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The Recent Amendments to the Brazilian Arbitration Act – One Step Back, Two Steps Forward?

On May 26, 2015, the law containing the amendments to the Brazilian Arbitration Act (BAA) was finally enacted (Law n. 13,129/2015), almost 20 years after the publication of the BAA. It will soon enter into force, on 27 July 2015.

Though Law n. 13.129/15 amended certain provisions of the BAA and introduced some innovations, it maintained the structure of the BAA, as well the substantial achievements contained therein. It went further to reflect consolidated practices in Brazil, as well as to strengthen the practice of arbitration in the country. Some of the amendments are likely to stir discussions in practice and before the courts (as anticipated in one of last week’s post). The aim of thi [...]

The Proposed Mediation Convention: UNCITRAL at a Crossroads in Vienna

Vienna can be a confounding place for an outsider. In one moment, the city projects itself confidently into an innovative, international future and yet in the next moment can appear irrevocably bound to traditions.

Being forward-minded in dispute resolution, Vienna is host this week to the IBA-VIAC International Mediation and Negotiation Competition, a four-day event in which 16 teams will seek to use consensual dispute resolution to resolve the problems of the 2015 Vis Moot Competition, which is itself hosted in Vienna. And, lest anyone forget, the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), a regional and global leader in dispute resolution, will celebrate its 40th birthday this comin [...]

Does The “Culture” Of International Arbitration Serve Its Users?

The 27th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”), which took place on June 17-18 in Dallas, Texas, examined  “Subconscious Influences in International Arbitration”.  The Workshop was organized by co-chairs José Astigarraga of Astigarraga Davis (Miami), Professor Margaret Moses of Loyola University Chicago School of Law (Chicago) and Luke Sobota of Three Crowns LLP (Washington, DC).

In keeping with the theme, an illuminating panel, featuring a keynote speech by Professor Jeffrey J. Rachlinski of Cornell University Law School, focussed on the influence of human psychology on decision-making by arbitrators and empirical studies reflecting such influence [...]

Section 69 almost 20 years on….

When the English Arbitration Bill was being debated in early 1996, a controversial issue considered was whether to retain a right of appeal on a point of law. Contrary to a number of civil code jurisdictions, the right was retained under English law, albeit in limited form and with the option to “opt-out”. A key justification given at the time was that a limited right of appeal on a point of law was not inconsistent with the decision to arbitrate instead of litigate. Almost 20 years on, does this provision still serve a useful purpose or does it damage the popularity of London as a seat of arbitration?

The limited right of appeal

The English Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act) permits a li [...]

The New General Organic Code of Processes: A Trojan Horse for Arbitration in Ecuador


On May 22, the new General Organic Code of Processes (GOCP) was enacted (Official Register Supplement N. 506). Excluding constitutional, electoral and criminal matters, the GOCP will regulate all judicial procedures in Ecuador. It is a long expected and generally very welcome reform in the Ecuadorian judicial system. It replaces an outdated spaghetti bowl of judicial norms, some of them rather odd and confusing. In general, the GOCP is a modern code based on an oral and adversarial system, which contains few and simple procedures and is expected to significantly reduce the length of procedures in today’s judiciary system. Nevertheless, despite its benefits, one measure was not received w [...]

Arbitration 2015: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times? A Debate

This was the title of one of four sessions comprising the dispute resolution module held as part of the fifth Institute for Energy Law (IEL) and IBA Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) International Oil and Gas conference, which took place in London on 3-5 June 2015. The dispute resolution module was presented by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).

The debate saw leading practitioners going head-to-head on the pros and cons of some of arbitration’s most “recent developments and ‘innovations’”. Batting for Team 1 was Sophie Lamb, of Debevoise & Plimpton and Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp, of the London School of Economics. Vera van Houtte [...]

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