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Costa Rica Has A New Arbitration Law

Costa Rica has a new Arbitration Law, which is based on the 2006 version of the UNCITRAL Model Law. The relative speed with which the new Arbitration Law was adopted came as a surprise to many. Only a few months ago, at the Second International Arbitration Congress organized by the ICC Costa Rica in San José on 23 February, several colleagues from Costa Rica had predicted that adoption of the Law would probably take many more months or even years. Instead, Congress passed the Law only a month later and it entered into force on 25 May 2011, the date of its official publication.
As a result of the enactment of the new Arbitration Law, international arbitrations are no longer gov [...]

Efforts to Codify the Law of State Responsibility for Damage to the Person or Property of Foreigners at the First Conference for the Codification of International Law

In 1924, the League of Nations launched a worldwide effort to codify three important subjects of public international law: Nationality, Territorial Waters, and the Responsibility of States for Damage Caused in Their Territory to the Person or Property of Foreigners. These efforts culminated in the First Conference for the Codification of International Law, which took place at The Hague from March 13 to April 12, 1930 and was attended by representatives of forty-seven States. In the view of the United States Delegate to the Conference, Green H. Hackworth, then Solicitor for the Department of State, the need for codification of the principles of State responsibility that govern the treatmen [...]

Why São Paulo’s Yellow Subway Line Poses No Serious Threat

This year’s ICCA Congress in Rio de Janeiro not only confirmed that nobody knows to party better than cariocas, but also served as an impressive reminder of the increasing pro-arbitration approach of Brazilian courts, the remarkable growth in the number of arbitration proceedings in Brazil and the high sophistication of the Brazilian arbitration bar.

Yet less than two weeks after the ICCA Congress concluded, a court in São Paulo issued an injunction ordering a sitting ICC arbitration tribunal to widen the scope of the expert evidence it was considering. The underlying dispute arose out of the construction of the “Yellow Line,” a new subway line in the city of São Paulo. In order to [...]

Brazilian Court Of Appeal Reverses Anti-Arbitration Injunction

The Court of Appeals for the state of Bahia in Brazil recently handed down an arbitration-friendly decision and vacated an injunction intended to stay an arbitration proceeding. In FAT Ferroatlàntica S.L. vs. Zeus Mineração Ltda. and others, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether the existence of conflicting arbitration clauses in contracts pertaining to a single economic transaction justifies judicial intervention at the outset of the arbitration. The Court of Appeals held that, provided an arbitration agreement exists, such issue is to be dealt with by the arbitrators, not by the Courts.

State Responsibility for Contract Breaches: Possible Insights from the U.S- Mexican General Claims Commission

The United States and Mexico signed the General Claims Convention of September 8, 1923 and thereby constituted the U.S.-Mexico General Claims Commission.* The Commission was asked to resolve all claims by U.S. and Mexican citizens against the other government for loss or damage to their person or property interests arising out of the period of political upheaval that followed a series of Mexican revolutions in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Perhaps the most cited opinion of the General Claims Commission is the one it issued in Neer v. United Mexican States, a denial of justice case brought by an American widow who alleged that the Mexican government violated international law when [...]

Do We Really Need A World Financial Court?

On September 9th, 2009, an intriguing editorial penned by Jeffrey Golden, a special US Counsel and global derivatives senior partner at Allen & Overy LLP, appeared on the Financial Times. It was titled “We Need a World Financial Court with Specialist Judges”. The reason why I bring this article to the attention of the readers of this blog is that hitherto the settlement of international financial disputes has been the almost exclusive domain of diplomacy and, when needed, arbitration. How should the international arbitration community react to such an idea?

The need for such a court, Golden argues, stems from the need to “…ensure (1) that courts stay up to date with global [...]

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