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A point of note is when the counsel for respondent nullfied the opposing counsel's reliance on a caselaw present in the respondent's written submissions stating that as clear violations of the Rules of the competition. What depth of research! With that we conclude the pleadings. This has been very interesting to watch, indeed.

Surrebuttals are underway with the counsel for respondent rebutting the amended claim of the counsel for claimants with regards to off-hire charges.

Rebuttals are quickly beginning to resemble the original pleading rounds!

Dissecting the cases that the claimant relied on Mr. Arbitrator observes that had the vessel been docked at FOTT till 19th it would've amounted to off-hire charges, however choosing to forego the same, taking the vessel to Djibouti makes the submission of the counsel that the period of travel to be considered for off-hire charges to be baseless.

Counsel  for claimants as part of rebuttals hastily try to set down an amended claim from his original submissions with regards to off-hire charges, extending it by 6 days. This doesn't sit well with the Tribunal, we notice a flurry of activity with the tribunal posed with questions against the same.

Oops! Before the counsel could make haste to the prayer Mr. Arbitrator asks him to contend on his damages claim. However, noticing that the submissions have covered the same, Mr. Arbitrator mercifully allows the counsel to move to his prayer. This brings the official submissions to an end, opening the floor for rebuttals.

The counsel for respondents seem to be skirting the question of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal in deciding of the nature of the arrest, choosing to repeat and reiterate the juisidiction of the Tribunal in entertaining an anti-suit injunction. Finally, with the aid of the Tribunal the counsel pleads for damages to be awarded in case the Tribunal will not decide in their favor with respect to anti-suit injunction.

Mr. Arbitrator shoots the contention down immediately on the fact that English lawyers cannot deliberate on Malaysian law and its stand on "wrongful" arrest. Additionally, the respondents inability to file for stay in the court was also pointed out by the Tribunal, instead opting for arbitral  proceedings leading to a situation of parallel proceedings on the same point of law.

The counsel for respondents, with 5 minutes left on the clock, seeks permission to contend on the matters of the admirality jurisdiction.

Well well well! We see the claimants have changed their positions with regards to claiming of off-hire charges - they now claim it from the time of  the vessel was directed to Djibouti (13th to 19th july), as opposed to the earlier time frame laid down, i.e., from 13th to  15th July. A convenient shifting mid-way into the submissions of the respondents.

Whether the charterers  were right in directing the cargo to Djibouti in the light of the fact that the court ultimately blacklisted the vessel at FOTT, Mr. Arbitrator poses. The counsel for respondents seem to be unclear of the facts of the case, choosing to let  the co-counsel bear the burden of answering the posed question.

The Arbitral Tribunal differs with the counsel for respondents submission that the vessel was seaworthy "absolutely", given the conditions of the tanks, etc. However, they ask the counsel to move onto his other arguments.

Whether the vessel was seaworthy when it was called at FOTT? The first counsel for respondents submit to the aiffrmative, relying on the case of "The Derby".

Establishing that it is time barred the counsel moves to the contention of the lack of privity of contract.

Mr. Arbitrator points to the fact there was no economic loss as the cargo was sold at a higher price, therefore possibly nullifying cargo claims of the respondents that there needn't be physical damage to the goods and it can also be economic.

The first point of contention seems to be whether this was a cargo claim at hand which the respondents agree to. The tribunal seems interested in the logic behind the conclusion as the claimants have contended otherwise.

The claimant's submission conclude and the respondents begin the speaker time with a round of introductions.

Wouldn't the owners be not liable due to concept of remoteness as the Charterer's commanded the loading at djibouti? Poses Mr. Arbitrators. Though the counsel excitedly relies on the rule of Hadley v. Baxendale, Mr. Arbitrator points to the relevant dates of the contract conclusions in the factual matrix, which the counsel clarifies. We see that the Tribunal is satisfied with the navigation by the counsel.

The Arbitral Tribunal at this point seem increasingly dissatisfied with the yawning deficiency in the substantiveness of the claimants arguments.

Mr. Arbitrator points to the claimants'  inability to plot the areas where the ship was barred from trading under the agreement on a map, due to which they couldn't see that they were all Red Sea ports, essentially bringing out a lacuna in their arguments about the legitimacy of the Charterer's direction of sending the vessel to Djibouti.

Due to paucity of time the Arbitral Tribunal allow the counsel to move to his other submissions. It's evident that they aren't staisfied with the answers the counsel has furnished for the questions raised by them.

We notice that the assumption of the claimants that the relationship between Insignia and Davidoff is of consignor and consignee is erroneous. The Arbitral Tribunal are relentless in ironing out this glitch.

Deliberation on who the carrier, shipper, consignor, and consignee in the factual matrix at hand are underway.

The Tribunal seems increasingly discontent with the submissions of the claimants.

Breach of contract, a definite point of confusion between the Arbitral tribunal and the Counsels have been raised again by the second counsel for claimants. He states that damages are sought to be recovered by the rule laid down in Dunlop, and that that rule would apply in the light of the fact that it addresses the "blackhole" present in English law for the same. The Arbitral Tribunal wastes no time in pointing out that the claimants have been unable to establish the presence of a contract between Davidoff and Malboro, prima facie

The second counsel for the claimants starts off on the issue of unseaworthiness relying on relevant English case laws.

The counsel  for claimants concludes his submissions on inapplicability of claim of  anti-suit injunctions, yeilding speaking time to his co-counsel.

Trying to maneuver through whether there was  a wrongful arrest in the instant case the Counsel contends that the lack of male fide intention nullifies the wrongful element.

The Counsel submits that security proceedings shall not occur under exclusive jurisdiction.

 

Dissatisfied with the Counsel's reply  for the same, the Arbitral Bench has moved discussions to the wrongful arrest of vessel.

 

The  first land mine is set off: the Counsel through his submissions maintained the inapplicability of Clause 27 (c) (2) of the Time Charter, and then contradicting his own statements, as part of his second argument relied on the same provision to highlight how third parties can bring claims. There is a flurry of confusion at the Arbitral Tribunal with regards to the contradiction.

We see that the Arbitral Tribunal seems unconvinced on the grounds of locus standi, but remain "open minded."

Mr. Arbitrator has the Counsel on his toes with the applicability of the rule set down in Dunlop v. Lambert case as in the present dispute there happens to be two different independent contracts.

Seems like Mr. Arbitrator has stopped the Counsel in his tracks by pointing out the factual incorrectedness of assuming that Insignia is consignor.

The submissions of the Counsel for the claimants center around the inapplicability of the Hague-Visby rules as there was no cargo claim.

 

The finals begin with the Claimants taking up the submissions.

 

The teams for the finals have taken their seats.

And the finals of the 5th NUALS International Maritime Law Arbitration Competition will be between Symbiosis Law School Pune (Claimant) versus Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Pariala (Respondent)

Day 3: 8th April, Semi-finals

Court Room 1: Team No. 11 v Team No. 31

The first speaker on behalf Claimants is earnestly pursuading the arbitrators on applicability of the Hague Visby Rules. The arbitrators seem to be unmoved and the question the claimants startegy to apply HVR where it suits while arguing against its applicability in other part.

The arbitrators are now questioning impleading of third party in the present arbitration while the counsel tries to prove the relationship between the parties as parent-subsidiary.

Speaker 2 commences submissions on behalf of the claimants with regard to the issue of Seaworthiness.

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The arbitrators grilling the speaker on the issue of seaworthiness. The speaker is submitting numerous documents to support his submissions.

The arbitrators thoroughly questioning the speaker on loading of palm oil. The Arbitrator quips whether palm oil will explode while cooking, in response to the claimant's submission that palm oil has lower flash point. The panel seems tough as Claimants desperately try to pursuade the arbitrators. The arbitrators have outrightly rejected the submission of claimant that there was a case of deviation. The speaker concedes and proceeds with the prayer. The Claimants have made their submissions. Speaker 2 had held his ground until the last submission amid a barrage of questioning from all the arbitrators on the panel.

The first speaker on behalf of Respondents have commenced his submissions now. And it is rough start we must say, as a series of questions are fired right away. It is clear that this is serious no-nonsense panel. Beating around the bush will not be appreciated. Tough job for the speakers. The arbitrators are specifically questioning speaker 1 on whether time charter party is a contract of hire or carriage. The panel seems unimpressed with the response. Speaker 1 completes his submission as speaker 2 now takes it upon himself to bring some heft to the respondent arguments. We wish him luck.

"Who is this Lalit Khatri?" questions the chief arbitrator as the panel now delves into the communications between the parties to fix liability. The speaker 2 is instructed to conclude his submissions as he falls woefully short of time.

Now we move on to rebuttals on behalf of Claimants. The rebuttals are with regard to liability for deviation, trading at Djibouti port, etc. The respondents seek to counter these with brief set of sub-rebuttals. However, they are interrupted by set of questions by the panel. The formal proceedings for the round have concluded. However, judges have huddled up to decide the round as participants wait for the feedback.

The judges are still deliberating as the nervousness levels in the participants' camp goes high!

All the participants here are impressed with the quality of judges and extremely pleased with the hospitality. Kudos NUALS OC! :)

The arbitrator quips "We loved grilling you!" as he gives quite a detailed feedback on the performance of the teams.

That's all we have from Court Room No. 1 of the semi-finals. We will see you after lunch for the finals! :)

 

Court Room 2: Team No. 19 v. Team No. 29

The teams as well as the judges are getting settled. The teams are going through a last minute run through of facts and arguments. Notably, Claimants look more relaxed - that's never a good sign for the other side. And it begins!

The arbitrators do a final huddle up. Possibly, discussing their game plan to really keep the counsels on their toes! This shall be interesting. The arbitrators are dictating the issues they would like the counsels to discuss during their submissions.

And the dice is set rolling with the claimants stating the facts of the case. We see the counsel trying to keep the brevity on point - trying to break down the chunk of the 100 page problem to a short few sentences? An art, one must agree. Counsel for claimant moves to addressing the issue of seaworthiness posed by the arbitrators. Is an implied assumption of the satisfaction of the regulations founded in law? Mr. Arbitrator poses to the counsel for claimants. 

Counsel relies on the clarification furnished by the Organisers to navigate through question. Having exhausted further questions regarding how off-hire charges can be claimed the counsel claimants lay down the road map of their arguments.

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Claimant submits that the vessel unseaworthy relying his argument on the charter provisions, and the law laid down under Glynn v. Margetson. Mr. Arbitrator observes a different standard for seaworthiness and FOTT regulations. For a moment you see the claimant hesitate before maneuvering through. Counsel for claimant spends his last minute convincing the Arbitrators why damages for extra charges is legitimate.

Second counsel for claimant begins his submissions raising the issue of deviation. He submits that there was a deviation because of unseaworthiness. Uh oh! There is a contradiction in the speech of the second speaker over the applicability of Hague-Visby rules, over what the first speaker has contended. But we see he has navigating the rocky waters with calm, stating that the rules applies, linking it to the deviation. The arbitrators accepts the argument. Counsel moves onto issues with regards to approaching of High court for interim injunctions when international arbitrary proceedings are already underway, relying on relevant provisions of UK arbitration act, 1996. It's all quiet at the Arbitrator's bench - is that a sign of agreement or dissatisfaction? The occasional nods of agreements signals the former. Counsel for claimant moves onto his prayer, followed by the first counsel addressing Madame arbitrator's question posed during his submissions about consequential damages. She seems satisfied with the same.

Onward ho! The stern faces at the respondents table doesn't leak an ounce of trepidation. We begin with the respondents arguments.

Laying down the roadmap for submissions, the counsels move onto addressing the Arbitrators' questions posed at the beginning of the rounds. Counsel for respondents steps on her first factual mine: Wasn't there consent to docking at Djibouti? We see the Arbitrator's are not satisfied with the counsel's reliance on the facts of the case to state that there was no consent. To which the Madame Arbitrator states that an express denial was not present. Counsel for respondent yields to her co-counsel who will deal with issues 1, 2, 3 and 8. Counsel is contending on whether insignia can claim on behalf of Davidoff. Can the claim be maintainable in the light of the vessel being sub-chartered? Poses Mr. Arbitrator, however he isn't satisfied with the counsel's submissions for the same - Ouch!

The counsel maintains that the High court proceedings will be against the parties and therefore, no undermining of the proceedings of the Arbitral proceedings shall take place as contended by the Claimants.

The counsel yields the floor to his co-counsel.

"Seaworthiness changes from charter party to charter party" - Mr. Arbitrators eyes narrow to the submission, and Madame Arbitrator takes the helm in asking whether unseaworthiness should be expressly declared, which the counsel answers in the negative. Before the counsel could jump to her next contention Madame Arbitrator shoots off another question with regards to whether compliance of Safety regulations was present. Has the co-counsel stepped on another land-mine? There's a flurry of questions at the bench as the counsel submits that the off-hire charges won't apply as the complications that arose at the unloading in the first instance was due to "external circumstances".

Mr. arbitrator has asked the time to be paused as the bench dives into discussions - are they reloading their ammunitions? Possibly. And we are back in business! Mr. Arbitrator poses the question whether liability of the Respondents reduces in light of the fact that the Claimants had asked the vessel to be directed to an unsafe port.

The counsel concludes in the affirmative and moves to the prayer. Agent rebuts claimants point of non-reversability of black-listing, and moves onto his final point of rebuttal. The Agent concludes with his points of surrebuttal and with that the proceedings conclude.

An interesting tidbit! The Arbitrators for this round are from notable rival firms.
Presenting to you: Natasha Sailopal, Partner, Brus Chamber; Ashwin Shanker, Chambers of George A Rebello; and Arjun Mital, Bose and Mitra.

We caught up with Ashwin Shanker to get his two cents on the proceedings and the moot. Commenting happily on how the standard of mooting was improving he noted that the moot problem was well drafted, and that the limited talent pool was being extensively exploited. He also praised the organisers for the smooth running of the moot. 

And the following four teams have made it to the semi-finals. We will see you again tomorrow!

1. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala

2. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

3. National Law University, Odisha

4. Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Day 2: 7th April, 2018 - Preliminary Rounds & Quarterfinals.

Ahoy! With that we come to the end of the Quarterfinals which witnessed valiant advocacy on the part of all the participating teams! 

The ship is now sailing to the  semi-finals with 4 genius pirates on board, vying for the beautiful NIMLAC Trophy ship!

All the teams are eagerly awaiting the results which will be followed by a Gala Dinner for the teams!

Quarter-finals

The quarter-final rounds have begun and the mighty 8 are fighting it out with all zealous vigor!

Court Room 1:

The Claimant Team 11 v. Respondent Team 21

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4: 30: The round has begun and Speaker 1 has sailed through his submissions and the next Agent has begun his submissions. He relies heavily on the law laid down in Hadley v. Baxendale to pursuade the judges to accept his argument.

4:45: The Claimant ship hits rough waters as they seek to clarify the arbitrator's query, but the evade it tactfully, leaving the arbitrator satisfied. 

4:50: A query with respect to responsibility relating to principle- agent relationship is asked by the arbitrator followed by a series of questions of similar nature.

4:51: Whoops! Ship has hit an unassuming iceberg with the arbitrators grilling the Agents over the intricacies of the factual matrix and why no action was taken!

4:55: A series of dialogue is taking place back and forth between the Arbitrator and the Agent regarding the notice to mariners.

4:57: The Arbitrators are satisfied with the issues presented and arguments advanced and have permitted the Agent 3 minutes to wrap up his next contention. The Agent has adhered to the Arbitrator's wishes and is reciting his prayer.

5:12: The Respondent's Agent has begun his submissiong swimmingly and is setting the stage for his arguments and rebuttals.

5:21: Panic strikes as the Arbitrators seem dissatisfied with the soundness of the preliminary arguments and are seeking plenty of clarifications. 

5:25: The panel is tough as they remain unconvinced with the first argument. The Agent now lays groundwork to place the second argument regarding maintainability before the Arbitrators. 

5:31: The Respondents are risking wide reach for maintainability, claiming tort of deceit!

5:36: Respondents are urging the Arbitrators to disregard absolute liability on the part of the owner as due diligance was exercised. Unfortunately, they are struggling to prove exercise of due diligance and orders of the charter were followed. Panel is left unconvinced stating that there was non-compliance. 

6:08: The Arguments end with a rather shaky performance from the Respondent's side. The panel begins its deliberations about the marks and the suspense begins!

 

Court Room 2:

The Claimant Team 25 v. Respondent Team 19

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4:35: Agent 1 for the Claimant begins his submission with a quick up round up of the factual matrix before he is asked to proceed with his main arguments.

4:41: The Agent seems flustered by a few unexpected questions, but it is only momentary as she maintains her calm and holds her ground before the Arbitrators.

4:51: Agent has concluded her submissions after tackling tricky questions and has passed the baton to the Speaker 2. 

4:59: The Agent 2 for the claimants starts off with a good momentum. However, there are a few time lags breaking his flow as the Arbitrators are not on the same page with the Agent with regard to authorities cited and relied upon. The judges are certainly testing his competence with a barrage of questions!

5:17: Just like her co-agent, the second Agent perseveres against the incessant questions by compelling the judges to refer to the various authorities cited. The Agent hit a minor roadblock where she was caught unaware about a relevant authority, but she has answered most questions posed to her and finished the contentions by exeeding the time limit. 

5:29: The Respondent Agent has begun the submission and soon hit troubled waters as he was unable to procure a copy of the authority relied upon. The Arbitrators are meticulously testing the Respondent's confidence in his case by analysing the claims and arguments contained in their memorials.

5:42: The Agent almost sailed through his contention smoothly, until he was caught unaware of a material fact! He now rests his case and passes the podium to his co-agent. 

5:46: The second Agent is steering the ship back on course with practiced fluency in his speech and responses to the Arbitrators. With intermitent deep breaths he manages to answer the questions convincingly.

6:04: The Agents is running short of time and deftly argued the pertinent parts of his last contention and followed it up with his Prayer. 

6:07: Rebuttals have begun and the Respondents have engaged in a short discussion among themselves as they get ready with their sur-rebut the Claimant's bold assertions!

6:10: The Round has come to an end with the respondents having answered all the rebuttals adequately. 

 

Court Room 3:

The Claimant Team 29  v. Respondent Team 23

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4:24: The Arbitrators are questioning the Claimant's Agent about the nitty gritties of Contractual Law! 

4:32: By now the Agent is being grilled by the Arbitrator about his submission and is being made present to all the nuances of the case that should've been ideally adressed. 

4:36: He steers the ship confidently as he faces the barrage of questions with a cool head.

4:39: The Arbitrator's query about the maintainability of jurisdiction was handled by handing over the podium to Agent 2 who is dealing with claims,counter claims and seaworthiness.

4:41: The Agent deftly relies on formsa and technicalities in relation to it to prove seaworthiness! The Arbitrator however points out that failure of procedural inspection doesn't make it unsafe.

4:44: The Agent's usage of the word "unsafetyness" is a little unsettling for the spectators. 

4:45: The Arbitrator has paused the Agent's submission to delve into the difference between physical seaworthiness and cargo seaworthiness and urges the speaker to classify the vessel appropriately.

4:54: Agent 2 is being questioned incessantly about the actions of her client and is asked to be crystal clear about the damages claimed and seaworthiness asserted. The Arbitrator has caught on the principle of 'esjudem generis' and instigates the Agent to make a "new" argument.

5:01: The Agent however, braves these questions relating to arrest. Looks like this court, unlike the one in Jodhpur takes 'arrest' very seriously!

5:09: The Respondents take the podium and begin their submissions and goes on to explain the nuances of time charters in detail to stregthen his case, while touching upon concept of deviations and relying on famous case laws from the House of Lords and the likes!

5:21: His flambuoyance is momentarily clipped with a sharp dismissal from the Arbitrators stating that the arguments are wrong on principle! But he pulls out his advocacy skills to explain his submission which is subsequently admitted by the Arbitrators. 

5:32: Agent 2 has arrived and struggles with a volley of questions. Unfortunately, the Arbitrator isnt satisfied and the tirade continues.

6:01: The teams are preparing for their rebuttals and Agent 2 has taken the podium. The first rebuttal has been dismissed by the Arbitrator. The second was based on discrepancies between facts and arguments advanced by the opposite party. Thirdly, deviation was brought up and deftly shot down by the Arbitrators. The finale was a rebuttal on the lukewarm doctrine which was not even contended!

6:08: Sur-rebutttals have begun and the inquisitive Arbitrators question the Agent even at this stage!

6:12: The Rounds have come to an end the judges ar marking the scores! 

 

Court Room 4:

The Claimant Team 37 v. Respondent Team 31

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4:15: The session has begun and tension is the air as both teams prepare themselves for what is in store! The first Agent made a breezy submission and handed over the podium to her co-agent. 

4:45: The Arbitrators are looking for an agressive duo and are urging the speakers to be more pursuasive and effective regarding seaworthiness and cargoworhiness.

4:47: One of the Arbitrator has donned the role of a teacher and is schooling the Agent about the defects in the ship from the case at hand!

4:59: The Respondents have taken over to rebut the claimant and begun their submissions. The judges are ensuring the Agents know the intricacies of Contract of Service and questioning them in detail.

5:45: Rebuttals have begun and the war of words is nearing the end. 

5:48: The Arbitrators are marking the scores. 

 

The teams who have qualified for the quarter-finals (in no particular order) are:

  1. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
  2. National Law University, Odisha
  3. Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi
  4. National Law of School of India University, Bangalore
  5. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  6. School of Law, Christ University
  7. Gujarat National Law University
  8. School of Excellence in Law, Chennai

 

PRELIMINIARY ROUND 2

The fixtures for round 2 are as below :

Court Room 01: Team No. 27 (C) v. Team No. 23 (R)

Court Room 02: Team No. 17 (C) v Team No. 41 (R)

Court Room 03: Team No. 31 (C) v Team No. 11 (R)

Court Room 04: Team No. 25 (C) v Team No. 13 (R)

Court Room 05: Team No. 21 (C) v Team No. 15 (R)

Court Room 06: Team No. 39 (C) v Team No. 50 (R)

Court Room 07: Team No. 37 (C) v Team No. 29 (R)

Court Room 08: Team No. 35 (C) v Team No.19 (R)

12:45 pm - The second round has commenced

Court Room 01: Team No. 27 v. Team No. 23

The Courtroom is in utter silence as the Arbitrator asks the Counsel for the Claimants to find the paragraph in the judgement on which they seek to rely. The Arbitrator is filling a volley of questions towards the Claimants and the only answer the first Counsel has, is silence.

The Claimants have concluded their submissions, finishing with their prayers, yielding the floor to the Respondents.

In the rebuttals stage, the Claimants appear to be repeating the points made during theirsubmissions. They have been told to engage with the points made by the opposition and rebut, rather than restate their earlier arguments.

02:02 - The round has been concluded.

Court Room 02: Team No. 17 v Team No. 41

Submissions are underway, with the Counsel for the Claimants listing out the issues they will deal with.

Speaker 1 wraps up his submissions, struggling to summarize his arguments as the clock runs out and the arbitrators refuse to yield him more time.

The second speaker for the Respondents wrapped up his speech by citing that the Claimants have sought a claim against an event that might occur in the future, arguing that such claims could not be raised till the event occurred in the future.

The Counsel for the Respondent submitted that the mere highlighting of deficiency by the Claimants would not evidence the liability of the Respondents until it hasbeen substantially proved.

02:22 - With the end of proceedings, the Judges are providing feedback to the Counsels.

Court Room 03: Team No. 31 v Team No. 11

A series of questions and answers have begun in the courtroom as the Counsel for the Claimants presents his submission.

The Courtroom was silent for a few seconds as the Arbitrators discussed a query amongst themselves.
They are referring to the case mentioned by the Counsel , and have raised the query of applicabililty of an authority mentioned in the Compendium.

The second speaker for the Claimants is now trying to sail his ship through as the arbitrators are questioning him on the basis of the facts of the case. It appears he might just succeed. He is effectively putting forward his point pertaining to the foreseeability of the losses. The questioning is relentless.The arbitrators have granted the Counsel 3 extra minutes to move on to the next issue, and to wrap up their arguments.

Speaker 2 of the Respondents is dealing with surrebuttals. The point of deviation was brought up once again.

The question of whether the arbitral tribunal is empowered to lift the corporate veil was put forth by the arbitrator.

01:57 pm - The round has come to an end.

Court Room 04: Team No. 25 v Team No. 13

The Arbitrators have changed the structure of the round and the first Counsel for the Claimants presents his submission. The Arbitrators have asked the Counsel for the Claimants to summarize her submissions in 10 seconds and have asked her to move on to her next submission.

The Arbitrator is very particular about the authorities that are being cited and the references to the compendium and every part is being specifically read and clarified. The counsel is getting a little nervous because of the extensive questioning by the arbitrators.

The Arbitrators want the submissions to be structured and to the point. They have asked for an authority  for the point being submitted by the counsel which could not be supplied by the Counsel. The Arbitrator does not seem satisfied, but allows the Counsel to move ahead with her submissions.

The structure of the round was changed to RCCR, and therefore, the second Counsel for the Claimants is making her submission. A series of questions were raised by the Arbitrator regarding the question of seaworthiness obligation and when it commences. The Arbitrators seem to be getting heavier on the Counsel, and she is now starting to get nervous. As the Counsel was unable to satisfy the queries, the Arbitrators have given her permission to move on to her next submission.

The Courtroom is silent while the 2nd Counsel for the Respondents seeks the assistance of their Co-counsels in looking for the authority that they have cited, and its applicability to the matter at hand. The Counsel moved on to the next issue, allowing the Arbitrators to raise the question of deviation by the Party, effectively entrapping the Counsel in his own contradictory arguments.

A question has been raised regarding the jurisdiction of the arbitration tribunal over the sovereign Court in Malaysia.

The rebuttals of the claimants did not seem acceptable to the Arbitrators.

02:00 pm -The round in Courtroom 4 has reached completion.

Court Room 05: Team No. 21 v Team No. 15

Speaker 1 for the Claimants is fast and assertive. One can sense the agression in her tone. The Arbitrator attempted to throw her off course with a question, but Speaker 1 rapidly responded to the queries with a few inputs from the Arbitrators to assist her in remaining on course.

Speaker 2 takes his cue from the first Speaker, maintaining the rapid pace of argumentation.

Speaker 1 for the Respondents is seen making a redundant argument that the arbitrator dismissed at once. He seems to be failling to prove the existence of a condition paramount to their case.

The Claimants are murmuring amongst themselves, causing a slight disruption of proceedings.

The Arbitrators have pointed out a typographical error in the memorial of the Respondents, making the Speaker evidently nervous while he scrambled to substantiate his arguments on the absence of deviation.

Speaker 2 for the Respondents is quite unintelligible in his speech.

02:13 pm - With that, we come to the end of this round in Courtroom 5.

Court Room 06: Team No. 39 v Team No. 50

The Arbitratorsare facing certain rudimentary issues with the oral pleadings of the first speaker for the Claimants. The speech is mostly inaudible; the speaker has a mellow bearing with subdued speech. It is difficult to determine whether the Arbitrators are satisfied with the contention.

While speaker 1 employed a conversational style of speaking, Speaker 2 is more argumentative in his discourse. He seems to be rushing through his arguments (a.k.a. the donts of mooting).

With the appropriate pace, volume and composure, Speaker 1 intends to clarify all the queries raised by the Arbitrator in the course of his pleadings.

The Researcher for the Respondents side was sen to have made a contribution to the speech by iterating some words which were, unfortunately, inaudible. Whether this will amount to a violation of court manners, one will only know when the results are announced.

01:58 pm - The proceedings in Courtroom 6 have concluded.

Court Room 07: Team No. 37 v Team No. 29

The proceedings have just begun, and Speaker for the Claimant is as subtle as a Soviet submarine.The Arbitrators in this Courtroom, unlike in Jodhpur, don't seem satisfied that arrest was the right way to go.

Speaker 2 for the Claimants has just begun and as a refreshing change, is referring to 'mister' Arbitrator as 'Miss'. Mistake, or subtle empowerment?

The Claimants have concluded their submissions, and the Respondents are raring to go.

The Courtroom has picked up, with the second speaker for the Respondents speaking with authority that was missing in the three previous speeches.

02:17 - Proceedings come to an end, leaving anticipation for the quarter finals.

Court Room 08: Team No. 35 v Team No.19

The first speaker for the claimants seems unsure when questioned by the arbitrators. The speaker continues to stumble through his submissions as the Arbitrators question him on the difference between damages and consequential damages.

The second speaker seems to be off to a better start as he proceeds with his contention relating to the payment of off-hand charges.

The Arbitrators in this Courtroom are particularly frustrated with the Respondents being incapable of discerning when the cause of action arose. the Respondents have fallen into arguing that the Claimants are not allowed to make claims at all. The Arbitrators are not buying it.

The question of the master's discretion has become a point of focus. Should the Respondents have allowed an unfit ship to sail, despite the Claimants' demands?

Courtroom 8 has come back to the question of cause of action. The Respondents are attempting to clear th waters.

02:12 pm - The proceedings in Courtroom 8 have drawn to a close.

With this, we break for lunch before reconvening for the quarter finals.

PRELIMINARY ROUND I

The fixtures for round 1 are as below for the preliminary rounds:

Court Room 01: Team No. 23 (C) v. Team No. 35 (R)

Court Room 02: Team No. 41 (C) v Team No. 37 (R)

Court Room 03: Team No. 11 (C) v Team No. 39 (R)

Court Room 04: Team No. 13 (C) v Team No. 21 (R)

Court Room 05: Team No. 15 (C) v Team No. 25 (R)

Court Room 06: Team No. 50 (C) v Team No. 31 (R)

Court Room 07: Team No. 29 (C) v Team No. 17 (R)

Court Room 08: Team No. 19 (C) v Team No.27 (R)

Court Room 01: Team No. 23 v Team No. 35

The first speaker has moved onto his last submission and gives way to the second speaker without any further questions from the arbitrators. 

The first speaker for the respondent commences. 

The arbitrator asks the second counsel for the respondent to show the authority for his claim - asking him to pin point it in the statute or not make that claim.

Both the teams have completed their submissions.

Court Room 02: Team No. 41 v Team No. 37

The first speaker's speech is sailing into rough waters with the judges constantly bombarding her with questions, but she is sailing thorugh responding with firm confidence. However, even the arbitrator is firm in not allowing her to proceed any further on the same line of argumentation without a substantial proof of authority.

The second speaker for claimant begins submissions. The arbitrator questions the speaker for invoking before it a case in which the contract does not have an arbitration clause. The speaker during his speech requests for ten seconds to look for appropriate documents for submission, to which the arbitrator quips, "Indeed, but only your time"

The first speaker for the respondent side begins. On being asked a question, she says she will deal with it later on in her submission which did not go down well with the arbitrator who asked her to deal with it immediately and then only proceed further. The first counsel finishes her submissions.

Both teams finish submissions. Arbitrator grants five minutes to the Claimants to raise counter issues to the submissions of the respondents. 

Both the teams have completed their submissions.

Court Room 03: Team No. 11 v Team No. 39

The second issue is being argued by the Counsel. The argument structure is not like a hearted speech but an actual explanation of the case with clear linking to the facts. The arbitrator raises a question regarding whether the 3rd party can sue in the instant case.

After 2-3 rounds of questions, the arbitrators seem to be satisfied with the justification of the question. The arbitrators have asked the counsel to wind up quickly as the time is up. 

The submissions of the second counsel has started. The argumentative style of the counsel is very explanatory and fluent. A question was put forward by the arbitrator, which was followed by a series of questions and answers but the Counsel was able to put up his point and answer the question raised.

The submission by the counsel for the respondents have started. A question was presented by the arbitrator and the clarifications and answers are being taken up. The arbitrator does not seem to be impressed. As the counsel was not able to answer the questions, the arbitrator gave permission to move forward to the next issue.

The submissions of the second counsel for the respondents are going on. The Counsel seems to be rushing through the issues as there are no questions and because of the paucity of time. 

Time's up. Rebuttals time!

And it's over!

Court Room 04: Team No. 13 v. Team No. 21

The submissions of the first speaker for the claimant has been going on continuously without any questions. The arbitrator are patiently listening to the points presented. The judges are taking a note of the points presented in the submissions and there have been no questions posed yet.

The Counsel for Claimant was not able to satisfy the arbitrators regarding the query presented with regard to limitation. She gets stuck again on one of the question put by the arbitrators. She finally answers the question and the arbitrators accepted it and asked her to move forward. 

The submissions for the respondents have just started. A question was presented regarding how would the counsel explain the application of a case law but the counsel sailed through and effectively answers all the questions confidently. After a series of questions, the arbitrators were satisfied. 

The arbitrators are satisfied with the second submission of the Counsel. A question regarding the Third Parties Act was presented and the Counsel is trying to put forward her point. There was silence in the room as the question regarding the applicability of third parties act to the instant case of being thought over. The counsel then put forward her submission and the arbitrator allowed her to move forward. 

The Counel is being bombarded with questions and he is now referring and taking help of his co-counsels to find an answer. The arbitrators ask him to move foward.

The Counsel is effectively putting forward his point - confidently! There is a confusion between the arbitrators and the counsel for respondents regarding the authority submitted with respect to a particular point. A query regarding whether the rebuttals could be taken by the researcher was presented but it was denied. The Counsel 1 for the claimant has started taking the rebuttals. There was another confusion in the room with regard to the format of the rebttals and the claimants wanted to take it in a question-answer format, which was not allowed. The counsel for respondent was bring aggressive and did not allow the Counsel for claimant to complete the question. The arbitrator let the counsel for the claimant to clarify the question. The rounds are over!

Court Room 05:  Team No. 15 v. Team No. 25

Tension in the air. The teams taking a look at their contentions for one last time. 

The first speaker of the claimant side begins very calmly. The speaker pleaded ignorance rather too quickly in response to the arbitrator's query.

The second speaker is facing a little difficulty convincing the arbitrators. Pervading uneasiness as the arbitrators continue to fire questions at the second speaker. Clock stocked ticking but neither the speaker's arguments nor the judges' queries are over.

The first speaker for the respondent preaching this principle of "Slow and steady wins the race". Calmness in her speech tending to soothe the atmosphere. Catching pace slowly to keep up with the abundant questions being raised by the arbitrators. Blank response is a bad omen! She stuck to her guns but judges remained unsettled.

Speaker 2 of the Respondent's side taking over. The speaker has a persuasive speech together with a self assuring and composed intonation. The arbitrators appear satisfied so far through the discourse of second Speaker's contention. After a few minutes of extended argument, the last speaker has finally concluded her submission.

Court Room 06: Team No. 50 v Team No. 31

The pleadings have begun. The first speaker boldly swifting through the contentions. The room is filled is with air of calmness with a tinge of anxiousness, proportioned to perfectness in a moot court hall.

The arbitrators seem a bit perplexed by the answer by the second speaker in response to the query raised, nonetheless the speaker soldiers on. It's high time one referred to some useful legal authorities. (How to Moot 101: Get your facts straight!). So far, the atmosphere seems only slightly tensed.

The first counsel for the respondent is rather confident and proficient. You know when the team is clued up about the tactics of winning.

Arbitrator seems amused by the response served by the second counsel. However, he unwittingly interrupts the arbitrator's question (Shouldn'ts of mooting!). A moment of soundlessness as the team fish for the answer in their compendium.

Rebuttals! And done!

Court Room 07: Team No. 29 v Team No. 17

The first speaker for the claimant sails smoothly through his first contention with hardly any questions from the judges.

The first speaker for the respondent commences his submissions with animated expressions. He attempts to persuade the panel that Davidoff is not a party to the Charter Party Agreement and therefore cannot be a party to this dispute. He fumbles a bit when the arbitrators ask for authorities to back his argument. He convinces them despite their doubts on the relevance of the case produced to support the argument.

The second speaker for the respondent powers through her contentions. However on the matter of the injunction she seems to have hit a bit of roadblock when questions by the arbitrators. 

Court Room 08: Team No. 19 v Team No 27

The judges throw a few tricky questions at the first speaker for the claimant but he surprises the tribunal by answering them all.

The second speaker for the claimant has the arbitrators' undivided attention as he argues that no claim for injunction is maintainable.

The first speaker for the respondent fumbles with his first contention and is unable to substantiate it. The judges dismiss it and ask him to move on to the next contention. 

The second speaker for the respondent buckles under the barrage of questions from the panel. The panel seems dissatisfied with his responses and simply ask him to proceed to the next contention. The arbitrator asks the counsel if they have any counter claims. Speaker misunderstands this for rebuttals further annoying the judges. The respondents have now concluded!

The teams will break briefly, following which we will commence with round 2 of the prelims.

Day 1: 6th April, 2018 - Inauguration of  NIMLAC

The National University of Advanced Legal Studies in the beautiful port town of Kochi, is all set to commence its flagship Maritime Law Moot Court competition that has been spruced up for its 5th Edition as the International Maritime Law Arbitration Competition! 

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The 5th edition has a great deal to offer for the delegates representing various participating Universities. With illustrious cash prizes and trophies, enthusiatic participation and a remarkable moot proposition, NIMLAC hopes to be the platform for a heart thumping competition! We also have two guest lectures lined up by eminent persons in the field of maritime law, Ms. Natasha Sailopal of Brus Chambers and Mr Hari K Krishnan of Nimble Legal.

We are also delighted to announce our collaboration with prestigious International law firms who are pioneers in the field of maritime arbitration and shipping law, namely Rajah & Tann Asia, Nimble Legal and Callidus Advocates.

Rajah & Tann Asia has a large and diverse shipping team comprising of over 40 lawyers practicing in their respective home jurisdictions in Asia (China, Singapore, Vietnam, etc.), a certified marine engineer and a resident master mariner. The firm has won numerous accolades for their shipping law practice and has been ranked Tier 1 for 'Marine' by Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2015 Edition).

Nimble Legal is a UAE based law firm with extensive maritime law practice.The firm regularly acts for a variety of shipping interests, including ship owners, charterers, managers, P&I Clubs, and bunker traders.

Callidus Advocates beckons recognition from the Corporate and Maritime communities of India, the UAE and Asia.

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The competition also boasts of active participation from distinguished law schools in India like NLSIU, Christ University, GNLU, GLC Mumbai, JSS Law College, NLUO, NUJS, RGNUL, SASTRA University, SLS Pune, SOEL, TNNLS, UPES University, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh and VIPS.

The teams are vying the prestigious, gigantic Ship Trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 40,000! The competition also gives an opportunity for winning Best Memorial, Best Speakers and Best Researcher Awards.

Eminent personalities including sitting judges, academicians and lawyers in the field of maritime law have been handpicked to judge all the rounds of the competition.

Inaugural Ceremony Brief:

5: 45 PM: The dias has been occupied by the dignitaries and the inaugaral function has begun. Mr. Asif E, Asst. Professor, NUALS, acquainted the students with the nuances of the competition and reminded the participants that this was a great opportunity to have an enjoyable learning experience.

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Mr. Shinto Mathew Abraham, President Student Council welcomed the students and expressed his delight in organising the competition at a bigger scale this year around. He also encouraged all the participating teams to interact with each other and the judges at the Gala Dinner being organised on 7th April, 2018.

Our Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rose Verghese rendered the Presidential Address and enlightened the students about a healthy mooting culture, the need to be equipped with good drafting and advocacy skills and the evolution of Law of Seas and Maritime Arbitration.

Last but not the least, the Secretary of the Moot Court Society and Convenor, NIMLAC, Mr. Rohit Sharma expressed his gratitude to all the students and faculty members for their support and encouraged the participants to face the challenges of the competition boldly. 

6:00 PM: The Inaugural ceremony has come to an end and all the teams have been requested to stay back for the memorial exchange which will be followed by Dinner.

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ABOUT NIMLAC

The NUALS Maritime Moot Court Competition is an initiative spearheaded by the University to create an arena for student engagement with the challenging and enthralling field of Maritime Law. The Competition is part of our constant efforts to lead the foray to spread awareness about the practice of Maritime Law and to encourage young law students to take up the subject as part of their further studies and professional practice. 

The fifth edition of the NUALS International Maritime Law Arbitration Competition (NIMLAC) is scheduled to be held from 6th to 8th of April, 2018. After four successful editions, NUALS has decided to promote its annual moot court competition to an International-level Moot Court Competition. The judges for the competition shall include leading experts on Maritime Law from India and overseas. The case-study for the moot court competition is being drafted by a drafting committee comprising of eminent practitioners in the maritime law. We are also pleased to have Professor Rob Merkin, QC playing an Advisory Role in the Drafting Committee.

Live blogging for the moot court competition will commence on 6th of April (Friday) at 02:45 PM, and will cover a special lecture on 'Modern Law of Marine Insurance' by Ms Natasha Sailopal, Partner, Brus Chambers. It will be followed by an update from the opening ceremony.

On the 7th of April (Saturday), we will be live blogging the preliminary rounds and quarter-final rounds, starting at 09:30 AM. On the 8th of April (Sunday), we will be live-blogging the semi-final and final rounds.

 

 

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