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The “Anti-ISDS Bill” before the Australian Senate

Indonesia is not the only Asia-Pacific nation that is reassessing investment treaties containing provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, especially arbitration). India announced a review in 2013, partly in the wake of the successful claim from an Australian mining investor, although the impact in practice is hard to discern or predict – especially under the new Modi government. In both countries, the reviews may also have been linked to domestic politics during election years.

More surprisingly, public debate over ISDS has resurfaced in Australia. For the political left, it really began when Philip Morris Asia announced in 2010 that it would claim under a 1992 treaty with [...]

The Singapore Approach to Allegations of Awards Infra Petita – BLC and Ors v. BLB and Anor [2014] SGCA 40

In further nod to the non-interventionist and pro-arbitration stance of the Singapore courts, the Singapore Court of Appeal in BLC and ors v. BLB and anor [2014] SGCA 40 (“the BLC decision“) reversed the decision of the High Court to set aside part of an arbitration award (“Award“) on the ground of a breach of natural justice. The court also provided valuable guidance on Articles 33(3) and 34(4) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law“).

Background facts

The dispute arose out of an unsuccessful joint venture between the parties. The appellants commenced arbitration against the respondents alleging that they had breached several agreements, in particula [...]

The Futility Exception to The Exhaustion Requirement: Apotex v. United States

In its Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, a unanimous tribunal in Apotex, Inc. v. United States dismissed a Canadian manufacturer’s claims that the United States judiciary had violated NAFTA by mis-applying a regulatory time period.

Most of the reaction to Apotex has focused on the tribunal’s decision that the claimant’s activities in the United States—and in particular its submissions for regulatory approval—did not constitute an “investment” under NAFTA Article 1139. While the tribunal struggled with claimant’s assertion that the regulatory filings were actually treated as “property” as a technical matter, the Award essentially concluded that Apotex simply had no [...]

Law Commission’s Report to Revamp the Indian Arbitration Experience

The Law Commission of India under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah had constituted an expert committee to work on the 246th Report on “Amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996” which was recently submitted to the Government of India. In this piece, Ashutosh Ray, who was a part of the expert committee, covers for the larger international audience, the important suggestions and amendments recommended by the Commission.

Tackling Delay in Courts

The most serious problem currently faced, especially by foreign parties, is the time taken once an arbitration matter reaches court. The Commission has made various proposals to address this issue including that of raising bar for [...]

The Birth of a New UAE Federal Arbitration Law: A Long and Difficult Labour

Enactment of a federal arbitration law has been ‘imminent’ since the United Arab Emirates acceded to the New York Convention in 2006 (the ‘Convention’). Once enacted, it is expected that the federal law will repeal Articles 203 to 218 of Federal Law (11) of 1992, the Civil Procedure Code (‘CPC’), which currently govern arbitration in the state.

Several drafts of a proposed federal arbitration law have been released over the years by the Ministry of Economy, the most recent of which was in 2013 (the ‘Draft Law’). This version (as with the majority, but not all, of its predecessors) is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, but retains some provisions of the CPC.

Whilst enactment of [...]

Indonesia’s Termination of the Netherlands–Indonesia BIT: Broader Implications in the Asia-Pacific?

The value of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures has lately been questioned by a number of countries. The Australian Government’s 2011 Trade Policy Statement – stating that Australia would not agree to ISDS in its treaties – caused much debate and controversy. In part, Australia’s policy was motivated by the Philip Morris claim, instituted in response to legislation requiring the plain packaging of cigarettes. Since then, a change of government in 2013 has meant that Australia has retracted considerably from its strict position. The current Government has indicated it will consider the inclusion of ISDS on a case-by-case basis. While the Government agreed to the inclu [...]

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