AD HOC COMMITTEE ORDERS RECORD ANNULMENT
OF AN AWARD IN ICSID PROCEEDINGS
By Daniel Jones and Elinor Thomas, London
In the first annulment of an ICSID arbitration award since 2010 and the largest ever reduction of an ICSID award by an annulment committee, an ad hoc committee has recently issued a decision partially annulling the arbitration award in the case of Occidental Petroleum v Ecuador and reducing the damages payable by Ecuador to Occidental by 40 percent.
Find out more.
SINGAPORE COURT OF APPEAL: WHEN
ARE COMPANY DISPUTES ARBITRABLE?
By Matthew Shaw, Singapore
The Singapore Court of Appeal has held in a recent decision that claims of “oppression” and “unfair prejudice” brought by minority shareholders under section 216 of the Singapore Companies Act are arbitrable, even though some of the reliefs that may be granted for such claims (such as a winding-up order against the company) are unavailable in arbitration.
In doing so, the Court of Appeal reversed an earlier decision in which the Singapore High Court had held that section 216 claims were not arbitrable.
Find out more.
INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
IN THE NEWLY SIGNED TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
By Harout Jack Samra and Ashley Juchawski, Miami
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have both been the subject of negotiations in Fall 2015. In a significant development, on October 5, 2015, negotiators for the United States and the 11 other parties finally signed TPP.
Both agreements have been touted to “promote jobs and growth” through trade liberalization in their respective regions: TPP across the Asia Pacific region and TTIP between the United States and Europe. In addition, if ratified by the state parties, the agreements will replace the various dispute resolution mechanisms provided for in existing investment treaties among the parties. In fact, the inclusion or otherwise of investor-state dispute resolution provisions has contributed significantly to the controversy surrounding both agreements.
As a consequence, the execution of TPP represents a major development that investors throughout the Asia-Pacific region must consider going forward. However, TPP is yet to be ratified by the state parties, a challenging and likely long-term project.
Find out more.
ICC COURT TO PROVIDE REASONED DECISIONS
By Silvia Farre, London
The International Chamber of Commerce has announced that the ICC International Court of Arbitration will start explaining its reasons for many of the decisions it takes under the 2012 ICC Rules of Arbitration.
This new policy was announced on 8 October 2015 and entered into force immediately. It will be applied where all the parties to a case so agree.
Find out more.
NEWS FROM THE INSTITUTIONS
ICC publishes Commission Report on decisions on costs in international arbitration
The International Chamber of Commerce has released a report on “Decisions on Costs in International Arbitration”. The report examines how the costs of an arbitration can be allocated between parties and sheds light on the specific roles of arbitrators, parties and counsel in using cost allocation as a case management tool. It also identifies the cost allocation considerations that arbitrators take into account and considers how decisions on costs can be used not only to allocate costs fairly, but also as a means to improve efficiency during the proceedings.
For further information, please see the ICC’s website.
New CIArb Rules 2015 published
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has issued new arbitration rules that came into force on 1 December 2015. The launch took place at the CIArb Centenary Conference in Singapore. The new rules supersede the CIArb Arbitration Rules 2000, which had limited application to domestic arbitration under the English Arbitration Act 1996.
For more information about the new rules, see the CIArb website.
New Investment Court System proposed by European Commission
The European Commission has issued a press release announcing that it has agreed the proposal to replace the existing investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in trade agreements with a new Investment Court System. The new system will be in use in future for all trade agreements currently being negotiated by the EU with other states, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The European Commission press release provides further details about the proposal.
Asian Directorate Office to be launched by CIArb and KLRCA
CIArb and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) are working together to create a CIArb Asian Directorate Office at KLRCA’s premises in Bangunan Sulaiman. The two organisations intend to put on a number of joint seminars, conferences and educational events covering arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. The Centre will be CIArb’s first enterprise outside the United Kingdom.
More detail about the launch can be found on the CIArb website.
ICSID publishes annual report for 2015
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes has published its 2015 annual report covering the fiscal year from 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2015. Over 50 cases were registered with ICSID during this year, and the greatest total number of cases concluded in a single year was also recorded: 53. ICSID administered 243 cases during the year, its highest ever number, and appointed its first Scholar-in-Residence.
See the ICSID annual report for more information.
QMUL survey makes ICC most preferred arbitral institute
A survey conducted by Queen Mary University of London has found the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce to be the most preferred arbitral institution in the world. The survey also found that litigation still lags behind arbitration as the preferred method of resolving cross-border disputes.
More information about the survey results can be found in the ICC press release.
3rd Annual ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration
Houston, 14-15 January 2016
The Institute for Transnational Arbitration, the Institute for Energy Law and the International Chamber of Commerce are holding their third annual conference on international energy arbitration in Houston, Texas from 14 to 15 January 2016. Topics to be discussed over the two-day event include ethics and the IBA guidelines on party representation, cybersecurity and data privacy, and emergency arbitrator proceedings in oil and gas disputes.
For more information about the conference, see the Center for American and International Law website.
CPR 2016 Annual Meeting
New Orleans, 16-18 February 2016
The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution is holding its annual meeting in New Orleans between 16 and 18 February 2016. The title of the meeting is “The Dispute Resolution Divide – Harmonizing Global Approaches” and sessions over the three-day conference include “Are we Killing Mediation?”, “Why I Hate Arbitration” and “The Rising Global Debate Regarding Ethics in International Arbitration”.
Further information about the conference is available on the CPR website.
2016 International Arbitration Day
Shanghai, 3-4 March 2016
The International Bar Association and the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission are co-hosting the 19th International Arbitration Day, which will be held on 3 and 4 March 2016 in Shanghai, the first time it has been held in China. Topics to be discussed include the culture of international arbitration and the latest developments in the comparative enforcement of awards.
For more information about the event, see the IBA website.
ITA-ASIL Conference: International Arbitration Ethics
Washington, 30 March 2016
The Institute for Transnational Arbitration of The Center for American and International Law and the American Society of International Law are holding a half-day conference in Washington, DC on 30 March 2016 on the subject of ethics in international arbitration.
Details of the event are available on the Center for American and International Law website.