Almost every country of the world has seen an enormous increase in the involvement of the State in economic activity over the past century. This trend is particularly pronounced in those economies, China foremost among them, in which the State takes an active role in commercial life. But can State owned entities and other private…

Videocon Industries Ltd. Vs. Union Of India & Anr. (on 11 May, 2011) The Supreme Court of India (the SCI) recently added to the contentious line of authority beginning with its ruling in Bhatia International v Bulk Trading SA (2002) (4) SCC 105 concerning the power of the Indian courts to intervene in arbitrations held…

Empirical research shows that modern law students, at least at post-graduate level, wish to have some options to learn something about the skills of ‘lawyering’. Students often say that they want to have more than just the letters ‘LLM’ after their names. They pay substantial tuition fees to obtain these post-graduate degrees, and they wish…

In Galsworthy Ltd of the Republic of Liberia v Glory of Wealth Shipping Pte Ltd [2010] SGHC 304 (“Galsworthy”), the Singapore High Court held that a losing party to an arbitration seeking to challenge an arbitral award had the “alternative and not cumulative options” of applying to set aside the award, or, applying to set…

The Supreme Court has arrived at what almost all arbitration practitioners and clients will view as the right result in the strange episode of Jivraj v Hashwani. The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal on the basis that an arbitrator is not an employee of the parties for the purposes of the Employment Equality…

The scope of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clauses in bilateral investment treaties (BITs) has been a source of rich debate for many years. In sum, the debate centres around whether MFN “treatment” includes only substantive rules for the protection of investments, or if it also extends to procedural protections such as dispute resolution. There have…

Last week’s summer quiz on international arbitration and mediation provoked a happy flurry of answers from around the world from a broad range of practitioners. Before we get to the answers, here are some interesting observations from the empirical data that we unintentionally gathered. Conclusive Empirical Data about International Arbitration and Mediation Practitioners (“Practitioners”) As…

If you live or work somewhere in the northern half of the planet, odds are that at some point this summer you’ll find yourself on a beach, cityscape, mountain, or other scenic destination surrounded with children relaxedly drawing on their coloring pads, and grandparents working attentively at their crossword. What about those of us who…

In a post dated March 2, 2011, I reported about a Swiss Supreme Court decision of February 20, 2009 where the Supreme Court had confirmed a CAS award which deemed an appeal withdrawn after the appellant had failed to pay the advance on costs. I indicated that I did not know what had happened to…

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales ruled last month that where parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, one party can obtain an anti-suit injunction to prevent the other party from initiating proceedings in a foreign court, even where no arbitration is underway or indeed even contemplated. In AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP…

There are two legal jurisdictions in Qatar with laws containing specific provisions related to arbitration: the State of Qatar and the Qatar Financial Center (the “QFC”). The latter is a separate jurisdiction with its own laws within the state. The QFC Law provides for the arbitration of commercial disputes in relation to contracts that have…

CIETAC’s Vice Chairman and Secretary General recently announced at a conference in London that CIETAC may soon permit parties to select arbitrators from outside the CIETAC list. As the CIETAC Rules currently allow parties to appoint off-list only if they have agreed to do so, this announcement suggests that CIETAC may in the future allow…

There was no shortage of coverage of the recent English Supreme Court case Jivraj v Hashwani, the case concerning whether an arbitration clause was contrary to anti-discrimination legislation applicable to employees. But there was one issue which received little attention before the Supreme Court – whether or not the nature of the relationship between the…

I write this post on a train on the way home from a seminar held by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration (CAM) to introduce a new rule and guidelines that could be seen as a necessary next step in the trend towards greater efficiency in arbitration. Before commenting on where these new developments might take…

Costa Rica has a new Arbitration Law, which is based on the 2006 version of the UNCITRAL Model Law. The relative speed with which the new Arbitration Law was adopted came as a surprise to many. Only a few months ago, at the Second International Arbitration Congress organized by the ICC Costa Rica in San…

In the current zeitgeist focusing on the need for efficiency and speed in arbitration, we are at risk of over-correcting to the point of diminishing important functions of the arbitral process. There is little doubt that the arbitral process generally has become too much like litigation, and needs to be more efficient and less costly….

The new Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (the “Ordinance”) comes into effect today, having been approved by the Hong Kong Legislative Council at the end of last year. The Ordinance represents the culmination of many years of discussion and consultation and marks a significant milestone in the development of Hong Kong as a world-class…

“…there are known knowns; these are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know” Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. One of…

One of the key issues that now awaits the decision of the U.K. Supreme Court in Jivraj v. Hashwani is whether there is a contract between the parties and the arbitrators, such that the arbitrators may be considered “employees” of the parties (and thereby subject to the law prohibiting discrimination by employers)? If there is…

In a recent decision, the Swiss Supreme Court examined whether contractual provisions contemplating certain procedural steps before initiating arbitration proceedings impacted the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal (Case no. 4A_46/2011 of 16 May 2011, to be published in ASA Bulletin, 2011. English translation to be published in Swiss International Arbitration Law Reports, 2011). The contract,…

On 27 April 2011, the US Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision (AT&T Mobility LLC v Concepcion (563 US ____ (2011) 17)), concluded that due to the principle of finality, arbitration would be “poorly suited” to cases where the stakes are particularly high (class actions in the instant case). The US Supreme Court added: “[w]e…

Conferences on arbitration frequently include a session on “drafting” dispute resolution clauses for international contracts. The term drafting is also included in the title of many articles, book chapters, and entire books. While the actual content that follows this topic heading is often helpful, especially for non-specialist in-house counsel and transactions lawyers, the term itself…

Such a makeover will certainly not be achieved in sixty minutes. Sixty days will not nearly be enough. One would not, however, have to be too audacious to hope that India can reinvent itself as an arbitration-friendly part of the world in sixty months. From its early years as a newly independent, fledgling democracy, India…