Table of contents
1 Unless otherwise agreed, disputes between the Association and a Member or a former Member or any other person arising out of the contract of insurance or these Rules shall be resolved by arbitration. Each party shall nominate one arbitrator and those so nominated shall appoint an Umpire. If the arbitrators cannot agree on an Umpire or a party fails to nominate his arbitrator, the nomination shall be made by the Chief Justice of the Oslo City Court. Reasons shall be given for the award. Arbitration proceedings shall take place in Oslo.
2 Any of the issues referred to in paragraph 4.2 of Appendix VI to these Rules on which the Association and a Member cannot agree shall be referred to a panel (the "Panel") constituted and acting pursuant to such terms and conditions as are set out in Appendix VI.
Court proceedings are, generally, public by nature with the result that documents that are produced in, and statements that are made during, such proceedings are available to the general public, as is the judgement of the court. However, arbitration proceedings are private by nature so that, unless both parties to the arbitration agree, no other party is entitled to have access to the information and evidence that has been disclosed during the arbitration proceedings, or to the award of the arbitration tribunal. Because of the mutual nature of the relationship that exists between the Association and the membership it is considered more beneficial to the parties that any dispute between the Association and a Member is resolved by arbitration rather than by a court.1 Rule 91 recognises this necessity and sets out the mechanics of the arbitration reference.
(A) Unless otherwise agreed… (Rule 91.1)
Rule 91.1 provides that any dispute that arises between the Association and the Member, or former Member, or any other person that seeks to derive a benefit from the contract of insurance or the Rules, is to be resolved by arbitration in Oslo unless the parties have otherwise agreed. Therefore, if both parties have specifically agreed to do so, disputes may be resolved by a court, or by an arbitration tribunal sitting somewhere other than in Oslo. Furthermore, the parties can agree to do so either before or after the dispute has arisen.
(B) …disputes between the Association and a Member or a former Member arising out of the contract of insurance or these Rules… (Rule 91.1)
Rule 91 applies when there is a dispute between the Association on the one hand, and an existing Member or a former Member on the other hand. In this context, 'Member' includes a Joint Member, Co-assured(s) or Affiliate(s).2
(C) Each party shall nominate one arbitrator... (Rule 91.1)
The Oslo arbitration tribunal is to consist of an arbitrator that has been appointed by each party and an umpire that has been appointed either by the two arbitrators or, failing agreement between the two arbitrators, by the Chief Justice of the Oslo City Court.
The time limit for the commencement of the arbitration proceedings is governed by Norwegian law pursuant to Rule 90. If the issue that is to be arbitrated arises under Rule 81 then the time limits that are laid down in Rule 81 will apply. Otherwise, the normal time limit under Norwegian law is three years from the alleged breach of contract or, in the unlikely event that the claimant does not have knowledge of his claim within such period, the claim is time barred at the end of one year after he acquires, or should have acquired, the necessary knowledge, subject to a maximum time limit of ten years from the alleged breach of contract.
(D) Any of the issues referred to in paragraph 4.2 of Appendix VI… (Rule 91.2)
Should a dispute arise between the Association and a Member in relation to certain matters that affect Overspill Claims as described in paragraph 4.2 of Appendix VI, such dispute is not to be resolved by arbitration in Oslo in accordance with the provisions of Rule 91.1, but by expert determination before a panel that has been constituted in accordance with the provisions of the Pooling Agreement, which will resolve the dispute, not as an arbitration tribunal, but as a body of experts.3 Unlike Rule 91.1 the Association and the Member are not allowed to agree any other means for the resolution of such disputes.
1 This is also the view adopted by the other P&I clubs that are members of the International Group of P&I Clubs.
2 See the Guidance to Rule 1.1.
3 For further details of the manner in which the Panel will resolve the dispute see Paragraph 4 of Appendix VI. 7.