REUTERS | Global Creative Services

Just ask Google.  Whatever the question, our first port of call is to check the internet.  But are arbitrators permitted to go online to research a point of fact relevant to the case before them?  If they do, must they give the parties an opportunity to comment on their findings?  The answers may be different for arbitrations seated in Germany, compared to those seated in England and Wales, and France.

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REUTERS | Enrique Castro-Mendivil

The COVID-19 pandemic has put to the test the resources and skills of governments around the world. Most have taken public health measures to tackle the pandemic, often coupled with additional measures to deal with the attendant economic consequences. As it is often the case when governments flex their regulatory muscle, tension has arisen between the public and the private sectors, particularly in respect of who will pick up the tab. For example, in April 2020 the Peruvian government passed a bill suspending the collection of toll fees on the country’s road network in an attempt to ease the costs of the transport of essential goods and workers. Affected toll road operators have opposed this measure and threatened litigation against the state. A month later, the Mexican government sought to modify the country’s energy regime by restricting private renewable energy generation and granting preferential grid access to facilities generating electricity by conventional means. The rationale for this was reportedly that the pandemic had caused demand for electricity to fall, and the government needed to protect the country’s energy security. In practice, it has been suggested in some quarters that these measures will favour Mexico’s state-owned electricity company. Legal action is ongoing in the Mexican courts.

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REUTERS | Mariana Bazo

On 6 June, the second round of the presidential elections will be held in Peru, which will pit the “Peru Libre” political party against that of “Fuerza Popular”. The future of ICSID arbitration and foreign investments in the country depends on the result of this election.

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REUTERS | Mike Hutchings

This blog describes some of the risks that are emerging as a result of the proliferation and linking of emissions trading schemes. It begins by providing an overview of the development of emissions trading schemes and the creation of links between them. It then considers the dispute risks that may arise from these developments and briefly explores the availability of relief under investment treaties for market participants that lose out when a scheme is altered, cancelled or delinked from another.

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REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

The recent decision of the English Court of Appeal in Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse International and others reaffirms the arbitration-friendly approach taken by the English courts and the mandatory nature of stays under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996).  The decision also illustrates the difficulty that can be faced by the courts in applying section 9 in complex multi-party, multi-issue disputes.

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REUTERS | Athar Hussain

Arbitrator bias has the potential to rock the very foundation of international arbitration. The principle that arbitrators must be impartial and independent from the parties is fundamental and uncontroversial among arbitration users. The understanding of what constitutes bias in concrete terms, however, is still open to debate.

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REUTERS | Yara Nardi

In recent years, “deepfakes” have on numerous occasions captured public attention by creating viral videos of public figures or celebrities sometimes acting out of character.  When utilised by specialists, “deepfake” technology can render it nearly impossible with the naked eye to detect whether an image or a video is fake.

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REUTERS | Rafael Marchante

It is a trite but a true observation that the flexibility inherent to arbitration proceedings allows parties, tribunals and institutions alike to react swiftly to the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, by resorting to the tools afforded by technology.

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