UNCITRAL’s Working Group II (“WGII”) resumes next week its work on drafting expedited arbitration provisions (“EAPs”) for use with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (“UARs”).  One of the key “aims” underlying development of these procedures is “to improve the efficiency and quality of arbitral proceedings.”  This post examines why efficiency matters, how the EAPs encourage efficiency,…

60 member states and several more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will soon gather (in person in Vienna and virtually) to commence the 72nd Session of UNCITRAL Working Group II (WGII).  The topic and issues of Expedited Arbitration Procedures (EAPs) was primed at the 69th Session of the WGII in New York, including how best to improve…

The UNCITRAL Working Group II (“WG II”) will continue its work on drafting expedited arbitration provisions (EAPs) at its next session in Vienna on September 21 – 25, 2020. This post briefly considers some of the key points that will be addressed at the session relating to the form and scope of the EAPs. This…

Arbitrating investment disputes has its peculiarities stemming out of the nature of the dispute, as well as from the parties involved, which become relevant when assessing the feasibility of implementing expedited arbitration provisions. ICSID Arbitration Rules and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the main arbitration rules currently used for investment arbitration proceedings, are in the process of…

Next week, the seventy-second session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (“UNCITRAL”) Working Group II (“WG II”), considering the issue of expedited arbitration, will be held in a hybrid system, with participants being able to take part in the session either in person, in Vienna, or remotely, via an online platform. The…

Egypt recently set out a legal framework for the protection and regulation of personal data. The legislation was brought about to regulate the protection of personal data which is stored and processed electronically. However, the law is silent on its application to arbitration and arbitral proceedings. The intersection between arbitration and data protection is not…

In June 2020, the English High Court of Justice (Mr Butcher J) issued a judgment in Obrascon Huarte Lain SA & Anor v Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development dealing with an application under ss. 67 and 68(2)(b) of the English Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Arbitration Act”) for the setting aside an Addendum…

The biennial 2020 Arbitration in Africa Survey Report (2020 Survey), which is the second in the series, is focused on top African arbitral centres and seats. It identifies the top and busiest arbitral centres in Africa. The survey was commissioned by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and sponsored by the law firm…

International arbitration is on the rise in South Africa.  This is partly a result of the country’s new arbitration law, which was passed in 2017, but now the process has been given a further boost by the publication by the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA) of its draft International Arbitration Rules (the Draft Rules),…

The data protection regime in the UAE is complicated. Parties to arbitrations that have connections to the UAE, regardless of whether the arbitrations are seated here, should be aware of the data protection regime(s) that may apply to them to ensure that no unintended breaches occur and to consider whether the relevant data protection regulations…

On 26 May 2020, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), a networking and business support organisation that caters to the London business community, launched the London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation (LCAM). The LCAM is a new organisation offering arbitration, expedited arbitration and mediation services. This post will explore selected features of the…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has recently become a household name, moving from the oblivion of the 1990s, when the treaty was drafted, to one of the most hotly debated topics in legal (and other) circles nowadays. Some have demonized it as an instrument for the corporate usurpation of democratic functions, such as the host…

In the absence of a uniform standard of compensation under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”), tribunals have been tasked with filling the gap and have done so by exercising an important margin of appreciation for the assessment of damages. Such wide discretion has resulted in divergent approaches in assessing damages. Since the first ECT decision,…

Modernisation of any multilateral treaty is a category of tasks on its own. There are several prerequisites which shall be in place, apart from obsolete language and provisions. The most crucial element is a steady political will of a critical mass of countries based on the strong motivation, which will break inertia and create new…

The Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) opened for signature in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and now boasts some 50 member States. The ECT has since given rise to some 130 investor-State arbitrations, making it “the most frequently invoked international investment agreement”. This high use, coupled with a perception that the ECT is frequently invoked…

The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted discussions on online dispute resolution methods like no other phenomenon. With this, determining the proper seat for online arbitration has become the center of conversation. As the world adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic, so too did international arbitration. Suddenly, there was a wave of virtual hearings, webinars and…

While Hong Kong and Singapore legislated in 2017 to allow third party funding of arbitrations (“TPF”), both jurisdictions presently still bar “No-Win, No-Fee” and other outcome related fee arrangements between parties to arbitration and their lawyers. This is out-of-step with many other jurisdictions where outcome related fee arrangements are allowed on the basis that, like…

A special COVID-19-themed SIAC Philippines webinar took place on 18 June 2020. The webinar examined the availability of interim relief to parties to commercial disputes, both in international arbitration and through courts in the Philippines and Singapore, with the panel members sharing their observations on trends and changes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic….

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” (John F. Kennedy, Former US President). The current Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally impacting people in grievous ways. The resultant containment measures by governments have severely limited or otherwise rendered physical interactions impossible. As…

The Crimea crisis has received attention by UNCLOS and investment tribunals, as well as by the Swiss Federal Tribunal in appeals and annulment proceedings. However, their analyses have been limited to jurisdiction. The implicated issue was whether the (bilateral) investment treaties (BIT) of the occupying, and a fortiori annexing, State could be applied extraterritorially. These…

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arrangements provided in Chapter 14 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are a radical shift from those that have been in force for the past 25 years under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As explored in Wednesday’s post, Canada has effectively opted-out of ISDS under…

On July 1, 2020, the investment chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expired quietly in its North American home, at the age of 26.  It left behind a generation of investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements that are its direct descendants.  It served as inspiration for many other agreements. …

The filing of new actions continues in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (“D.D.C.”) to enforce ICSID awards rendered against Spain. The latest petition was filed on April 24, 2020, by Watkins Holdings S.à.r.l. and Watkins (Ned) B.V., both affiliates of the UK company Bridgepoint Advisers Limited, seeking the enforcement of…

Reforms Are Afoot Calls for investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”) reform have catalyzed efforts to evolve the regime. Concurrently, the ISDS system continues to wrestle with tensions between an investment regime primarily oriented towards protecting investor rights, and the human rights normative architecture for protection of individual rights and associated State obligations for protection of such rights. ISDS…