Arbitrator. The bench seems pleased at the use of relevant case laws.
1:03 PM- Standard industrial practices are not so standard! Where do you draw the line? The Claimants seem to satisfy the bench with simple logic. Now the co-counsel will take the stage.
1:05 PM- The bench starts conversing and smiling within themselves which throws off the co-counsel, they start to fumble, anticipating a question, and here it comes! Seems like the core arguments concerning clean bills of lading is a priority for this bench!
1:07 PM- The bench has gotten the exact answer they were looking for. Going back to basics is the right thing to do after all!
1:11 PM- The bench seems pleased at the industry knowledge of the Claimants and can be seen visibly smiling. Seems like the Counsel for the Claimants are a strong team to reckon with.
1:13 PM- “You are right”, the bench says! The Claimants can be seen to have a surge of confidence from those assuring words.
1:18 PM- Time is up but the co-counsel continues. The bench seems satisfied with the submissions and looks ready to hear the Respondents.
1:22 PM- In a feeble attempt to win this race against the clock, the co-counsel is reading out portions of judgement at supersonic speed, the bench unable to understand anything, requests the counsel to conclude. The ball is now in the court of the counsels for respondents.
1:27 PM- While the counsel starts off strong, the bench immediately interrupts, “You have not given us the exact reason why the Act will apply” ! Only time will tell whether the Respondent can satisfy an issue on which the Claimants had sufficiently satisfied the bench.
1:35 PM- The Respondents might have made a grave error. “Where are you from?” the bench had asked and counsel replied, “South Korea”. The Respondents are however, representing an American company, after a while the counsel hastily corrects this error.
1:42 PM- “Superficial rust” and “inherent vices”-the technicalities are never-ending! Citing archaic case laws before a bench that is keen on the recent evolutions in the field of maritime law is risky. Will the bench buy it?
1:46 PM- The counsel for the Respondents finishes off with a “perfect” from the bench. Co-counsel for the Respondent starts off with submissions on the invalidity of the insurance contract.
1:53 PM- Rejecting goods just because documents were not to their liking? The Respondents seem to be having a tough time justifying the same but they might pull it off!
1:58 PM- Four minutes for rebuttals! A substantial amount of time has been reserved by the Claimants for pointing out the fallacies of the Respondents. What will they focus on?
2:06 PM- We come to a close to the preliminary rounds of Court Room 2. Let us now find out who is one step closer to lifting the trophy.
COURTROOM-3: Eastland vs Carpathia
12:50 PM- As the teams gear up for the last Preliminary Round of the 10th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2023, the energy is indeed palpable.
12:54 PM- “Are you guys comfortable with arguing while sitting?”, asks Mr. Arbitrator. The counsel of the Claimants disagrees and chooses to stand at the podium to present their arguments.
12:57 PM- “Arbitration is a creature of contract”, asserts Mr. Arbitrator and demands to be directed to where the arbitration clause exists in the case study. The counsel argues on the legitimacy derived from the bill of lading.
1:07 PM- And the clock runs out on the extension granted to the counsel, but Mr. Arbitrator tosses a fresh question. The counsel answers and invites the co-counsel to address the remaining issues.
1:12 PM- The co-counsel seems to be caught in a loop of questions and struggles to proceed further. They attempt to use a case law as their saving grace; however, Mr. Arbitrator voices his dissatisfaction.
1:21 PM- And with this the submissions for the claimants come to an end. The bench, rather disinterested in hearing the prayer, calls upon the Respondents to present their case.
1:27 PM- Mr. Arbitrator points out an inconsistency in the counsel’s arguments, to which the latter reiterates the factual matrix which forms the basis of their submission. The bench demands an authority but to no avail.
1:33 PM- The counsel cites two statutes that they think must be read together, in order to decide the appropriate number of arbitrators. Oh no! Mr. Arbitrator surprisingly exclaims, “You are not sure of anything, counsel”. The counsel appears flustered.
1:43 PM- The bench engages with the Respondents on a landmark case law cited by them. Further, Mr. Arbitrator asks the co-counsel for an additional authority to substantiate their argument.
1:48 PM- “Counsel, what do you mean by material facts?”, asks Mr. Arbitrator. The co-counsel specifies, correlating them with pertinent laws. The bench presents multiple follow-ups.
1:51 PM- Wow! The co-counsel makes strong contentions against the claimants’ views and restates the procedure and rights that their client is entitled to.
1:54 PM- Despite only 30 seconds remaining on the clock, the counsel for respondents thought they had finally made it through. But Alas ! Mr. Arbitrator starts off with a rapid line of questioning, the counsel tries to battle their way through. The bench deliberates upon the co-counsel’s interpretation of bills of lading and trans-shipment.
1:58 PM- As the floor opens up for rebuttals, the Respondent’s counsel clarifies the misunderstanding regarding substantive and procedural issues and addresses relevant sur-rebuttals.
2:00 PM- And with this, the ferocious grilling session comes to an end. The teams are asked to evacuate the courtroom as the arbitrators engage in a fruitful discourse on the teams’ performances.
COURTROOM-4: Bounty vs Lenin
12:54 PM- Last preliminary rounds for the Competition begin! The Counsel for the Claimants has taken the podium. The Counsel sounds confident as they lay out the three issues that they are dealing with for the day. Let the round begin!
12:59 PM- As the Judge poses one last question on the first issue, the Counsel requests for a few seconds to quickly peruse their research. Maybe the answer lies therein. The judge asks a series of questions pertaining to the arbitration rules to be followed.
1:04 PM- 5 MINUTES LEFT ON THE CLOCK. No questions so far, the Counsel storms ahead to their next issue. They are able to crisply define terms in their arguments that seem relevant. The judges seem calmer in their questioning for this counsel. Let’s see how this pans out.
1:07 PM- A few questions follow pertaining to the RETLA Clause, they seem to be easy enough for the Counsel to tackle.
1:09 PM- The judge asks a question relating to facts on the shipment. The Counsel mentions its absence in the fact sheet and the judge agrees and moves on to ask a pertinent question on the CIF Contract.
1:12 PM- The Researcher from the Claimants sends in a chit to assist their counsel. It seemed to have really helped in answering that question. TIME’S UP! The Co-counsel from the Claimant makes their way to the podium.
1:14 PM- Speaking clearly and with a poker face the co-counsel deals with the remaining issues. The arbitrators are very observant and seem to be taking note of not just the speaker, but also their respective teams’ behaviour behind them.
1:20 PM- The arbitrators once again ask whether there exist recent case laws. Surely recent cases seem to be of prime importance for this bench. Another question follows in relation to insurance. There comes the researcher to the rescue. Uh oh, a numerical error! The judges exclaim a remark on the same and smirk.
1:26 PM- The arbitrators ask whether the Counsel has seen a Bill of Lading and whether they know the terms. The Counsel seems to have done their research, they are aware. In the next few questions, there is some lack of confidence on the Counsel’s part. However, all seems to be fine as they conclude their speech on a fine note.
1:28 PM- The Respondents’ Counsel makes their way to the podium. They seem clear in their speech however they are speaking at a slightly faster rate. 16 minutes is what they claim they need to convince the arbitrators.
1:40 PM- The arbitrators are patient in their questioning. They clearly explain the question for the Counsel. Kind indeed. While the counsel seems well prepared, a few errs occur as the questioning increases on the point relating to transhipment clauses.
1:44 PM- TIME’S UP. “Can I seek an extension of 20 min-” the Counsel states. The arbitrators smiling say “20 minutes, we cannot give, Counsel.” 2 MINUTES is granted. The questions and their responses continue.
1:46 PM- “If you answer this one question, we will grant you an award pertaining to this one issue” says the arbitrator. A great opportunity, lets see how the Counsel tackles this and grabs on.
1:50 PM- The arbitrator asks a question pertaining to the LMAA Rules. The Counsel attempts at an answer but the arbitrator doesn’t seem convinced, “this is not mentioned in Redfern & Hunter..” they say. Uh oh.
1:51 PM- TIME’S UP. No more extensions for the Counsel. The Co-counsel takes the stage. They are a little soft spoken and maintain a consistent tone throughout.
2:00 PM- Some much needed refreshments make their way into the room. The cool ice tea is definitely helping with the heated questioning. There comes another question on the jurisdiction, let’s see how the Counsel handles this.
2:07 PM- TIME’S UP. An extension is requested. Granted. The co-counsel is repeatedly trying to justify their replies through case laws. TIME IS UP once again. They request time for final prayers. “We know your conclusion and your prayers, counsel, thank you.” say the arbitrators.
2:08 PM- It’s REBUTTAL time! The counsel from claimants is here. But wait a question is followed. Before she can get to her rebuttals, time is up. She pleads for additional time. “No, counsel”. “Please sir, arbitrator.” The arbitrators smirk and grant 30 seconds.
2:11 PM- A few more seconds in, “are you questioning the bench, counsel?”, “No, Miss arbitrator.” Some replies follow from the Counsel. “Are you questioning the sole arbitrator?”. “No, madam arbitrator.” says the counsel as they wrap up their rebuttals. Wow, that was a heated minute.
2:13 PM- The respondent counsel comes in for their sur-rebuttals. Time’s up. The judges engage in some talks with each other, all in smiles. A little banter is exchanged before feedback is given.
COURTROOM-5: Valentina vs Argus
12:45 PM- A new day is here and the Bench has entered the room and is happy to see each other again.
12:55 PM- The first counsel of the day has started off strong and confident. The Bench is listening to their arguments with great interest.
1:06 PM- The Bench asks the counsel the applicability of the LMAA rules. It is followed with a question on the authority of the cases being cited by the counsel. The counsel takes a moment to gather their thoughts and answer.
1:10 PM- The back and forth between the Bench and the counsel seems to be getting interesting. The counsel tried their best to satisfy the Bench with their arguments. What better way to test their knowledge and research.
1:11 PM- After an extension of 2 minutes, the counsel has concluded their arguments. The co-counsel has now taken the lead.
1:14 PM- “Superficial defects refer to those that occur before loading or during transit” Oh an interesting question! Counsel seems a bit taken aback.
1:15 PM- The researcher has come to the rescue! They pass a note to the speaker to provide the speaker with a clarification on the previous question. The counsel keeps their calm and proceed with their submission.
1:19 PM- The questions keep coming and the counsel seeks permission to clear them during the rebuttals. The Bench is trying to test their knowledge very wittily.
1:27 PM- With 30 seconds left, the researcher passes a note again to aid his counsel regarding the clauses and happening or non happening of the transhipment.
1:32 PM- The counsel from the respondents takes the dias and commences their arguments on issue 1 regarding whether the rejection of documents was justified.
1:41 PM- A question straight from the fact sheet! A great way to check the counsels awareness about the facts of the issue and how their research applies to it.
1:44 PM- The counsel seems very confident and refers to several documents they carry with themselves. They trust their efforts made would surely pay off.
1:48 PM- As the questions keep coming, the counsel does not give up and is now referring to the clarifications on the proposition to answer the questions. They don’t lose their calm and ensure that their arguments are not broken down by the numerous questions of the bench.
1:53 PM- The co-counsel has made their way to the dias and looks determined to end their submissions with full vigour.
1:56 PM- “What are the procedural terms?” The counsel gets passed a note to tackle this question. Kudos to their teamwork!
2:01 PM- Times up but the Bench still wishes to check the knowledge of the counsel regarding the right to repudiate the contract.
2:04 PM- The rebuttals have begun and the Counsel first starts off by answering the questions asked to the claimant which they were first unable to answer. They go onto their rebuttals by referring to the proposition to invalidate the respondents arguments.
2:07 PM- “One small sentence for each submission” Will the counsel from the respondents be able to tackle this? One sentence down and they submitted an article to substantiate their argument. Second sentence requests them to refer to the proposition itself. Third sentence is about the specification of the contract.
2:08 PM- “Condition of the contract is what the specification of the contract is called” answers the Bench to their own question to enlighten the participants themselves.
2:10 PM- “A fairly good round” says the Bench. They advise the participants to be well versed with the basics of the law and the facts that are “under their nose”.
2:12 PM- The Bench takes an example from his childhood and says that you should try to answer the questions in any way you can just like we all did in our exams as children. What a nostalgic way to put it!
COURTROOM-6: Holland vs Scharnhorst
12:38 PM- The courtroom is all set to host the final preliminary rounds for the 10th National Law University Odisha Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot. A cumulative score of all the preliminary rounds shall decide our top 8 teams that shall proceed to the Quarter-Finals.
12:52 PM- The judges, all in high spirits, have joined us and have been presented with the scoresheets. We now await the participants.
12:56 PM- The participants are in the courtroom and all set to begin. Some weary faces and some full of anticipation, let us see what turmoil the last round brings for the teams.
1:00 PM- And the rounds begin. The counsel for the claimants has joined us on the podium and it seems like they are all set to make the most of the last rounds! The counsel addresses the issues under contention and is swiftly interrupted by the judges and asked about certain query related to the application of LMAA rules.
1:04 PM- “Are these LMAA terms or rules?” The judges seem dead set on making the counsel admit to their error. The counsel does not seem to realize the mistake and has been in an argumentative circle with the judges.
1:07 PM- The counsel loses a few seconds in pointing out multiple sections to the judges as per the written submission. Intense flipping through the material and behold, seems like the counsel has finally satisfied the bench!
1:14 PM- “Counsel, I am not satisfied with your argument!” The judge exasperatedly exclaimed. The room seems to be in a pin drop silence. The judge seems to have disregarded a long answer by the counsel in exchange for this remark. The counsel is seen flipping through their materials in a frenzy.
1:17 PM- And the time is up. The arbitrators seem to not have noticed and proceed with their questions related to the applicable parameters of the Hague rules. The counsel seems to be getting a golden opportunity in the form of a few extra seconds, let us see how the time is managed by the counsel to their advantage.
1:20 PM- The second counsel approaches the podium and post requisite permissions, starts with their submission. They mention that they shall be focusing on two issues.
1:24 PM- “Counsel, why not the third issue? Is it not relevant enough?” In a surprising turn of events, this is a first where the arbitrators seem to have interrupted the counsel for the lack of addressal of a certain issue. The counsel swiftly answers that it is not due to lack of relevance, but rather the lack of time. The arbitrators do not seem satisfied for now.
1:27 PM- The counsel has multiple questions sent their way related to the specific citations that they address in their submission. The arbitrators appear displeased over the lack of citations in the written memorial which the counsel is actively mentioning in their oral submission.
1:30 PM- The arbitrators ask the counsel to state the specific contract under question, the counsel answers accurately. They further question the reason behind not clearly highlighting the said contract in the written submission.
1:33 PM- With 30 seconds remaining, the arbitrators ask the counsel to proceed with their next contention, but make it evidently clear that they are not satisfied with the answers provided by the counsel.
1:36 PM- After multiple extensions owing to the lack of clarity amongst the arbitrators with respect to the arguments of the Counsel, the counsel finally concludes their last issue and is surprisingly given another extension to substantiate upon it! The counsel finally steps back and makes way for the respondent counsel at the podium.
1:43 PM- “How does this cited case even help you?” The arbitrators seem to be in a questioning spree and are very prompt in pointing out specific irregularities in the oral and written submissions of the respondents.
1:45 PM- The conversation seems to be stuck upon the implementation of the LMAA rules and the necessity to abide by it. The arbitrators and the Counsel seem to be stuck in a loop of discussion with neither ready to take a backstep. Definitely an informative discussion to witness.
1:49 PM- “Counsel, did you even understand my question?” The arbitrators seem to be getting pressed over the lack of a proper answer by the counsel over their question related to the scope of application of the LMAA rules. Finally, they instruct the counsel to move to the next issue.
1:51 PM- With a minute left, the counsel stops with the submission, apologises and points out an error that they made in their own submission a few minutes ago, the arbitrators nod in approval and seem impressed by this addressal of error and apology of the counsel. The second counsel has started their submission.
1:55 PM- The arbitrators poses a question to the counsel, “whether they are aware of the procedural issue that are present in the present factual matrix”, the counsel humbly denies and apologises for the same.
1:59 PM- Impressively, the second counsel seems to be very attentive towards the questions of the arbitrators and can be seen tirelessly flipping through the pages kept on the podium. Though it appears that even such diligence is not sufficient to satisfy the arbitrators who reprimand the counsel over their lack of clarity in the statements they are making.
2:06 PM- And the time is up! The arbitrators do not seem to mind though, and proceed with their explanation related to the absence of certain provisions in the insurance contract.
2:09 PM- The counsel is reprimanded over their reckless use of the word “mandatory” in a part of their submission. The arbitrators informs the counsel about the need to use specific terminology only when explicitly mentioned, and to not needlessly throw big words around.
2:11 PM- With their hands on the head, the respondent researcher seems anxious and jittery. Could this possibly be due to their counsel’s inability to satisfy the arbitrators over most of their questions?
2:14 PM- After multiple extensions, the counsel is asked to read aloud certain sections from the RETLA clause and is further awarded an extension of 30 seconds to conclude. The arbitrators sure do seem very gracious today!
2:17 PM- With another extension of 30 seconds working as a holy grail for the counsel, they rush towards their teammates and grab a compendium to further substantiate their submission. The arbitrators pass a subtle smile amongst each other. The time for the respondents finally ends.
2:19 PM- The Claimants begin with their rebuttals which are focused on the insurance and exclusion clause while simultaneously addressing certain specific sections of the Hague rules
2:21 PM- The Respondents start with their submission against the rebuttal. Without many long sentences or the need of an extension, the counsel swiftly concludes their submission in a minute. With the rounds ending, the arbitrators seem laid back and relaxed. We wonder whether this is due to the performance of the participants or due to the upcoming lunch break.
COURTROOM-7: Skate vs Savannah
12: 38 PM- Hello and welcome back to the 10th NLUO IMAM 2023. As we reach the 2nd day of this prestigious competition, we hope to see some extraordinary mooting sessions. Let us see what this new day holds ahead for us!
12:49 PM- The teams have entered, greeted the Bench with their gracious smiles and taken their positions. The CRMs have some initial check-lists aaaaaaand we are good to go!
12:53 PM- The claimants start off by establishing their autonomy to be governed under the LMAA. They have adopted a two-pronged approach. Lets see how that goes!
12:58 PM- “Where does the doctrine of separability stem from counsel?” The Bench tries to tap into the conceptual clarity of the counsel. They seek statutory backing from the claimants.
1:04 PM- In no time, the discussion has moved to the question of summary proceedings. The arbitrators are quick to point out that the counsels have not mentioned the arguments in their written submissions. “No, you cannot do that”, they said.
1:08 PM- The co-counsel commences their submission by discussing the legality of the insurance certificate. They sure sound convincing at this juncture.
1:15 PM- Madam Arbitrator points out the certificate, and wishes that the claimants provide some clarity. With just 5 minutes left, the bench and the co-counsel continue to disagree.
1:22 PM- The co-counsel tries to satisfy the Bench that the certificate is not invalid, by citing certain case-laws. The Bench does not sound convinced. They must up their game now.
1:27 PM- With the claimants concluding their submission, the Respondents have assumed the podium. “How have you approached us, I am not asking why” the Bench questions the counsel. They provide a few sections from the statute, but all in vain.
1:33 PM- The respondents buttress on their right to reject the consignment, and put forth various grounds to supplement the same. The Bench leans forward, actively takes note and seeks clarification as and when necessary.
1:39 PM- “What is the issue you have about the bill of lading?” asks the arbitrator. The claimants listen intently, jotting down points for the rebuttals in full swing.
1:43 PM- Looking at the numerous faults pointed out by the respondents, the Bench wants the counsel to get into the shoes of the claimants and explain how would they have handled the issue.
1:48 PM- Next up is the co-counsel who has walked up to the podium with an optimistic attitude. They have already made the arbitrators nod in agreement with their position on summary disposition being violative of their right to natural justice. Good stuff!
1:54 PM- “As per the limited knowledge of the counsel, I say-”, the counsel seems to have given in to the bombardment of questions. The Bench allows them to move forward to the next set of arguments.
2:00 PM- Towards the end of their submissions, the Bench wishes the co-counsel to shed some light on their understanding of principles of natural justice. Looks like they missed out on this one.
2:08 PM- The rebuttals by the claimants were a series of counter-questions in the direction of their opponents.
2:14 PM- With this, we come to an end to this exhilarating session. Hope the readers had a good time, cause we sure did!
COURTROOM-8: Argonaut vs Mayflower
12:44 PM- We are back here for Day 2. The participants look anxious yet confident. They entered the room with rejuvenated spirits. Have they been able to cement their arguments with the feedback they received yesterday? Or did they take the criticism to heart? Nevertheless, it is evident that the first day has left behind a lasting impact.
12: 46 PM- The claimants begin their submissions and touch upon the composition of Arbitrators and the number of Arbitrators necessary. This is a point that has come up earlier but still as important ?
12: 52 PM- Two days of intense submissions and the question remains what law would govern the number of arbitrators. Will the Claimants be able to answer the judges’ correctly?
12:56 PM- The claimants argue that they require a summary disposal because the Respondents’ case has no merit. A few feet away, the Respondents glare at the speaker waiting for their opportunity to speak.
12:59 PM- The co-counsel took the podium. With a distinctly different style of speaking, it sounds as if he is engaging in a conversation with the Bench. However, the Arbitrators interrupt them and demand them to speak louder. It is definitely not the conversation, the Claimants wish to be in.
1:06 PM- “Do the Respondents have a claim for damages? “ The Speaker answers, but it’s not the one that the Bench was looking for.
1:11 PM- “How are you establishing a breach of contract?” With a half a minute left in their basket, have the Claimants failed to establish one of the most fundamental limbs of their argument? Meanwhile, one of the members of the Respondent team fidgets in anticipation of their rounds.
1:13 PM- The co-counsel takes their seat. The arbitrators whisper amongst each other and share a laugh while the Claimants engage in a discussion.
1:17 PM- “We agree that the Act will take precedence over a rule. But this Act is different.” remarks the Bench. The speaker seems confused and they repeat the answer. The judges do not miss a beat. This is not the first time they are dealing with this query. They clarify what they meant.
1:20 PM- The Counsel has begun their submissions by listing authorities to disprove the first point of the Claimants. The tables have now turned. “Can you give us even one case to prove your point ?” The Respondents seem to be stuck in an odd fix.
1:23 PM- “Are you making any argument here that is not in your written submissions?” asked the Bench. “In the course of discussing matters of such complexity, we might.” replied the Counsel. The Bench dismissed that claim and declared that the matter is not complicated. “Why do you demand a lengthy oral hearing? We will charge an extra fee.” The arbitrators laugh as the Counsel struggle to understand if it was a joke. Eventually, the mood lightens and everybody shares a similar smile.
1:26 PM- The Counsel has asked for an extension. But the Counsel extended their case beyond the extension. The Bench and the counsel smile in unison as the they promise to end their submissions with that sentence.
1:33 PM- The Co-counsel reads from their transcript as they mention the Bill of Lading. While reading the same, the counsel tries to avoid eye contact and continues, as if to dodge the upcoming questions.
1:37 PM- The Rebuttals begin and the Claimants seem to have made a blunder. The Counsel sits there with their hands folded as the Co-counsel makes the rebuttals.
1:39 PM- The Claimant speaker uses the analogy “It is like Cinderella all dressed up and nowhere to go” to criticise the points made by the Respondents.
1:45 PM- The Respondents take the podium and make their rebuttals. The judges end the last preliminary round of IMAM’ 23.
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – SESSION 5 CONCLUDES!
DAY 2 | 25TH MARCH 2023
COURTROOM-1: Dreadnought vs Nautilus
5:52 PM- After the preliminary rounds and a rather delicious lunch break we are back to witness the quarter final rounds of the 10th Bose & Mitra Co. International Arbitration Moot (IMAM), NLUO. As the competition gets tougher, it will be interesting to see which teams bring out their best performances and bag their places at the semi-finals tomorrow.
6:04 PM- Upon the nod from the bench, the counsel of the claimant confidently walks up to the podium. The rounds have officially begun!
6:09 PM- “Is the seat explicitly mentioned somewhere?” Looks like the bench isn’t going to make it too easy for the counsel for claimants. The Arbitrator seeks direct, crisp and unambiguous answers from the counsel.
6:12 PM- The bench intently listens to the counsel without much interruption and gives them ample leeway to make the arguments.
6:17 PM- “Is your argument now not premature?” And lo and behold ! There goes the smooth. The counsel is seen in a fix and is rather flustered as the arbitrators look unconvinced and ask the counsel to reconsider.
6:20 PM- The bench begins a rapid line of questioning on the relevancy of the judgements cited by the counsel. It looks like the rounds won’t be becoming easier for the counsel anytime soon.
6:24 PM- The time’s up! Already? That flew fast. The co-counsel of the claimant is all ready to take up the place at the dais while the counsel requests an extension on time.
6:29 PM- The arbitrator throws in a hypothetical situation. Woah, that’s new! The counsel takes a minute before they seek another clarification and pick up a document to answer the question. The same is answered satisfactorily.
6:34 PM- “You cannot cite a new case. Slip a note with the citation to us and to the respondents later”. The bench is a real stickler for rules and standard practices.
6:40 PM- The arbitrators and the counsel shuttle between the issues of transshipment and insurance. While the counsel strives to prove their point, the bench looks for a better justification.
6:44 PM- The courtroom is drowned in silence as the bench pauses for an internal discussion regarding a clause cited by the counsel. They ask the counsel to reiterate their last argument.
6:54 PM- There is another deliberation amongst the arbitrators as they go over the reasoning and ask the counsel for a clarification regarding the procedure. But Alas ! The counsel fails to give one.
6:59 PM- The bench throws in a hypothetical scenario regarding ship-to-ship transfers! Just the arbitrators making sure that a wave of anxiety goes through the teams and stays there. Chilly indeed!
7:09 PM- The arbitrators are in no mood to let the counsel of the claimants go back to their seat as they continue with the questions. Overtime seems to be the new normal now.
7:20 PM- “Too much of anything is good for nothing.” The quote stands tall in this courtroom as the arbitrators advise the counsel against taking another overtime.
7:25 PM- The arbitrators seem to have gotten some scope for more questions as the counsel tries to conclude their arguments. The bench also gives a nod for the prayer.
7:32 PM- After a long wait, the respondents have taken up the place at the podium for presenting their arguments. Meanwhile, the arbitrators are busy with the marking of the first-half of the rounds.
7:37 PM- The arguments seem to be flowing without any interruption. As the arbitrators are flipping through the pages, it looks like it might just be the ‘calm before the storm.’
7:43 PM- The courtroom is silent again as the counsel looks for the answers on a case law and the arbitrators eagerly wait for the same. Upon receiving a justification, the counsel is asked to proceed further.
7:48 PM- The statements are going back and forth on the number of arbitrators as the bench brings in more tricky questions for the counsel to answer.
7:55 PM- The arbitrators indulge in elaborate discussions with the counsel regarding the RETLA clause and ask for more clarity on the issue. The counsel must satisfy the bench, keeping in mind the time management requirement.
8:02 PM- The co-counsel for the respondents is all set to replace the counsel as they conclude their arguments on the applicability of certain clauses referred to by the bench.
8:06 PM- The co-counsel confidently starts with the arguments for the remaining issues and continues without much interruption. All looks good for the respondents as of now.
8:13 PM- The arbitrators look for convincing arguments related to the bill of lading but look more focused on the issue of liability as they state, “Please show us how it’s a bad tender, counsel.” The counsel explains.
8:17 PM- The counsel points at the amount of damage to the goods for which the arbitrator inquires whether the counsel has checked upon the condition of the goods. They hesitate and reply that the facts are silent on the same thereby negating their own argument.
8:23 PM- The tension in the courtroom elevates as time is running out for the counsel of the respondents. The arbitrators continue with their questions and look for more refined answers.
8:26 PM- As the respondents begin with their prayer, the counsel of the claimants gear up for the rebuttals. The arbitrators can be seen indulged in a heavy discussion.
8:32 PM- After the rebuttals, the respondents now enter the field for the sur-rebuttals. The arbitrators can be seen smiling at the teams as they wait for the arguments to start.
8:35 PM- “Good session? A very good session indeed!” And with this both the teams are sent back for dinner as the arbitrators return to their sheets before calling it a day. The teams will have to wait in suspense before the results for the semifinals are disclosed. Till then, good night!
COURTROOM-2: Holland vs Fulton
5:51 PM- Good evening and welcome to the Quarter-Final Rounds of IMAM 2023. The bars are set higher this time. At stake is a spot in the Semis, and a lot more. It’s now or never. We are thrilled to witness something like this!
5:53 PM- The arbitrators, with all vigour and vitality, have exchanged their pleasantries and are seated comfortably. When asked if they are ready for the teams, they enthusiastically reply- “We are born ready!” Umm, to give the participants a hard time? We shall shortly see.
6:01 PM- There, there! The participants, looking slightly jittery yet hopeful, take their respective seats. Guess no one told them that the arbitrators here are “born ready” for some grilling. Behold, the rounds begin! 6:08 PM- The arbitrators want to hear both the sides on the preliminary issue first, and then again on merits. This has made both the sides a bit nervous, they must make changes to their game plan.
6:08 PM- The arbitrators want to hear both sides on the preliminary issue first, and then again on merits. This has made both the sides a bit nervous, they must make changes to their game plan.
6:12 PM- The arbitrators are firing one question after another, and are pressing on extracting the accurate answers from the Counsel. The counsel stands confused, making attempts at giving a satisfactory answer. Seems like it is not going well for the claimants.
6:20 PM- The Bench is having a difficult time getting any good answer, or any answer for that matter. This Bench is a hard nut to crack, it seems.
6:25 PM- On being asked what authority are they referring to, the counsel starts walking towards the Bench. “Don’t approach the Bench, please.” the Bench exclaims.
6:30 PM- “What is the amount you are claiming?” “This is not under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal” replies the counsel. “Isn’t that fundamental to the jurisdiction?” the arbitrator mutters to himself. He lays back, looking quite dissatisfied with their answer.
6:36 PM- The Bench catches the researcher off-guard by asking for a particular page number. They catch their breath and hurriedly flip the pages, trying to answer. The teams need to stay alert.
6:40 PM- Within a minute of the respondents starting their submission, the Bench poses the exact same questions they posed to the opposite side. Seems like the counsel for Respondents wasn’t paying attention to the claimant’s submission. They fumble, struggling to respond to the back to back questions.
6:53 PM- Keeping in mind the few minutes left in their basket, the counsel rushes to cover the important points still left to be argued upon. The Bench decides to grant them 3 more minutes, owing to fair treatment since the claimants got such an extension, quite generous!
7:02 PM- The co-counsel of the claimants has made the mistake of using the term “suit” while presenting an argument. “But suits are filed in courts”, the arbitrator corrects them. They might have to pay a hefty price for such silly mistakes.
7:06 PM- “If this is a practice and you were aware of it, why didn’t you point it out to them beforehand?” the Bench enquires. The counsel keeps their calm and composure intact, and successfully battles their way to an answer. Kudos!
7:20 PM- Both the teams are seen scribbling notes hurriedly, clearly stressed at the frequency of complex questions coming from the Bench.
7:31 PM- There is a lot of counter-questioning and disagreement between the Bench and the counsel. The counsel is pushing to satisfy the Bench of their position on the RETLA clause. The researcher seems to have better answers with them, seeing the back-to-back chits being sent to the podium. The chits are being ignored by the counsel.
7: 44 PM- The incessant questioning has put the counsel in a tough spot. They are clearly struggling to move to the subsequent issues, with very less time left.
7:49 PM- With their time is running out, the counsel is back at their seat, their expressions indicate their low spirits.
7: 53 PM- We have now come to an end to this fruitful session. See you in the Semi Finals. Adios!
COURTROOM-3: Valentina vs Eastland
6:00 PM- Welcome to the Quarter-Final Rounds where the top eight teams battle it out to secure their spot in the Semi-Finals. The arbitrators have taken their place and the participants are slowly entering the room with tensed looks on their faces. Let the battle begin!
6:02 PM- New rules! The arbitrators state that they would like to hear the Respondents first on the procedural issues before the Claimants take the podium! After some hurried discussions, Counsel for the Respondents begin.
6:05 PM- “Please understand the question”, the bench states. Three minutes in and the questions have started on the facts itself!
6:08 PM- The unexpected line of questioning has thrown off the counsel for the Respondents. The message is clear, the preparation after an exhaustive day one will be put to test. Only time will tell how this impacts the overall performance of the teams.
6:13 PM- “What is the issue with three arbitrators? You do not like us?” the bench asks as the counsel for the Respondents grapples to answer the questions of the bench.
6:18 PM- The bench is not buying the answer given on the LMAA rules. The grilling continues and the counsel for the Respondents are unable to proceed further. They have to come up with innovative solutions fast!
6:21 PM- The bench does not seem satisfied with the line of reasoning taken by the Respondents on the non-applicability of LMAA Rules. Time is running out!
6:25 PM- “What is a summary proceeding according to you?”, the bench repeats twice. The basics are being tested and the counsel is losing confidence by the second.
6:27 PM- Know the facts which are in your favour and which can go against you! The bench can ask for anything they deem fit, and they did as soon as the counsel of the Claimant took the stage to argue on the procedural issues.
6:30 PM- “We are very uncomfortable dealing with this issue, show us precedents”, the bench asks very keen on knowing whether the Claimants are sure they have approached the right forum. Alas! They are not sure and the counsel for the claimant seems to be losing their train of thoughts!
6:34 PM- How to decide what is mandatory and what is not? There are some questions that are enough to make you want to pull your hair out!
6:38 PM- The bench has stumped the counsel! The deafening silence has sent the Of-Counsel of the Claimants to a frenzy and scribble a note that can be passed to their counsel.
6:43 PM- Only questions and no answers. “You do not know the court, you do not cite the case!”, the bench states, asking the counsel to move on. Phew! That is harsh!
6:47 PM- The bench is visibly disappointed at the inability of the counsel to answer the basics of the documents they have relied on.
6:52 PM- Arguments on the substantial issues have commenced and the RETLA clause has taken the attention of the bench. The bench is trying to differentiate the cases cited from the present issue. Will the counsel for the claimant convince the bench?
6:57 PM- The bench is well-versed with the case being cited and is using the same against the Claimant to justify the claims of the Respondent. The Respondents seem quite excited to note down the same!
7:03 PM- You cannot mess around when you have veterans arbitrating your case. The Counsel for the Claimants fumbles as they are quizzed on the practices and the jurisprudence of the industry.
7:07 PM- “Let’s get back to basics”, the bench states. It might sound simple, but it appears to be an unfamiliar territory for the counsels. Will the Claimants be able to display their skills of advocacy and logic?
7:11 PM- It is commendable that despite the incessant questioning, the Co-Counsel for the Claimants has kept their calm and composure. It is now time for the Respondents to argue on the merits of the case.
7:15 PM- The Researcher of the Claimants is seen to be yawning as the Respondents continue with their submissions. The exhaustion of the day can get to even the strongest of minds!
7:19 PM- A loaded question is asked by the bench on the compliance requirements in maritime law. The counsel for the Respondent quickly answers to the satisfaction of the bench.
7:23 PM- The Co-Counsels are being pushed to take on a more active role as the arguments proceed while one arbitrator is seen to keenly observe their movements as they hurriedly rifle through pages to find answers to questions that they did not anticipate.
7:28 PM- The Counsel is on the last issue but is slowly seen to be succumbing to the pressure that the bench is subjecting them to.
7:33 PM- As the proceedings come to a close, the bench is already seen to be scoring the participants. The bench has made up their mind! But the parties have one last opportunity to make an impression with their rebuttals and sur-rebuttals in two points.
7:40 PM- The rebuttals and sur-rebuttals end without much intervention from the bench. The bench is careful not to show their satisfaction with the same. It needs to be seen who gets knocked out and who will proceed to the Semi-Finals!
COURTROOM-4: Argonaut vs Bounty
6:00 PM- If the participants thought their trials and tribulations were over, they are in for a surprise. Welcome to one and all to the Quarter Finals of Bose and Mitra International Maritime Arbitration Moot! The participants have made it through the initial rounds. The Claimants take the podium and start their submissions.
6:05 PM- After a brief account of facts, the Speaker takes the bench towards their first issue related to the number of arbitrators according to the LMA rules.
6:08 PM- Questions around the bill of lading and arbitration agreement seem to have confused the speaker. The participants are visibly affected by the adrenaline rush.
6:12 PM- The Counsel directs the Bench’s attention towards their issue concerning Summary Disposal. The bench asks the Claimants about the applicability of different rules and why one should prevail over the other. The Claimant answers with confidence, but the Arbitrators do not look convinced.
6:17 PM- The Counsel attempts to elaborate the intention of the parties to dispose of the matter. However, the Bench seems unconvinced. An arbitrator asks about the novelty of their argument, which justifies the existence of a summary trial.
6:23 PM- The Counsel concluded their submission. The Co-counsel has taken the stage. Before they could begin, the mindful Arbitrators remind them of the question that was deflected by their Counsel. They demand an answer before proceeding any further.
6:27 PM- The Co-counsel has already taken three minutes to answer the question concerning the Agreement to Arbitrate. The Arbitrators are absolutely unreadable. Are they convinced or are they not? They demand the podium to be moved closer. The Co-counsel nods with a smile, but hesitates to comply. The submissions continue. Was the co-counsel able to recollect their thoughts during this transition?
6:30 PM- The Co-counsel attempts to answer a question put forth before them. However, the Arbitrators look down as they do so. The apparent nervousness compels the counsel to ask, “Are you here?”. The judges snap out of their train of thought and reply in unison, “yes”.
6:35 PM- The Arbitrators ask repetitively about the awareness of the buyer of the goods. It seems as if the Co-counsel has succumbed to the fiery line of questioning. The room has fallen silent as the Co-counsel goes through his sheets in order to find the answer.
6:42 PM- The Co-counsel transitions into the final limb of their agreement. The Bench points out an error in the memo and the Co-counsel humbly apologises.
6:48 PM- The Respondents approach the podium to start their submissions. The Claimants sit with their arms folded awaiting the future.
6:54 PM- The Bench asks why the Respondents believe that there is an ambiguity regarding the number of arbitrators when they have agreed to the rules. The Counsel answers with a landmark case. The Bench seems satisfied with the answer.
6:58 PM- The Bench asked, “What exactly is a summary proceeding?”. Furthermore, an arbitrator explains why the right to be heard does not mean the right to be heard orally.
7:08 PM- The Bench now starts off with a rapid line of questioning, the counsel attempts to battle their way through. Looks like they managed to convince the bench and line of questioning has come to a halt. Has the Counsel successfully achieved what no one could ?
7:13 PM- The Counsel has been awarded two extensions and they have also elapsed. The Bench fires another question and demands a clarification. The Counsel smiles and glances at the time left. They are awarded an opportunity to answer.
7:16 PM- The Co-counsel begins their submissions. The Bench asks a few questions. But it seems as if the Co-counsel came prepared with a compendium of cases. They quickly refer to a landmark judgment concerning a similar issue.
7:26 PM- The Bench has refrained from asking any questions for the past three minutes. The Respondent’s round has been smooth so far. The Co-counsel has not faltered and has been able to face every question that has come their way. The researchers smile and nod their head in agreement as they inch closer towards the end of the rounds.
7:33 PM- With seven minutes remaining on the clock for rebuttals, the Claimants ask their first question concerning the ignorance of the Respondents with respect to the ever changing nature of Maritime Law.
7:38 PM- The Respondents take the podium and efficiently utilise the time allotted to them. The Co-counsel highlights the significance of good practises in Maritime law that have prevailed over a century. After responding to other questions that had been made by the Claimants, the Respondents take their seats.
7:40 PM- After ninety minutes, the exhilarating round has finally come to an end. The participants vacate the room to engage in a conversation with each other after being at each other’s throats for more than just a while.
DAY 3 | 26TH MARCH 2023
FULTON VS BOUNTY
10:30 AM- Welcome to the Semi-Final Rounds as the top four teams will go head on against each other to secure their place in the Finals! These are the best of the best and they will face the masters who are not going to make it easy. Let the battle begin!
10:35 AM- The formalities are completed and the teams await the final nod from the bench. The bench seems eager to get it right as they clarify certain rules and can be seen engaged in hurried discussions. The teams wait with bated breath.
10:38 AM- The arguments have commenced on the procedural issues first. “Convince us of the jurisdiction first”, the bench states. Counsel for the Claimants seems nervous as they ask for the question to be repeated.
10:43 AM- Issues of privity of contract have taken over the Courtroom as the Counsel for the Claimants is unable to coherently answer the incessant questions of the bench. The bench seems to have a counter to everything the Counsel says.
10:46 AM- “You cannot come to this tribunal with two arbitration clauses”, the bench states. Will the Counsel concede their mistake in the memorial or stick to what they are arguing before the bench?
10:51 AM- The discourse has now proceeded to the number of arbitrators. The Counsel for the Claimants is trying to convince the bench on the point of composition of the arbitral tribunal.
10:54 AM- Interpretation of statutes is a tricky arena. The bench is not satisfied that easily if you do not have case laws to substantiate your arguments!
10:57 AM- Counsel for the Claimants is finally getting some approval from the very unyielding bench. Time is running out as they ask for an extension to finish up their issues.
11:02 AM- Transshipment is the issue in contention now. The Counsel for the Claimants have been given additional time to properly argue the same but there is a question after every word they utter!
11:06 AM- The bench has become very energetic and is gesticulating heavily to get their point across. The Counsel for the Claimant has their work cut out for them to not succumb to the intense pressure. The room is heating up and it is heating up fast!
11:11 AM- The stream of notes from a very frazzled Researcher of the Claimants is never-ending. The Co-Counsel has taken the podium and is trying to showcase that they are aware of the technicalities that involve policies and certificates.
11:17 AM- “Have you come across any statute wherein you are obliged to attach your policy with a certificate?”, the bench asks while grilling the Co-Counsel of the Claimants. The Counsel for the Claimants while sitting in their place is increasingly becoming more red-faced, a true testament to the nature of proceedings going on.
11: 24 AM- The bench is trying to confuse the Claimants by asking questions on the RETLA clause. Will they be trapped in this loop or will they be able to manoeuvre their way out of this?
11:34 AM- It is time for the Respondents to present their arguments. Counsel for the Respondents start off with the jurisdiction issues with a smile on their face. A commendable feat given they have just been witness to the intense questioning that their opposing side just faced.
11:39 AM- Laws governing the contract and laws governing the arbitration. A very thin line of difference or the same thing? The Counsel seems to be keeping a cool head up till now and answering what the bench wants to hear.
11: 44 AM- The bench is not buying it. The Counsel is presenting their points with conviction but the bench is seen to be visibly disagreeing and shaking their heads.
11:48 AM- “Are you conceding to what we are saying?”, the bench asks as they continue questioning the Respondents on the composition of the arbitration panel. The arguments seem to be going in circles and it is very easy to lose your calm in such a situation.
11:52 AM- Cases are irrelevant if their facts do not match the case at hand. But making bold assertions without any case law is not being received well with the bench. The Respondents have found themselves in very dangerous waters!
12:01 PM- The bench has flatly stated the Respondents have no case. Will this break the confidence of the Counsel as they are finally allowed to commence arguments on merits?
12:07 PM- Counsel for the Respondent seems to be losing confidence due to the barrage of questions that they are being subjected to. But at this stage in the competition, you cannot go down without putting up a fight. They are trying to satisfy the bench in all ways possible.
12:09 PM- “Sue the carrier!” the bench states categorically, unwilling to bend despite the plethora of arguments that the Counsel for the Respondents is presenting.
12:14 PM- Can the Co-Counsel take up where the Counsel left off and satisfy the bench? Despite the fiery round of questions already fired, the bench is not tired and has already started grilling the Co-Counsel on the differences between policies and certificates.
12:20 PM- “What is in a name?” -Shakespeare has found relevance in maritime law.
12:24 PM- The anticipation is building by the second as the rounds near their close. Questions continue unabated as the Co-Counsel is taken from document to document by the bench. You can quote one section but the veterans can quote ten more!
12:28 PM- The facts may be silent but can you say more? Skills of advocacy are put to test when you are arguing on the unknown.
12:34 PM- The Researcher may pass on hundreds of notes. But at that point, do you make eye-contact with the arbitrator or do you shuffle through them to get the answer. Looks like when at the podium, you indeed are on your own.
12:38 PM- The bench seems to have stumped the Counsel. Time is up and the Co-Counsel of the Respondents is grasping at straws on borrowed time. The tension in the room can be cut by a knife as the bench clarifies something among themselves.
12:43 PM- “Let’s keep the rebuttal short and point wise- make it crispy!”, the bench states smirking. The final chance to make an impression and influence the scores is upon the parties.
12:48 PM- Even the rebuttals have not been spared. The bench wants clarity in everything the Counsels say!
12:51 PM- We finally come to the end of the first Semi- Final rounds. The arbitrators will now engage in discussions and will then decide the fate of the participants. Let the scoring begin!
SEMI-FINALS 1 CONCLUDES!
EASTLAND VS DREADNOUGHT
1:24 PM- We now commence with the second Semi-Final Round. Looks like the judges are now geared to put the participants to a test. The arguments on the jurisdictional issues have been started by the Counsel for the Claimants.
1:29 PM- “If there is an inconsistency between the procedural law and substantive law, which shall prevail.”, asked the Bench.
1:32 PM- The mindful Arbitrators make sure they go through every relevant document as the Counsel presents the same. The Bench has left no stone unturned with respect to testing the skills of our participants.
1:34 PM- The Bench asked multiple questions concerning the differences between LMA rules and LMA terms. “Where is it written ?” was the counter question by the bench to the answer given by the Counsel. The bombardment of questions puts the Claimant on a slippery slope.
1:43 PM- As the Counsel transitions to the second argument concerning summary disposal, the arbitrators have a brief discussion within themselves. The Counsel notices the same and continues to make his submissions. With beads of perspiration appearing on their foreheads, the Respondents sit with their arms crossed with a frown on their face. The adrenaline rush can be felt in the entire room.
1:48 PM- The Bench asks why the Claimants insist for the oral hearing. The Counsel attempts to answer their question. The Arbitrators point out fallacies in the argument and ask the Counsel to proceed further.
1:51 PM- Disheartened, the Counsel proceeded further. This time the argument lands well. The Counsel’s answer to a particular question impressed the Arbitrators. They remarked that it would be perfect if he can provide any authority to prove the same.
1:55 PM- The Counsel discusses the underlying principle behind arbitrations. They outline the significance of party autonomy. Right then the Bench interrupts the speaker and asks how party autonomy can exist when parties are not in consensus in the first place with respect to the type of proceeding.
2:02 PM- The Co-counsel took the podium. The Counsel for the claimant sits down and takes a breath as he has survived the barrage of questions. He is not unscathed but he is alive! Will the Co-counsel suffer the same consequence ?
2:06 PM- The Bench begins a dicey line of questioning. The incorporation of certain specific terms in the contract is a prerequisite for the arguments being made by the Co-counsel. Can the Co-counsel direct the Bench to the relevant documents or will they be victim to the knowledge of the Arbitrators.?
2:12 PM- The Counsel has not been able to quench the Bench’s curiosity. Is the argument failing or are the Arbitrations just putting it to a test.
2:16 PM- The Bench differentiates between stamp duty and endorsements after the Co-counsel provides them with an authority to prove their point.
2:20 PM- The Bench questions the Counsel on Open Insurance policies. The Co-counsel confidently responds with the answers. He seems at ease but is he? He gestures at his Counsel. The Counsel extends his document. The Co-counsel refuses and rather, asks for the bottle of water. The participants have now reached a stage where water is a commodity more luxurious than anything else in the room.
2:25 PM- The Bench begins a line of questioning on the significance of insurance certificates. The Co-Counsel does not look at his sheets. He seems well prepared. The Bench seems satisfied for the time being. But none will be spared. The questions feel like torpedoes to ones on the receiving end.
2:31 PM- The Co-counsel mentions INCO terms. The arbitrators share a laugh amongst each other and advise him to not return to square one. They ask him to summarise the rest of his arguments in three minutes. The Co-counsel has only 180 seconds to do justice to the innumerable hours spent on their final issue.
2:35 PM- The room is engulfed by a heated discussion. The Co-counsel dropped his sheets of paper. While on their way to pick it up, he continues to answer the question. There is no time to breathe.
2:37 PM- TIME’S UP! But neither the Bench nor the Co-counsel grace the placard with a glance. Tempus Fugit ! Time flies like melting ice in this room.
2:39 PM- The Co-Counsel finally acknowledges the fact that he has elapsed the time. He asks for an extension to answer a question. The bench allows it. The Co-counsel asks for yet another extension. The Bench flatly denies. The Co-counsel asks if he would be allowed to make his prayers. The Bench refuses and the Co-counsels strikes a deal with his own fate and takes his seat.
2:44 PM- The Respondents have started making their submissions. At this point, they should be able to gauge the questions and the pattern of the Bench. But is it enough to prepare one for the wrath of our Arbitrators?
2:53 PM- The Bench engages in a conversation as the Counsel waits for them to reach a conclusion. The Claimants, a few feet away, engage in a heated discussion. They seem to be preparing for the rebuttals already. Dwelling on lost time is futile. It is indeed better to utilise what we have before us. The Claimants seem to have embodied this very quote.
2:58 PM- “There is no such thing as LMA Rules”, exclaims the Counsel. Their contention with the arguments made by the Claimant has been taken into consideration by the Bench. The sound of whispers echoes through the room as the room falls silent and the Arbitrators engage in a discussion.
3:04 PM- “How is it a dispute of fact ?” The question seems to have dumbed the Counsel. The Counsel quickly snaps out of his daze. He clarifies what he exactly meant. The Bench elaborates their question and mentions a fact. The brave Counsel says he wishes to contend what was mentioned by the Bench. The spirit of the Counsels in IMAM and the ferocious competition one faces here is reflected by that very statement.
3:11 PM- The Counsel move to the final limb of their submissions. The Bench mentions how the Respondents are the ones delaying the procedures while contending that the Claimants are the ones guilty of the same act.
3:14 PM- The Co-counsel begins with their submissions. The Bench asked, “What do you mean by the implied terms?”. This happens to be one of the very few direct questions that have been asked in this round. The Bench has fabricated what seems to be an illusion of comfort. A few more seconds and the Arbitrators shall begin their line of questioning.
3:20 PM- The Bench demands a copy of a particular document. The Co-counsel does not have the same. The Claimants, for a second time, offer to provide the prerequisite documents. The Claimants exchange smiles with their teammates as they bask in the pride of having all relevant documents and less deskspace.
3:32 PM– The Co-counsel just began the second limb of their argument. The Bench interrupted them and mentioned how they should move to the next point. For a brief moment, the Co-counsel’s face is consumed by grief but they quickly recover. The Respondents swiftly transition to the next point concerning the Bill of Lading as per the demands made by the Arbitrators.
3:35 PM- The Bench clashes with the Co-counsel. How does one win this lopsided battle? The Arbitrators leave behind traces of the right answer. However, can the Respondents play the tiptoeing detective and unravel the mystery?
3:46 PM- The round is nearing its end. The Respondent researcher occasionally pastes a note on the Co-counselor’s podium. As the rebuttals begin, the Claimants take the podium but the Bench interrupts them as soon as they begin with their rebuttal.
3:54 PM- The Respondents begin with their surrebuttals. With a question about procedural rules and guidelines, they have compelled the Arbitrators to engage in a discussion within themselves.
3:57 PM- The rounds have come to an end. The Arbitrators remark that the participants had performed really well. With documents and notes sprawled across the tables, both teams tried their best to dismantle each other’s case. It seems as if the participants met a worthy match.
SEMI-FINALS 2 CONCLUDES!
DAY 3 | 26TH MARCH 2023
DREADNOUGHT VS BOUNTY
5:00 PM- LIVE STREAMING LINK OF FINAL ROUNDS: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DxkZyHb8xo]
5:09 PM- Welcome to the Final Rounds of the 10th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot! The top two teams of the competition will now battle it out for a chance to lift the trophy and be declared Winners of the competition. The teams have taken their place and the anticipation in the room has increased while we await the final nod from the judges. Let the clash of the titans begin!
5:13 PM- And it looks like the start is a tad rocky! The Counsel for the Claimants have begun their submission as they choose to familiarise the bench with a brief summary of facts. The Counsel seems a bit nervous and rightly so, the atmosphere of the Courtroom is quite intimidating.
5:17 PM- It’s a rapid line of questioning for claimants! “Show us the arbitration clause” the bench asks as the Counsel for the Claimants start their arguments, advocating for three arbitrators under the LMAA Rules.
5:21 PM- The Arbitrator Mr. Tettenborn throws in a rather pertinent question and it looks the Counsel still hasn’t managed to gain their calm and composure. Why should the LMAA Rules prevail over Section 15 of the English Arbitration Act, especially when the two exist simultaneously? “The agreement between the parties is paramount”, is the crux of the argument of the Counsel of the Claimants.
5:24 PM- And the Counsel took a risky gamble ! “When the facts are silent, certain things can be assumed safely” Does the bench feel the same?
5:27 PM- We now proceed to the second procedural issue i.e., whether the proceeding needs to be disposed summarily. Immediately, Mr. Narichania asks, “What is your understanding of the term ‘summarily’?” Seems like the Counsel for the Claimants manages to satisfy the bench with a very crisp answer.
5:29 PM- The bench has caught the Counsel in a contradiction in their statements. After a small confusion, the Counsel hastily apologises and proceeds as the arbitrators smile.
5:31 PM- You cannot hoodwink the bench! How can Civil Procedure Rules apply to an arbitration proceedings the bench asks. The discourse has entered the murky waters of procedural law and the Counsel for the Claimants has found themselves in a loop!
5:34 PM- A true testament of good advocacy skills is when you are not scared of what the bench throws at you. The Counsel’s voice seems to have become shaky at the incessant barrage of questions. Will they be able to preserve till the end?
5:38 PM- The bench is not buying it! Eyebrows are being raised at every sentence that the Counsel utters, who looks visibly nervous at their inability to satisfy the bench. The bench has stumped the Counsel who has fallen silent.
5:41 PM- “Do you have a compendium of the cases you are referring to?” the bench asks. Stumbling through the submissions with cases that they are unable to substantiate on, looks like the finals aren’t going to be easy for the claimants ! When the Claimants answer in the negative the The Bench is visibly peeved.
5:43 PM- Limit the entire final rounds to two hours only? Alas! It might just take the Claimants more than two hours to convince the bench of their stance today.
5:45 PM- The discussion has now commenced on transshipment clauses. A nervous researcher with an unending trail of notes makes feeble attempts to save the even more nervous, fumbling counsel for claimants making the submissions. Whether they will have an opportunity to look at them is another matter altogether.
5:47 PM- The question is long but the Counsel has no answer, they ask to get back on the same later. They have asked permission to proceed but the confidence of the Counsel seems to be waning by the second.
5:51 PM- “There is no single carrier who is continuously liable is the main contention of the buyer”, states the bench putting a stop to the Counsel’s feeble attempt at getting their submissions up and running! The Counsel can argue as much as they want on the extent of insurance cover but that is not what the bench wants to hear.
5:53 PM- “Our Patience is now running thin, convince us in a minute” retorts the Bench. Phew! That was harsh. The Counsel of the Claimants has one last chance to satisfy the bench before passing on the baton to their Co-Counsel.
5:57 PM- Catching and holding the attention of the arbitrators on what you want to submit seems quite difficult with this bench! The arbitrators seem to have questions ready on every single issue, the Co-Counsel has barely started and is immediately met with a rapid line of questioning.
5:59 PM- The bench has raised a case of their own so as to understand the Claimants view on the same. It is not enough that you are aware of the cases you have cited! Counsels must be aware of almost all landmark judgements concerning their case through and through.
6:02 PM- These might be the strongest teams but when the stakes are this high, even the most experienced mooters can break. The Claimant tries to bluff their way through this battle with an American case law as an English case law to substantiate their arguments but the experienced bench is prompt to call their bluff.
6:05 PM- “Be conscious of your issues”, the bench warns. Fancy arguments can take you far but when you are presenting your case in front of veterans, merely painting a pretty picture, with no substantive law to back your submissions does not work.
6:08 PM- The bench has borrowed the book that the Counsel for the Claimants were referring to. The memory of the Counsel will now be tested. Mooting really does test it all!
6:09 PM- “Certificate is essentially the policy-”, the Counsel states and then stops abruptly. Mr. Tettenborn had made some movement making the Counsel anticipate a question. With a bench as inquisitorial as the one ruling in this court, you are forced to stay on your toes at all times!
6:14 PM- Every single statement uttered in this court needs to be sufficiently substantiated. It’s back to the basics for the Counsel, as the bench categorically denies the applicability of the Hague-Visby Rules.
6:18 PM- The curse of the rust continues! Rust can make buildings crumble- looks like it can also make the arguments of the Claimants in this case disintegrate into pieces.
6:20 PM- The Co-Counsel for the Claimants have been given the mobile phone of an Arbitrator to read out a provision of law. The bench is determined to leave no stone unturned and the Counsel’s ability to think on their feet is being tested.
6:25 PM- “How do you reconcile the exclusion clause”, the bench asks. The Counsel looks relieved as they are able to quickly answer the question but there is no respite! The next question is just round the corner.
6:27 PM- Time indeed is a traitor ! The clock runs out and when met with a request for an extension, the bench proclaims with a dramatic flair, “One extension and one only”. The Co-Counsel begins to rush and stumble towards the concluding submissions cramming every piece of relevant information in their hurried statements.
6:34 PM- It is now time for the Respondents to take the stage. A blessing in way of a short break has been given to them as an Arbitrator steps outside of the Courtroom. Rapid but hushed murmurs can be heard from the Respondent bench as the Claimants sit and gather their thoughts after an exceptionally difficult round.
6:38 PM- The proceeding commence, the respondents take the stand, and barely a second after they start, they are met with their first question “If it’s an oral contract, how can the English Arbitration Act 1996 apply”, asks the bench as the Counsel for the Respondent takes up their submission on the number of arbitrators for one last time.
6:42 PM- Looks like this isn’t going to be an easy battle for the Respondents either ! “You can’t pick what is in your favour and discard what is not.” Ambiguities give leeway for liberal interpretation but that goes out of the window when the bench completely denies the existence of any ambiguity.
6:45 PM- The arbitrators can be seen smirking as they pose one question after another to the Counsel. They are attempting to throw off the counsel from their arguments but it seems that the Counsel is standing strong on their points and widely smiling back. The temperament in the room seems to be lightening, a commendable feat by the Respondents!
6:50 PM- Just as the Counsel was getting into a steady pace, they were immediately interrupted by the bench. Seems like they have said something quite controversial. Will they be able to stand strong and substantiate their stance ?
6:53 PM- Will the bench use a judgement cited by the Respondents against them? The Counsel has found themselves in dangerous waters, as they realise that merely stating tricky legal doctrines might not deviate the bench from the moot point!
6:56 PM- And a rare sight for the Courtroom today! The bench seems to have no counter to the argument of the Respondents. The Counsel, sensing the opportunity, takes the win and jumps on to the next issue before the bench is tempted to grill them more.
6:59 PM- Cleanliness is a peculiar term to describe a document. But for maritime law and more specifically bills of lading, it is an industry standard. The Counsel for the Respondents is trying their level best to satisfy the bench on the fact that they were justified in rejecting particular documents.
7:05 PM- “Is your client being too demanding?”, an arbitrator jests as the Counsel tries to convince the bench that the steel coils should not have any superficial rust while arguing on the validity of the RETLA clause.
7:08 PM- Time has run out but the questions from the bench are unrelenting. Time management at the cost of not satisfying the bench. A thin line to walk on! But do you really have a choice when at the last moment the bench simply states that your entire logic is “incorrect”!
7:12 PM- The Co-Counsel for the Respondents makes a strong start and puts forth their arguments on the requirement of an insurance policy instead of the insurance certificate by citing the Diamond Alkali case.
7:13 PM- The Respondents contend that certificates are ambiguous as opposed to policies. But the bench categorically states that the certificate in question is “crystal clear”. And with that the first submission of the respondents falls and crumbles like a deck of cards ! Can they even make a comeback from this ? The entire Courtroom awaits this comeback with bated breaths.
7:17 PM- The Co-Counsel for the Respondent seems to have hit the right spot. The bench is seen to nod vigorously before making a small written note. But with one satisfied arbitrator you have four unsatisfied ones!
7:22 PM- The bench is trying to baffle the Co-Counsel for the Respondent by using their own statements against them. But it seems that the respondents have made their comeback and will not be rattled that easily.
7:27 PM- Precedents are of paramount importance. Without them your case will shatter. But having cases with similar facts scenarios is also important. Any point of difference and the bench is very quick to point that out.
7:31 PM- “The bench is very satisfied on the correctness of Hanson case- the main point is whether it applies here” the bench states ushering the Counsel for the Respondent to get to their main argument given the paucity of time.
7:37 PM- Co-Counsel is taking more time to answer the questions now and surprisingly seems to have stated something that goes completely and directly against them! An environment as brutal as this can rattle even the very best.
7:41 PM- Pieces of paper fly away from the podium as the Co-Counsel for the Respondent desperately rifle through the bunch of papers with them to find the answer. The respondents have thrown up a hail mary. Shaking hands, bated breath, but with a steady voice the Counsel seems to be hanging on. Does the bench notice everything?
7:44 PM- “You did make a good point”, and Lo and Behold !, for the first time today the bench seems to have concurred with the counsels. With a visible sigh, the counsel gasps at the ray of hope, holds their ground, and finally manages to trip, stumble and manoeuvre their way to the concluding submissions. You guessed it right ! The court awaits rebuttals and sur-rebuttals now!
7:50 PM- “Sometimes you need to let go of certain arguments to win”, the bench states. Wise words for the Counsels to take note of. The rebuttals continue with small pointers from the bench but the time is up. Now it is time for the Respondents to provide a counter to the rebuttals put forth by the Claimants, and the bench accords them extra time because of their good time management in their main submissions.
7:55 PM- The sur-rebuttals of the Respondents are being received well by the bench as they nod along without much intervention. As the Respondents rest their case, we have come to the end of the engrossing finals!
7:57 PM- The competition has come to an end and the scoring now begins. The teams wait with bated breath as discussions ensue among the judges. The final question remains- who will take the trophy home?
FINAL ROUND CONCLUDES!
The valedictory ceremony for the 10th NLUO Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot Court Competition, is now live.
Do join us live! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPcmD4EqTd8
The 10th National Law University Bose & Mitra & Co. International Maritime Arbitration Moot Court Competition 2023 has successfully come to an end. We saw enthusiastic arguments from 20 teams to make these Oral Rounds so thrilling. The rounds were organized from 23th to 26th March 2022 and we have to commend the energetic display and the perseverance of the participations who were integral to make this moot a huge success. The Organizing Team of the IMAM 2023 was impeccable in its approach and we are very thankful for their efforts. We express our gratitude to the judges who took time out of their busy schedules and contributed to the quality of this moot court competition. As it was exemplified in the finals which were concluded just now, we saw some fantastic rounds throughout the moot court competition in which there were some great arguments were put forth. The judges’ interjections and questions must have helped the students to understand where their arguments were lacking and what improvements they can make in order to reach the next level of their personal growth. This event could not have been possible without the constant support of our partners and sponsors namely: our Title Sponsor, Bose & Mitra & Co.; our Strategic Partner, The Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, Swansea University; our Knowledge Partner, ‘I-Law’; our Resource Partner, The Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Furthermore, we wish to thank the administration of National Law University Odisha led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ved Kumari and the Registrar, Prof. Rangin Tripathy. The support of the Faculty Advisors Ms. Eluckiaa and Ms. Nikita also played a crucial part in the success of this event. We 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. Last but not the least, the live blogger’s team was instrumental in the updates posted on the IMAM official website and SCC Online, the team consisted of the following members: Prasoon, Vedant Sharma, Maulsree Srivastava, Ansruta Debnath, Arya Singh, Abhilipsa Mohanty, Deepshikha Baugauria, Deevyam Dhal, Putul Mehta, Siddharth Shankar, Humza Ahmad, Aadhruti Vangaveti and Vaishnavi Wable. On this note, we sign off on behalf of The Moot Society, National Law University Odisha.