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A Halftone Application of the New York Convention by the Qatari Supreme Court

Few days ago, the Qatari Supreme Court decided to overturn an earlier judgment of the Doha court of appeal which upheld a decision of the court of first instance to set aside an ICC arbitral award as being in violation of the Qatari public policy.

The new ruling comes in rescue of the Qatari courts’ image, reputation and standing which were partly criticized after a series of judgments rendered by different degrees of jurisdiction and which have set aside a large number of awards either domestic or foreign as mentioned in two earlier posts of September 20131 and January 20142.

This kind of flood started in June 2012 when the Qatari Supreme Court decided to invalidate a domestic award ren [...]

Bilateral Arbitration Treaties: A Few “Bits” More and No “Buts” Within the Portuguese Jurisdiction

In his “Kiev Arbitration Days” after-dinner speech in November 2012 (“BITS, BATS and BUTS”), Gary Born presented a suggestion that can leave no one indifferent (speech published as “Essay” by Young Arbitration Review, March 2014 Edition). His idea is to take advantage of the legal framework and experiences gained from the world of investment arbitration and bring that framework and those experiences into international commercial arbitration.

Simply put, investment arbitration stems from Bilateral Investment Treaties, which grant foreign investors the right to arbitrate disputes arising from an investment, carried out in the territory of a contracting state, against that host sta [...]

ICCA 2014. Have We Made Progress? What Remains To Be Done?

And so the twenty-second biennial Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration officially comes to an end. But what progress have we made with respect to the challenges facing international arbitration? And, where do we go from here?

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, the Chief Justice of Singapore, delivered his assessment of the progress made on the challenges he identified in his “Golden Age” keynote address delivered at the 2012 ICCA Congress in Singapore. He began his speech by discussing the diversity of viewpoints that exists among international arbitration practitioners who are scattered across the globe. While there is certainly divergence, Chief Justice Menon wa [...]

ICCA 2014. What Do Users Really Think About Document Exchanges And Interim Measures?

How can arbitrators ensure the fair exchange of documents, and what role should arbitrators play in calling expert witnesses? When and how, if at all, should interim measures be used in international arbitration proceedings? These questions were tackled during a breakout session titled Arbitral Legitimacy: The User’s and Judge’s Perspectives at the ICCA Miami 2014 Congress, on Tuesday, 8 April. The panelists included in-house attorneys, Karl K. Hennessee, Vice-President of Public Law & Technology with Halliburton Energy Services, Clyde W. Lea, Deputy General Counsel of Litigation and Arbitration with ConocoPhillips, and Judge Vance E. Salter of the Third District Court of Appeal of Florid [...]

ICCA 2014. Plenary Session of 8 April: Spotlight on International Arbitration in Miami and the United States

The April 8, Plenary Session, chaired by John Barkett (Miami) consisted of several presentations.

1. BG Group v. Argentina Mock Oral Argument

There was a mock argument of the BG Group v. Argentina case, where the participants assumed that they were arguing at the U.S. Supreme Court and assumed that the recently issued opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court was the Circuit Court decision. In the mock argument, Matthew Slater (Washington, D.C.) was counsel for the petitioner Argentina, and Nigel Blackaby (Washington, D.C.) as counsel for the respondent BG Group. The Court consisted of Judge Kathleen M. Williams (Southern District of Florida), Judge Vance E. Salter (Florida Third District Cou [...]

ICCA 2014. How to Avoid Cold Sweat and Have Sweet Dreams

On Monday, April 8, Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP presented a breakfast program moderated by John Barkett and featuring Frank Cruz-Alvarez, Marike Paulsson, and Sergio Pagliery discussing how to make the New York Convention your best friend. In a nutshell, the panel gave three helpful practice pointers, as discussed below.

First, make sure that when entering into an agreement, you take a close look at the arbitration clause and understand its terms. To enforce an agreement to arbitrate, the New York Convention requires an agreement in writing. Article II(2) provides: “The term ‘agreement in writing’ shall include an arbitral clause in a contract or an arbitration agreement, signed by [...]

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