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Indian Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in International Arbitration with SIAC Appointing Authority

In the recent case of Pricol v. Johnson Controls (Pricol Limited v. Johnson Controls Enterprises Ltd and Ors, Arbitration Case (Civil) No.30 of 2014), the Supreme Court of India declined to intervene in an international arbitration with the SIAC as appointing authority, upholding the parties’ chosen mechanism in a well-reasoned decision which was marked by a degree of judicial deference towards the arbitral process that is in keeping with current international best practices. To those familiar with Indian arbitration law, this is a progressive development and marks a welcome contribution to a growing canon of pro-arbitration Indian precedents that began with the Bharat Aluminium case (Bha [...]

Fees of the Successfully Challenged Arbitrator?

In its decision of 17.2.2014, the Austrian Supreme Court decided on a claimant’s request for reimbursement of the portion of the fees advanced to the arbitrator whom it had successfully challenged during ongoing proceedings and on his liability for frustrated costs caused by the challenge and the appointment of a new arbitrator. Further, the claimant demanded reimbursement of the costs of the challenge proceedings. The challenge itself was not subject of the decision of the Supreme Court.

In the case before the court, the chairman of the tribunal had corresponded with an expert before the latter’s appointment and had been successfully challenged for this and other reasons.

The Supreme [...]

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 [...]

The Problem of Repeat Arbitrators in Investment Arbitration

The very nature of an arbitrator requires that she or he be imbued with the principles of independence and impartiality, qualities that should never be doubted. Nonetheless, there has recently been an increased number of challenges to arbitrators in Investment Arbitrations subject to the procedures of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”). There is a strong view that the ICSID arbitrators appear to be earning an unfortunate reputation as lacking in the aforementioned independence and impartiality due to, for example, multiple appointments by the same parties or counsel who happen to be called upon to resolve similar disputes or issues at the ICSID. [...]

Compensation for a Dismissed Arbitrator?

The Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) confirmed that an arbitrator who is dismissed during the arbitration by a state court because of conflict of interest before the award is rendered may recover compensation for (useful) services rendered until dismissal (Austrian Supreme Court, Der Oberste Gerichtshof, OGH, 17 February 2014, 4 Ob 197/13v).

The president of an arbitral tribunal was dismissed by a state court before the award was rendered due to his conduct during the proceedings. Thereafter, the claimant in the arbitration filed a claim in state court (Commercial Court Vienna) requesting damages and declaratory relief. The claimant sought compensation from the former president of the arbitral t [...]

Get Rid of the Presiding Arbitrator?

In his President’s Message (ASA Bulletin, Vol. 32, no. 2, 2014), Elliott Geisinger proposes a real challenge to the arbitration community. In a simple but rather persuasive rhetorical style, Geisinger places in confrontation Me. Paul Philibert Confus, Avocat à la Cour and Sir Reginald Muddle, QC, giving life to a debate that seems to be overlooked nowadays.

Is it really necessary to have a “presiding arbitrator”? This is the crux of the discussion.

Sir Muddle advocates that the theatre of arbitration should get rid of that character, while Me. Confus contends that fundamental principles of arbitration, like having a chairman – or chairwoman, for that matter – should be kept alive. Th [...]

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