I have written previously[1] about the preemptive effect of Section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), which provides: A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction, or the refusal to perform the whole…

This morning, a colleague in Asia forwarded me an article with news of the latest efforts by Singapore to establish itself as a preferred location for international dispute resolution: an ambitious initiative by the country’s Law Ministry to make Singapore a regional destination for international commercial mediation, and plans to create a Singapore International Commercial…

A recent ruling of the Dubai Court of Appeal (see Case No. 1/2013 – Commercial Appeal, ruling of the Dubai Court of Appeal of 9 July 2013) gives new hope that despite the Dubai Court of Cassation’s disappointing approach in Case No. 156/2013 (see my blog of 21st October 2013), the UAE courts are, in…

The Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Argentina have moved to terminate an arbitral proceeding currently pending at the Permanent Court of Arbitration Readers of this blog may recall that Argentina initiated arbitration pursuant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in response to the October 2012 detention in Ghana…

It is not uncommon to see the losing party of an ICSID arbitration filing a frivolous request for annulment merely to engage the opposing party in settlement negotiations. Another frequent abuse of ICSID’s annulment mechanism is to attempt to re-litigate the merits at the annulment stage. An annulment proceeding under the ICSID Rules typically takes…

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has just updated its website so as to offer information about the pending arbitration initiated by the Philippines against China pursuant to Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Readers may recall that the Philippines requested arbitration in January of this year, citing a…

Contracting with States or State-controlled/assimilated entities is, and has always been, tricky, especially when a dispute arises between the (private) party or investor and the State or State-controlled/assimilated entity. An increasingly common problem is the attempt by the State to raise sovereign immunity from execution/enforcement to avoid enforcement of an arbitral award (and or judgment)…

Because international investment law so often involves the application of treaties, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties plays a key role in structuring its application. Of particular interest for many disputes are the rules of treaty interpretation contained in Articles 31, 32, and 33 of the VCLT. In that context, there are some…

In a ruling of 3rd February 2013 (Case No. 282/2012 – Real Estate Cassation, judgment of 3rd February 2013 of the Dubai Court of Cassation), the Dubai Court of Cassation has found against the recoverability of Counsel fees in arbitrations under the 2007 Rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). In doing so, the…

Over the last two decades the world has witnessed a spectacular growth of investor-state dispute resolution by arbitration (i.e. from a few dozen in 1992 shooting up to 514 cases by the end of 2012). But that trend could stall in the foreseeable future with the realization of the users that international arbitration (investor-state arbitration,…

The recent Rompetrol Group NV v Romania award provides rare guidance as to the requirements to be satisfied for a successful treaty claim arising from State conduct against individual company officers rather than the claimant investor itself. The investor claimed, inter alia, that the arrest, detention, criminal investigations and wire-tapping of its directors constituted State-sponsored…

It looks like the first state-to-state arbitration under the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) may have fizzled out. In August of 2011, I reported in this space that the United States of America was initiating arbitration against the Republic of Guatemala. The U.S.A. turned to arbitration after determining that Guatemala was failing to enforce…

At a conference a few years back, a well-known and respected arbitrator was speaking on the topic of predictability and consistency of arbitral decision making in investment treaty arbitration.  The arbitrator asked whether arbitrators should fly solo or in flocks.  He made a strong and persuasive case for the independence of the arbitrator, to fly…

A week ago today, it was my privilege to participate in the annual UNCITRAL/VIAC/YAAP Joint Conference, addressing hot topics in international arbitration. The conference successfully considered many key topics, including my topic, liability of counsel in international arbitrations. This topic, similar to my recent book topic (Kluwer Law International, Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration), is…

On February 6, 2013, Achmea (a Dutch insurer, better known by its former name, Eureko) initiated UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings against the Slovak Republic on the basis of the Agreement on encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (the “Netherlands-Slovakia BIT“) [The Agreement on…

The U.S. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that a federal district court may vacate an arbitration award, among other reasons, “where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators.” 9 U.S.C. §10(a). However, as illustrated by a recently decided case in the Southern District of New York, U.S. district courts apply different standards of…

A new study of dispute resolution practices in Fortune 1,000 corporations shows that many large companies are using binding arbitration less often and relying more on mediated negotiation and other approaches aimed at resolving disputes informally, quickly and inexpensively. The 2011 survey of corporate counsel developed by researchers at Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict…

Construction work at the Florence Chamber of Commerce has forced the city’s arbitration and mediation services to relocate to new offices the city was able to scrounge up. This is the view from the fourth-floor conference room assigned to a mediation I attended yesterday. Talk about coping well in the face of adversity… Throughout many…

By Matthias Scherer and Catherine A. Kunz In a recent decision dated 21 December 2012 (5A_355/2012), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court clarified the conditions for obtaining a freezing order for the purpose of enforcing an arbitral award or a foreign court decision.  The decision, which will be published in the forthcoming ASA Bulletin 2.2013 with…

If the answer is London, Paris, Geneva, New York, Tokyo and Singapore, what is the question? International cities? Fashion hot spots? Location of Manchester United supporters’ clubs? It may well be the answer to all three questions (although I confess that I have not actually checked the Manchester United one), but they are also the…

In the final days of 2012, I spent some time flipping back through the stories we’ve covered at Investment Arbitration Reporter, looking to identify the year’s most notable developments. I’ve settled on ten that I think are particularly noteworthy. Half of them are legal in nature, and are highlighted below. The other five are in…

Arbitration is underpinned by natural justice. Article 18 of the Model Law, enshrining the right of the parties to be treated with equality, and given a full opportunity to present their case, was described by UNCITRAL in 1985 as the “Magna Carta of Arbitral Procedure”. Yet the Model Law does not in Articles 34 and…