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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 [...]

Indian Courts’ First Brush with Investment Treaty Arbitration: Taking Some Lessons from the Calcutta High Court

On 29 September 2014, the Calcutta High Court in Board of Trustees of the Port of Kolkata v. Louis Dreyfus Armaturs SAS & Ors delivered the first decision by an Indian Court on a case directly arising from an investment treaty arbitration. The case concerns an anti-arbitration injunction sought against Louis Dreyfus Armateurs SAS (“LDA”), prohibiting it from proceeding with an investment treaty claim under the 1997 India-France BIT. The Court allowed the application and ordered that LDA restrain from continuing proceedings against Kolkata Port Trust, which was wrongly identified as a Party to the investment arbitration.

This decision is significant for two main reasons. First, it gives v [...]

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 [...]

Domestic Public Law: a Useful Critique for Understanding and Developing Investment Treaty Arbitration?

A recent seminar delivered under the Chatham House Rule considered the usefulness of an analogy between Investment Treaty Arbitration (ITA) and domestic public law, with a view to critiquing perceived imbalances in the former. The content of the seminar was grounded in the speaker’s background in ITA and public law litigation including domestic judicial review (JR) and European human rights law.  This post summarises the speaker’s comments.

The speaker’s main comments may be summarised as follows: ITA, whilst not simply another species of public law, does, like domestic JR, allow individuals to directly challenge governments and receive a remedy. Although it is not directly comparable [...]

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