The arbitrability of a dispute is not generally limited to private law. In many countries, including Germany and Switzerland, it is admitted that arbitration can also bear on claims derived from public law, and in particular on rights conferred upon by contracts subject to administrative law. Arbitrability of such disputes may however be more problematic…

The Court of Appeals for the state of Bahia in Brazil recently handed down an arbitration-friendly decision and vacated an injunction intended to stay an arbitration proceeding. In FAT Ferroatlàntica S.L. vs. Zeus Mineração Ltda. and others, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether the existence of conflicting arbitration clauses in contracts pertaining to a single economic transaction justifies judicial intervention at the outset of the arbitration. The Court of Appeals held that, provided an arbitration agreement exists, such issue is to be dealt with by the arbitrators, not by the Courts.

A defining characteristic of international arbitration is the ability to choose the decision-makers who determine the dispute. The parties’ right to choose their arbitrator is qualified by the requirement that the arbitrator adhere to standards of independence and impartiality. Where the parties consider that the arbitrators do not meet these standards, they can bring a…

In recent years, there has been increasing concern about court orders aimed at preventing a party from initiating, continuing or participating in arbitration proceedings (see notably, IAI Series on International Arbitration, no 2, Anti-Suit Injunction in International Arbitration, E. Gaillard ed., 2005; ICCA Congress Series, No 13 International Arbitration 2006, Back to Basics?, A. J….

On April 27, 2010, the United States Supreme Court held in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v Animalfeeds International Corp., that under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16 (“FAA”), “[A] party may not be compelled . . . to submit to class arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to…

Anti-suit injunctions have certainly received their fair share of air time (and some would say more) as a result of the West Tankers debate – about which this blog entry is not. Now that all eyes are on anti-suit injunctions, it is interesting to keep an eye on how the cases post West Tankers pan…

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

En arbitraje, a pesar de la cada vez mayor armonización a nivel internacional, siguen existiendo muchos temas en los que cada jurisdicción aporta un enfoque distinto, normalmente sobre cuestiones que van más allá del mero ámbito del arbitraje y entran de lleno en el ámbito contractual. Es lo que sucede con los acuerdos de sometimiento…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

On January 15, 2010, the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson, Case No. 09-497, agreeing to revisit the oft-litigated issue of whether the court or arbitrator should determine arbitrability under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Court’s prior jurisprudence has established the general rule, as a…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

One of the major problems related to the doctrine of the New Lex Mercatoria (NLM) is to determine its contents. The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, of which a third edition will perhaps be finalized this year, have used the Restatement technique of the American Law Institute as a means to “codify” transnational contract…

Handicapping investor-state arbitration cases is a tough business. Indeed, it’s difficult to predict when decisions will come down – much less what they will say. The following somewhat-hastily-cobbled-together list constitutes my best guess as to the 10 most notable awards which may come down in 2010. I won’t hazard a guess as to what’s in…

As a political slogan, re-Belizeanization was supposed to have a brief shelf life. When the Government of Belize announced last August the “re-Belizeanization” of the tiny Central American country’s dominant telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia Limited, the government disavowed any intention to embark upon a broader programme of economic nationalization. “It is not part of any…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

United States Code Title 28 Section 1782(a) is well-known to practitioners who have participated in international arbitral proceedings involving U.S. parties. The provision governs the judicial assistance U.S. federal courts can provide in foreign discovery. It states, in relevant part, that federal trial courts “of the district in which a person resides or is found…

The 9.10.2009 session of the New York Convention subcommittee of the IBA in Madrid saw a lively discussion on the topic of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards. The discussion related to the “Yukos Capital” decision issued by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in April 2009. The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had previously upheld the…

There is a lingering perception amongst the international arbitration community that English courts tend to be more interventionist in relation to arbitration proceedings and awards compared to some of their continental counterparts. In reality, English courts are much less interventionist than some imagine, despite provisions such as section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 which…

A recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has attracted attention within the arbitration community as it puts into question the enforceability in the United States of international arbitration agreements where foreign (non-US) law is the governing substantive law. The Eleventh Circuit also mistakenly references Article V of the New York Convention in…

I have been reading with interest the ILA’s Final Report and Recommendation on Res Judicata and Arbitration adopted at the 2006 Toronto conference. Recommendation 2 provides that: The conclusive and preclusive effects of arbitral awards in further arbitral proceedings set forth below need not necessarily be governed by national law and may be governed by…

As arbitration continues its upward trajectory in the world of dispute resolution, eyes have remained fixed on legal developments in China. With the significant growth of international transactions involving Chinese parties, there has been an equally staggering rise in the number of disputes. In China, arbitration has quickly become an accepted method of resolving international…

One of the benefits of international commercial arbitration is the ability to resolve disputes between the parties in a single, neutral forum that gives neither party a “home court advantage.” After a dispute arises, however, litigious parties sometimes engage in tactical maneuvering aimed at circumventing the parties’ agreement to arbitrate. A recent US case gives…

Addressing an issue of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that, notwithstanding a prior-filed lawsuit in Australia, the doctrine of international abstention did not prevent a federal court from deciding a motion to compel arbitration under Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act. Answers in Genesis of…