To paraphrase Professor Henkin’s classic aphorism about international law – most parties respect most international arbitration agreements most of the time. And likewise, the international arbitral process works smoothly for most parties most of the time. Still, pathological cases arise in international arbitration, as in other contexts. Unfortunately, those aberrations command disproportionate attention, sometimes obscuring…

The recent Commercial Court decision of A v B [2010] EWHC 3302 (Comm) (16 December 2010) is notable for two reasons. Firstly, the Commercial Court provided clarification of the requirements for pursuing an application for security under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996. Secondly, the decision is an indication of how the Supreme Court…

If a national court is called upon, in the context of an application to refer parties to arbitration, to determine whether a valid arbitration agreement exists, how probing should the court’s examination of the existence or validity of the putative agreement be? Judicial authorities in countries that have adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International…

The subject of codes of conduct for international arbitration practitioners has received considerable attention of late. On one side of the debate, several proposals for such a code of conduct have been circulated recently – one at the ICCA Congress in Rio de Janeiro, another by the International Law Association (“ILA”) Study Group on the…

In an important contribution to the ongoing debate among courts and commentators regarding the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 – and the first such case related to ICSID proceedings – the D.C. district court recently exercised its discretion to decline a discovery request by Caratube International against the Republic of Kazakhstan. In re Caratube…

Recent legislative developments in Oklahoma, and a few other U.S. states, reflect a growing mistrust of international and foreign law and legal systems. These proposed statutes and constitutional amendments are one aspect of parochial backlash in the United States and elsewhere against developments in international law and dispute resolution over the past decades. There are…

In the past year, there have been several posts (here , here, and here) on the applicability of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to international arbitration and on the issuance of conflicting judicial opinions on this topic. As reported by Roger Alford in a recent post , a federal district court in the Southern District of…

A defining characteristic of international arbitration is the ability to choose the decision-makers who determine the dispute. The parties’ right to choose their arbitrator is qualified by the requirement that the arbitrator adhere to standards of independence and impartiality. Where the parties consider that the arbitrators do not meet these standards, they can bring a…

In a post last year we considered the English Court of Appeal’s judgment in the case of Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, where the Court of Appeal held that an order giving leave to enforce a French ICC arbitration award was rightly set aside by the High Court as it had been established, pursuant to section 103(2)(b) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”), that as a matter of French law the respondent government was not a party to the arbitration agreement. The High Court and Court of Appeal agreed that an application under section 103(2) of the Act required a rehearing of the facts in contention (in Dallah the existence of an arbitration agreement), not just a review of the award.

The English Court of Appeal recently upheld a first instance decision to refuse enforcement of a US$20m New York Convention award in Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, on the basis that the arbitration agreement was ‘not valid’ for the purposes of…

One of the benefits of international commercial arbitration is the ability to resolve disputes between the parties in a single, neutral forum that gives neither party a “home court advantage.” After a dispute arises, however, litigious parties sometimes engage in tactical maneuvering aimed at circumventing the parties’ agreement to arbitrate. A recent US case gives…

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 1369 (2008) has provoked substantial commentary – as with many Supreme Court decisions regarding arbitration. The Hall Street decision held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) did not permit parties contractually to expand the grounds for vacating or…

Like its subject-matter, my book on “International Commercial Arbitration” is intended to be of use and interest to the widest possible audience around the world. It aspires to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of the contemporary constitutional structure, law, practice and policy of international commercial arbitration. It also endeavors to identify prescriptive solutions for…