"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Call for Papers: NLSIR

Call for papers from NLSIR :

Call for Submissions - National Law School of India Review, Vol. 27(1)

The National Law School of India Review is now accepting submissions for its upcoming issue - Volume 27(1). The National Law School of India Review (NLSIR) is the flagship law journal of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India. The NLSIR is a bi-annual, student edited, peer-reviewed law journal providing incisive legal scholarship on issues that are at the forefront of contemporary legal discourse. For more than 25 years, the NLSIR has regularly featured articles authored by judges of the Indian Supreme Court, Senior Counsel practicing at the Indian bar, and several renowned academics. 

The most recent issue of the NLSIR, Vol. 26(1), featured contributions by David J. Kessler (Partner, Fullbright & Jaworski LLP), Mr. Mark McBride (Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore) and Prof. Jonathan Herring (Professor of Law, University of Oxford) among several others. Moreover, in August 2009, NLSIR attained the unique distinction of being the only Indian student-run law journal to be cited by the Supreme Court of India, in Action Committee, Un-Aided Private Schools v. Director of Education. NLSIR has also recently been cited in Justice R. S. Bachawat's Law of Arbitration and Conciliation, a leading treatise on arbitration law in India. 

Papers may be submitted under the following categories:

1.      Long Articles: Between 5000 and 8000 words, inclusive of footnotes. Papers in this category are expected to engage with the theme comprehensively, examine literature comprehensively, and offer an innovative reassessment of the current understanding of that theme. It is advisable, though not necessary, to choose a theme that is of contemporary importance. Purely theoretical pieces are also welcomed.

2.      Essays: Between 3000 and 5000 words, inclusive of footnotes. Essays are far more concise in scope. These papers usually deal with a very specific issue, and argue that the issue must be conceptualized differently. They are more engaging, and make a more easily identifiable, concrete argument.

3.      Case Notes and Legislative Comments: Between 1500 and 2500 words, inclusive of footnotes. This is an analysis of any contemporary judicial pronouncement, whether in India or elsewhere. It must identify and examine the line of cases in which the decision in question came about, and comment on implications for the evolution of that branch of law.

Submissions are preferred in Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Main text should be in font size 12 and footnotes in font size 10. All submissions must be word processed, and compatible with Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007. The Review uses only footnotes (and not end-notes) as a method of citation. Submissions must conform to the Bluebook (19th edn.) system of citation.

The NLSIR strongly recommends electronic submissions, though hard copies are also accepted. In case of hard copy submissions, two copies of the submission are required. Please submit the paper to mail.nlsir@gmail.com indicating which category your paper is intended for. All submissions should contain the name of the author, professional information, the title of the manuscript, and contact information. The last date for submissions to Volume 27(1) is November 30, 2014. Submissions may be emailed to mail.nlsir@gmail.com under the subject heading '27(1) NLSIR - Submissions'. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

PSC Awards: Selan Exploration v MoPNG

We bring to readers certain arbitral awards which have been rendered under the Production Sharing Contracts between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Contractor(s). The purpose of doing so is to bring these awards to the public domain as it throw light on how Production Sharing Contracts are interpreted. It is expected that these awards would be useful to litigants as well as academicians.

The first of this series is the award pursuant to arbitration between Selan Exploration v. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The dispute pertained to share of profit petroleum between the Contractor and the Government. The case also deals with the calculation of the Investment Multiple which forms an integral part of the Production Sharing Contract. The award can be accessed from here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bangladesh India Arbitral Award: HSF & The Tribune Summary

Herbert Smith Freehills' Dispute Resolution team has come up with a summary of the Arbitral Award in the Bangladesh India maritime dispute over the Bay of Bengal. The summary can be read from this link. The summary of the award as it appeared in the online edition of the Tribune can also be accessed from this link.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NLUJ Law Review: Call for Papers

Call for papers from NLUJ Law Review:

The NLUJ Law Review invites original and previously unpublished manuscripts across various legal studies and disciplines from law students, professors, practicing lawyers, and other members of the legal fraternity. Contributions are currently invited for Volume 3, Issue 1. Last date for submission is 31th August, 2014.

About the Review

NLUJ Law Review is the flagship journal of National Law University, Jodhpur. It has been established with the objective of becoming a formidable instrument in taking the standard of legal research in India up by several notches. It is a bi-annual, double-blind student reviewed, and student-edited journal focusing on an inter-disciplinary approach towards legal writing. The Review aims to publish articles on all aspects of law, and though special emphasis is placed on contemporary developments, the Review's range includes jurisprudence and legal history.

Objectives of the Journal
Beyond contributing to the legal academia, the Review realises the growing paradox in legal scholarship, in that, most journals have increasingly focussed on being published rather than being read. The Review believes that legal scholarship will only truly realise its raison d’être when it plays a more tangible role in the lives of students, professors, lawyers and judges. Thus, the Review is committed to the cause of increasing the readability of published legal scholarship and relieving it of some of the esotericism it seems to have acquired.

Nature of Submissions

We welcome submissions under the following categories:
A.     Articles (5000 - 15000 words, including footnotes)
The articles category is designed to include both short and long works to provide an opportunity for all those interested in law, whether as academics, research scholars, practitioners or students, to keep abreast with new ideas and the progress of legal reform. The research articles should contain a comprehensive study and should provide a sustained analysis of various legal topics. The author’s stand on the issue(s) should be expressed with clarity. All articles should be accompanied by an abstract not exceeding 250 words.

B.     Short Notes and Comments (2000 - 3000 words, including footnotes)
An important feature of the Review is the ‘Notes and Comments’ section, in which the authors analyse recent judicial decisions, new legislation, and current law reform proposals. Short notes should be accompanied by an abstract not exceeding 200 words.

C.     Book reviews (2000-2500 words, including footnotes)
The Review will also assess recently published books in every issue. The books are selected keeping in mind that one of the mandates of NLUJ Law Review is to promote quality scholarship especially of young Indian academics and scholars whether based in India or abroad whose works are often given lesser credit then they deserve in the Indian legal academia. The book review shall entail an examination of ideas promoted by the author of the book from the point of view of originality, extent of analysis, and tenability.

Submission Guidelines

·         Authors shall make all submissions (articles, book reviews and notes/comments) in Word format (‘.doc’ or ‘.docx’) as an e-mail attachment to lawreviewnluj@gmail.com, with the subject ‘Submission of manuscript’. PDF/other formats will not be accepted.
·         The main text of the paper should be in font size 12, Garamond, 1.5 line spacing and footnotes in font size 10, Garamond, 1.0 line spacing. Legal maxims should be in italics.
·         Deadline: The submissions must reach latest by 31st August, 2014.
·         Text and citations should conform to A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed. 2010) (“The Bluebook”). Footnotes are strongly preferred over endnotes.
·         Co-authoring of papers is permissible only for ‘Articles’. Co-authored papers/papers with multiple authors should not exceed more than two authors.
·         All works must be original and unpublished. The submissions should not be plagiarized wholly or in part from any sources.
·         No abstract is required for Book Reviews or Case Comments/Legislative Reviews.
·         Please indicate your name, contact number and any other information you deem important, in the body of your email. Your name, affiliation or any other identifying information should not be included in any part of the submission.
·         All questions and queries can be addressed to lawreviewnluj@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration between Bangladesh and India: Award

We had previously blogged about the dispute between Bangladesh and India on the delimitation of maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal (here). The arbitral tribunal consisting of Professor Dr. Rüdiger Wolfrum, (President), Judge Thomas A. Mensah, Dr. Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao, Professor Ivan Shearer and Judge Jean-Pierre Cot has passed an award on 07.07.2014 delimiting the boundaries of Bangladesh and India. Although Dr. Pemmaraju Rao concurred with the tribunal on several aspects, he disagreed with the majority on aspects pertaining to adjustment of provisional equidistant line, creation of grey area due to the adjustment of provisional equidistant line.

The award and all relevant documents, including the Permanent Court of Arbitration Press Release are available here. Hats off to PCA for providing all the main documents pertaining to the arbitration.

Call for Submissions: Trade, Law and Development

                       Trade, Law and Development

Call for Submissions
Winter ‘14

The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development [TL&D] is pleased to invite original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Winter ‘14 Issue of the Journal (Vol. 6, No. 2) in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments, and Book Reviews.
Manuscripts received by September 17, 2014 pertaining to any area within the purview of international economic law will be reviewed for publication in the Winter ‘14 issue.
TL&D aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. Towards these ends, we have published works by noted scholars such as Prof. Petros Mavroidis, Prof. Mitsuo Matsuhita, Prof. Raj Bhala, Prof. Joel Trachtman, Gabrielle Marceau, Simon Lester, Prof. Bryan Mercurio, Prof. E.U. Petersmann and Prof. M. Sornarajah among others. TL&D also has the distinction of being ranked the best journal in India across all fields of law for three consecutive years and the 10th best trade journal worldwide by Washington and Lee University, School of Law [The Washington & Lee Rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive in this regard].
For more information, please go through the submission guidelines available at www.tradelawdevelopment.com or write to us at editors[at]tradelawdevelopment.com.
Last Date for Submissions: 17 September, 2014
Trade, Law and Development
National Law University, Jodhpur
NH-65, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

E-mail: editors[at]tradelawdevelopment.com

SCI Interprets Institute Cargo Clauses (A): Metal Powder Co. v. Oriental Insurance

In June 1983, Metal Powder purchased 15.06 MT of yellow phosphorus from a West German company. The goods were sent through MV Palam Trader to be delivered to Port Bombay and then to Metal Powder's factory in Tamil Nadu. The goods were insured through Oriental Insurance Co. for Rs. 2.65 lakhs. During transit the ship caught fire (October 1983). Since the cost of repairs of the ship was much ghigher than the insured value of the ship, the shipowners deemed the loss as a total loss and had given a notice of abandonment of the ship to its insurers. These facts  were communicated by the shipowners to the insured and the insured in turn promptly communicated the same to the insurer. On lodging of the claim, the insurer repudiated the claim on the ground that the ship was abandoned by its owner due to bankruptcy and Clause 4.6 of the applicable Institute Cargo Clauses (A) excluded loss, damage or expense arising from insolvency or financial default of owners, managers, operators, or charterers of the vessel from the scope of insurance. The defendant had also raised another contention regarding the refusal by the insured to take up the insurer's offer of transporting by a third party of the cargo to the insured's destination at an additional cost of USD 900 (In this post, we will focus on the first contention). The insured's contention was that Clause 5.1 of the Institute Cargo Clauses (A) covered the risk of "non-delivery" and that the insurer was liable.

The matter came up eventually before the Supreme Court where the Supreme Court decided in favour of the insured. The court held that since the risk of "non-delivery" was expressly covered in the insurance policy, the insurer could not resort to the exclusion contained in Clause 4.6 considering that insolvency was a matter of "authoritative determination under the relevant municipal laws of a country and that the insurer had not produced anything of that sort before the court. The court further held that merely because the repair cost of the material exceeded the insured value and because the owner had abandoned the ship did not mean that the owners were adjudged insolvent.

The decision can be accessed from this link

The present provisions of the ICC make such an exclusion very narrow. See this link for further reading on the subject.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Justice Raveendran's Mandate Terminated for Excessive Fee

In the controversial case of Deepak Cables v. Chamundeshwari Electric Supply Company, Deepak Cables had invoked arbitration for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs. 54 crores. Retd. Supreme Court Judge Raveendran was the arbitrator. In the preliminary meeting held in his residence, the arbitrator had proposed a fee structure and said he would be holding the sittings at Anup Shah Law Firm, subject to the consent of the parties. However, a petition was filed by one of the parties praying for appointment of another arbitrator since Justice Raveendran charged fee in excess of the cap of 8 lakhs fixed by the Karnataka High Court. The arbitrator had objected to the petition wherein he contended that the petition was an abuse of process of law and sought dismissal of the petition by imposing exemplary costs. However, the Court disagreed with the view and replaced him with a former judge of the Karnataka High Court as arbitrator.

It would be interesting to read more about the grounds on which the court ruled so. Readers may please send a copy of the judgement, if available. For now, see this news paper report. This decision, if supported by sound reasons, could be a precedent for replacement in case of excessive arbitrator fees but may also be a potential tool to delay or introduce multiple proceedings. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Guide to Arbitration in Hong Kong & Other Links

Deacons, a law firm in Hong Kong and China has come up with a "Simple Guide to Arbitration in Hong Kong". The said Guide is a concise introduction to arbitration in Hong Kong and the link can be accessed from here.

In Pipelines Services WA Pty Ltd v ATCO Gas Australia Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of Western Australia imposed costs on an indemnity basis on Pipeline Services for the costs incurred by ATCO Gas towards filing of an application of stay of the court proceedings initiated by Pipeline Services in view of the arbitration clause. The Herbert Smith Freehills post on this topic can be accessed from here.