REUTERS | Kim Hong-Ji

Over the last 11 years, BCLP have conducted an annual survey on issues affecting the arbitration process. This year’s survey focuses on the role of the party-appointed expert in international arbitration, a topic that has been the subject of debate for a number of years.

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REUTERS | Jose Cabezas

As has been widely reported, the recent Komstroy judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in which it extended the application of its previous Achmea judgment to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) by determining that investor-state arbitration within the EU is incompatible with EU law, raises the fundamental question whether there is still a reason d’etre (reason for being) for the ECT?

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REUTERS | Gleb Garanich

Dubai Government Decree No 34 of 2021 concerning the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) (Decree No 34/2021), which entered into immediate effect upon its publication (see the Official Gazette for the Government of Dubai No 531 of 20 September 2021), has caused a great furore both among the local and the international arbitration community.

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REUTERS | Lucy Nicholson

In a recent ruling of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court of Appeal (CA) in Lahela v Lameez, the DIFCCA overturned the DIFC Court of First Instance (CFI)’s ruling in Pearl Petroleum Company Limited & Others v The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. It found that Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke, rendering the ruling of the DIFCCFI, wrongly concluded in favour of the strict mandatory application of the service regime under article 6 of the Riyadh Convention. The DIFCCA also confirmed that obligations, whether of service or otherwise, under the Riyadh Convention and by extension under international agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and third-party countries more generally, did not form part of DIFC law to the extent that these dealt with civil and commercial matters and had not expressly been adopted into the domestic body of DIFC law (even despite their wholesale adoption into UAE law). As a result, in circumstances where the courts of a Riyadh Convention country (here the Erbil Court of Republic of Iraq, which like the UAE is a signatory of the Riyadh Convention) fail to effect service on an award debtor in that country in the terms prescribed under the Riyadh Convention, alternative and possibly more effective service options available under the DIFC Court Rules (RDC) (and possibly even dispensation with service altogether) are open to award creditors in order to secure enforcement of their ratified DIFC award.

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REUTERS | Hani Amara

Imagine this. You are an English company. You enter into a contract with a government of another state, say Libya. You agree to provide the goods. The government agrees to provide the money. The goods are sent, but the government fails to pay. Aghast, you bring an arbitration, pursuant to the terms of the contract. You obtain an award ordering the government to pay up. Success! However, unless the government is willing to pay (unlikely), that award isn’t worth the paper it’s written on without an order of a domestic court permitting enforcement. So, you apply to the High Court, which grants the order ex parte. All that is left is for you to serve the order on the government and then proceed to enforce (assuming no challenge is brought). As English practitioners will be well aware, this invariably requires a trip down to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which will serve the government through diplomatic channels.

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REUTERS | Anne Mimault

In the recent case of Vale SA and others v Steinmetz and others, the Court of Appeal was asked to determine whether an arbitration award issued in respect of an arbitration between Vale SA (Vale) and BSG Resources Ltd (BSGR) was binding on Vale in respect of Commercial Court proceedings brought by it against Nysco (owners of BSGR) and Balda (owners of Nysco).

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