ANTI-SUIT INJUNCTIONS: NO ARBITRATION? NO WORRIES
The UK Supreme Court has confirmed the jurisdiction of the senior courts to grant anti-suit injunctions to restrain parties from commencing foreign court proceedings in breach of an arbitration agreement in circumstances where no arbitration is in prospect.
Find out more.
US SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS FREEDOM OF CONTRACT PRINCIPLE IN ANTITRUST CLASS ARBITRATION
In the recent case of American Express co. et. al. v. Italian Colors Restaurant et al., the US Supreme Court addressed the validity of a contractual waiver to class arbitration where the cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory antitrust claim made it cost prohibitive to raise those claims independently rather than as part of a collective class.
The Court’s conclusion in favor of upholding the agreement can be seen as a further re-affirmation of the principles of freedom of contract.
Find out more about this case.
KUWAIT TO OPEN REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE OF GCC COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION CENTRE
In a move that will enhance its attractiveness for foreign investment, Kuwait recently ratified an agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Commercial Arbitration Centre to establish a representative office in Kuwait.
The Agreement will take effect only once the Kuwait government notifies the Centre that it has completed various constitutional procedures and administrative tasks, including allocating the Centre with facilities out of which it can operate. While this process may take some time, Kuwait's ratification of the Agreement helps to improve its status as an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction.
Find out more.
INNOVATIVE CHANGES FOR BELGIUM’S ARBITRATION RULES
This year Belgium has already seen significant reforms in its arbitration rules.
These innovative changes include the adoption of a new Arbitration Act and the adoption of new Arbitration and Mediation Rules by the Belgian Centre of Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI).
Find out more about these changes, some of which are already in force.
THE NETHERLANDS UPDATES ITS ARBITRATION ACT
Although the Netherlands is not yet recognised as a traditional seat for international arbitration when compared to established seats such as France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, its parliamentary capital, The Hague, is firmly on the international arbitration map as an alternative seat.
Home of the Permanent Court of Arbitration since 1901, the city traditionally attracts arbitrations between states and private parties and is likely to broaden its reach still further with the recent establishment of the P.R.I.M.E. Finance arbitration institute for the settlement of disputes in relation to complex financial transactions.
The Dutch government recently published a bill for the ‘modernisation of Netherlands arbitration law that, among other things, aims to ensure the continued appeal of the Netherlands Arbitration Act (1986) to international users.
Find out more about the proposed changes.
NEWS FROM THE ARBITRATION INSTITUTIONS
New rules governing arbitration come into effect in the Cayman Islands
Court rules governing arbitration proceedings in the Cayman Islands have been revised by virtue of the Grand Court (Amendment No. 1) Rules 2013, which took effect from 1 July 2013. The revised suite of procedural rules, together with necessary amendments to existing rules for financial services proceedings and service of process out of the jurisdiction, now provide legal practitioners with a comprehensive procedural code for arbitration-related court applications and applications to enforce arbitral awards. Find the new Rules here.
Transparency rules adopted by UNCITRAL
UNCITRAL, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, has adopted the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (known as the Transparency Rules) which recognise the importance of the need for transparency in investor-state disputes when issues of public interest arise. The new rules will come into force on 1 April 2014 and a new set of UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules will also be issued at this time, which will include a paragraph setting out the link between the Arbitration Rules and the Transparency Rules. Find out more here.
Vienna Rules 2013 issued
Following a detailed consultation, the Vienna International Arbitration Centre has issued a set of revised rules based on the 2006 Arbitration Rules. The new Rules follow the same structure as the 2006 Vienna Rules but with additional and revised sections reflecting best practice. The 2013 Rules came into force on 1 July 2013. Find out more here.
New Administered Arbitration Rules issued by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution
On 1 July 2013, new rules issued by the New York based International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution came into force. The new administered Rules are very similar to the non-administered rules issued by the Institution, but include changes relating to the administrative role of the Institution, for example billing, the selection of arbitrators and the limited review of awards. More information about the new Administered Arbitration Rules is here.
New administered arbitration rules published by HKIAC
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has published a new revised version of its original Administered Rules published in 2008, following a public consultation and review. The revised rules build on the 2008 rules, clarifying rather than modifying them, although some changes have been made to some provisions including: multiple parties and multiple contracts; the expedited procedure; and emergency relief. The 2013 HKIAC Rules will come into force on 1 November 2013. For more information about the new rules, see here.
Revised Danish Institute of Arbitration rules issued
The Danish Institute of Arbitration’s new set of arbitration rules came into force on 1 May 2013. The Rules bring the Institute into line with the latest international arbitration standards and are available in Danish, English, German and French. See here for more details of the new rules.
IBA publishes guidelines on party representation in international arbitration
The International Bar Association (IBA) published the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration in May 2013. The guidelines were produced as a result of a task force that was set up in 2008 by the IBA Arbitration Committee to look into the need for international guidance for party representatives and the conduct of counsel. The guidelines are based on the principles that party representatives should be honest, behave with integrity and try to keep delays and expense to a minimum. They are not intended to replace mandatory laws or rules and must be adopted by consensus. For more information about the guidelines, see here.
Two new arbitration hearing centres open
A new arbitration centre has opened in the centre of Seoul. The Seoul International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) opened in May 2013 and provides four hearing rooms and three preparation rooms. It also houses offices for the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board and the London Court of International Arbitration. The Seoul IDRC also has memorandums of understanding with the ICC, SIAC and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. In June, the New York International Arbitration Centre opened in Manhattan, with a selection of hearing rooms seating up to 40 people.
Canadian arbitration hearing centre signs MoU with ICC
An arbitration hearing centre in Toronto, Canada, Arbitration Place, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The agreement is one of a series of moves undertaken by the ICC to strengthen its presence in North America. For more information about the ICC MoU with Arbitration Place, see here.
ASA Conference & General Meeting: Confidential and Restricted Information in International Arbitration: Questions of Principle, Answers in Practice
The Swiss Arbitration Association is to hold a conference in Bern on 4 October 2013. Three panel discussions will address the manifold and complex questions raised by the confidential nature of certain documents and information in international arbitration, and by the restriction of the revelation of certain data as a result of regulations in fields such as data protection, anti-trust law or defence secrets. For more information on the conference, see here.
IBA Annual Conference
The International Bar Association annual conference will be held from 6 to 11 October 2013 in Boston. The conference will feature a number of committee sessions involving arbitration, including hot topics in arbitration, recognition and enforcement of awards and arbitrators’ conflicts and party representation. For more information, see here.
International Arbitration in Latin America: The ICC’s perspective
This conference will take place in Miami from 3 to 5 November 2013. It will provide an opportunity for legal practitioners interested in arbitration in Latin America to gather and will offer an update on developments in the region. For more information, see here.