The recent Rompetrol Group NV v Romania award provides rare guidance as to the requirements to be satisfied for a successful treaty claim arising from State conduct against individual company officers rather than the claimant investor itself. The investor claimed, inter alia, that the arrest, detention, criminal investigations and wire-tapping of its directors constituted State-sponsored harassment that breached BIT guarantees enjoyed by its investment. The Tribunal held that the State conduct directed against the company officers had to have a sufficiently close link to the investment or investor to fall within the zone of the treaty’s protection. The requisite connection was found in re [...]
When the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, “uniformity of the law of arbitral procedures” was a stated purpose. The uncertainty produced by the disparity among the national laws was one of the drafters’ concerns. The other was the inadequacy of domestic laws to govern arbitration for international disputes. In the Explanatory Note (Section A), national laws were described as “outdated”, “fragmentary” and/or “too domestic”, making them inappropriate for arbitration of international commercial disputes.
In 2006, the Model Law was modified on two substantive aspects: the form of the arbitration agreemen [...]
On April 22, 2013, representatives of Members States of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (“ALBA” for its acronym in Spanish) met in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the manner in which their interests are affected by the activities carried out by transnational companies, under a reunion known as the First Ministerial Conference of Latin American States affected by Transnational Interests.
Founded in 2004, ALBA is an international cooperation organization which is mainly associated with socialist and social democratic governments, being its main purpose to achieve regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare. Its current members ar [...]
“America’s important security alliances across the Pacific need an economic underpinning.” Ambassador Robert Zoellick, May 1, 2013
To use one of the Obama Administration’s favorite terms, the entry of Japan in April 2013 into the three-year-old Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations later this year is a “game-changer.” Prior to Japan’s commitment as the 12th TPP partner, U.S. participation in the TPP negotiations could be seen as an important piece of the nation’s “pivot” toward Asia, part of a new emphasis on economic, political and security relationships in Asia and an element of various initiatives to counterbalance China’s growing, not always benign, influ [...]
As reported yesterday, the recent tragedies in Bangladesh factories have resulted in a major breakthrough with the signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Thus far, leading retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Benetton, and Calvin Klein are on board. Notably absent from the list are leading U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart and Gap.
As noted in my previous post, I have been arguing for years that international arbitration could serve as an important procedural tool for promoting human rights in global supply chains. I applaud the commitment of these retailers to join with leading labor rights groups and enter into a binding agreement to im [...]
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) has issued new rules that came into force on April 1, 2013. The rules changes are accompanied by new Practice Notes for cases administered by SIAC under its rules and the UNCITRAL rules that also came into force on the same date. While the changes do not reflect a significant overhaul of the prior version of the institution’s rules, they do contain important changes of which practitioners should be aware.
The 2013 rules are the fifth set of rules issued by SIAC, which promulgated previous versions in 1991, 1997, 2007, and 2010. The SIAC rules are one of several sets of arbitral rules to be updated in the last few years; other [...]