Conferences on arbitration frequently include a session on “drafting” dispute resolution clauses for international contracts. The term drafting is also included in the title of many articles, book chapters, and entire books. While the actual content that follows this topic heading is often helpful, especially for non-specialist in-house counsel and transactions lawyers, the term itself…

This blog post ventures preliminary views on current critiques about ICSID annulments, and sketches out a few ideas that may merit further exploration. Some recent annulment decisions questioned ICSID awards but did not annul them because the high standard for annulment was not met. There are states and investors who now worry that should they…

Such a makeover will certainly not be achieved in sixty minutes. Sixty days will not nearly be enough. One would not, however, have to be too audacious to hope that India can reinvent itself as an arbitration-friendly part of the world in sixty months. From its early years as a newly independent, fledgling democracy, India…

[Editor’s Note: Upon hearing the results of the Vis competition, I invited members of the winning team to do a blog post about their experience. Below are the reflections of the members of the University of Ottawa Vis team on winning the competition.] It’s nice when hard work pays off. It’s even nicer when five…

Throughout 2010 and into this year there have been numerous entries on this blog dealing with various aspects of international arbitration’s lack of efficiency and runaway costs, and proposing various remedies or reforms. These have included contributions from Roger Alford, Lucy Reed, Niuscha Bassiri, Philipp Peters, Lisa Bench Nieuweld, and many provocative posts from Michael…

January 28, 2011 – violent protests rocked Egypt; February 2, 2011 – political anxiety and ongoing unrest in Egypt threaten to shake other economies; February 11, 2011 – Mubarak resigned. March 22, 2011 – fire at Egypt interior ministry; April 17, 2011 – ex-ministers to be tried. Recently, a significant amount of unrest has occurred…

According to the rules governing domestic arbitration (Art 30 of the Concordat on Arbitration, and, as of 1 January 2011, Art. 378 of the Swiss Federal Code on Civil Procedure), a party that does not pay its share of the advance on the arbitration costs requested by the arbitral tribunal risks to lose the benefit…

It is interesting to see what can happen sometimes during an oral hearing for an arbitral proceeding. I have noted from my esteemed colleagues that they have witnessed a very interesting phenomenon – watch the arbitrators – can you tell who appointed whom? Should you be able to? Having worked for most of my career…

The recent decision of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (an intermediate state appellate court) in Sojitz Corp. v. Prithvi Information Solutions Ltd., 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 1741; 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1709, bolsters New York’s reputation as a jurisdiction friendly to international arbitration. In this case, which involved two non-U.S. parties in…

The aftermath of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy saw more than 20,000 retail investors in Hong Kong suffer losses from investments in structured products. This gave rise to political pressure on the Hong Kong Government to review its financial regulatory system and to step up its investor protection mechanisms. As one of the key outcomes of…

According to article 7 of the Swiss Private International Law (PILA), if the parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, the Swiss Court before which the action is brought shall decline its jurisdiction unless it finds that the agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed. An initiative to amend article 7…

On 11 March 2011, the UNASUR treaty entered into force. UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) is a regional organisation that comprises all twelve South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The entry into force of the treaty is an important development for the international arbitration community given some of the proposals that UNASUR is advancing, particularly in the field of investor-State arbitration.

On March 15, 2011 the Advocate General (“AG”) issued its opinion on an interesting matter which considers the relationship between EU law, a contract preceding the Republic of Slovakia’s accession into the EU and the Energy Charter Treaty and Investment Arbitration Agreement (essentially, a bilateral investment treaty applicable here). The dispute involves a contract dated…

Dear Counsel, Thank you for taking the time to present your firm’s international arbitration practice, and also for the copies of the brochure and monthly newsletter. The many recent wins by your firm and the published articles demonstrate convincingly that you are quality professionals with a high-standing in the community. I’m certain it was not…

The 1981 French Arbitration Law did not contain a provision covering the form or the proof of an international arbitration agreement. The former Article 1499 of the Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) indirectly addressed the issue of form by stipulating, in the context of the recognition and enforcement of awards, that the existence of an…

To paraphrase Professor Henkin’s classic aphorism about international law – most parties respect most international arbitration agreements most of the time. And likewise, the international arbitral process works smoothly for most parties most of the time. Still, pathological cases arise in international arbitration, as in other contexts. Unfortunately, those aberrations command disproportionate attention, sometimes obscuring…

The International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration (the ICC) is the largest arbitral institute. In addition, its Rules of Arbitration (the Rules) greatly influence the practice of arbitration, resulting in several commentaries. Over the course of 2011, these Rules are continuing to undergo revision and changes to continue to reflect current practices and trends…

Introduction: Many international commercial contracts (such as e.g., construction, distribution, sale and purchase) are governed by Swiss (substantive) law as per a choice of law provision. Often the choice of law is made in combination with an arbitration clause referring disputes to arbitration in Switzerland. The effect of international sanctions on commercial contracts has become…

Anyone considering Canada as the seat of an arbitration or as one among several jurisdictions where recognition and enforcement proceedings could be commenced should pay close attention to the Supreme Court of Canada’s March 18 decision in Seidel v. TELUS Communications Inc., 2011 SCC 15, which appears to mark a philosophical shift in Canadian arbitration…

The Arab Spring transforming the societies of the Middle East has raised more than a few questions among us in-house folk about what this will mean for dispute resolution in the region. Will civil institutions, in particular the courts, be a reliable mechanism in the coming years for upholding contractual rights, including agreements to arbitrate…

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…

The OECD-hosted Freedom of Investment (FOI) Roundtable is in the process of finalizing a statement regarding the role of international investment in supporting the realization of countries’ green growth objectives.  The draft statement entitled “Harnessing Freedom of Investment for Green Growth” (Draft Statement) and three draft background consultation papers (Draft Papers) are available on the…

The public policy exception under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention is well recognised as the amorphous exception. To the extent it has been capable of definition, it has been found to embrace nebulous concepts such as a state’s most basic notions of morality and justice. No doubt it is for this reason that…