It has now become a tradition that in December of each year, Kluwer Arbitration Blog offers you several posts with a retrospective of the year in specific regions and fields. We also take this opportunity to present ourselves and thank you for your immense support, as readers and contributors. Entering a New Year has also a special meaning to us, at Kluwer Arbitration Blog, as we will soon celebrate the 11th year since the publication of the first post in January 2009. As mentioned in the previous years, we look forward to another year of posts reflecting the “unique” and “fascinating” international arbitration community.
The year 2019 was a generous year for international arbitration. Achmea has continued to generate most of the developments in ISDS, including the Declarations submitted by the EU Member States, the comprehensive Decision in Eskosol v. Italy, and a proposed Treaty for the termination of the intra-EU BITs. The Energy Charter Treaty was also one of the highlights of the year, not only through the growing number of arbitrations concerning renewable energy, but also with the kick-off of its modernization process. In commercial arbitration, notable developments took place around the world, with the enactment of new arbitration laws and interesting court-related cases currently pending, such as Halliburton v. Chubb Bermuda Insurance, which is now under review by the UK Supreme Court. For next year, we still expect significant developments in ISDS, with the UNCITRAL Working Group III now in the third phase of its mandate and meeting in January 2020 for an additional session to discuss the proposed solutions of an appellate mechanism and a multilateral investment court. One should also keep an eye on the UNCITRAL Working Group II on expedited arbitration and whether the outcome of the discussions will trigger the amendment of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Less positive developments came from Latin America, with the incarceration of renowned arbitrators due to corruption allegations. However, this situation demonstrated the immense cooperation and collegiality of the international arbitration community, with support coming from the International Bar Association, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and others. Also ending the year on a positive note, the ICC Taskforce on “Arbitration of Climate Change Related Disputes” has issued its Report in November 2019. Further, on 12 December 2019, Judge Bruno Simma and the Drafting Team of The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights officially launched The Hague Rules at the PCA in The Hague.
This is also the time to acknowledge and thank our Editors:
Prof. Roger Alford, General Editor, Notre Dame Law School
Dr Crina Baltag, Editor, Stockholm University
Kiran Nasir Gore, Associate Editor, The George Washington University Law School
Benson Lim, Associate Editor, Hogan Lovells
Dr Patricia Živković, Associate Editor, University of Aberdeen
Mihaela Maravela, Assistant Editor to the Editor, Leaua Damcali Deaconu Paunescu
Ylli Dautaj, University of Edinburgh; Nicholas J. Diamond, Georgetown Law; Maria Fanou, European University Institute; Janice Lee; Mary Mitsi, University of West London; and Ashutosh Ray, Assistant Editors
Arie C. Eernisse, Shin & Kim, and Theresa Tseung, Assistant Editors for East and Central Asia
Sadaff Habib, Beale & Company LLP; Ana Carolina Dall’Agnol, University of Oxford; and Edward Hamilton, Clyde & Co, Assistant Editors for Africa
Esme Shirlow, Australian National University, Assistant Editor for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands
Deborah Loh; Irene Mira, Asian International Arbitration Centre; and Christine Sim, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Assistant Editors for South-East Asia
Piyush Prasad, Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Assistant Editor for South Asia
Fabian Bonke, Hogan Lovells; Deyan Dragiev, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; and Boris Praštalo, Central European University, Assistant Editors for Europe
Dalal Al Houti; Zahra Rose Khawaja, Dentons; and Mohamed H. Negm, Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority, Assistant Editors for MENA
Ulyana Bardyn, Dentons; and Giorgio Sassine, Severson & Werson, Assistant Editors for North America
Daniela Paez-Salgado, Herbert Smith Freehills; and Enrique Jaramillo, IHS Markit, Assistant Editors for Latin America
The Blog is also the result of the fruitful collaboration with its publisher, Wolters Kluwer, and the Editorial Board is grateful to Eleanor Taylor and Vincent Verschoor, editors and content managers with Wolters Kluwer, for ensuring that we deliver the best final product to our readers. Furthermore, the Editorial Board is particularly grateful to the permanent contributors and to the affiliates of the Blog, some being with us from the first days of Kluwer Arbitration Blog.
At Kluwer Arbitration Blog, our mission is not only to bring you the latest developments in arbitration and to encourage discussions about unsettled topics in the field. We also strive to ensure that the diverse voices of the arbitration community are equally represented on the Blog, while being aware of the responsibility we have in shaping the arbitration practice.
With these thoughts, we would like to thank you for reading the posts and for actively contributing to Kluwer Arbitration Blog. Our readership continues to grow significantly, and this year was no exception, with the highest number of visits in our history and a year-over-year growth rate above 25%. The editors of Kluwer Arbitration Blog are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you the best for the Festive Season and a prosperous 2020!
Professor Roger Alford and Dr Crina Baltag, on behalf of the Editorial Board