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Conflating Politics and Development?

The University of Virginia’s Spring 2014 symposium focused on the topic of international development. One panel focused on the role of international politics in the context of international dispute settlement. With the mandate to examine elements related to both politics and development, I was asked to explore outcomes in investment treaty arbitration (ITA) as a function of these twin variables. My recent article, published in the Virginia Journal of International Law, focuses on this intersection.

Recognizing that debates about ITA are reaching the mainstream in venues including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, dueling editorials in the Washington Post, and even Joh [...]

English Courts Set Aside Award on Grounds of Serious Irregularity under Section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996

An often cited advantage of arbitration, as opposed to litigation, is the finality of the process. The grounds for time-consuming and costly challenges and appeals are limited.

Under the English 1996 Arbitration Act (the “Act”), parties can only challenge or appeal an arbitration award on three grounds: (i) a challenge on the grounds that the tribunal lacks substantive jurisdiction under Section 67, (ii) a challenge on the grounds of serious irregularity causing substantial injustice under Section 68, and (iii) an appeal on a point of law under Section 69. Only Sections 67 and 68 are mandatory provisions. There is a high evidentiary threshold to be met in order for the grounds under any of t [...]

Conduct of Legal Representatives under the 2014 LCIA Arbitration Rules: How to Apply the New Provisions

and Queen Mary University of London

This article is published as a result of the cooperation agreement between Kluwer Arbitration Blog and ArbitralWomen. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the author’s law firm.

Issues relating to the conduct of legal representatives in international arbitration have attracted significant attention in recent years.1 There is a lively debate as to whether and how counsel conduct can or should be regulated. On the one hand, one might argue that regulation is necessary to level the playing field in an area where legal cultures differ greatly.2 [...]

Evolving Meaning: The Interpretation of Investment Treaties and Temporal Variations

International investment law is shaped by key terms such as “investment”, “indirect expropriation”, “national treatment”, “most favored nation”, “fair and equitable treatment”, among others, which are at the heart of most investment treaties. But after 1959, when West Germany and Pakistan signed what is known as the first ever bilateral investment treaty, and, since then, the conclusion of more than three thousand investment treaties, the meaning of these key terms has been exposed to potential temporal variations. This raises the question as to whether the interpreter should look for the meaning of the term at the time of the conclusion of the investment treaty or for th [...]

New Arbitration Center in Bulgaria

In November 2014, a new arbitration center was established in Bulgaria – the KRIB Court of Arbitration (KRIB – Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria). The establishment of this institution was awaited by the Bulgarian business.

The establishment of a new arbitral institution in Bulgaria is an important step, since arbitration is a widely used method of dispute resolution in Bulgaria, especially for commercial disputes. In 2014, more than 40,000 new arbitration proceedings were commenced, including both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. Even if most of those new cases concern utilities contracts (electricity supply, heat supply, mobile phones contracts etc.), still th [...]

Bound by Oral Arbitration Agreement. Failing to Object During Negotiations

In the Swedish case Profura v. Blomgren (T 2863-07, Court of Appeals for Western Sweden), from 19 March 2008 known as Profura v. Stig Blomgren, an appeal was brought against award according to which the arbitral tribunal had rejected its jurisdiction.1 The court found – contrary to the competent arbitral tribunal2 – that a binding arbitration agreement had been concluded orally between the parties during the course of a negotiation of a share purchase agreement, despite the fact that no final and binding written share purchase agreement had been signed. The court therefore set aside the award.

The appeal against the award, was based on Section 36 of the Swedish Arbitration Act, which provi [...]

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