In an attempt to attract foreign investment and build investor confidence, Saudi Arabia is planning to lobby the UK government to set up a confidential arbitration court in London that would hear commercial disputes relating to the Middle Eastern Kingdom. The Saudi Government is aiming to attract former members of the UK judiciary and other leading figures in the legal industry to sit on the putative arbitration panel. Saudi Arabia hopes that the establishment of this specialist arbitration court, in addition to the country’s extensive reform of its domestic arbitration system, will lead to a flood of foreign investment into the country and boom in international trade.
The Saudis’ intentions raise several questions, including, amongst others, whether the establishment of such a court is necessary and why existing institutions cannot be used instead. What do you think?