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20 September 2002, 12:02 pm
Arbitration Panel Makes More Rulings
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America's Cup

The America’s Cup Arbitration Panel has issued four more decisions on questions put before it over the past several months.

The most important centred on a dispute between the Prada Challenge and Oracle BMW Racing.

In June, 2002, Prada filed a Notice of Proceeding and Statement of Claim in the High Court of New Zealand, naming Oracle BMW Racing as the defendant. The dispute related to a barge belonging to Oracle, which Prada claimed had been positioned on the boundary line between the two syndicates' bases, breaching Prada's privacy.

Two days after the lawsuit was filed, Oracle BMW Racing filed a stay of proceeding. Shortly thereafter, Prada filed a Notice of Discontinuance, essentially withdrawing the Court proceeding.

In its submission to the Arbitration Panel, Oracle maintained that by resorting to an outside Court of Law, Prada was in violation of Article 10.2 of the Protocol, a document governing the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup.

Article 10.2 states in part: Any Challenger who resorts to any Court or tribunal, other than the Arbitration Panel…will accordingly be ineligible to make the declaration provided in Article 6 and to be the Challenger for the Match.

In its ruling, the Arbitration Panel determined that while Prada had breached the provisions of Article 10.2 of the Protocol, no such penalty was automatically provided for, and that the Panel would determine what penalty should be applied.

The Arbitration Panel ruled that by taking into consideration the "various aspects of the infraction, its seriousness, the impact the violation might have had on the outcome of the Challenge and Match, and how the incident reflects on the condition stated in the Deed of Gift…" the Panel would fine Prada US$10 000 plus costs.

its other rulings:

The Arbitration Panel ruled on a nationality issue for sailing crew, determining that a GBR Challenge crew member had fulfilled the nationality requirements and could sail for the team.

The Panel clarified that 'fabricated and assembled' in the context of the Protocol meant that "the hull, the deck and each appendage are each fabricated and assembled in the relevant Challenger's or Defender's country. It is not necessary that the hull, the deck and the appendages be assembled into a complete yacht in such country."

Finally, the Panel ruled that a person submitted as a designer by a challenging syndicate that had subsequently withdrawn from the Match could not be submitted by another team as a crew member.
Louis Vuitton Website/ISAF News Editor
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