Sometime between 1am and 7am on 11 May 2009, Renford Braganza, the chief engineer aboard the MV ‘British Unity’, stepped out of his cabin. The ship, an oil tanker, was in the middle of the North Atlantic. He was never seen again.
How Mr Braganza’s employers, BP, responded to the unsolved mystery of his disappearance was the subject of the Supreme Court judgment in Braganza v BP Shipping Limited  UKSC 17. The Supreme Court held that fundamental principles of public law governing the exercise of discretion by public authorities can be equally applicable in private law to the exercise of discretion by one of the parties to a contract.