REUTERS | Goran Tomasevic
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The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (the ERA Pledge), launched in 2016 to address the under-representation of women on international arbitration tribunals, recently surpassed a milestone 4,000 signatories in January 2020. The past year has also seen the launch of the Corporate and Africa Pledge subcommittees (which now sit alongside the very successful Latin America and India subcommittees), and the First Pledge Award presented at the 2019 GAR Awards in Paris. Continue reading

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Much has been written about the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on pending and future court proceedings across the world. There has been a wide range of responses across the globe. In some jurisdictions, courts have closed completely or almost completely. In England, by contrast, the civil courts have reacted rapidly to allow as much business to proceed as possible and to minimise disruption. New practice directions, including in particular PD 51Y (published back in March) allow for remote hearings and trials, and judges have been quick to move to the new online platforms. The first remote full trial in the Commercial Court took place in March (National Bank of Kazakhstan v The Bank of New York Mellon), and the Supreme Court has now started remote hearings. Many practitioners (and judges too, no doubt) find themselves scaling a steep learning curve, grappling with electronic bundles, negotiating the different demands and style of online advocacy, and learning to use new technologies. This is not to mention the concurrent demands of presenting submissions from a home office, with children or pets ready to intervene at any given moment. Given these new, and not altogether conducive, working conditions, it is encouraging to see that practitioners and courts have been swift to share best practice: see, for example, the Remote Courts Online hub (established by the Society for Computers and Law, funded by UK Law Tech Delivery panel, and supported by HMCTS) where practitioners and court users can share experiences and advice. Continue reading

REUTERS | John Kolesidis

Earlier this month, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) jointly published a draft code of conduct for adjudicators in investor-state dispute settlement. The draft code is designed to address important issues in relation to the conduct of adjudicators in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). It is part of the wider effort of UNCITRAL’s Working Group III (WG III) to introduce ISDS reforms and of ICSID’s amendment of its rules of procedure. Continue reading

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This is the second part of a two part blog regarding the emergence in recent years of specialised arbitral institutions/courts which provide industry specific rules, procedures and decision makers. The first part looked at the worlds of art, sport and finance, while this second part will look at the sectors of energy, construction, aviation/aerospace and maritime. Continue reading

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In another push to enlarge the area of free movement of onshore and offshore ratified awards, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) courts have recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates (see Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Justice United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts Concerning the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments, dated 4 November 2019). Following its adoption on 4 November 2019, the MoU entered into force with immediate effect (see clause 19). Continue reading

REUTERS | Gary Hershorn

A unanimous New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) decision in Am. Int’l Specialty Lines Ins. Co. v Allied Capital Corp. (AISLIC) delved into functus officio, a doctrine that this court had not closely examined in almost 130 years (Flannery v Sahagian). In this re-examination of functus officio, the court overturned the Appellate Division First Department’s ruling in this case (see Blog post, Is it really final? American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company v Allied Capital Corp). Continue reading

REUTERS | Benoit Tessie

On 6 May 2020, the European Commission announced that a majority of EU member states had signed the Agreement for the Termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between the Member States of the EU. The agreement will have a significant impact on the protective measures bestowed upon EU investors who have businesses in other EU countries, as well as foreign investors who rely on passport rights through one EU member state to gain access to the wider common market. Continue reading

REUTERS | Denis Balibouse

Although procedures for court challenge of an award on the basis of procedural irregularity or jurisdictional error are widely available across jurisdictions, the ability to bring an appeal against the tribunal’s decision on the substantive issues in dispute is not. The principle of finality is enshrined in the rules of major arbitral institutions, and in the national arbitration laws of the majority of popular arbitration seats. Continue reading

REUTERS | Michaela Rehle

As required by Regulation 1219/2012, the so-called Grandfathering Regulation, the European Commission recently published a report regarding the legal status of the approximately 1,300 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) that EU member states have concluded with third states, covering the period from 2013 until the end of 2019. A closer analysis of the report shows that not much has changed so far. However, changes can be expected due to domestic pressure in the member states. Continue reading