Decision of the Hagoland Court of Appeal, 16 August 1999 121
Observations by Gunnar Nerdrum
Subject matter: Enforcement of an arbitration agreement entered into through exchange of e-mails.
Findings: It is doubtful whether e-mail transcripts can be held to fulfil the requirements under Article II.2 of the New York Convention (agreement in writing).
Parties: Claimant: X (Russian Federation)
Respondent: Y (Norway)
Place of arbitration: London
Nationality of arbitrators: A, Sole arbitrator (English)
Y, a businessman in Norway, had undertaken to sell a quantity of about 3,500 metric tons of herring to Ukraine. X shipbroker in St. Petersburg worked for him to find a suitable vessel for the transport. This broker made contact with a colleague in Limassol, Cyprus, who presented a vessel belonging to X, shipowner in Vladivostok. On the basis of a GENCON charter party, the two brokers discussed on e-mail various relevant questions during the day of 4 December 1997.