The English Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Sulamerica CIA Nacional De Seguros SA v Enesa Engenharia SA [2012] EWCA Civ 638, which is discussed in a recent post by Guy Pendell, underscores an important weakness in the international arbitration system’s legal framework. While everyone accepts that the arbitration agreement is the foundation of an…

The Supreme Court of India has finally spoken to deliver a definitive ruling on the role of Indian courts in international arbitrations seated outside India. Overruling the controversial decision of Bhatia International v Bulk Trading (2002), the Supreme Court held that Indian courts do not have supervisory authority over international arbitrations taking place outside India….

One of the oft quoted advantages of arbitration is the perceived certainty that the national courts of New York Convention states should enforce an arbitral award unless one of the limited grounds for refusal is met. However, the relationship between national courts and arbitration is far from straightforward. In particular, one notable area where there…

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC“) has recently published its revised Arbitration Rules, which will come into force on 1 May 2012 (the “2012 Rules“). This is the seventh revision of the CIETAC Rules since they were first published in 1956. Whilst the majority of the changes in the 2012 Rules are…

In 1961, three years after the adoption of the New York Convention, the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration was adopted in Geneva (the Geneva Convention). At the time, the Geneva Convention was noteworthy as being the first international instrument to refer to “international commercial arbitration” by name. Today, however, many practitioners give little consideration…

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….

The new Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (the “Ordinance”) comes into effect today, having been approved by the Hong Kong Legislative Council at the end of last year. The Ordinance represents the culmination of many years of discussion and consultation and marks a significant milestone in the development of Hong Kong as a world-class…

Clear tendencies towards an arbitration-friendly approach have been demonstrated by the Swedish Supreme Court during the latter part of 2010. During this term the Supreme Court has repeatedly taken an arbitration-friendly stance and emphasized that Swedish arbitration law and practice ought to be in line with international best practice in arbitration. Sweden has a long-standing…

In arbitration, as in other aspects of business life, parties often feel most comfortable when they are (literally) on familiar ground. If things go wrong, a European or American company might understandably prefer arbitration seated in Europe or New York. On the other hand, parties from the PRC, for example, are increasingly, and equally understandably,…

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

It is well accepted that state responsibility arises under international law for denial of justice. This might occur, for example, where a state court abuses its supervisory function over an international arbitration. In the investment treaty context, a denial of justice by host state courts would normally lead to a fairly straight forward breach of…

The relationship between Arbitration and European Judicial Private Law has not always been easy. The bedrock European Law principle in this field, as embedded in the European Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of December 22, 2000 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (“the Judgment Regulation”), is the…