Coincidentally, at the same time last year, the world witnessed two historical developments. First, Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. Second, in an attempt to curb black money (a move, the result of which is still to be evaluated), the Modi-led Government demonetised 500 and 1000 currency notes in India. Even…

The international arbitration community has lately been occupied with various proposals to reform investor-state disputes. On the interstate level, a consensus seems to be building that several aspects of the current system need to be modified in order for the system to safeguard its own legitimacy. In this context, there are various reform proposals floated…

The FIDIC forms of contracts (FIDIC forms) constitute a comprehensive set of rules applied worldwide in complicated construction projects. The FIDIC forms contain a multi-tier dispute resolution mechanism – depending on the type of a Book, they provide for consideration of disputes (1) by an Engineer (an Employer’s agent managing the construction project), (2) by…

Not so long ago, I reported on the recent documented discovery that anti-ISDS groups have been making and continue to make a handsome profit from the anti-ISDS/anti-trade/anti-globalization campaign, which they have unleashed over Europe with the active financial support of the European Commission and several EU Member States. This time I would like to draw…

On 23 February 2017, three prominent international arbitrators shared their views and experience on the controversial question of the influence of legal traditions on arbitrators and arbitral proceedings. Juliet Blanch, Bernard Hanotiau and Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga were interviewed by Oliver Caprasse and Claire Morel de Westgaver at an event jointly organised by Belgian arbitration institution…

Last week GAR released the shortlist for its 2017 award for “best innovation by an individual or organization”. What is notable about this year’s shortlist is that of the ten innovations on the list, six directly address transparency and/or diversity in international arbitration. From an online directory of African arbitration practitioners, to the launch of “Dispute…

In 1976, ICCA published the first ICCA Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, compiled and edited by Professor Pieter Sanders, assisted by Professor Albert Jan van den Berg. In the introduction to this first edition, Prof. Sanders wrote, “This Yearbook is the first of a series of at least five… .” Forty years later, the Yearbook is 41…

The 4th Annual Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration, co-hosted by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), the Institute for Energy Law (IEL), and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), took place on January 12-13, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Under the guidance of conference co-chairs Suzana Blades (ConocoPhillips, Houston),…

The tug-of-war between transparency and confidentiality was a subject of lively discussions at the 2017 Vienna Arbitration Days. Vienna Arbitration Days is Austria’s leading arbitration conference. Every year, it brings together arbitration practitioners and academics from around the world to discuss ADR developments. The presentations and panel discussions are followed by the “World Café”, which…

Recent developments in the international investment scene have also impacted the Asian region. Notably, China and Southeast Asia have emerged not just as growing foreign direct investment (FDI) recipients but also as major sources of outbound FDI. In parallel, the Asian region experienced a proliferation in international investment agreements (IIAs). Asian countries were initially hesitant…

The Arbitrator Intelligence Questionnaire (AIQ) is a feedback questionnaire that will be used by Arbitrator Intelligence (AI) to collect information on case management and decision making practices of international arbitrators. After pilot testing and extensively vetting the AIQ, we are now asking for public comments to help us further refine it. A demonstration version of…

The terms ‘Privacy’ and ‘Confidentiality’ had been used in arbitration interchangeably until the latter half of 20th century. While ‘Privacy’ means that no third party can attend arbitral conferences and hearings, ‘Confidentiality’ refers to non-disclosure of specific information in public. Private hearings do not necessarily attach confidentiality obligations to the parties to arbitration. The general…

2016 was an important year for international arbitration. Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales challenged the legitimacy of international arbitration, while supporters such as former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (Robert French AC) came forward to defend its coexistence with commercial courts. Several institutions such as ACICA, SIAC and KCAB updated…

Appellate arbitration clauses provide for an appellate mechanism against an award rendered between the concerned parties by subjecting the dispute through another arbitration to eliminate all potential errors and obtain correction of the same. Not all arbitration disputes are suitable for an appellate review. But in cases where parties place higher importance on the correctness…

In Scherk v. Alberto-Culver Co, the US Supreme Court stated that “[a] contractual provision specifying in advance the forum in which disputes shall be litigated and the law to be applied is an almost indispensable precondition to achievement of the orderliness and predictability essential to any international business transaction.”  While this statement holds almost invariably…

Nearly one hundred climate scientists, economists, policy specialists, investors, and lawyers recently convened in Stockholm for the conference “Bridging the Climate Change Policy Gap: The Role of International Law and Arbitration” organized jointly by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“the SCC”), the International Bar Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and…

Diversity in arbitral tribunals has already received a considerable amount of attention at this blog, especially in regards to gender diversity (post are available here, here, and here). The discussion is, of course, still ongoing and far from reaching the desired goals. On 10 January 2017, Berwin Leighton Paisner released an annual arbitration survey titled…

The first weeks of 2017 have again seen an exchange between Croatia and Slovenia about the continued work of the Arbitral Tribunal expected to decide this year on the course of the boundary between the two states. The Tribunal – formed under the 2009 Arbitration Agreement – will do so despite Croatia’s decision to terminate…

Having disposed of yet another forest worth of pristine hearing bundles, I wonder: when will arbitration finally go paperless? Gillian Lemaire asked the same question in a 2014 piece called “Where Do We Stand?” She looked at the legal and factual obstacles that paperless arbitrations face. Finding that, in reality, there were few, she proposed…

The new arbitration rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC Rules” or “Rules”) entered into force on 1 January 2017. These Rules introduced a new procedure in Article 39 that is, in fact, uncommon to most of the renowned arbitration rules, including the ICC Rules of Arbitration (2012), the LCIA…

Much ink has recently been spilt on the Investor State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) system, especially in the light of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”) (summary of criticism recently collected by G. Kaufmann-Kohler, M. Potesta, at 10, available here). The existence of a potential overlap and…

The question of the validity of an arbitration clause incorporated by reference is debatable in international arbitration. The approach of national courts to the issue varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (e.g., see here). The Russian Law on International Arbitration (1993) is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law. In particular, the Law provides in Article 7…

Last week, Theresa May delivered her long-awaited speech setting out Britain’s broad objectives in forthcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU. She confirmed the rumours of a “hard Brexit” by indicating Her Majesty’s Government’s intention to see the UK out from the Single Market and the Custom Union and to seek “a new and equal partnership…

  Arbitral tribunals are increasingly faced with allegations of corruption. In these situations, arbitral proceedings and criminal investigations frequently go in tandem. Their findings overlap and may influence one another. Regardless of the many instances where corruption is alleged, there have been only a few investment cases in which a finding of corruption was actually…