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CMA-CGM S.A. -v- Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft MS “Northern Pioneer” Schiffahrts-gesellschaft M.B.H & Co

18th Dec 2002

[2003] 1 WLR 1015

Stephen Kenny was instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan for the Respondent owners, who successfully resisted an application for leave to appeal from an arbitration award. The arbitrators had concluded that German participation in the NATO air operations over Serbia and Kosovo did not constitute “involvement in war”, and the charterers had not been entitled to cancel under the war clauses in four long-term time charters. This was the first case in which the Court of Appeal considered the principles by which leave to appeal may be granted under s. 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (cf. the Nema Guidelines).

Arbitration – Award – Appeal – Criteria for granting permission to appeal – Charter of vessels flying German flag – Germany participating in NATO military operation in Kosovo – Charterers terminating charter under war cancellation clause – Whether cancellation valid – Proper approach to application for permission to appeal from decision of arbitrators

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