To some, Paris is the City of Love; to others, it’s the City of Lights. For readers of this magazine, it’s the City of Arbitration. Not only the ICC, but many ICSID disputes take place in the city, and historically it is more associated with the origins of international arbitration than anywhere but Geneva.
GAR Live’s annual Paris event in November is a perennial favourite for the vigorous Paris bar, and this year’s was no exception – with a question time for arbitrators, transcribed in these pages, being one of the most popular panels. Since then, Paris has joined Hong Kong and Dubai by organising its own arbitration week.
The past few months have seen what may be the largest ever damages sum deducted from an ICSID award by an annulment committee – a US$1.4 billion cut to ExxonMobil’s award against Venezuela. Investment arbitration also saw China win its first ICSID case, and Iraq face its first claim.
There were also some stark warnings. First, English silk Michael Black, who was principal drafter of the Dubai International Financial Centre’s civil procedure rules, warned of the “gift to competitors” the courts of the United Arab Emirates are providing through a string of questionable enforcement decisions. His warning comes not long after GAR reported on how a law allowing the UAE to imprison arbitrators for bias cast a further shadow of doubt over the jurisdiction. Black said a number of arbitrators – not including himself – are now refusing to accept appointments in the UAE.
Second, US arbitrator Michael Reisman warned of a “crossroads” in investment arbitration – with growing resentment of the system and a mounting pushback from states.
Both speeches are reported in this magazine.
In this magazine:
- The end of “the great compact”?: Reisman declares investment law at a crossroads
- How enforcement problems are harming the UAE: Michael Black, QC
- Question time with arbitrators – GAR Live 2016: Transparency, security for costs in funding, and time for a seven documents rule
- Baggage handling – first of three conferences looks at influence of legal traditions
- Swiss institution holds first innovation conference
- Arbitration versus litigation: stick to the tracks or choose the open road?
- Milan gathering looks at emergency arbitration and diversity
- A break with the past as young group launches in Mumbai
- Call for new rules for human rights disputes involving business