According to the rules governing domestic arbitration (Art 30 of the Concordat on Arbitration, and, as of 1 January 2011, Art. 378 of the Swiss Federal Code on Civil Procedure), a party that does not pay its share of the advance on the arbitration costs requested by the arbitral tribunal risks to lose the benefit…

Introduction: Many international commercial contracts (such as e.g., construction, distribution, sale and purchase) are governed by Swiss (substantive) law as per a choice of law provision. Often the choice of law is made in combination with an arbitration clause referring disputes to arbitration in Switzerland. The effect of international sanctions on commercial contracts has become…

Sports arbitration is becoming an increasingly important field. In Switzerland, where the Court for Arbitration for Sports is located, the Swiss Supreme Court is seeing lately nearly half of its cases coming from the CAS. Sports arbitration, however, gives rise to a specific concern with respect to the issue of consent. Often, athletes find themselves…

The new French arbitration law, published on 14 January 2011, further reinforces Paris’ position as a leading arbitration centre. The new law, which comes thirty years after the previous 1980 law regarding domestic arbitration and the 1981 law dealing with international arbitration, maintains the distinction between domestic and international arbitration. It clarifies and enhances an…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

Within the last two decades, over 30 new states emerged within the international community. From a political, economic, as well as a legal point of view, the formation of a state is always an expedition into unchartered waters. On a domestic level, the establishment of a sound legal system is the prerequisite for a stable…

The European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration 1961 (ECICA) is a multilateral treaty regulating certain aspects of international arbitral proceedings. Some of its provisions cover issues also governed by the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958, also known as the New York Convention (NYC), which was concluded three years earlier…

The Supreme Court of Greece, further to its recent ruling in favor of enforcing international arbitral awards in Greece, issued a second ruling in favor of international ADR. In a recent decision, the Supreme Court found that a major dispute deriving from a contract which contained an arbitration clause with a clear reference to ICC…

In a recent contribution to this list serve Alexis Mourre vigorously defended the parties’ right to appoint their own arbitrator. The appointment of an arbitrator is probably one of the single most important decisions during an arbitration. In so far it is not surprising that the right to appoint ones own arbitrator is regularly mentioned…

The growing success of investment arbitration may collide with the European Commission’s attitude towards intra-EU BITs, as shown recently by a development reported in August 2010 (the IA Reporter, August 5, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 12) regarding the Eureko v. Slovakia arbitration. In this case, Eureko initiated a claim against the Slovak Republic based on…

The discussion on the position of arbitration in the Brussels Jurisdiction and Enforcement Regulation (Regulation 44/ 2001) has now reached the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Just to remind those less familiar with the issue: the present Regulation, as well as the preceding Jurisdiction Convention, allowed courts in EU countries to assume…

When discussing public policy, English lawyers like to quote the famous comment of an English judge in the early 19th century that “public policy is a very unruly horse, and once you get astride it you never know where it will carry you”. Recent history shows how difficult it is to ride the ‘unruly horse’;…

Having had their wings clipped by the European Court of Justice in West Tankers, the English courts have recently confirmed that there is life in the anti-suit injunction yet. In AES UST-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP v UST-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC [2010] EWHC 772 (Comm), Burton J granted anti-suit relief to restrain litigation in Kazakhstan even…

An interesting issue regarding the enforceability of foreign arbitral awards, in relation to the provisions of the New York Convention of 1958 and its alleged conflict with domestic Greek Civil Code provisions in relation to conflict of laws and public policy doctrines arose in Greek jurisdiction. The matter is of specific interest as the dispute…

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…

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….

Art. 207 of the Lisbon Treaty defines the new common commercial policy of the European Union, and states that it shall furthermore relate also to “foreign direct investments”. This provision has the appeal of an outright earthquake, given that the field of foreign investment, and in particular investment treaties, has always been the exclusive realm…

In a post last year we considered the English Court of Appeal’s judgment in the case of Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, where the Court of Appeal held that an order giving leave to enforce a French ICC arbitration award was rightly set aside by the High Court as it had been established, pursuant to section 103(2)(b) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”), that as a matter of French law the respondent government was not a party to the arbitration agreement. The High Court and Court of Appeal agreed that an application under section 103(2) of the Act required a rehearing of the facts in contention (in Dallah the existence of an arbitration agreement), not just a review of the award.

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…

Does a blind law professor intend to destroy the benefits of the New York Convention? Reading the post of Alexis Mourre, I was wondering whether I should react to it, as the post refers to my opinion at least incompletely. However, as I’m still convinced that a fair and open discussion is beneficial, I would…

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…

In a decision dated 10 February 2010 (4A_612/2009), the Swiss Federal Tribunal rejected a petition to set aside a November 2009 CAS Award against German speed-skater Claudia Pechstein. The Federal Tribunal took some unusual procedural steps – including foregoing the usual exchange of written pleadings – to speed up the proceedings and to decide the…

As of 1 January 2011, Swiss domestic arbitration proceedings will be governed by Articles 353 et seq. of the new Swiss Code on Civil Procedure (“CCP”). Articles 353 et seq. CCP will replace the Concordat on Arbitration (“Concordat”), currently governing domestic arbitration proceedings. The dichotomy between domestic arbitration and international arbitration will continue to exist,…