José Augusto Fontoura Costa of the São Paulo Law Faculty has just published a fascinating paper analyzing the process by which WTO panelists and ICSID arbitrators are nominated. What is most interesting about his thesis is that he offers a different conception of why we have elite arbitrators, but not an elite cadre of WTO…

[Editor’s Note: Upon hearing the results of the Vis competition, I invited members of the winning team to do a blog post about their experience. Below are the reflections of the members of the University of Ottawa Vis team on winning the competition.] It’s nice when hard work pays off. It’s even nicer when five…

Gary Born has just published a great new casebook that is certain to become a standard text for international arbitration courses around the world. Everyone knows Born’s multi-volume treatise, which is invaluable as a reference tool, but hardly appropriate for the classroom. Now we have both, a great casebook to introduce the material to students…

As I discussed yesterday, an Ecuador Court has issued an $8.6 billion judgment against Chevron. I just got off a press conference call with plaintiff’s chief lawyer in Ecuador, Pablo Fajardo. He stated that the plaintiffs will seek enforcement of the Lago Agrio judgment throughout the world as soon as the Ecuador appeals process is…

Today an Ecuador court fined Chevron $8.6 billion for environmental damage. According to the Wall Street Journal, $5.4 billion of that is to restore polluted soil, $1.4 billion to create a health system for the community, $800 million to treat individuals injured by the pollution, $600 million to restore polluted waters, $200 million to restore…

I received this notice from my friend Gary Born and thought it worth sharing. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for any academic interested in international arbitration. My Pepperdine colleague Tom Stipanowich was the resident scholar last semester, and he could not say enough about the experience. Here’s the formal announcement: The International Arbitration Group at…

In the past twenty years the world of investment arbitration has taken the commercial world by storm. There are over 2,750 bilateral investment treaties and almost every one of them has an arbitration provision. Investment arbitration is now a prominent feature of the arbitration landscape. Just as BITs have proliferated in recent years, so too…

Yesterday voters in Oklahoma voted overwhelmingly (70% in favor to 30% against) to ban the use of international law and Sharia law in state courts. It appears that the referendum will be headed to the courts for review, for as my colleague Michael Helfand has noted, the ban on Sharia law may well be unconstitutional…

Last week I had the privilege to attend an investment arbitration conference and FDI moot court competition at Pepperdine. Kudos to Murdoch University of Australia for winning the competition and my alma mater NYU for winning the highest overall ranking. There was much to ponder in the conference from the likes of Andrea Bjorkland, Todd…

There are some interesting comments in the live blog of the UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Conference from the likes of Todd Weiler, Susan Franck, and Jason Yackee. (You can also watch the proceedings here). Much substance in the coverage, but also some fun. Here’s a taste: Todd Weiler: As I see Prof Franck is performing…

The ongoing saga regarding Chevron’s legal travails in Ecuador took an interesting twist this week. As I reported earlier, Chevron has secured key outtakes of the movie Crude that appeared to show alarming collusion between the plaintiff lawyers and the Court-appointed expert. According to pleadings filed yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, the outtakes include…

“With over 20,000 contracts executed each year, it is simply impossible to address the problems of cost and delay in arbitration through artful drafting.” That was the gist of comments made by a general counsel of a major corporation at last month’s ITA workshop. To which another general counsel on the panel replied, “No, we…

At the recent Northwestern Law School conference on the Israeli-Arab Dispute and International Law I had the good fortune to address one of the few bright spots in current Arab-Israeli relations. Most international law scholars of the Arab-Israeli conflict seem to know little about international trade, and focus almost exclusively on the laws of war…

Yesterday a federal court in New York granted Chevron’s request for discovery of outtakes from the 2009 documentary Crude about the multi-billion dollar litigation in Ecuador. Chevron’s request was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, which authorizes a judge in the United States to order discovery of evidence to be used in proceedings before a foreign…

The ABA Journal has an interesting article on the Americanization of international arbitration. There’s nothing particularly new to our readers in this article. It’s a theme that my friend and colleague Tom Stipanowich has written about extensively. I’ve written a bit about the subject as well. But the fact that the story is being told…

In the long-running battle between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage, a federal court in New York has denied Ecuador’s motion to stay arbitration of a Ecuador-U.S. BIT claim. In September 2009, Chevron filed a notice of arbitration alleging, among other things, that “Ecuador has breached … the Ecuador-United States BIT, including its obligation to…

As I have noted earlier, there is a pitched battle between victims of Pan Am 73 terrorist hijacking over the distribution of treaty funds secured by the United States for American victims in a 2008 diplomatic settlement with Libya. The treaty and Executive Order stipulate that the money shall be distributed solely for the benefit…

ICSID has just published a report on its caseload, and there is plenty of interesting data. The one that particularly caught my attention is the chart on the basis of consent invoked to establish ICSID jurisdiction. Sixty-two percent of all cases came from Bilateral Investment Treaties, while twenty-two percent came from investment contracts. An additional…

We are pleased to announce that Kluwer Arbitration Blog will add two new permanent contributors to the blog: Alexis Mourre of the law firm of Castaldi Mourre & Partners in Paris, France, and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration in Dallas, Texas. Alexis Mourre is a founding partner of Castaldi Mourre & Partners, a 25-lawyer firm…

The Fifth Circuit earlier this month issued a highly unusual decision addressing whether state law could “reverse preempt” the New York Convention. As any student of international arbitration knows, state law occasionally attempts to limit the enforceability of arbitration agreements. Such a policy is preempted by the New York Convention as implemented by the Federal…

This week the good folks at Kluwer have launched a new blog, Kluwer Construction Blog. According to the press release, Managing Editor of the blog, Sarah Thomas, partner and international projects expert at Pinsent Masons, will draw contributions from a panel of pre-eminent construction lawyers and barristers covering Europe, the United States, Canada, Africa, South…

My colleague Trey Childress has a nice summary of the recent decision by a federal court in Florida in Osorio v. Dole Food Company to refuse to enforce a $97 million Nicaraguan judgment. Here’s the key excerpt of the decision: “the evidence before the Court is that the judgment in this case did not arise…