The clearest indication of a shift in the approach of the Russian arbitrazh (commercial) courts* came in April 2010, when the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court issued a precedential decision, holding that interim relief measures may be ordered by Russian arbitrazh courts in aid of foreign arbitration. The ruling has resolved an ongoing…

Is there a duty to arbitrate in good faith? Is there a need for a Code of Ethics in international arbitration? Those are certainly amongst the most important questions for the future development of the law and practice of arbitration. They have been hotly debated in occasion of certain recent and much publicized cases. And…

It is well known that the New York Convention is widely recognized as a foundational instrument of international arbitration. In addition to this Convention, there are also international bilateral agreements in which Paragraph 1 of Article VII of the New York Convention specifically refers to and determines the relationship between its provisions and other agreements….

It is rather interesting to read in the news about how some governments have chosen to “fund” their own government. One government went so far as to simply clear out the checking accounts of small businesses and not-for-profit organizations (“NGOs”). Another government, not necessarily seeking funding but presumably disagreeing with the purpose and/or presence of…

A significant majority of countries in the world have demonstrated that they see benefits in being a member of ICSID by ratifying the ICSID Convention (Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States). 144 states have ratified the treaty, and an additional 11 – including Canada – have signed…

Often viewed as one of the leading locations for international arbitrationss, why doesn’t the state of New York have a separate arbitration act for international arbitrations? Is it simply unnecessary? It is interesting to note in my 2 previous articles, that other states have found it absolutely necessary. Recently, as previously discussed, the state of…

Following the controversial land reform programme first introduced by President Robert Mugabe in July 2000, Zimbabwe has found itself in hot water of late, with a number of international disputes being brought by dispossessed farmers against the State. The first of these disputes was mounted at ICSID in 2005 by a group of 13 Dutch…

In a landmark decision of 13 April 2010 (4A_490/2009, published on 2 July 2010), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed that the principle of res judicata is part of procedural public policy, and it set aside a CAS award for violation of that principle. At first sight, the decision of the Federal Supreme Court seems…

Many leading jurisdictions in international arbitration have adopted all or part of the UN Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”). The question that remains is: Why Hasn’t the United States? The Federal Arbitration Act does provide many similarities to the Model Law. They both address enforcement of an arbitral award, grounds for setting…

In 1924, the League of Nations launched a worldwide effort to codify three important subjects of public international law: Nationality, Territorial Waters, and the Responsibility of States for Damage Caused in Their Territory to the Person or Property of Foreigners. These efforts culminated in the First Conference for the Codification of International Law, which took…

The ongoing saga regarding Chevron’s legal travails in Ecuador took an interesting twist this week. As I reported earlier, Chevron has secured key outtakes of the movie Crude that appeared to show alarming collusion between the plaintiff lawyers and the Court-appointed expert. According to pleadings filed yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, the outtakes include…

This year, the State of Florida, with significant help from the many international practitioners working in Florida, proposed and passed a bill changing the Florida Arbitration Act to substantially match the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”). On May 12, 2010, Governor Crist signed into law Bill CS/HB 821 modifying Florida Statutes…

The 14 July 2010 Award in Saba Fakes v. Turkey (Fakes) is notable because it expressly disapproves of the approach taken by the Tribunal in Phoenix Action v. Czech Republic, which found in its 15 April 2009 Award that good faith and legality are jurisdictional requirements for access to ICSID arbitration. Fakes is a welcome addition to…

Can arbitrators be called to give testimony on the arbitral procedure before the court in charge of annulment or enforcement actions? Courts in England and Norway had to tackle this issue and have given a similar answer to this question: arbitrators can be asked to give testimony as to the elements of facts of the…

A string of mainstream media reports are suggesting that Uruguay is looking to compromise with Philip Morris International in relation to a sensitive international arbitration. On Tuesday, The UK-based Guardian newspaper reported that Uruguay has promised to water down anti-smoking laws after pressure from the tobacco giant Philip Morris, prompting accusations of corporate bullying. More…

Last month a number of noteworthy arbitration-related developments took place in Moscow. Firstly, the international conference “Commercial Arbitration in Russia, Sweden and the UK: New Business Opportunities”, was held on 9-10 June at the Congress Center of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The conference was jointly organized by the Center of Arbitration and…

I recently spoke at a conference co-sponsored by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration and the ICC on the occasion of the publication of the new Italian arbitration treatise entitled Commentario Breve al Diritto Dell’Arbitrato Nazionale ed Internazionale (CEDAM 2010) by my colleague Massimo Benedettelli, along with co-authors Claudio Consolo and Luca Radicati di Brozolo. The…

Switzerland may be one of the world’s most important arbitral seats, even so one would scarcely expect arbitration to hold much interest for the tubercular residents of Davos in Mann’s novel Der Zauberberg or The Magic Mountain. Yet aficionados of arbitration who persevere to the sixth chapter of his lengthy book are treated to a…

As is well known, Section 1782(a) provides that a “the district court of the district in which a person resides or is found may order him to give his testimony or statement or to produce a document or other thing for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal”. The applicability of 28…

The discussion on the position of arbitration in the Brussels Jurisdiction and Enforcement Regulation (Regulation 44/ 2001) has now reached the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Just to remind those less familiar with the issue: the present Regulation, as well as the preceding Jurisdiction Convention, allowed courts in EU countries to assume…

“With over 20,000 contracts executed each year, it is simply impossible to address the problems of cost and delay in arbitration through artful drafting.” That was the gist of comments made by a general counsel of a major corporation at last month’s ITA workshop. To which another general counsel on the panel replied, “No, we…