For a country with a significant corpus of the world’s personal data, India’s data protection framework is notoriously deficient. Improperly scoped, imprecisely drafted, and with no real enforcement culture, the extant framework often tends to create more problems than it solves. With a view towards overhauling this framework, the Government of India, in July…

“Conversation – respectful, engaged, reciprocal, calling forth some of our greatest powers of empathy and understanding – is the moral form of a world governed by the dignity of difference.” Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference, quoted by Ian Macduff in “Signs of hope” Following on from yesterday’s post, this second post offers…

Introduction The Delhi High Court’s recent judgment in Union of India v. Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) marks the third instance of an Indian court adjudicating upon issues related to arbitration under an international investment treaty. Within these three judgments, courts have fundamentally disagreed on a crucial point – the applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,…

Arbitration of IP disputes has inherent advantages of saving time and costs and ensuring confidentiality while also maintaining long-term business relations (see here). In India, arbitration will be especially useful in light of the enormous pendency of judicial cases. However, arbitrability of any subject-matter is dictated by a country’s public policy. In India, what forms…

A legal regime which asks the victim of a frivolous legal proceeding to subsidise the costs of the perpetrator is unjust and is bound to provide incentives for more frivolous proceedings. For a long time, Indian arbitration law had been providing such incentives for a party to make frivolous objections to the arbitration agreement or…

INTRODUCTION It is fairly known that the Indian Limitation Act, 1963 (the Limitation Act) constitutes “general law” for Time Periods and its computation. Section 29(2) of the said Act contains the fundamental rule that provisions of Limitation Act would apply for computation of time period prescribed by any special law only to the extent it…

Section 16 (1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 [“the Indian Act”] confers power upon the arbitral tribunal to decide on matters relating to its jurisdiction. Under section 16 (5), a decision accepting the plea of lack of jurisdiction shall be an appealable order; while decision rejecting the same plea can be challenged only…

In a marked departure from its usual closed-doors policy, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) recently held public deliberations in two separate appeal proceedings concerning foreign investment arbitrations. In both cases, a public deliberation by all five judges of the first civil chamber was necessitated due to the lack of unanimity among the…

Introduction Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of India, 1996 (the Act), demonstrates in detail the procedure for appointment of arbitrators. It empowers the court to examine the existence of an arbitration agreement while deciding the application for such appointment. The gravity and significance of such proceedings is vast, in both domestic and…

International investment agreements (IIAs) are divided into two types: (1) bilateral investment treaties and (2) treaties with investment provisions. I would primarily focus on the first category i.e. bilateral investment treaties. A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement between two countries regarding the promotion and protection of investments made by investors from one country…

India signed the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, 1958, commonly known as the New York Convention (“the Convention”), on 10th June, 1958 and ratified it on 13th July, 1960. Often criticised as a “non-friendly” arbitration jurisdiction by the international community, this post analyses how India has fared in its obligations under…

This blog previously carried a post (“previous post”) on the Indian Supreme Court’s (“SC”) progressive approach to binding non-signatories to an arbitration agreement in Ameet Lalchand Shah and Others v Rishabh Enterprises and Another (“Ameet Lalchand”). The present post briefly discusses another aspect of this approach in context of Cheran Properties Limited v Kasturi and…

The proposed amendments (“Bill”) to the Indian arbitration law may soon get the force of law. The Bill is based on the report (“Report”) of a High Level Committee and suggests several changes which may have far-reaching negative effect.   In my earlier post, it was argued that the Report and the Bill have some…

Background The Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) provides, in Section 37(2)(b), for an ‘appeal’ from an arbitral tribunal’s order on interim/provisional measures (“interim order”). It, however, does not stipulate the standard of review that the court must apply while reviewing an interim order. Sans any prescribed legislative standard, courts have two alternatives available: test…

The Supreme Court of India (“SC”) in its recent decision M/s Lion Engineering Consultants v. State of M.P. & Ors. (“Lion”) has held that a party that had failed to raise a jurisdictional challenge before the arbitral tribunal under Section 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), would yet be permitted to raise such…

Independence and impartiality of arbitrators are the hallmarks of arbitration. The amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (“Act”) in 2015, which adopted the international best practices from the International Bar Association Guidelines on Conflict of Interest (“IBA Guidelines”), aimed to bolster not only the neutrality of arbitrators, but also the perception of neutrality….

The lower house of the Indian Parliament recently passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018 (“Bill”) to amend the arbitration law. If also passed by the upper house of Parliament, and upon receiving the President’s assent, this will become a law. It will then come into force when the Government so notifies. The Law…

The Supreme Court of India (“Court”) in a landmark decision titled “BCCI vs. Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd. (previously covered in a blog post) clarified the applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (“Amendment Act”) to pending arbitration and court proceedings commenced under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“1996 Act”). The Court held…

The current government in India is undertaking sweeping policy changes to increase India’s rank on the global index of ease of doing business. In order to attract more investments, it is also focusing on revamping the ailing judicial system and attempting to bring India at par with global arbitration standards. In pursuance of the same,…

Background on CIETAC Split Up until May 1, 2012 CIETAC had a branch in Shanghai named CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission (the “Old Sub-commission”). This Old Sub-commission used the same CIETAC arbitration rules but was administered by a secretariat semi-independent of that of the head office of CIETAC in Beijing. On May 1, 2012 CIETAC launched its…

A key issue that has assumed importance in BIT arbitrations today is the role of state courts vis-à-vis investment tribunals. Two aspects of this issue become particularly relevant when courts are faced with claims of vexatious BIT arbitrations: (i) the law applicable in the court’s supervisory capacity, and (ii) the extent to which courts can…

A mandatory legal provision is one that a party has no choice but to obey, whereas a directory provision is one which the party is encouraged to obey. In other words, a mandatory provision must be observed, disobedience of which would lead to a nullification of the legal act, whereas a directory provision is optional….

Introduction The 2018 International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration undertaken by the Queen Mary University and White and Case LLP found flexibility to be the third most valuable characteristic of international arbitration. The flexibility inherent in the arbitral process allows tribunals to conduct the proceedings (ideally) in an expeditious manner. One common method…

Part I   Over recent years we have seen an uptick in requests to insert arbitration clauses in derivatives and other financial product documentation, and most particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Indeed, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), which is responsible for producing the most widely-used industry template of the master agreement, has…