Monday, July 15, 2024

Let's discuss charter party disputes.

The word charter-party is clear to commercial people.

What about the word dispute”?

Construed in its context, it has been a source of debate over the years. As said:

Two men have an argument over who won the University Boat Race in a particular year. In ordinary language, they have a dispute over whether it was Oxford or Cambridge. The fact that it can be easily and immediately demonstrated beyond doubt that one is right and the other is wrong does not and cannot mean that that dispute did not in fact exist. Because one man can be said to be indisputably right and the other indisputably wrong does not, in my view, entail that there was therefore never any dispute between them.

-Saville J, 1990

Why do contractual disputes occur and continue to arise?

[t]he parties to a contract sometimes have a positive interest in obscurity, in lack of clarity. Both sides to a negotiation may be content to include an ambiguous provision in it, on the basis that, if they try and spell it out more clearly the deal may fall apart, and they would rather leave it unclear – not least because it will probably never lead to a dispute anyway. So, while judges and other law-makers should try and keep uncertainty in the law to a minimum, what with human fallibility, inability to predict the future and commercial realism, it is unrealistic to believe that the outcome of every dispute could and should be confidently predicted…

– Lord Neuberger, 2016

The other role of substantive commercial law that I want to highlight derives from the fundamental fact that contracts are always incomplete. They are incomplete for two reasons. First, even the most elaborate and comprehensive written contract cannot anticipate in advance every possible event that might arise in relation to a transaction and stipulate what is to happen if the event occurs… Second, attempting to negotiate a contract which anticipates and provides in advance for as many contingencies as possible is time-consuming, costly and can be counterproductive…

-Lord Leggatt, 2021

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PRACTICAL ISSUES

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Hull Fouling Dispute in West Africa

Context and Diver's Inspection A significant point of contention was the impact of a brief shifting period between two loading ports on activating the hull...

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Delayed departure due to ice conditions vs Masters’ unreasonable conduct- whether Owners or Charterers are responsible for the waiting time and extra berth charges The...

Claims for demurrage and loss of profits after cancellation

Introduction Loading and the supply of cargo was being delayed because of complications with opening a Letter of Credit for the purchase of the intended...

Vessel’s slow steaming resulted in numerous claims & counterclaims

Performance dispute- bunkers- alleged engine issues- slow steaming- entangled ropes- performance analysis- bunker quantity dispute The vessel departed from the loading port, and the charterers...

London Arbitration-redelivery bunker quantities and prices to apply

One of the disputes in this reference concerned damages due to charterers' breach of the bunker clause. The disputes came before three arbitrators that...

Reflections on 1000 arbitration reports under the LMAA Terms

Reflections upon reviewing 1000 arbitration reports under the LMAA Terms (1979-2023), Prokopios Krikris FCIArb, LMAA Supporting Member Over 1000 LMAA award summaries under the LMAA...

LMAA Tribunal determined that English Law was the substantive law of the contract

The MOA did not specify the substantive law of the contract. A panel of three LMAA Arbitrators considered this matter in a dispute that...

Covid 19- Force majeure defence to Kostas Melas- type application failed

Various disputes arose under an amended SUPPLYTIME 2005 form, as described below, that the parties referred to a panel of three arbitrators for determination....

Whether Owners entitled to disobey charterers’ employment orders

The Vessel was chartered on an amended BHPTime form. Various disputes arose under the charter and came before two LMAA Arbitrators for determination on...

Agents arrested the vessel due to unpaid disbursements at Rosario- Owners claiming unpaid hire, bunkers and expenses

In this arbitration, under the LMAA Terms, various disputes arose under an amended SHELLTIME 4 CP. The Owners submitted that the Charterers had specifically,...

Grounding- Payment Under General Average Contributions

In this arbitration, the Claimants claimed US$ 192,285.72 for payment under General Average contributions, for which they said the Respondents were liable. The dispute...

London Arbitration- whether vessel off hire and liability for cargo shortage fine

Disputes arose concerning off-hire at Chittagong due to the ship's trim and stability issues, a cargo shortage claim, and a customs fine. The disputes...

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