On September 4, 2019, Esso, a subsidiary of the Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Shell Nigeria, a subsidiary of the Shell Oil Company (collectively “Esso”), attempted to enforce a $1.799 billion arbitral award in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after it had been annulled in the courts of Nigeria (Esso Opinion)….

Readers of the Kluwer Arbitration Blog will be very familiar with the drama surrounding the European Union’s (EU) pushback against intra-EU investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as contained in intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and in particular the “clap of thunder” Achmea (C-284/16) judgment (on this blog see, e.g. here). According to the Court of Justice…

Gender and ethnic inequalities in the workplace have been the norm for decades with no effective measures been taken to address them, despite mounting evidence of discrimination and disadvantage faced by women and ethnic minorities across the world. Globally, most corporations, law-firms, government agencies, public offices recognize the need for diversity to enhance decision-making and…

In the last few years, the international arbitration community has started to engage in discussions on the digital transformation of dispute resolution and on artificial intelligence (also on this blog). Scholars and arbitration practitioners have been speculating on how artificial intelligence might be used in arbitral proceedings and the potential impact it might have on…

In 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) seized two opportunities to confirm and develop its existing case law in relation to the personal scope of arbitration agreements and their possible extension to non-signatories.   Extension to Non-Signatories under the New York Convention In a first decision, ATF 145 III 199, dated 17 April 2019,…

On November 22, 2019, the acting government of Spain passed a long-anticipated legislation in response to more than four dozen of international arbitrations that, since late 2013, have been filed continuously against the country. The Royal Decree-Law 17/2019 (‘RDL 17/2019’) is, therefore, an attempt to provide new incentives and more certainty to the renewable energy…

2019 has been a busy year for international arbitration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, the year has brought an interesting wave of precedents, new domestic statutes, modern international investment agreements, and arbitration events. This post highlights and summarises some of the African developments covered in the Blog in 2019, with many thanks to the authors who…

The swift and far-reaching development experienced by arbitration in Spain over the past few decades is unprecedented in the context of other arbitration-friendly jurisdictions. In little more than 40 years, a fully-fledged arbitration system was set up virtually from scratch. In 1977 Spain ratified the New York Convention without reservation, thus entering the international arbitration…

The Vienna Convention rules for treaty interpretation (VCLT) routinely referred to by all international courts and tribunals are known to be the result of a compromise between different schools of interpretation and therefore notoriously flexible, in my view too flexible for the purposes of modern-day international dispute resolution. Cases are therefore won and lost according…

On 24 October 2019, the European Commission announced that the EU Member States have reached agreement on a plurilateral treaty for the termination of all ca. 190 intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The agreement follows the political Declarations of the Member States issued in January this year in which they explained the consequences they are…

In its recent decision T-354/2019, the Colombian Constitutional Court, through one of its chambers, declared that arbitration awards, issued in international arbitrations seated in Colombia, may be subject to constitutional challenges by means of the so-called acción de tutela. As described in another post , the Court decided that the tutela was inadmissible in the…

Under French law, the principle is that both a request to set aside an award and an appeal of a decision upholding enforcement (ordonnance d’exequatur) have no suspensive effect (Article 1526(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, ‘CCP’), so that an international arbitral award is immediately enforceable. However, as an exception, stay or adjustment of…

Essential Role of Effective Case Management in Arbitration Throughout the second half of the 20th century, arbitration has become a dominant and preferred method for resolving international disputes. Its advantages are widely known. This being said, international arbitration suffers nowadays from increasing costs and duration of the proceedings. It is less efficient than it promises….

On August 6, 2019, the Fifth Revision Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court (the “Court”) issued judgment T-354/19 resolving a constitutional injunction (tutela) submitted by a state-owned company and its subsidiary against an international arbitral award (the “Tutela”). In its decision, the Court recognized the possibility of obtaining constitutional injunctions against awards issued in international arbitrations…

Introduction With less than a month to go before the latest EU-UK divorce date, the UK Supreme Court resumed its hearing in Micula et al. v Romania 2018/0177, relating to the enforcement of the widely discussed ICSID award against Romania. With the UK grappling with its future relationship with the EU, it is interesting timing…

With over $3 billion invested by Vedanta Resources in Zambia since it became a shareholder in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in 2004, it is a less optimistic turn of events with Vedanta Resources and fellow shareholder, the government-owned Zambian State Mining Company ZCCM-IH (ZCCM), being at loggerheads in arbitration. In this post, we examine what…

The United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (‘New York Convention’) stipulates in Article III that enforcement of foreign arbitral awards should not be subject to more onerous conditions, higher fees or charges than those that are imposed on enforcement of domestic arbitral awards. However, the Czech Supreme Court (‘CSC’)…

The topic of precedent in international arbitration is not an idle one. It is widely accepted that the existence and use of precedent in any legal system leads to predictability, consistency and equality of treatment. Indeed, one of the eight strands that according to the late Lord Bingham (as summarised by Lord Neuberger) make up…

Recently, focus has been brought upon the use of international arbitration to solve human rights abuses caused by businesses (“BHR Arbitration“). Disputes involving human rights violations often occur between parties of unequal financial means and commercial sophistication, and in countries which cannot offer an efficient and free from corruption judicial system. Arbitration has the potential…

With as many as nine identified approaches to the potential applicable law to the arbitration agreement, Marc Blessing, as an experienced author, arbitrator and lawyer, could not help but ask: “Are we thus faced with a magnificent confusion?”. This post focuses on the approach that would most likely be followed in an international arbitration seated…

This post analyses the decisions of Hungarian courts rendered under the New York Convention (“Convention”) and published in the last two decades. The decisions were initially made available to the international arbitration community in the ICCA Yearbook of Commercial Arbitration series. This case law of 20 years is summarized below by identifying the main directions…

Amanda is an independent arbitrator and a Consultant at Seymours, based in London. Her practice focuses on international commercial arbitration, domestic and international commercial litigation and Privy Council appellate procedure. Her experience includes disputes arising in relation to a variety of sectors, including the recycling, construction, automotive and finance sectors. She has acted and participated in…

It is often said that flexibility is a cornerstone of international arbitration and that the tribunal (typically in consultation with the parties) is the master of how the proceedings are to be conducted. Yet, it remains unsettled whether certain specific rules of procedure or evidence must be complied with in arbitration – sometimes, at the…

If the number of signatories at the launch of a convention is any measure of success, then the Singapore Convention on Mediation (Singapore Convention) had close to five times the signatories as the New York Convention (NYC) which had 10 signatories (by the time the NYC came into force there were 24 signatories). The NYC…