Cerco Industries Ltd. v. The OOCL Canada

In Arbitration/Jurisdiction Clauses in Maritime Law on (Updated )

This was an application for a stay of proceedings based on a jurisdiction clause in the bill of lading in favour of Belgium. The court noted that a stay should be ordered unless the Plaintiff showed "strong cause" for not doing so and that the "strong cause" the Plaintiff must show goes beyond mere balance of convenience. The court further noted that it should show deference for forum selection clauses in commercial matters. The Plaintiff argued that the stay should be refused on the basis that it would be costly, inefficient and inconvenient to determine the dispute in Belgium and that a stay would result in duplicitous proceedings. Although the court accepted that the balance of convenience probably favoured British Columbia, this was not sufficient, and the court ordered the stay.