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International Arbitration in a Time of Global Upheaval

A few weeks ago, the day before the Obama Administration and the EU announced dramatic new sanctions against Russia, an international tribunal announced a $50 billion award against Russia in favor of a group of oil investors. The current violence engulfing Iraq has multiple satellite arbitration disputes over oil sales to Turkey. Recent violence on the Crimean Peninsula implicates massive oil fields off the coast of Crimea that will soon spawn international arbitration claims against the Ukraine, Russia or both. Last Spring, China positioned an oil rig near islands whose control is disputed with the Philippines. The move triggered not only a Philippines-China diplomatic row, but also an UN [...]

Enforcement of Arbitration Awards in Ukraine: Chances are Measured

Ukraine has a reputation of a country with an imperfect justice system. No wonder that the country is also pictured by many arbitration practitioners as one unfriendly to arbitration, though refusals to grant the leave for enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine are relatively rare – 10% and 18% of all requests considered in 2013 and 2014 respectively, according to the Statistical Report “Ukraine. Arbitration-friendly jurisdiction: 2013-2014” prepared by Cai & Lenard.

Ukrainian courts sometimes refuse to leave to enforce arbitral awards, and sometimes the reasoning of the refusal is very much controversial. For example, in 2014, a court refused to grant the leave to enforce an LCIA aw [...]

Transparency as a Global Norm in International Investment Law

Transparency is one of the hot topics in international law. With governance functions increasingly shifting from the domestic to the international level, transparency is demanded, as Andrea Bianchi and Anne Peters show in their new seminal study, in order to compensate for the lack of a full-fledged international system of checks and balances. Transparency promises a more accountable, more democratic and hence more legitimate system of global governance. International investment law cannot escape from this general drift. As I noted in my Editorial for the latest issue of the Journal or World Investment and Trade (JWIT), secrecy in treaty negotiations and confidentiality in dispute settlement [...]

Precision and Legitimacy in International Arbitration: Empirical Insights from ICCA

This past April, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) held its prestigious biennial conference in Miami, with more than 1,000 people in attendance. Our research team received unprecedented access to collect demographic information and administer a survey. The results offer an unprecedented window into the “invisible college” of the international commercial and investment arbitration community. As data about the world of international commercial arbitration is notoriously difficult to obtain given doctrinal obligations of confidentiality, the data offers a particularly critical baseline for assessment and comparison.

Our research sought to use empirical methods to [...]

Answers to the Summer Quiz 2014

With hopes that those in the northern hemisphere had a fun summer packed with arbitration-related events for themselves and their families, below are the answers to this year’s summer quiz. The answer keys to the crossword and the word hunt were published in August.

While a Ph.d is not required to read the Kluwer arbitration blog, the winner of the dinner in Florence (for speed and accuracy of answers) went to Barbara Warwas, who is based in the UK and recently obtained her doctorate in international arbitration. Coming in at a close second was Phil Ray, a dispute resolution specialist (and retired Siemens in-house counsel) in Germany.

Congratulations to both Barbara and Phil!

Summer 2014 [...]

Untying the Knot: Estoppel and Implicit Designation of a Constituent Subdivision or Agency under the ICSID Convention

and Oleg Temnikov

Foreword

Designation by a State of a constituent subdivision or agency provided for in Article 25, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the ICSID Convention has recently sparked a debate particularly in terms of the manner in which the designation is made and communicated to the Center.

This is the subject of the present post.

I. Meaning of “constituent subdivision or agency of a Contracting State”

Past tribunals have noted that “the term ‘constituent subdivisions’ covers a fair range of subdivisions including municipalities, local government bodies in unitary states, semi-autonomous dependencies, provinces or federated States in non-unitary States and the local government bo [...]

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