The first publicly available decision issued under the international arbitration process provided for under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (‘Bangladesh Accord’) (note that Roger Alford previously summarized the Bangladesh Accord’s dispute resolution clause here) was issued through the 4 September 2017 Decision on Admissibility Objection in Industrial Global Union and Uni…

In the forty years since new visions and challenges for the administration of American justice were offered at the 1976 Pound Conference, a Quiet Revolution has altered the landscape of public and private dispute resolution around the world. (See Living the Dream of ADR) Recently, a series of day-long meetings styled as the Global Pound…

The IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest focus on when an arbitrator should disclose potential conflicts, as well as when he or she should simply not accept appointment. For the most part, they do not specifically address the potential disqualification of an arbitrator. Nonetheless, the Guidelines, even though non-binding, have become quite influential in the…

On 15 September 2017, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) designated new members to the Panel of Arbitrators and the Panel of Conciliators. This is momentous. For the first time, the lists contain an equal number of female and male members, and a geographical diversity…

The 29th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”), which took place on 14-15 June 2017 in Dallas, focused on a timely subject of much importance to the future of international arbitration, namely, the “Challenges to the Legitimacy of International Arbitration.” The event was co-chaired by Caline Mouawad (King & Spalding), Jeremy K….

As announced at its Annual Meeting and 29th Workshop in Dallas, the Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA) is relaunching our young (under 40) practitioners’ group, now called Young ITA. This new initiative will focus on expanding the global footprint and profile of the group and ITA, and on creating new leadership opportunities for young arbitration…

The last 40 years or so has experienced increased growth in the number of transactions concluded internationally, departing from classical one-shot contracts such as the simple sale of goods contract. These complex contracts involve in many instances a mix of private and public issues as is seen in regulatory sectors (telecommunications, oil and gas). The…

Who Should Regulate the International Bar? The regulation of professional ethics of the international bar is among the most hotly debated issues in international arbitration (inter-state, investor-state, and commercial). It reflects the regulatory gap that has developed as proceedings before international courts and tribunals have proliferated and counsel diversified. Addressing this issue is crucial, as…

In international arbitration, as in other fields of law, the divide between private and public—commercial arbitration and public international (including investment) arbitration—traditionally has been the generally, if uncritically, accepted belief. When public bodies are involved in commercial contracts, the traditional point of distinction has been whether the state operated jure imperii or jure gestionis. Apart…

In his 2014 Assenting Opinion on a security for costs motion in RSM v. Saint-Lucia, arbitrator Dr. Gavin Griffith Q.C. described third-party funders as “mercantile adventurers” and associated their activities with “gambling” and the “gambler’s Nirvana: Heads I win and Tails I do not lose.” This was no voice in the wilderness. The increasingly prevalent…

The answer to this question might seem simple, but consider an instance of a commercial arbitration between a Chinese company and an African state arising out of a failed railway project in Africa. Assume that all three arbitrators are European and from the civil law legal tradition. Assume further that they are experienced arbitrators of…

Newspapers, cable television shows, and Twitter are abuzz with claims of “fake news.” Within the past two weeks alone, the U.S. President accused his predecessor of wiretapping his office building, apparently in reliance upon reporting in online news media. More traditional news outlets have responded with innuendo that the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau…

The 4th Annual Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration, co-hosted by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), the Institute for Energy Law (IEL), and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), took place on January 12-13, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Under the guidance of conference co-chairs Suzana Blades (ConocoPhillips, Houston),…

Investment obligations and investor-State arbitration provisions normally have been negotiated under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), or, more recently, in the larger context of free trade agreements (FTAs). For investment provisions, the movement from BITs to FTAs recently has taken an additional, significant step: the negotiation of such provisions in the even larger context of mega-regional…

Are international arbitrators biased in favor of the nominating party? The answer is: probably yes! This is in part the result of what some scholars refer to as selection and affiliation effects. Selection effect: Because the parties nominate the arbitrators, they can choose party-appointed arbitrators with the maximum predisposition towards their case. The litigant can…

The line between third-party funders and law firms is blurring. Originally, there were only two traditional types of third-party funding arrangements. In the first type, the third-party funder makes an agreement to finance the legal expenses of the claimant or respondent in a case in exchange for a portion of the claimant’s awarded amount, if…

One of the perceived advantages of arbitration is that it allows parties to select one or more decision makers (arbitrators) with a level of technical or scientific expertise and professional experience higher than that of the average judge. Arbitration has always been welcomed as a fitting alternative to traditional litigation, where the judges tend to…

The Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online resource for international arbitration and dispute resolution instructors: International Dispute Resolution Resources for Legal Educators. The Legal Educators Resources site is designed to gather, classify, and disseminate syllabi, notes, exercises, exams, and other original teaching…

More recent generations of investment treaties tend to include explicit provisions requiring claimants in investor-State arbitrations to submit waivers that – depending on the actual terminology used in these waiver provisions – generally seek to bar them from submitting their claims to other forums, such as through litigation before domestic courts or parallel international proceedings….

Gramercy Funds Management LLC, a U.S.-based hedge fund (“Gramercy”), recently filed a notice of arbitration against the Republic of Peru pursuant to the investment chapter of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (“U.S.-Peru TPA”), seeking USD 1.6 billion in damages. Although Peru announced that it filed an initial response to Gramercy’s notice in early July, the…

“When Justice Delayed Would be Justice Denied: Emergency Arbitrators and Interim Measures in International Arbitration” was the subject of the 28th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), which took place on 16 June 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Under the leadership of ITA’s Chair, Abby Cohen Smutny (White & Case), and the conference…

The mounting global preoccupation with mediation, reflected in a growing array of institutions, programs, laws and regulations; an international “evangelical” movement; and mounting impetus for an international convention promoting the recognition and enforcement of mediated settlement agreements; should be accompanied by collective reflection, dialogue and discernment regarding present trends. These were the themes of my…

On March 30, ITA and ASIL co-hosted their annual meeting in Washington, DC, and this year’s theme was “A Spotlight on Ethics in International Arbitration: Advocates, Arbitrators and Awards.” One of the panels explored the question of where best to house authority for determining the ethical obligations of parties and their attorneys. I moderated the…

This post initiates a series of posts highlighting key cases published in ITA Arbitration Report, a monthly subscription service provided by the ITA Board of Reporters and available for free at KluwerArbitration.com. The three issues published during the 1st Quarter of 2016 contain more than 60 cases from different jurisdictions worldwide. The selection made for…