Introduction On 1 December 2010 an Arbitral Tribunal, constituted under the auspices of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) delivered its award in the case Global Trading Resource Corp. and Globex International, Inc. vs. Ukraine. The Tribunal decided to dismiss all claims filed by Global Trading Resources Corp. and Globex International Inc….

In a landmark decision dated 29 October 2010, published on 19 November 2010 (case 4A_234/2010), the Swiss Federal Tribunal dismissed a motion to set aside a Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) award based on the alleged impartiality of one of the co-arbitrators. The Court firstly clarified that the independence and impartiality expected from any…

Two ICSID tribunals have now weighed in on the much-debated question of whether Art. 22 of Venezuela’s Foreign Investment Law provides Venezuela’s consent to ICSID arbitration. In Decisions on Jurisdiction dated June and December 2010, the Mobil and Cemex tribunals (both presided by the former president of the ICJ, Judge Gilbert Guillaume), rejected investors’ submissions…

On Thursday, 13 January 2011, France revealed its long-awaited new arbitration law. The décret n° 2011-48 portant réforme de l’arbitrage, was published in France’s Official Journal, alongside a report commenting on the reform. The new law can be found here, as well as the accompanying commentary here. The reform concerns both domestic and international arbitration…

Hong Kong has unveiled its new Arbitration Ordinance. We take a look in this blog at how this is likely to affect parties and practitioners dealing with, or considering, arbitration in Hong Kong. After a lengthy and detailed consultation process, the Hong Kong Legislative Council has passed the new Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (‘new Arbitration…

I received this notice from my friend Gary Born and thought it worth sharing. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for any academic interested in international arbitration. My Pepperdine colleague Tom Stipanowich was the resident scholar last semester, and he could not say enough about the experience. Here’s the formal announcement: The International Arbitration Group at…

We have all seen it before. The same names, the same faces are chosen consistently to act as arbitrators. Is it bad? No, but it certainly occurs. The same names are respected, experienced professionals that undoubtedly anyone would be grateful to have serve as an arbitrator for their proceedings. However, are there downsides to always…

Certain practices are as unwholesome as they are repeated with hard-headed stubbornness that they merit the denomination “worst practice”. A good New Year’s resolution for those engaging in international arbitration would be to pledge to stop engaging in them. I’ll limit myself to throwing stones at my own glass house: the worst practices committed by in-house counsel like myself and the lawyers we appoint.

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

On Monday, December 13, 2010, the United States Supreme Court denied cert for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Lagstein, and in so doing denied the opportunity to further clarify the debate surrounding manifest disregard. The central issue is whether this doctrine survived after Hall Street Associates LLC v. Mattell, Inc. In Lloyds v. Lagstein,…

In July this year, the European Commission published its communication “Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy” (COM(2010) 343 final) and a draft Regulation “establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries” (2010/0197 (COD)). This initiative is based on the still controversial change brought about by the Lisbon Treaty, by…

In two recent decisions, the Singapore High Court reaffirmed its stance on minimal intervention in arbitration proceedings. The two decisions were made against different sets of circumstances but the Court nonetheless abided by its policy of minimal intervention. This posting examines the two recent decisions, in particular, the approach taken by the High Court. In…

Stolt-Nielsen v. Animal Feeds, 130 S. Ct. 1758 (2010), is an extraordinary case. In Stolt-Nielsen, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the award of a distinguished arbitral tribunal essentially because the tribunal did not reach the result favored by the Supreme Court. In Stolt-Nielsen, charterers were arbitrating against shipping companies, alleging violations of antitrust law. The…

If a national court is called upon, in the context of an application to refer parties to arbitration, to determine whether a valid arbitration agreement exists, how probing should the court’s examination of the existence or validity of the putative agreement be? Judicial authorities in countries that have adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International…

International arbitration often involves parties, arbitrators, and counsel from both Common Law and Civil Law traditions, which sometimes creates misinterpretations about how evidence production will occur. The recent São Paulo court opinion determining that an ICC arbitral tribunal should widen the scope of the expert evidence it was considering in a dispute regarding the construction…

Another arbitral center may be opening its doors soon, but this one intends to be global and to focus exclusively on complex financial disputes, including the over-the-counter derivatives market. The World Legal Forum, a non-profit organization located in The Netherlands worked with varying other groups to create this idea. On October 25, 2010, at the…

Paul Hobeck and Christian Stubbe explained that internationally operating companies fear a “surprising interpretation of the term public policy” when it comes to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Indeed, Russian public policy has been notorious for being unpredictable. Diana V. Tapola concluded in 2006 that “Russian judicial practice is inundated with a…

The controversial topic of third-party funding in international arbitration continues to generate much debate across the conference circuit and in the legal press. On the one hand, supporters claim that such third-party funding arrangements improve access to justice since they allow otherwise cash-poor claimants to pursue meritorious claims; on the other, detractors believe that third-party…

Numbers often speak better than words: international arbitration is nowadays a well-established mechanism for the settlement of commercial disputes; according to published institutional statistics the number of cases in 2009 is three times the number of cases in 1992. According to the 2010 Survey (www.arbitrationonline.org) of the School of International Arbitration sponsored by White and…

Everybody who has visited a certain number of arbitration conferences over the last few years has probably heard at least an equal number of contributions relating to costs in arbitration. Similarly, the number of written articles on the topic in legal literature is enormous and entire books are based on the subject. Considering that cost…

Here in the southern hemisphere, more precisely at Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 5th Annual Congress on Arbitration took place on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 and morning of Wednesday 13, October, co-organized by two institutions: CARAT and the Arbitral Tribunal of the Stock Market of Buenos Aires. Present at the event were a number of…

Within the last two decades, over 30 new states emerged within the international community. From a political, economic, as well as a legal point of view, the formation of a state is always an expedition into unchartered waters. On a domestic level, the establishment of a sound legal system is the prerequisite for a stable…