The second day of the ICCA Congress took place on Tuesday, September 20. Delegates gathered in the morning for the presentation of the inaugural ICCA Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez Memorial Prize, established in honour of former ICCA Governing Board Member Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez. Professor Stefano Azzali said a few words on the life and career of Guillermo, fondly…

In 2017, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) initiated a consultative process to consider procedural reform options for investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). Kluwer Arbitration Blog ran a series on UNCITRAL’s reform work in 2020, highlighting several subjects under consideration by Working Group III (WGIII). To get first-hand insights into the current status…

On January 20, 2022, ICSID concluded a five-year consultative process leading to the publication of a set of amended rules for ICSID and ICSID (Additional Facility) proceedings. On March 21, 2022, ICSID announced that its Member States had approved these amendments. Accordingly, the 2022 ICSID Regulations and Rules will come into effect on July 1,…

Nearly 30 years have passed since world leaders signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”), agreeing to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system.” For many of those years, nobody seemed to take that commitment very seriously. But things look different now: climate law has hit its stride. At COP26 in November…

“Pedro, adelante, con juicio“: this Spanish exhortation comes from a famous Italian novel, “I Promessi Sposi” by Alessandro Manzoni. The Spanish governor of Milan gives these ambiguous instructions to his coachman Pedro, who is steering the carriage amidst a rioting mob: “forward, but be careful“. It became proverbial for describing an uneasy balance between action…

In recent years, arbitration has been gaining traction in Ukraine as a fast and efficient method for dispute resolution. It was against this background that in December 2017 a long-awaited reform of procedural legislation was carried out (hereafter referred to as the ‘Reform’). The Reform introduced several pro-arbitration measures. Among these, the Reform sought to…

Calls for investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”) reform have persisted for some time (see blog coverage here). Competing calls for retaining the status quo, modifying the system, or abandoning the system altogether have each gained traction. With a drastic increase in the number of investment cases being brought, accompanied by the “mega” awards, the international community…

Under Article 13(3) of the UNCITRAL Model Law, a party challenging an arbitrator may ‘appeal’ a decision of the tribunal or other body hearing that challenge to a court or other authority (the “Challenge Appeal Mechanism”). The purpose of the Challenge Appeal Mechanism is to make the arbitral process more efficient by permitting judicial review…

Recent draft legislation submitted to the Ukrainian Parliament would introduce new regulations imposing stricter requirements for setting up domestic arbitral institutions (‘treteyskyi sud’) and, at the same time, introduce a framework for establishing new international arbitral institutions in Ukraine. This appears to be the latest legislative initiative in the line of recent reforms aimed at…

Latvia is an infamous unicorn in the field of arbitration because of its record-number of institutional arbitration courts. In November 2013, there were 214 arbitration courts in Latvia. Regretfully, this is not because we as a nation love arbitration that much. Liberal regulations have allowed any legal entity to establish an arbitration court which to…

On 23 October 2020, Japan and the United Kingdom (UK) signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the agreement coming into force on 1 January 2021. This signifies a historic landmark as the UK’s first trade deal as an independent nation, and represents a key milestone for international trade in a post-Brexit UK. The…

Introduction In the past few years, the world has been following the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform debate under the aegis of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). This discussion started in 2017, when the UNCITRAL Working Group III began its work on ISDS reform. Among the proposals submitted by member States…

On 14 October 2020, Professor Zachary Douglas QC delivered the 19th annual Clayton Utz and University of Sydney International Arbitration Lecture as part of Australian Arbitration Week. This year’s topic was a response to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) review of its bilateral investment treaties (BITs). This blog post provides an overview…

Expedited arbitration is often associated with smaller value disputes. For example, the International Chamber of Commerce suggests expedited arbitration for disputes of $2 million or less, while the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre has a $3 million threshold for expedited arbitration. Expedited arbitration makes procedural tradeoffs that are deemed warranted because there isn’t that much…

Introducing a regulation of early determination in the context of expedited proceedings, highlights a series conflicting interests. Therefore, the UNCITRAL Working Group II on dispute resolution has not yet taken a final position on whether such a regulation should be inserted in the context of expedited arbitration, or whether it should rather be considered as…

UNCITRAL’s Working Group II (“WGII”) resumes next week its work on drafting expedited arbitration provisions (“EAPs”) for use with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (“UARs”).  One of the key “aims” underlying development of these procedures is “to improve the efficiency and quality of arbitral proceedings.”  This post examines why efficiency matters, how the EAPs encourage efficiency,…

60 member states and several more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will soon gather (in person in Vienna and virtually) to commence the 72nd Session of UNCITRAL Working Group II (WGII).  The topic and issues of Expedited Arbitration Procedures (EAPs) was primed at the 69th Session of the WGII in New York, including how best to improve…

The UNCITRAL Working Group II (“WG II”) will continue its work on drafting expedited arbitration provisions (EAPs) at its next session in Vienna on September 21 – 25, 2020. This post briefly considers some of the key points that will be addressed at the session relating to the form and scope of the EAPs. This…

Arbitrating investment disputes has its peculiarities stemming out of the nature of the dispute, as well as from the parties involved, which become relevant when assessing the feasibility of implementing expedited arbitration provisions. ICSID Arbitration Rules and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the main arbitration rules currently used for investment arbitration proceedings, are in the process of…

Next week, the seventy-second session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (“UNCITRAL”) Working Group II (“WG II”), considering the issue of expedited arbitration, will be held in a hybrid system, with participants being able to take part in the session either in person, in Vienna, or remotely, via an online platform. The…

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…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has recently become a household name, moving from the oblivion of the 1990s, when the treaty was drafted, to one of the most hotly debated topics in legal (and other) circles nowadays. Some have demonized it as an instrument for the corporate usurpation of democratic functions, such as the host…

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,…