On 28 July 2020, the Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings released its long-awaited Report in the eighth volume of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Reports Series. Established in 2019, the Task Force brings together 17 leading international arbitration institutions, law firms and gender diversity initiatives to publish…

Just like many of us have learned to work remotely these past few months, those leading the efforts to reform international arbitration have also had to endure the constraints imposed by the pandemic. At the first-ever virtual ITA-ASIL conference, held on 24 June 2020, Professor Chiara Giorgetti from the University of Richmond School of Law…

On Monday 6 July 2020, during the first day of the Paris Arbitration Week, Reed Smith held a webinar on ‘Arbitrating allegations of corruption in international business transactions – problems and solutions‘, a highly controversial topic which has gained much attention in the arbitration community in the last decade. The event focused on a series…

In the absence of a uniform standard of compensation under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”), tribunals have been tasked with filling the gap and have done so by exercising an important margin of appreciation for the assessment of damages. Such wide discretion has resulted in divergent approaches in assessing damages. Since the first ECT decision,…

The investment protection mechanism in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is meant to, among other things, promote, attract, and protect foreign investments in the member states’ energy sectors. In 2018, the Energy Charter Conference announced its list of approved topics for the modernization of the ECT. The list included several substantive investment protection provisions. This…

The Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) opened for signature in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and now boasts some 50 member States. The ECT has since given rise to some 130 investor-State arbitrations, making it “the most frequently invoked international investment agreement”. This high use, coupled with a perception that the ECT is frequently invoked…

Previous posts have already covered various aspects of data protection in international arbitration proceedings and also in view of cybersecurity. Meanwhile, new and crucial data protection aspects have arisen with regards to video conferencing. The ICCA / IBA’s Joint Task Force on Data Protection (“Joint Task Force”) in International Arbitration Proceedings has joined forces to…

Document production is widely regarded as one of the most time-consuming and costly elements of international arbitration. In its consultation regarding the proposed amendments to the ICSID arbitration rules, many states expressed their concern “that document production is too lengthy, expensive and burdensome“. The Prague Rules actively encourage the parties “to avoid any form of…

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” (John F. Kennedy, Former US President). The current Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally impacting people in grievous ways. The resultant containment measures by governments have severely limited or otherwise rendered physical interactions impossible. As…

The Crimea crisis has received attention by UNCLOS and investment tribunals, as well as by the Swiss Federal Tribunal in appeals and annulment proceedings. However, their analyses have been limited to jurisdiction. The implicated issue was whether the (bilateral) investment treaties (BIT) of the occupying, and a fortiori annexing, State could be applied extraterritorially. These…

On 19 May 2020 the London Court of International Arbitration (hereinafter the LCIA or the Court) issued its annual casework report for 2019. This paper aims to present and analyse the numbers revealed in the report. The focus will be on the development of international arbitration in terms of market, diversity and inclusion, and applicable…

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arrangements provided in Chapter 14 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are a radical shift from those that have been in force for the past 25 years under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As explored in Wednesday’s post, Canada has effectively opted-out of ISDS under…

On July 1, 2020, the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) will enter into force. Although the media widely refers to the treaty by its American name, USMCA, it also carries two other names: Canada has adopted it as the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), while Mexico has settled on…

Reforms Are Afoot Calls for investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”) reform have catalyzed efforts to evolve the regime. Concurrently, the ISDS system continues to wrestle with tensions between an investment regime primarily oriented towards protecting investor rights, and the human rights normative architecture for protection of individual rights and associated State obligations for protection of such rights. ISDS…

Not all technology is born equal. In 1739, the French inventor and artist Jacques de Vaucanson unveiled a head-scratching automaton that fascinated contemporaries for more than a century. It was a ‘digesting duck’, which had the apparent ability to eat kernels and actually digest them. The invention was a trick, of course, and it was…

Recent years have seen an uptick in the expansion and enforcement of anti-corruption laws worldwide. In 2017, China amended its Anti-Unfair Competition Law, broadening the scope of bribe recipients covered by the law, and increasing penalties. In 2019, Italy widened its anti-bribery law, No. 3/2019, increasing penalties for both individuals and companies found guilty of…

Long before the now-popular phrase “pale, male, and stale,” leading arbitrators were instead often referred to as a “club,” a “cartel,” or even a “monopoly.” Those references were meant metaphorically, even jokingly. The irony is that they turn out to hold important truths that are promiscuously intertwined with the pale-male-stale moniker. To understand both, we…

Background There is much public discourse on the impact of the ongoing pandemic on international arbitrations. Commentators and scholars have provided perspectives on how to navigate and find safe harbours in the uncharted waters of COVID-19. In the “new normal” of wide-ranging travel advisories and restrictions, there is an emerging consensus to better integrate the…

It is not uncommon to encounter international arbitration cases in which one party, usually the respondent, refuses to pay the advance on costs set by the institution. This may occur when that party objects to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal or there is a risk that the advance will not be recovered after the…

Remote hearings are nothing new, but the COVID-19 crisis has forced international arbitration out of its comfort zone. Parties, counsel, and arbitrators must adapt to the new reality of conducting proceedings in the face of travel restrictions and social distancing measures. One particularly thorny question is whether and to what extent planned physical hearings that…

During a vivid “virtual” presentation delivered by the well-known arbitrator, professor and practitioner, Gary Born, the topic of virtual hearings was addressed. Another well-known international arbitrator, Elena Gutierrez García and the President of the AMCHAM-Peru Arbitration Center, José Daniel Amado, moderated the discussion. At the outset, Mr. Born clarified that virtual hearings are not a…

Last week BCLP released the results of its annual International Arbitration survey on the topic of appeals against a tribunal’s decision on the merits. Respondents to the survey comprised arbitrators, corporate counsel, external lawyers, litigation funders, academics and those working at arbitral institutions. Procedures for court challenge of an award on the basis of procedural…

In the recent ruling of 29 April 2020, the England and Wales Court of Appeal, departing from Sulamérica, has held the seat of arbitration as an implied choice of the law of the arbitration agreement in cases where parties expressly chose the law applicable to the main contract and the seat of arbitration under a…

On 28 January 2020, the arbitration panel has been formed in the dispute between the EU and Ukraine regarding Ukraine’s export prohibition of unprocessed timber. Notably, this is the first dispute between the EU and Ukraine under the Association Agreement (“EU-Ukraine AA”), and here, the EU invokes the dispute settlement mechanism provided by the free-trade…