The IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest focus on when an arbitrator should disclose potential conflicts, as well as when he or she should simply not accept appointment. For the most part, they do not specifically address the potential disqualification of an arbitrator. Nonetheless, the Guidelines, even though non-binding, have become quite influential in the…

In 2012, the Permanent Court of Arbitration [“PCA”] in the  Chagos Decision entertained a challenge to an arbitrator’s impartiality in an inter-state arbitration between Mauritius and the United Kingdom (“UK”) (analyzed here) . The PCA had to decide the appropriate standard for impartiality of arbitrators, and in the process, deal with the novel question of…

The 29th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”), which took place on 14-15 June 2017 in Dallas, focused on a timely subject of much importance to the future of international arbitration, namely, the “Challenges to the Legitimacy of International Arbitration.” The event was co-chaired by Caline Mouawad (King & Spalding), Jeremy K….

(a.k.a why is it always Bill?) To those unfamiliar with this popular Hasbro™ family game, each team has a board with 24 faces on it – the faces vary in colour, shape, gender, facial hair and attire. In the conventional game each side ‘picks their person’ and the other player has to whittle down the…

Mark Twain once wrote that a person with a new idea “is a crank until the idea succeeds.”1)Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, in Following the Equator (1897). The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “crank” as “an annoyingly eccentric person.” Innovations and new ideas on the verge of implementation seem to arrive almost weekly in international arbitration. They…

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. today announced its collaboration with Arbitrator Intelligence (AI) to improve resources available to the arbitration community and bring more transparency to the arbitration process. Through this collaboration, Wolters Kluwer will provide AI’s Arbitrator Intelligence reports on Kluwer Arbitration, making highly valuable data widely available and providing users with important…

The numbers are in, and they are encouraging. In the past decade, female arbitrator appointments have more than tripled. Last year alone, arbitral institutions appointed a third more female arbitrators than the year before. Driving this trend is the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (the “Pledge”), a global initiative addressing the gender imbalance in arbitration….

In many ways, Portugal is a remarkable arbitration-friendly jurisdiction. Not only a new UNICTRAL Model based law has been enacted a few years back now, but also its courts have proved to be very supportive of arbitration. The deference that they have been showing to the validity of the arbitration clause inserted in derivatives master…

On 11 January 2017, the Swiss Federal Council proposed a revised version of the Swiss International Private Law Act (“SPILA”) relating to international arbitration (art. 176 et seq.) with a view to increasing the attractiveness of Switzerland as a place of arbitration while preserving the concise, liberal and flexible traits of the SPILA. More precisely,…

A group of lawyers has been coveted in recent years by the most prestigious law firms. They are supposed to predict results more accurately than Gary Born, create more persuasive stories than Stanimir Alexandrov and even issue better awards than Gabrielle Kauffman-Kohler. Their names are Watson, Ross, Lex Machina and Compas – they are Machine…

On 23 February 2017, three prominent international arbitrators shared their views and experience on the controversial question of the influence of legal traditions on arbitrators and arbitral proceedings. Juliet Blanch, Bernard Hanotiau and Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga were interviewed by Oliver Caprasse and Claire Morel de Westgaver at an event jointly organised by Belgian arbitration institution…

Newspapers, cable television shows, and Twitter are abuzz with claims of “fake news.” Within the past two weeks alone, the U.S. President accused his predecessor of wiretapping his office building, apparently in reliance upon reporting in online news media. More traditional news outlets have responded with innuendo that the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau…

Last week GAR released the shortlist for its 2017 award for “best innovation by an individual or organization”. What is notable about this year’s shortlist is that of the ten innovations on the list, six directly address transparency and/or diversity in international arbitration. From an online directory of African arbitration practitioners, to the launch of “Dispute…

2016 was an important year for international arbitration. Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales challenged the legitimacy of international arbitration, while supporters such as former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (Robert French AC) came forward to defend its coexistence with commercial courts. Several institutions such as ACICA, SIAC and KCAB updated…

New years are a great opportunity to take stock and to prepare for future developments, despite the obvious difficulties in predicting what the main trends will be. This is also the case for 2017. Looking back to 2016 there are two topics that immediately stand out: gender diversity and transparency. Both topics were subject to…

Arbitration has become a preferred method for the resolution of international commercial disputes in Russia, mostly thanks to the activities of the Moscow-based International Commercial Arbitration Court (“ICAC“, the Russian acronym “MKAS“) at the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Established in 1932 as the Foreign Trade Arbitration Commission placed under the USSR National Chamber…

Background Bulgarian arbitration law has been an area of rare developments. It is incorporated in the International Commercial Arbitration Act (“ICAA”), adopted in 1988 as almost a direct translation of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in its 1985 version. The only major reform of ICAA was its extension to arbitrations between entirely…

Over the past few decades, responding to the need to control the growing costs and time of arbitration proceedings, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC Court”) has continuously sought to achieve greater efficiency of the ICC arbitration proceedings (examples of such efforts can be found on the links available…

Are international arbitrators biased in favor of the nominating party? The answer is: probably yes! This is in part the result of what some scholars refer to as selection and affiliation effects. Selection effect: Because the parties nominate the arbitrators, they can choose party-appointed arbitrators with the maximum predisposition towards their case. The litigant can…

If James Bond practiced law, it would be international arbitration. Don’t believe me? Just consider how many international arbitration cases could be great plots for a James Bond movie. Take, for example, the case in which an Israeli investor was arrested in Tbilisi and jailed following a cognac-laced sting operation that caught the investor on…

One of the perceived advantages of arbitration is that it allows parties to select one or more decision makers (arbitrators) with a level of technical or scientific expertise and professional experience higher than that of the average judge. Arbitration has always been welcomed as a fitting alternative to traditional litigation, where the judges tend to…

On 30 June 2016, the French Cour de Cassation issued a new decision (Cass. Civ. 1, 30 June 2016, N°15-13.755) in the long-running Tapie saga (or, as the French media has called it, “l’affaire Tapie”). This recent decision might not represent the end of the saga, however, it nonetheless gives us the opportunity to take…

One of the main advantages of arbitration vis-à-vis state court litigation, is that the parties are free to choose independent and highly specialised experts to decide their cases. Yet, if these experts negligently (or even deliberately) violate the duties that come with the acceptance of the appointment, the issue of liability arises. One may think…

Introduction Saudi Arabia has changed dramatically in the past two decades, and many of those changes have potentially positive implications for international arbitration. As a crucial starting point, the Saudi government has focused intense attention and devoted vast resources to diversify the country’s economy, most interestingly by investing billions of dollars to develop the education…