Corruption and the Hardly Innocent Respondent State

By Plamen Yotov, Associate at Kambourov & Partners (Sofia, Bulgaria)

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”, replied Jesus to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who asked Him whether to stone a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-8). Nowadays investors in foreign countries somehow appear to be in the unfaithful woman’s situation when facing corruption allegations in the context of investment arbitration.
While a lot of highly qualified publicists (some of whom probably close to a 38(1)(d) status as per the Statute of the ICJ – “the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law”) have shared their thoughts on the various aspects of this mine field, many issues remain unresolved or inadequately addressed, often leaving claimants and intellectually rigorous bystanders with a sense of injustice. The ever-growing lack of consistency between arbitral awards does not make the situation any better.
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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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