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ArbWorld – Good Faith: The “LCIA Rules 2.0” Hidden Feature

Being a fan of Mac as I have been for many years now, I have always enjoyed reading magazines related to those nifty computer products. Macworld is among the regular publications on my reading list. Two particular sections of it have always grabbed my attention. The first section is dedicated to “mac gems”, that is, those singular external applications to the operating system that perform specific tasks not available within that operating system. The other section is dedicated to the “hidden features” of MacOS, that is, those particular features and tools not immediately visible to the end-user but embedded in the operating system. Among other purposes, these “hidden features” al [...]

U.S. Free Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties: How Does Ratification Differ?

A lot has been written recently about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the context of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. TPA is the authority Congress grants to the President to enter into certain reciprocal trade agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster (i.e., passing an agreement would require solely an “up or down” vote by Congress). Many observers believe that TPA is a necessary piece to the successful conclusion of either agreement—it will be difficult for negotiating parties to put their best offers forward without some assurance that Congr [...]

Bad faith claims in challenge proceedings and counsel’s liability for costs

Has the number of bad faith challenges against arbitral awards increased? Is there a need to better control parties and their counsel, and to sanction them should they not play by the rules?

The topic was discussed earlier this year at a seminar organized in Stockholm by the Swedish Arbitration Association.1 The debate was prompted by discussions in Sweden2 on how to make court proceedings for the challenge of awards more time-and-cost efficient in view of the “increasing” number of challenges and of the high rate of dismissals (90-95%),3 as well as by recent decisions of the Svea Court of Appeal making counsel liable for costs on the basis that the challenges brought were patently unfounde [...]

Reflections on HKIAC’s Revised Model Arbitration Clause and Its Impact on Chinese Practice

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) has recently revised its Model Arbitration Clause to include a choice of law provision.

“Any dispute, controversy, difference or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, including the existence, validity, interpretation, performance, breach or termination thereof or any dispute regarding non-contractual obligations arising out of or relating to it shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration administered by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) under the HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules in force when the Notice of Arbitration is submitted.

The law of this arbitration clause shall be … (Hon [...]

The Consolidation Arbitrator – An Arbitrator Too Far?

Whilst many institutional rules now contain provisions which expressly address the complex issue of consolidation, the recently revised rules of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the “ICDR”), the international arm of the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”), are the first to have introduced the novel concept of the “consolidation arbitrator”. Under the ICDR Rules, rather than granting the power to consider and ultimately order consolidation to either the institution itself or a tribunal which has already been appointed in one of the existing arbitrations, a separate, specifically-appointed consolidation arbitrator is appointed for the task.

Whilst this innovation seeks [...]

Interpreting Investment Treaties

One of the recurrent controversial issues in the investment arbitration practice relates to the application of the general rule of treaty interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in the interpretation of the provisions of the ICSID Convention and of investment treaties in general.

Thomas Wälde in one of his last writings pointed out that “[t]ribunals often do not practise what they preach; reference to the Vienna Rules is now mandatory, but such reference does not mean the Rules are taken and applied seriously” and “it is difficult to find a tribunal which formally and properly applied the Vienna Rules step by step” (Interpreting Investment Treaties: Experience [...]

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