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The New Slovak Arbitration Act Applicable From January 2015: Has It Progressed Sufficiently?

The new Slovak Arbitration Act (“SAA”) was adopted by the Parliament (Act. No. 336/2014 Coll.), and is in force as of January 1, 2015. In order to see whether the SAA will promote Slovakia as an arbitration venue, main novelties and amendments brought by this new act are analysed in this blog entry.

Arbitrability: Under the old law, parties were allowed to arbitrate disputes, which were subject to settlement in courts under art. 99 of the Slovak Code on Civil Procedure. The amendment provides under art. 1(2) that arbitrable disputes are those, which are related to legal relations and “can be settled by an agreement of the parties [under art. 585 of the Slovak Civil Code (“SCC”)] in [...]

From Iura Novit Curia to Zeno’s Paradox of Motion

The recent annulment decision in Tza Yap Shum v. Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/6) has brought back the discussion regarding the ‘pure’ adversarial nature of investor-state arbitration system.

Mr. Shum, a Chinese investor claimed indirect expropriation under the Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (APPRI) between the Governments of Peru and China arising out of several measures taken by Peru’s tax authority SUNAT. Peru challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal arguing that the claim regarding the unlawfulness of the expropriation was not within the scope of the offer to arbitrate. However, the tribunal upheld its jurisdiction, found a violation of the APPRI a [...]

Indirect Enforceability of Emergency Arbitrator’s Orders

In recent years, arbitration institutions have made significant progress by adopting the provisions on emergency arbitrators (“EA”). One of the biggest appeals of the new mechanism is that it allows parties to obtain interim relief before a case is referred to the arbitral tribunal. The main purpose of EA is to protect assets and evidence that might otherwise be altered or lost. No party can disobey the orders provided under EA rules without impunity. However, in an international setting, this is easier said than done. Since the orders of an EA are of a contractual nature, deprived of finality, they are not enforceable under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of F [...]

Dubai Court of Cassation further consolidates pro-NYC enforcement practice

The Dubai Court of Cassation stays firmly on course in its enforcement of foreign arbitration awards under the 1958 New York Convention for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (NYC) and hence keeps consolidating its pro-NYC enforcement practice. This has most recently been demonstrated by the Court’s pro-Convention approach in Case No. 434/2014 (Al Reyami Group LLC v. BTI Befestigungstechnik GmbH & Co KG, ruling of the Dubai Court of Cassation of 23rd November 2014), in which the Court embraced the terms of the NYC à la lettre and confirmed in their wording the previous enforcement rulings of the Dubai Court of Appeal (see Case No. 1/2013, ruling of the Dubai Court [...]

State Courts’ Decisions on Reduction of Arbitrators’ Fees: Comparing Apples to Apples or Apples to Oranges?

and Rute Alves, PLMJ Sociedade de Advogados

1. Legal and practical background

Pursuant to Article 17(3) of the Portuguese Voluntary Arbitration Law (Law no. 63/2011 of 14 December – hereinafter “LAV”), any party may request the competent state court to reduce the amount of the fees fixed by the arbitrators if they were not agreed before the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal.

This provision, which is similar to Section 28 (2) of the English Arbitration Act, tries to avoid situations of conflict of interest between the parties and the tribunal, as it may be difficult to refuse excessive values for fees decided quite often unanimously by an acting tribunal.

This rule only applies to [...]

Egypt: New Investment Law – ADR for Investor-State Disputes

On 12 March 2015, substantial amendments were introduced to the Egyptian Investment Law no. 8/1997 (Investment Law). The amendments generally aim at attracting new investments to Egypt through offering further incentives and guarantees, removing obstacles, and streamlining the procedure.

Incentives include, for example, trimming sales tax to 5% from as high as 10%, and setting customs duties on equipment used for production at 2%. Further non-tax incentives are offered to labor-intensive projects or investments in remote areas or in certain sectors such as energy, agriculture and transportation.  One of the long waited guarantees was shielding companies’ executives from criminal prosecuti [...]

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