Rise in arbitration in the extractive industries

According to a recent report from think-tank Chatham House, arbitration cases have increased nearly fourfold between 2001 and 2010 in the mining sector, reflecting tensions among stakeholders which escalated with the commodity price boom. The rise in commodity prices increased popular expectations, and governments accordingly came under pressure to show that citizens would receive greater … Read more

China’s highest court addresses CIETAC split

The Supreme People’s Court of China (the SPC) has taken steps to bring consistency to decisions involving CIETAC, China’s largest arbitral commission, and its breakaway sub-commissions in Shanghai and Shenzhen. (See our posts of 14 August 2012 and 12 July 2013 for more detail on the CIETAC split.) In the wake of the split, Chinese courts have … Read more

Arbitration and related third parties: Victorian Court of Appeal to rule on application to stay litigation based on upstream NZ arbitration agreement

In a recent decision,[1] the Supreme Court of Victoria rejected a New Zealand company’s application to stay a third party claim against it. The NZ company argued that that the claim was required to be referred to arbitration and that argument was rejected largely on the basis that the relevant claimant (being a related third … Read more

Res judicata effect of a prior arbitration is to be determined by arbitrators, not the courts – the Belco Rule can be hard to swallow

In Citigroup, Inc. v Abu Dhabi Investment Authority 13 Civ. 6073 (PKC), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) recently issued a judgment compelling Citigroup to arbitrate for a second time its dispute with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (“ADIA”), upholding the principle that arbitrators, not the courts, have the … Read more

Madrid Court of Appeal affirms optional dispute resolution clause

On 18 October 2013, the Madrid Court of Appeal (the Court of Appeal) affirmed the validity of an optional dispute resolution clause which provided for disputes to be resolved either before an arbitration tribunal or national courts. The Court of Appeal also affirmed, in line with earlier case law of the Court of Justice of the … Read more

Australia-Korea FTA concluded: investor-state dispute resolution mechanism included

On 5 December 2013, Australia and South Korea concluded negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Trade with South Korea was valued at AU$31.9 billion in 2012, making Korea Australia’s fourth biggest two-way trading partner (following China, Japan and the United States) and third largest export market. As a result of the FTA, tariffs will … Read more

Getting Commercial: Proposal for a Singapore International Commercial Court

At the opening of the legal year in January 2013, the Chief Justice of Singapore announced a committee to consider the feasibility of establishing a Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”). This committee, comprising judges, in-house counsel and practitioners from Singapore and other common law jurisdictions, recently released its recommendations on establishing the SICC (its report … Read more