REUTERS | Mohammed Salem
REUTERS | Mohammed Salem

Diversity in arbitral appointments has been in the news again, following the publication of the latest Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL)/ White & Case International Arbitration Survey. The responses to the survey suggest that, to date, the most visible efforts to improve diversity have been seen in the field of gender diversity: almost 60% of the respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that progress had been made. This is perhaps attributable to the efforts of bodies such as Arbitral Women to promote female arbitrators; there is also evidence that female arbitral appointments have increased since the 2015 launch of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge. Continue reading

REUTERS | Darrin Zammit Lupi

Our Arbitration in Africa series continues with Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, Partner at Aluko & Oyebode in Nigeria.

In Part 1, Babatunde discusses his personal and professional background, including his current role. He also considers arbitral institutions and centres in Nigeria, as well as arbitral procedure. In Part 2, he examines the courts’ support for arbitration in Nigeria, recognition and enforcement of awards, and investment treaty arbitration. He also considers the challenges facing arbitration practitioners and arbitrators in Nigeria, and offers advice to those hoping to pursue an arbitration career in Nigeria. Continue reading

REUTERS | Gleb Garanich

The High Court has dismissed yet another challenge to an arbitration award under section 68 of the Arbitration Act (AA 1996) brought on the ground of serious irregularity. In this instance, a decision by a tribunal not to defer its award until further evidence was available did not amount to a breach of its general duty under section 33 of the AA 1996, because deferral may have resulted in delay over an indeterminate but potentially lengthy period. As the AA 1996 charges arbitrators with avoiding unnecessary delay in accordance with the object of arbitration (section 1), on balance, no irregularity within the meaning of section 68 was found. Continue reading

REUTERS | Lucas Jackson

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Arbitration Law (see Law No. 6 of 2018 Concerning Arbitration) was finally adopted on 3 May 2018. I anticipated the adoption of the new law in a trilogy of blogs published in the summer of 2017 (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). The draft law that I commented on then was the official draft bill that was fed into the UAE legislative process in May last year and that has now been adopted in slightly amended form. The comments I made previously on the continuing similarities between the new law and the UAE Arbitration Chapter, which the new law is to replace, remain true; I will, therefore, not repeat them here. However, a number of modifications that may raise eyebrows deserve further scrutiny. These will be discussed in some detail in a series of two consecutive blogs. Continue reading

REUTERS | Cris Toala Olivares

Recently, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a new draft model bilateral investment treaty (BIT) text for public consultation. The aim of this draft text is to replace the 2004 model BIT text and align it with the EU’s model treaty text, as exemplified by the Canada-EU FTA (CETA). The draft text is also an attempt to address the perceived shortcomings of existing investment treaties and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system. Continue reading

REUTERS | Stefan Wermuth

There has been vociferous public debate around the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in international investment treaties over the past few years. The increasing level of public awareness of, and opposition to ISDS provisions, has been reflected in the rising number of “anti-ISDS” groups and governmental policies around the world. Continue reading

REUTERS | Larry Downing

Introduction

Last week’s English Commercial Court decision in Goodwood Investments Holdings Inc v Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG (M/Y “Palladium”) was a rare sighting of an application under section 45 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). Section 45 provides a route whereby the court may determine any question of law arising in the course of arbitration proceedings, provided certain requirements are met. Continue reading