(Anticipatory Breach) – contract of affreightment repudiated by charterers – decision on burden of proof and obligation on “owners” to supply vessels
The contract was to provide a vessel (or vessels) to carry 6 cargoes of coal in bulk in each of 3 successive years.
The charterers failed to declare laycans for the last 2 shipments of the first year and for all 6 shipments in the second year.
The “owners” accepted the repudiation and claimed substantial damages.
Charterers contended that the burden of proof lay upon the “owners” as the party obliged to supply the vessels that they would have been in a financial position to do so. Charterers also contended that the contract obliged the “owners” to prove that contracts were in place entitling them to the necessary possession of the vessels.
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