“Research is formalized curiosity…” – Z. Hurston In what follows I have tried to gather information from publicly available sources regarding some of the questions which have troubled my mind lately. It is hoped that the results would be of interest to the readers. For me, this proved to be one of my most exciting…

A recent Australian case has resulted in a ruling that arbitration clauses, jurisdiction clauses and choice of law clauses in charter parties involving shipments to or from Australia are now unenforceable if such clauses seek to limit the jurisdiction of any Australian court. On 6 October 2009 the Claimant ship owner, Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S (“DKN”),…

Investment arbitration under intra-EU investment treaties has been a controversial topic for years. The European Commission has repeatedly expressed the view that arbitration clauses in bilateral investment treaties between EU Member States are in conflict with EU law and therefore inoperative, while arbitral tribunals have, on several occasions, assumed jurisdiction on the basis of such…

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently issued a decision that has some interesting implications for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the U.S. against foreign state agencies or state-owned companies. American readers, get ready for a review of Civil Procedure 101 on personal jurisdiction! The United States…

This post follows on from the highly informative Kluwer Arbitration Blog post by Elizabeth Kantor, “The ‘West Tankers’ Saga Continues: Can Damages Compensate for Breach of an Arbitration Clause?” Whilst that focussed principally on the implications for, and efficacy of, the type of award in issue the purpose this post is, in contrast, to look…

In the most recent of a long-running series of decisions in the West Tankers saga, the English court has found that the majority of the tribunal was wrong to decline jurisdiction to award equitable damages or to declare a party liable to indemnify the other as a result of the breach of an arbitration clause….

Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada, recently considered whether a party had waived its right to rely on arbitration and forum selection clauses by submitting a statement of defence on the merits in an Ontario court litigation in which it also pleaded the clauses. The Court ruled that there had been no waiver….

A commentary on the OECD Competition Commission conclusions on using arbitration to effectively resolve competition law disputes By Francesca Richmond and Sarah West There has been increasing use of arbitration to resolve disputes involving competition law issues in recent years. However, it is surprising that the number is not even greater given that arbitral processes…

Over the past few months, Russia’s outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been busy campaigning for foreign investment into various industries of the Russian economy. In a nutshell, the thinking behind the new plan for improving the investment climate in Russia is that easing access to strategic industries for foreign investors will do the trick….

One purpose for anti-suit injunctions is to stop parallel proceedings, that is, to stop parties from pursuing litigation or arbitration involving the same parties and the same claims in two different jurisdictions simultaneously. To stop parallel proceedings in arbitration, a party will go to the court at the seat of the arbitration and will ask…

As we approach the first anniversary of the UK Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the case of Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan, it is only fitting that we would encounter a case which would cause us to revisit the issue of the proper standard of…

Adjudicating contract disputes where it is alleged that the contract has been tainted by bribery, either in its procurement or in its performance, presents difficult issues for arbitrators, as well as for counsel. While the arbitrability of disputes involving allegations of bribery is generally no longer in doubt, a tribunal will still confront a number…

Last week’s summer quiz on international arbitration and mediation provoked a happy flurry of answers from around the world from a broad range of practitioners. Before we get to the answers, here are some interesting observations from the empirical data that we unintentionally gathered. Conclusive Empirical Data about International Arbitration and Mediation Practitioners (“Practitioners”) As…

If you live or work somewhere in the northern half of the planet, odds are that at some point this summer you’ll find yourself on a beach, cityscape, mountain, or other scenic destination surrounded with children relaxedly drawing on their coloring pads, and grandparents working attentively at their crossword. What about those of us who…

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales ruled last month that where parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, one party can obtain an anti-suit injunction to prevent the other party from initiating proceedings in a foreign court, even where no arbitration is underway or indeed even contemplated. In AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP…

In a landmark provisional judgment in Democratic Republic of the Congo v. FG Hemisphere Associates FACV Nos. 5, 6 & 7 of 2010, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) has held by a majority of 3:2 that absolute sovereign immunity applies in Hong Kong, with no exception for purely commercial transactions or assets….

According to article 7 of the Swiss Private International Law (PILA), if the parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, the Swiss Court before which the action is brought shall decline its jurisdiction unless it finds that the agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed. An initiative to amend article 7…

Will a court injunct arbitral proceedings if parties, before an arbitration hearing, allegedly reach a settlement agreement and a dispute subsequently arises over the existence of such an agreement? Is the tribunal functus? Recently, the Singapore High Court in Doshion Ltd v Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 46 (“Doshion”) rightly held that…

While Russia is a signatory to the New York Convention, there is a perception amongst some practitioners and arbitration users that Russia is not an arbitration friendly jurisdiction. This viewpoint is, no doubt, due to a perceived scepticism of the Russian courts and is the driving force behind many foreign investors doing business in Russia…

On December 1, 2010, an ICSID tribunal composed of Sir Franklin Berman (President), Prof. Emmanuel Gaillard, and J. Christopher Thomas, QC, in Global Trading Resource Corp. and Globex International, Inc. v. Ukraine [Disclosure: White & Case LLP was counsel to Ukraine in this case], became the first tribunal ever to dismiss a case under the…

The 14 July 2010 Award in Saba Fakes v. Turkey (Fakes) is notable because it expressly disapproves of the approach taken by the Tribunal in Phoenix Action v. Czech Republic, which found in its 15 April 2009 Award that good faith and legality are jurisdictional requirements for access to ICSID arbitration. Fakes is a welcome addition to…

In a decision dated 8 December 2009, published on 13 June 2010 (case 4A_446/2009, published as 136 III 107), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that persons acting as board of directors of a company that subsequently became insolvent cannot rely on an arbitration clause contained in the articles of association of that insolvent company…

In two decisions both dated 11 January 2010, published on 16 April 2010 (cases 4A_256/2009 and 4A_258/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed two appeals regarding the irregular constitution of an arbitral tribunal by stating that the complainant failed to sufficiently substantiate his allegations. Background In 2006, two ICC arbitrations were initiated. They had the…

In a decision dated 11 February 2010, published on 29 March 2010 (case 4A_444/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against a tribunal’s decision that it had jurisdiction over a request for declaration that damages are owed due to the violation of an arbitration clause. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because it…