Kicking off our series on efficiency in arbitration, our first article, Efficient Arbitration – Part 1: Metrics sets out our idea of an efficient arbitration: Achieving the best possible outcome with the least amount of resources. A balancing act. A range of tools are available to focus the spending of resources. Resources should be invested,…

The first half of the year has been a rollercoaster when it comes to BITs and ISDS, in particular in Europe. Several developments at various levels can be distinguished with one common denominator: for better or for worse, the European Union (EU) and EU law have become one of the key drivers in shaping international…

On 29 June 2018, the Supreme People’s Court of China (the “SPC”) launched its First International Commercial Court in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and Second International Commercial Court in Xi’an, Shaanxi (the “Courts”). Correspondingly, the Regulations of the Supreme People’s Court on Certain Issues Concerning the Establishment of International Commercial Courts (the “Regulation”) has just taken effect…

In light of the tariffs on steel imposed by the United States of America (“USA”), the Europe Union (“EU”) has threatened to impose tariffs of its own on American goods. Additionally, the EU has also filed a claim against USA at the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”). However, as discussed below, it may be that this…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) is not an ordinary court but a political court, which means that it is strongly influenced in making its decisions by the political beliefs of the European Commission. The 6 March 2018 judgment of the CJEU’s Grand Chamber in Slovak Republic v. Achmea BV is a…

On 26 April 2018, HKIAC announced its new “Belt and Road Programme” which consists of an industry-focussed Belt and Road Advisory Committee and an online resource platform dedicated to Belt and Road disputes. This is a welcome development in light of the ICC Court’s formation of their own Belt and Road Commission in March (see…

Background In October 2017, in the wake of Brexit, Belgium was one of the first European jurisdictions to announce its intention to set up a specialised English-speaking court with jurisdiction over international commercial disputes, the Brussels International Business Court (“BIBC”). The stated aim of this new court is to position Brussels as a new hub…

On 9 September 2017, Lebanon passed Law No. 48 “Regulating Public Private Partnerships” (“PPP Law”) ahead of the CEDRE Conference (acronym in French for “Economic Conference for Development, through Reforms and with the Businesses”) held in Paris on 6 April 2018. This conference brought USD 11 billion of funding for Lebanon’s infrastructure which is in…

What Is the Future of the New York Convention as a Primary Means for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Across the Globe? Is There Any Future at All?1)UNCITRAL will be having several celebrations in June. At these occasions, thought leaders will reflect on the last 60 years and give their prognoses on the next 60 years….

At the recent Finnish Arbitration Institute’s Arbitration Day in Helsinki, I spoke on the topic of the future of arbitration from the user’s perspective. While I am not a futurist by any stretch, I do have something to say as a user, since I have been an in-house counsel in a global company for the…

Helsinki International Arbitration Day (HIAD) is an arbitration conference organised by the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce (FAI). Since its inception in 2012, HIAD is held every year in the city of Helsinki bringing together legal practitioners from Finland and abroad to hear from top experts about the latest developments in international…

International arbitration claims are oftentimes bedevilled with the contention that the claimant invoked the option to arbitrate much too early. Sometimes, this contention is no more than a lawyers’ artifice utilised to delay advancing arbitral proceedings. Yet, quite commonly, this contention is true in some cases. In my experience, I have identified a number of…

Arbitration as a Settlement Tool: Costly and Slow? As an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism, arbitration is not without its critics, particularly when it comes to time and money spent. According to White & Case, LLP’s 2018 International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration, respectively 67% and 34% of survey respondents indicated “Cost” and…

The seat of arbitration is a vital aspect of any arbitration proceeding. The situs is not just about where an institution is based, where hearings will be held or where there may be a good pool of arbitrators. It is also about which courts have supervisory power over your arbitration and the scope of those…

The past few months have witnessed several momentous developments for international arbitration in Africa. Angola, Cabo Verde, and Sudan acceded to the New York Convention; South Africa adopted a new International Arbitration Act; the OHADA Council of Ministers adopted three new texts on arbitration and mediation; and the Nigerian Arbitration and Conciliation Act (Repeal and…

Part 1 of this blog argued that courts that are asked to resolve Article 8(1) Model Law disputes should adopt a deferential approach to tribunal competence under both a contextual and purposive interpretation of the Model Law or similar provisions aimed at giving effect to Art II(3) NYC. On this proposed view, such a court…

A crucial issue in arbitration is determining the proper relationship between courts and the arbitration process. In addition to court challenges to preliminary jurisdictional decisions by arbitrators and court applications to annul awards or prevent enforcement, a number of other court actions also raise relationship issues. This blog is concerned with scenarios such as commencement…

The recent American case of Weirton Medical Center Inc v Community Health Systems Inc (N.D. W. Va. Dec. 12, 2017) is another reminder that the debate over the place of summary disposal in arbitration has not been settled. This issue has previously been in the spotlight notably through the transatlantic case of Travis Coal Restructured…

The world after the  Achmea v Slovakia decision focuses on the question about the future of ISDS in relation to intra-EU BITs. At the ASIL conference on the 6 April 2018, a representative of the EU observed the decision in the Achmea case as one that was perhaps a natural consequence of the intricacies of…

Back in the early 20th century, the business community created arbitration with the aim of offering an alternative to the perceived inadequacies of state courts in dealing with foreign parties, law, and claims. At the time, cases and claims were characterised by European, Mediterranean, and American elements. As a result, the arbitration community was described…

The Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters of 27 September 1968 was superseded by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters. The latter was subsequently repealed by Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 of the…

Until a few decades ago, international arbitration was perceived to be a quick and inexpensive way of resolving disputes. However, the proliferation of legal rules, the disclosure of voluminous documents, complex technical evidence and over-lawyering have, to a large extent, hollowed that boast and made it appear somewhat of an urban myth. Quite recently though,…

The ICC Rules introduced expedited procedure with effect from March 01, 2017. With this, the ICC joined the league of other leading arbitration institutions such as SIAC, LCIA and HKIAC who had already incorporated expedited procedure. Courts across the globe have delivered uniform decisions, views in interpreting party autonomy except for a decision by the…