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Unilateral Option to Arbitrate: Valid in the UAE?

Dispute resolution provisions in banking and finance transaction documents in the UAE sometimes include a unilateral option provision which, where a dispute arises, purports to reserve to the contracting bank, investment fund or lender, the right to choose arbitration or litigation, or sometimes litigation in a different forum to the local courts.

The rationale for such clauses is that it makes sense for a party to be able to choose between arbitration and litigation at the time that a dispute arises because it is only at that stage that the party may make an informed decision about which option will be the more effective forum for resolving the dispute. For example, a small debt claim may b [...]

Mass Claims in Investment Arbitration- The Need of the Hour

Mass claims proceedings have become increasingly important in the current dispute resolution scenario prevailing in the world. In international law, the role mass claims proceedings play is beyond dispute. Tribunals such as the Iran-US Claims Tribunal & United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) have certainly highlighted the importance which has been played by mass claims tribunals. Although these international mass claims processes are established to consider the legal claims which result from significant historical events and they mostly constitute large-scale reparation programs for victims of armed conflicts. What makes these claims commissions a great success is that they are able t [...]

Arbitration Clauses Incorporated by Reference: An Overview of the Pragmatic Approach Developed by European Courts

and Manuela Caccialanza, Linklaters LLP

The question about whether or not an arbitration clause incorporated “by reference” must be regarded as valid and binding between the parties has been, and still is, central to an animated debate in most European jurisdictions.

The New York Convention 1958 on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral award (“NYC”), which also deals with the obligation of the contracting States to recognize and enforce arbitration agreements, in Article II(3) states that:

“Each Contracting State shall recognize an agreement in writing under which the parties undertake to submit to arbitration all or any differences which have arisen or which may ar [...]

SIAC Announces a New President and Releases its 2014 Results

SIAC ended speculation as to who would succeed Dr Michael Pryles as the next President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration by announcing, at the SIAC Annual Appreciation Event on Monday 2 March 2015, the appointment of Mr Gary Born of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, with effect from 1 April 2015. At the event, SIAC also released its 2014 case statistics, which showed that over the last 10 years, new case filings at SIAC have grown by almost 200%, reinforcing its position as one of the fastest growing arbitral institutions in the world.

In 2014, SIAC received 222 new cases from parties from 58 jurisdictions. This was a 14% dip compared with 2013, but was nevertheless still a strong pe [...]

A Question of Democracy: The German Debate on International Investment Law.

Germany’s position on international investment law and investor-State arbitration is attracting increasing attention since the signing of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in September 2014 has been deferred, inter alia, because of opposition from Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. Is Germany, the country that not only has concluded the first bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in 1959 but also has the densest network of BITs worldwide, as some fear, joining the coalition of critics in fundamentally reversing its international investment policy?

Mounting Criticism of International Investment Law in Germany in Context

A [...]

Dispute Boards as Pre-Arbitration Tools: Recent Developments and Practical Considerations

Introduction

Initially created as a tool for construction contracts, a dispute board may be defined as an intermediate dispute resolution mechanism established at the outset of the project and remaining in place until the end thereof whereby board members, with the expertise of the relevant construction sector, upon request provide prompt recommendations or decisions whenever a dispute arises. In the case of the latter, the decision has a binding effect on the parties unless and until it is reversed by the arbitral tribunal or court. When defined so, it is clear it serves mainly for dispute avoidance along with providing interim relief of the dispute until a final award is made to that respe [...]

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