Machine Arbitration and Machine Arbitrators

By Jack Wright Nelson (King & Wood Mallesons)

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) will revolutionise legal practice. Over the next 20 years, the technologies with which we currently practice law will themselves begin to practice law.

These changes are starting now. Last month, an American law firm began using an AI researcher that can conduct legal research faster and cheaper than a human. Some commentators predict the mass redundancy of junior lawyers all together.

Arbitration is not immune to this technological advancement. Imagine an AI lawyer that is capable of understanding argument, ascertaining facts, and determining the applicable law. There is one particular role that would treasure the neutrality and independence that such intelligent technology could provide – that of the arbitrator.

This post explores whether our current arbitral framework could allow such an AI lawyer, a “machine arbitrator”, to resolve disputes between parties who have consented to this “machine arbitration”.

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Of BITs, Demons and Tremors: Foreign Investment in Ecuador

By Camilo Muriel Bedoya, Associate at Pérez Bustamante & Ponce in Ecuador

I. Aftershocks

What do bilateral investment treaties (BITs), international investment law, and an earthquake have in common? Politics. Law and politics, to be more accurate, and there is a fine boundary line between them.

Last April, Ecuador faced a devastating natural disaster, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. It took hundreds of lives, the peace of mind of Ecuadorians, and important material losses. Unfortunately – though curiously – the earthquake also revealed a deeper non-natural disaster: a political aftershock.

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Arbitrability of intellectual property disputes: setting the scene?

By Rahul Donde, Senior Associate, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler and Sharad Bansal, LL.M. Candidate, Masters in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS), Geneva

In Eros International Media Limited v. Telemax Links India Pvt. Ltd., the Bombay High Court recently considered the arbitrability of disputes involving intellectual property rights. In this post, we analyze this decision and highlight potential concerns arising from it.
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The Draft SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules: Key Themes & Innovations

By Manu Misra, Doctoral Candidate at Bocconi University, Milan

1. Introduction

According to the 2015 International Arbitration Survey conducted by the QMUL School of International Arbitration, the worst characteristics of international arbitration include cost, delay and inefficiency. On 1 February 2016, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (‘SIAC’) introduced a draft set of bespoke rules (‘the SIAC Rules’) for investment arbitration, the final version of which are set to be released later this year following an extended public consultation process. The SIAC Rules, originally drafted by the SIAC’s Rule-Revision Subcommittee on Investment Arbitration, contain a number of innovations which seek to address some of the current criticisms of the investment arbitration system such as inefficiency and inadequacy of rules relating to third-party funding and amicus curiae submissions.
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Canada’s Balancing Act: Ad Hoc v. Institutionally Administered Arbitration – What’s Next?

By Shashi K. Dholandas, International Case Director for the AAA-ICDR in New York City

Canadians rightfully pride themselves on playing an integral role in the ever advancing development of international procedural rules and arbitral institutions. Canada was the first country to adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in 1986 and its nationals continue to champion the implementation of cutting edge institutional dispute resolution tools such as emergency arbitrator, joinder, and consolidation mechanisms; mechanisms which are becoming commonplace through their adoption in one form or another by arbitral institutions around the world.

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Draft SCC Rules for consultation: What’s new?

By Celeste Estefania Salinas Quero, Legal Counsel for the Stockholm Chambers of Commerce

On 26 April 2016, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”) released for public consultation drafts of the 2017 Arbitration Rules and 2017 Rules for Expedited Arbitrations (“draft rules”). The drafts, which update the 2010 SCC Rules, are the result of a one and half-years of work by a special committee composed of international and local practitioners, academics, SCC Board and Secretariat members (“Committee”). The Committee was divided into three sub-committees that in parallel and coordinately revised the SCC Rules and worked with special provisions for investor-state disputes.

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Greek economic crisis: are sovereign bonds protected “investments” under Bilateral Investment Treaties? ICSID Case No. ARB/13/8

By Stella Petritsi, a Solicitor at Thomas Cooper in Piraeus, Greece

Despite broad interpretation of “investment” in Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”), an ICSID tribunal (“the Tribunal”) found on 9 April 2015 that the purchase of Greek Government Bonds did not constitute an “investment” in Greece. Whether under the Slovakia – Greece BIT, the Greece – Cyprus BIT or the ICSID Convention. Lacking jurisdiction on that basis, the Tribunal dismissed claims brought by Poštová banka (“Postova”), a Slovak bank, and its majority shareholder Istrokapital SE (“Istrokapital”), a company incorporated in Cyprus, against the Hellenic Republic (“Greece”).

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