Mitsui & Co. v. The "Evelyn"

In Admiralty Practice, Stays of Proceedings on (Updated )

This was an application to stay proceedings in British Columbia in favour of Japan. The action was for damage to a cargo of coils shipped from Japan to British Columbia. The Defendants relied upon a jurisdiction clause in the bills of lading selecting the Tokyo District Court as the appropriate forum. The motions judge followed well established case law to the effect that such clauses will be enforced unless the Plaintiff can show "strong cause" to override the agreement. The motions judge held that the Plaintiff had not shown "strong cause" for not enforcing the jurisdiction clause. The factors that the motions judge thought were persuasive were: that the contract was subject to Japanese law; that the shipper was a Japanese company; that the evidence of pre-shipment damage was in Japan; and that the Defendant had agreed to waive any time bar.