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Seat of arbitration usually determines curial law.

The Facts

A part cargo steel of products was shipped from China to Jebel Ali. By a mistake discovered only the vessel had sailed from Jebel Ali, the part cargo was not discharged.

Receivers claimed against head owners which claim was passed down the line of charterers.

Receivers commenced arbitration in London claiming to act in terms of clause 19 of the Gencon Form.

Incorporation of the Gencon Form was preceded by the following clause:

23.   Arbitration: Arbitration to be held in Hong Kong. English law to be applied.

  1. Other terms/conditions and charterparty details based on Gencon 1994 charterparty

Clause 19 of the Gencon Form, headed “Law and Arbitration”, provided for three alternatives. In each case the seat of the arbitration (and hence the curial law) and the substantive proper law were to be the same: either London, New York or a place of choice.

Sub-charterers against whom the claim was brought disputed the competence of London arbitration.


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Charter Party Casebook