Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. v. Anraj Fish Products Industries Ltd. et al.

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

This was an appeal from an order of a Motions Judge in which the Motions Judge overturned the order of a Prothonotary staying the action on the grounds of a jurisdiction clause in the bill of lading selecting Korea as the appropriate jurisdiction. The Federal Court of Appeal stated that the standard of review on an appeal of this sort, whether from a decision of a Motions Judge or a Prothonotary, is that the court of appeal must uphold the order unless it was arrived at on a wrong basis or was plainly wrong. The Court of Appeal noted that the court should not microscopically examine the reasons of the Motions Judge or Prothonotary in applying this test and held that the Motions Judge had erred in overturning the decision of the Prothonotary. The Court of Appeal further re-stated that prima facie an application to stay proceedings based on a jurisdiction or arbitration clause must succeed unless "strong reasons" are shown that it would not be reasonable or just to enforce the clause. The Court examined the factors set out in The Eleftheria, [1969] 1 Lloyd’s Rep.237, (i.e. the country in which the issues of fact are situated, the applicable law, the country with which the parties are most closely connected, whether the defendant genuinely desires trial in a foreign country and the prejudice to the plaintiff of litigating in a foreign country) and concluded that there were not strong reasons to decline to enforce the jurisdiction clause. In the result, the action was stayed.