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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 [...]

Israeli Supreme Court Lost between the Israeli Arbitration Act and the New York Convention

The dispute in Siemens AG and Siemens Israel Ltd. v. Israeli Electric Cooperation Ltd. (3331/14, Supreme Court of Israel Judgment, 13 August 2014) arose out of a request for tenders for the purchase and maintenance of gas turbines issued by the Israeli Electric Cooperation (IEC), following which it entered into several contracts with Siemens Israel and Siemens AG. All of the contracts contained an identical arbitration clause providing for arbitration “to be held as promptly as possible at such place in Israel as may be mutually agreed upon between the parties”. In 2013, IEC commenced an action against Siemens in the Israeli District Court, claiming that the contracts were signed as a re [...]

A blast from the past… the ‘unified Arab investment treaty’ and finality of arbitration awards

In one of the very rare decisions issued by courts in the Arab world applying the provisions of the Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital in the Arab States (the “UAIAC”), the Cairo Court of Appeal has revived in its decision dated February 5, 2014, the principle of finality of arbitration awards, by which it rejected a claim for annulment of a UAIAC award, filed by the State of Libya (first claimant to annulment), the Libyan ministries of Economy and Finance (second and third claimants) and the General Authority for encouraging investments (fourth claimant), against a kuwaiti investor, Al-Kharafi & Sons Co. (case n° 39, judicial year 130/2014). The ratio decidendi of the cou [...]

Dubai announces plans to establish Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre: Do they hold water?

In an ambitious stride to become the leading maritime hub in the Middle East, the Emirate of Dubai is set to establish the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre, which in shorthand will be known as “EMAC”. Plans for the anticipated establishment of the Centre have recently been announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.

The announcement, which was made on 15 September 2014, comes timely in light of Dubai’s commitment to create an integrated legal framework for the maritime sector following the launch of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy (DMSS) by the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) in 2007. The establishment of the EMAC is anticipated to contribut [...]

The DIFC and arbitration: Raising the stakes?

In a recent, worldwide yet unprecedented move, the DIFC Courts have circulated for public consultation a draft Practice Direction (see Practice Direction No. X of 2014 amending Practice Direction No. 2 of 2012 DIFC Courts’ Jurisdiction, electronically accessible on the official website of the DIFC Courts at www.difccourts.ae), which essentially aims to provide for the conversion of a DIFC Court judgment into a DIFC-LCIA arbitration award in order to avoid potential difficulties of enforcement of a DIFC judgment in jurisdictions outside the UAE. This is achieved by creating a system of optional referral to DIFC-LCIA arbitration of “any dispute arising out of or in connection with the enforc [...]

Why Can’t Arbitration Go Faster? The ICDR Brings Expedited to International

Slow Lane
In a case my business had a few years ago, the parties’ contract specified expedited procedures under the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules. Immediately after the request for arbitration had been filed, the case manager of the ICDR, the AAA’s international branch, sent the parties a letter to warn us about this.(1)

She pointed out that the AAA’s expedited procedures were designed for domestic cases of less than USD 75,000, and required the entire proceeding to be concluded within 60 days of the appointment of a sole arbitrator.

Plainly, there was a mismatch with the dispute that had arisen. Our case was international and involved significant issues of fact and law, was for several millio [...]

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