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The Proposed Mediation Convention: UNCITRAL at a Crossroads in Vienna

Vienna can be a confounding place for an outsider. In one moment, the city projects itself confidently into an innovative, international future and yet in the next moment can appear irrevocably bound to traditions.

Being forward-minded in dispute resolution, Vienna is host this week to the IBA-VIAC International Mediation and Negotiation Competition, a four-day event in which 16 teams will seek to use consensual dispute resolution to resolve the problems of the 2015 Vis Moot Competition, which is itself hosted in Vienna. And, lest anyone forget, the Vienna International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), a regional and global leader in dispute resolution, will celebrate its 40th birthday this comin [...]

Arbitration 2015: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times? A Debate

This was the title of one of four sessions comprising the dispute resolution module held as part of the fifth Institute for Energy Law (IEL) and IBA Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) International Oil and Gas conference, which took place in London on 3-5 June 2015. The dispute resolution module was presented by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).

The debate saw leading practitioners going head-to-head on the pros and cons of some of arbitration’s most “recent developments and ‘innovations’”. Batting for Team 1 was Sophie Lamb, of Debevoise & Plimpton and Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp, of the London School of Economics. Vera van Houtte [...]

Cambodia’s Arbitration Centre sets off on its First Flight

The National Commercial Arbitration Centre of the Kingdom of Cambodia (“NCAC”) was conceived in 2006, when Cambodia’s Commercial Arbitration Law entered into force. The initiative to create the centre surfaced as a part of Cambodia’s attempt to attract foreign investment on the one hand and to offer a viable alternative to domestic litigation to local businesses on the other. In 2009 and 2010, the Commercial Arbitration Law was amended to accommodate the birth of the NCAC. The International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank produced numerous drafts of NCAC’s Arbitration Rules (“Rules”) until the final version of the Rules was approved in July 2014.

When NCAC’ [...]

Celebrating a Vision: Queen Mary School of International Arbitration Turns 30 and Looks Ahead to the Next 30 Years

As a fitting tribute to the vision of the first dedicated arbitration education institution, the School of International Arbitration (SIA) marked its 30th anniversary with a two day conference looking back and looking forwards. Entitled “The Evolution and Future of International Arbitration: The Next 30 years”, it brought together over 200 graduates, academics and practitioners to reflect on the achievements in the field and the challenges ahead. Highlights included some blue-sky thinking as to the dramatic impact technology will have on the landscape of arbitration and some critical introspection as to the ongoing relevance of many of the key practices that the arbitral community holds [...]

The Hidden Amiable Compositeur

by Anya George, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

for YSIAC

 

An arbitrator who decides a case by reference to general notions of fairness and equity, rather than in accordance with a strict application of legal rules, is generally referred to as an amiable compositeur or as deciding ex aequo et bono (even though these notions are not completely synonymous, the terms will be used interchangeably here). In such cases, the arbitrator will, as a rule, be acting with the express authorisation of the parties.

 

However, there may be situations in which arbitrators, without being so empowered, take it upon themselves to depart from the terms of the contract or a rigorous application of the law and, in ef [...]

Are All Institutional Rules Now Basically The Same?

Most institutional rules share a common procedural framework for arbitral proceedings—the origins of which are traceable to the first set of ICC Rules in 1922. This skeletal framework broadly describes the lifecycle of the arbitration, and provides for the order of pleadings, constitution of a tribunal, conduct of proceedings, and making of the award, in a manner that accords parties and arbitrators substantial leeway to tailor the process to their needs.

Certain other features are by now common to virtually all modern institutional rules, whether they are promulgated in Cairo, Vienna or Singapore. Convergence here, as in the field of international arbitration more generally, has seemed in [...]

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