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Buratai tasks Army chaplains, assistants to embrace dialogue in resolving crises - The Eagle Online

Google International ADR News - Wed, 2018-10-03 13:21

The Eagle Online

Buratai tasks Army chaplains, assistants to embrace dialogue in resolving crises
The Eagle Online
Buratai tasks Army chaplains, assistants to embrace dialogue in resolving crises. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has tasked the Army chaplains and their assistants to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution and dialogue in resolving ...

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Litigation Conduct Waivers and the New York Convention

Today’s post concerns waiver of the right to arbitrate by an ambivalent plaintiff in a US District Court, and under what conditions it might be appropriate for a US District Court, applying the New York Convention and FAA Section 206 (governing motions to compel arbitration under arbitration agreements covered by the Convention), to decide that such a waiver by virtue of the litigation conduct of the plaintiff renders an arbitration agreement “null and void” (or “inoperative”) under Article II (3) of the Convention*. Every sermon needs its text, and today our text is a recent case from Silicon Valley: Hebei...
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The post Litigation Conduct Waivers and the New York Convention appeared first on Marc J. Goldstein - Arbitration & Mediation.

Seminar sessions to check out at this year's Trade Days - THIIS

Google International ADR News - Wed, 2018-10-03 08:31


Seminar sessions to check out at this year's Trade Days
Speaker: Matt Major, Director of International Sales at MK Battery. About the session: MK Battery has over 35 ... a business. Learning outcomes: Understand the requirements for traders in the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes ...

UK Gambling Commission publishes new complaints processes standards - Yogonet International (press release) (blog)

Google International ADR News - Wed, 2018-10-03 08:17

Yogonet International (press release) (blog)

UK Gambling Commission publishes new complaints processes standards
Yogonet International (press release) (blog)
The gambling regulatory body announced Monday new standards for how complaints are handled by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers in the gambling industry. T. he new standards, which come into effect from 31 October, set out how consumer ...

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UK Gambling Commission publishes new complaints processes standards - Yogonet International (press release) (blog)

Google International ADR News - Wed, 2018-10-03 08:17

Yogonet International (press release) (blog)

UK Gambling Commission publishes new complaints processes standards
Yogonet International (press release) (blog)
The gambling regulatory body announced Monday new standards for how complaints are handled by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers in the gambling industry. T. he new standards, which come into effect from 31 October, set out how consumer ...

and more »

Delhi High Court Rejects Arguments against Enforcement Based on CIETAC Split

Kluwer Arbitration Blog - Tue, 2018-10-02 20:00

Li Haifeng

Background on CIETAC Split

Up until May 1, 2012 CIETAC had a branch in Shanghai named CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission (the “Old Sub-commission”). This Old Sub-commission used the same CIETAC arbitration rules but was administered by a secretariat semi-independent of that of the head office of CIETAC in Beijing.

On May 1, 2012 CIETAC launched its 2012 edition of arbitration rules. Some disagreements arose between the Old Sub-commission and the head office of CIETAC, which triggered the Old Sub-commission declaring independence from CIETAC.

On April 11, 2013 the Old Sub-commission renamed itself as Shanghai International Arbitration Center (“SHIAC”) (the “Re-naming”). CIETAC then established a new CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission (the “New Sub-commission”) shortly after the Re-naming. 1) See e.g. Justin D’ Agostino, Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 2 May 2014, The Aftermath of the CIETAC Split: Two years on, lower courts take clashing views on arbitration agreements and awards– but higher courts strive for consistency. jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_8170_1").tooltip({ tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_8170_1", tipClass: "footnote_tooltip", effect: "fade", fadeOutSpeed: 100, predelay: 400, position: "top right", relative: true, offset: [10, 10] });

To clarify uncertainties surrounding the competence of CIETAC and SHIAC over cases with an underlying clause providing for arbitration by CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission, the Supreme People’s Court of China (the “SPC”) issued a circular in June 2015 (the “SPC Interpretation”). Article 1 states that disputes in connection with contracts signed before the Re-naming carrying an arbitration clause providing arbitration by CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission shall be administered by SHIAC. It also provides in article 3 that no party shall be upheld in its application for the set-aside or non-enforcement of an award on the ground of no competence if either CIETAC or SHIAC had accepted the case which it should not have as per the SPC Interpretation prior to the issuance date thereof.

Delhi Court’s Decision on Enforcement

As reported in Global Arbitration Review, a Chinese solar power company, LDK Solar Hi-Tech (“LDK”), attempted to enforce a CIETAC award against an Indian counterpart, Hindustan Clean Energy (“Hindustan”), in India. 2) https://globalarbitrationreview.com/article/1171818/chinese-company-enforces-award-in-delhi-despite-arguments-based-on-cietac-split jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_8170_2").tooltip({ tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_8170_2", tipClass: "footnote_tooltip", effect: "fade", fadeOutSpeed: 100, predelay: 400, position: "top right", relative: true, offset: [10, 10] });

The underlying arbitration clause carried in a guarantee agreement entered into between LDK, as the beneficiary, and Hindustan, as the guarantor, provides that “any and call claims, disputes, controversies or differences arising between the Parties out of or in connection with this Bond shall be submitted for arbitration before China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) in Shanghai by three arbitrators appointed in accordance with the corresponding rules of arbitration…

LDK brought arbitration before New Sub-commission in October 2013 and the award was made in February 2015.

When LDK applied for enforcement of the award in the Delhi High Court, Hindustan tried to resist the enforcement raising the following arguments:

1) That the New Sub-commission had no jurisdiction as the arbitration agreement referred disputes to the Old Sub-commission, now renamed as SHIAC. For this argument Hindustan relied on article 1 of the SPC Interpretation.

2) That CIETAC breached principles of natural justice when it appointed a substitute arbitrator to replace the original chair within 2 days.

All the arguments were rejected by Judge Navin Chawla.


In my view, Judge Navin Chawla made a judicious judgment.

It is important to note the distinction between providing for arbitration before CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission on the one hand, and arbitration before “CIETAC in Shanghai” as is in the present case, on the other. The former provision refers to a specific institution by the name of CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission whereas the latter commonly interpreted as “CIETAC” being the name of the institution whereas “Shanghai” the place of arbitration.

According to the 2005 edition of CIETAC Arbitration Rules, the claimant could choose either CIETAC the head office or CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission to administer its arbitration if there is no such selection in the arbitration clause. Although in practice cases with a contractual provision for arbitration before CIETAC in Shanghai were usually handled by the Old Sub-commission, CIETAC reserved the right to decide otherwise. So provision for arbitration before CIETAC in Shanghai is not 100% equivalent of arbitration before CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission.

Art. 1 of the SPC Interpretation obviously refers to an express reference to CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission by name rather than Shanghai by place because the very object of the circular was to eradicate ambiguity and uncertainty.

Alternatively even if the reference to arbitration before CIETAC in Shanghai could be treated as 100% equivalent of CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission, article 3 of the SPC Interpretation would have deprived Hindustan of any right to challenge the award on the ground of no competence in China. Since China is the place of arbitration, it’s only normal for the Indian court to give overriding weight to the positions of PRC laws and courts, particularly the SPC.

Chawla J’s rejection of the natural justice point was predicated on the fact that Hindustan had made no effort to achieve agreement with LDK on the choice of presiding arbitrator when it had the opportunity to do so at the start of the case. It’s true that as per the 2005 CIETAC Arbitration Rules, the same procedure should have been followed to appoint a replacement arbitrator as that for the one being replaced. In other words, to replace the presiding arbitrator, the parties should have been given 15 days to agree on a candidate. However, when a party had not exercised that right when it had an opportunity to do so in the first place, it’s hardly arguable that its legitimate interests would be compromised in any consequential way if it was not given a second opportunity. Therefore, Chawla J was only right in commenting that Hindustan was “merely trying to take advantage of an inconsequential issue to challenge the arbitral award”, and that “there is no such thing as mere technical infringement of natural justice.”

Had the presiding arbitrator been appointed without giving the parties an opportunity to agree on a candidate in the first place, would the judge have viewed it as inconsequential and rejected Hindustan’s invocation of natural justice? I think it would probably not be so. Hence the crux of the judgment is that Hindustan had waived or been slack in exercising its right to propose a presiding arbitrator candidate in the first place.

The decision of the Delhi court to enforce the award is a welcome pro-arbitration gesture of Indian courts that they would not refuse enforcement of arbitral awards merely based on some non-material technical irregularities.


References   [ + ]

1. ↑ See e.g. Justin D’ Agostino, Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 2 May 2014, The Aftermath of the CIETAC Split: Two years on, lower courts take clashing views on arbitration agreements and awards– but higher courts strive for consistency. 2. ↑ https://globalarbitrationreview.com/article/1171818/chinese-company-enforces-award-in-delhi-despite-arguments-based-on-cietac-split function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }More from our authors: Arbitration in Belgium: A Practitioner’s Guide
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The post Delhi High Court Rejects Arguments against Enforcement Based on CIETAC Split appeared first on Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Does Anger Pay Off?

ADR Prof Blog - Tue, 2018-10-02 16:46
Building on Andrea’s post on teaching the Kavanaugh hearings, I am thinking about whether and how to teach my negotiation students about strategic uses of anger. Obviously such a discussion raises interesting questions around whether and how certain groups are able to display anger, and to whom. (It’s not true that all men can act … Continue reading Does Anger Pay Off? →

Kluwer Mediation Blog – August & September Digest

Kluwer Arbitration Blog - Tue, 2018-10-02 02:22

Anna Howard

In every negotiation the most important work is done by those in the shadows.” Ian Wishart, as quoted by Bill Marsh in “Personal Connections.”

August and September offered a particularly varied and vibrant selection of posts on the Kluwer Mediation Blog. The topics addressed, to name just a few, include: developments in the creation of the Japan International Mediation Centre – Kyoto; the introduction of mandatory mediation in Romania; developments in Vietnam’s legal and institutional framework for commercial mediation; the potential which lies in establishing strong connections across conflicts; the mediation of art disputes; the timely and provocative idea of an Interdependence Day and an International Declaration of Interdependence; and the impact of artificial intelligence on alternative dispute resolution. A brief summary of each of the posts on the Kluwer Mediation Blog in August and September can be found below. Have a look – there is something for everyone…

In “What might artificial intelligence mean for alternative dispute resolution”, James South and Andy Rogers of CEDR explore a number of questions regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on ADR including: What is AI likely to do in a setting which has been so focussed on combining subtle concepts such as legal rights and a sense of fairness (adjudication) or human interaction and coaching (mediation)? And where do these developments leave us and what will their impact be?

In “Guerilla Gardening – and a plea for a universal declaration of interdependence”, John Sturrock offers the timely and thought-provoking idea of an Interdependence Day and an International Declaration of Interdependence. Drawing on the work of Yuval Noah Harari, Bobby Duffy and Martin Nowak, John identifies a bold antidote to the isolation, silos and alienation too frequently seen in current times.

In “Nourishment for the spirit: the 20th Tulane-Humboldt summer school on Alternative Dispute Resolution”, Greg Bond shares the reflections of some of the students of the 2018 Tulane-Humboldt summer school. This year marked the 20th anniversary of this summer school which has trained over 2000 students from 87 countries on principled negotiation and mediation.

In “Using a speaking stick in mediation”, Alan Limbury explains how he uses an aboriginal speaking stick in his mediations, and to great effect. Alan also shares the five functions of the speaking stick as identified by Alain Roy, a renowned French mediator, which capture why the beautiful speaking stick can be so efficient in mediations.

In “The art of mediation and mediation of art disputes”, Rafal Morek identifies the particular nature of art disputes and explains why mediation is suited for such disputes. Rafal also lists some art disputes for which mediation has been successful and describes numerous initiatives by international organisations to promote the use of mediation for art disputes.

In “Feel the earth move – shifts in the international dispute landscape”, Eunice Chua provides a comprehensive summary of a panel discussion at the recent 2018 UNCITRAL Emergence Conference which shared the title of this post. In particular, Eunice
explores the two key themes which emerged from the panel discussion: first, the idea of a growing dispute resolution ecosystem; and secondly, a changing culture.

In “Mediation in the theatre: no thanks”, Greg Bond describes a workshop he gave on mediation based on the plays and stories of German Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist which are full of compelling conflict. Greg explains how he presented interests-based negotiation and then asked participants to be mediators for Kleist’s obsessive characters. Greg also considers how the endings of other well-known literary works might have differed had there been some decent mediation.

In “Evaluation or guidance? What do small claimants want from mediators?”, Charlie Irvine considers the perspective of those who use mediation in small claims where most have no legal representation. Charlie shares the claimants’ views about what mediators do to assist and then contrasts this with the mediators’ perspective on what might have been useful for the claimants. Charlie explains how the evaluative/facilitative debate inhibits practitioners from doing what may seem helpful and suggests changes to address this conundrum.

In “Vietnam series: four key features of the commercial mediation framework”, Nadja Alexander offers an overview of the main features of Vietnam’s legal and institutional framework for commercial mediation. By way of very brief overview, the four key features relate to mediator qualifications and requirements for foreign mediators, institutional mediation rules and enforceability of mediated settlement agreements.

In “What have the robots ever done for us?”, Charlie Woods draws on a speech given by Adair Turner earlier this year on “Capitalism in the age of robots: work, income and wealth in the 21st-century” in which Turner argues that the rapid and unstoppable development of automation – which will play out over the next fifty to a hundred years – will have very profound implications for how we live and work. Charlie considers the implications of this development for the skills of mediators and, importantly, the contribution which such skills can make in these changing times.

In “Personal connections”, Bill Marsh describes the connection between two officials, Olly Robbins (representing the UK) and Sabine Wayward (representing the EU), who have been instrumental in keeping the Brexit talks alive during difficult periods. Bill uses this example to explore the importance of personal connections in mediation and the value of direct engagement between the parties. Bill prompts us as mediators to reflect on how we might better enable parties to create connections across the divide.

In “Total recall”, Geoff Sharp shares his theory that memory is predominantly visual and that it is greatly enhanced by visual thinking. Given that our ability as mediators to take in information, store it, and recall it is crucial to our work, Geoff offers some novel techniques on how to enhance this ability.

In “Stone soup – linking mediation theory and practice”, Rick Weiler acknowledges the gap between mediation theory and practice, and describes the Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project at the University of Missouri which is designed to lessen that gap through the collaboration between faculty, students, scholars, practitioners, educational institutions and professional associations. Rick provides a captivating summary of the Stone Soup fable upon which the project is based and shares how this fable’s message has influenced his teaching.

In “Mandatory pre-institution commercial mediation in India: premature step in the right direction?“, Juhi Gupta explains the key features of Section 12A of India’s Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill which provides for mandatory pre-institution mediation for commercial disputes. Juhi also considers the further changes which may be needed in order for there to be a greater uptake of commercial mediation in India.

In “Corporate culture and business mediation”, Paul Eric Mason draws on a number of examples from various cultures to explain how business and corporate culture can affect mediation.

In “Why don’t we mediate the “big” disputes?”, Rick Weiler uses Robert A. Baruch Bush’s seminal article “What do we need a mediator for? Mediator’s value-added for negotiation?” in arguing for a greater use of mediation in large disputes involving many parties.

In “Online Dispute Resolution in Brazil: a major opportunity for stakeholders”, Andrea Maia and Daniel Becker identify key developments in Online Dispute Resolution across the globe and then turn their focus to Brazil. They explore the opportunity for further use of ODR in Brazil and consider the resistance in Brazil to an increased used of ODR.

In “Seeing is interpreting – we are all blind in different ways”, Ting-kwok IU explores the ways in which our perspective might give us only a limited view. Ting-kwok uses the Kanizsa Triangle to illustrate that what we see may be an interpretation of what we think we have seen rather than what we have actually seen. Ting-kwok then describes the unique contribution which those who are visually impaired may be able to bring to mediation.

In “Mandatory ‘mediation attempt’“, Constantin-Adi Gavrila explains recent legislative developments in Romania regarding mandatory information sessions on mediation and how such developments have been received.

In “Getting into gear: the Japan International Mediation Centre – Kyoto”, James Claxton and Luke Nottage provide a detailed overview of key developments in the creation of the Japan International Mediation Centre – Kyoto, including the preparation of procedural rules and the compilation of a panel of mediators. James and Luke also share proposals to improve international arbitration services in Japan which, if realised, may present opportunities for symbiosis with the Japan International Mediation Centre – Kyoto.

In “What happens in mediation stays in mediation: new standards of informed consent to mediation in California”, Rafal Morek provides a detailed overview of recent changes to California’s confidentiality mediation regulations which bring about a robust and absolute approach to confidentiality in mediation.

In “Ethics in mediation: Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”, Martin Svatos shares a recent experience in a mediation to explore the issues of impartiality, neutrality and independence in mediation and urges mediators to take the issue of conflict of interest very seriously.

In “Reconnecting with the power of symbolism”, Rosemary Howell shares a compelling example of her students’ creativity in depicting a symbolic environment of collaboration and co-operation. Rosemary acknowledges how her students’ work has reignited her enthusiasm as a mediator and facilitator to be more creative in developing ways to use the power of symbolism to encourage collaboration and harness creativity.

In “Politics and posturing: anchoring versus creative options”, Greg Bond uses a recent case from German politics to illustrate the claim for mediation as a decision-making tool. Greg uses this example to show that politics needs less posturing and more collaborative decision-making, even across political differences, and that the tools of mediation can help to achieve this.

In “Civility may not be enough – but it’s a good start”, drawing on the work of Mark Kingwell and Amartya Sen, Ian Macduff describes how civility is the oil that makes the dialogues of difference – and hence of justice, resolution, participation – possible. Ian identifies the important nuance that civility and dialogue are not joined in a linear fashion but rather feed on each other, each making the other possible – even if, as Ian says, in a muddling sort of a way.

In “Letting go”, John Sturrock describes recent experiences of “letting go” and considers, more broadly, whether mediators need to let go of ego. In so doing, John notes that the whole point of being a mediator is that we fade away when the job is done and that all that should really matter to us as mediators is the sense of personal gratitude for having an opportunity to contribute to others’ needs, to the best of our ability.

More from our authors: Arbitration in Belgium: A Practitioner’s Guide
by Edited by Niuscha Bassiri, Maarten Draye
€ 185

The post Kluwer Mediation Blog – August & September Digest appeared first on Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Energy Siting Disputes – New Book

ADR Prof Blog - Mon, 2018-10-01 18:52
I just got word of (and am excited to see) a new book called “Resolving Land and Energy Conflicts.” I have the very highest regard for the work Patrick Field has been doing in this field for decades, and I’m eager to see what he and his colleagues have pulled together, in terms of resources. … Continue reading Energy Siting Disputes – New Book →

Admissibility of lawsuit despite effective mediation clause in franchise agreement - International Law Office

Google International ADR News - Mon, 2018-10-01 08:26

Admissibility of lawsuit despite effective mediation clause in franchise agreement
International Law Office
According to principles of alternative dispute resolution, negotiation and mediation are two vastly different techniques of dispute settlement. Therefore, the failure of one method may not generally presuppose the failure of the other. Mediation is a ...

Silicon Valley Business Law Firm announces the addition of litigation attorney Austin Jackson to the Structure Law ... - PR Web (press release)

Google International ADR News - Mon, 2018-10-01 01:13

PR Web (press release)

Silicon Valley Business Law Firm announces the addition of litigation attorney Austin Jackson to the Structure Law ...
PR Web (press release)
Mr. Jackson's practice is focused primarily on mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution. His business litigation practice also includes contract and licensing dispute resolutions, trade secret misappropriation, ... Structure Law Group ...

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Silicon Valley Business Law Firm announces the addition of litigation attorney Austin Jackson to the Structure Law ... - Markets Insider

Google International ADR News - Mon, 2018-10-01 01:12

Silicon Valley Business Law Firm announces the addition of litigation attorney Austin Jackson to the Structure Law ...
Markets Insider
Mr. Jackson's practice is focused primarily on mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution. His business litigation practice also includes contract and licensing dispute resolutions, trade secret misappropriation, ... Structure Law Group ...

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FIFA Ban on Third-Party Ownership: A Pyrrhic Victory for FIFA in Front of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court?

Kluwer Arbitration Blog - Sun, 2018-09-30 23:41

Simon Bianchi

Young ICCA

Over the last few years, third-party ownership of soccer players (“TPO”) has become controversial. TPO is a mechanism through which a soccer club assigns a player’s economic rights, including the right to benefit from transfer fees every time the player is transferred to another club, to third-party investors in return for a financial counterpart. Considering that TPO threatens the integrity of sporting competitions, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”) eventually banned TPO in 2015. On 20 February 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rendered decision 4A_260/2017 addressing two important legal issues in this context: (i) the legality of the prohibition of TPO and (ii) the independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the “CAS”) towards FIFA. In this decision, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the Belgian club RFC Seraing against a CAS award confirming the validity under European and Swiss law of Articles 18bis and 18ter of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”), which prohibit TPO agreements.

The dispute originated from two contracts entered into between RFC Seraing and Doyen Sports Investments Limited (“Doyen”) in 2015, according to which Doyen acquired ownership of certain soccer players’ economic rights against payment of a fixed fee to RFC Seraing. On 4 September 2015, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee found that RFC Seraing had violated Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP and sentenced it to (i) a ban on recruitment for four consecutive registration periods and (ii) a fine in the amount of CHF 150,000 (approx. EUR 132,000).

On 9 March 2016, RFC Seraing brought the case before the CAS arguing that the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee was to be rescinded as Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP were in breach of (i) the free movement of persons, services and capital enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), (ii) European and Swiss competition laws, and (iii) RFC Seraing’s right to respect for private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). Furthermore, RFC Seraing submitted that, in a previous case leading to the decision 4A_116/2016, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court following the CAS had already recognized the legality of TPO agreements.

In its final award dated 9 March 2017, the CAS rejected all legal arguments raised by RFC Seraing. In a nutshell, the CAS found the following:

(i) Even though Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP restricted the free movement of persons, services and capital, these restrictions pursued legitimate objectives, such as preserving the regularity of sporting competitions and ensuring the independence and autonomy of soccer clubs and players. Furthermore, the possible anti-competitive effects of such restrictions were inherent to the pursuit of these objectives and proportionate to their achievement, especially since other financing schemes remained available to soccer clubs.
(ii) With regard to European competition law, it had already been recognized by the European Commission that FIFA constituted an association of undertakings within the meaning of Article 101 TFEU. However, Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP did not have as their object the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, but rather the regulation of the transfer market for soccer players in order to reach the above-mentioned legitimate objectives. In addition, RFC Seraing did not produce any documents evidencing the anti-competitive effects of these Articles. These considerations applied mutatis mutandis for Swiss competition law.
(iii) As to Article 8 ECHR, RFC Seraing did not demonstrate how it would apply and in which way Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP would violate such provision.
(iv) Regarding the previous decision 4A_116/2016, the dispute did neither concern the conformity of TPO agreements with Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP, nor deal with the legality of these Articles in light of the above-mentioned statutory provisions. Since the ratio decidendi of this decision did not concern the subject-matter of the present case, it did not bind the CAS in any respect.

Therefore, the CAS concluded that Articles 18bis and 18ter RSTP were valid under European and Swiss law and that the TPO agreements entered into between RFC Seraing and Doyen constituted a breach of these Articles. However, in light of the proportionality principle, the CAS reduced the ban on recruitment to three consecutive registration periods since the infringements occurred during the transitional period of the RSTP in its new version.

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court Decision
On 15 May 2017, RFC Seraing lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court against the CAS award and raised three legal arguments. First, the award was rendered by an arbitral tribunal which had been improperly constituted under Article 190(2)(a) of the Private International Law Act (“PILA”), in particular the CAS did not qualify as a proper arbitral tribunal because it lacked structural and economic independence from FIFA. Second, the arbitral award rendered by the CAS was incompatible with substantive public policy (Article 190(2)(e) PILA). Third, its right to be heard had been violated by the CAS (Article 190(2)(d) PILA).

The Supreme Court rejected RFC Seraing’s appeal and upheld the CAS award. In its judgment, the Supreme Court recalled the Lazutina decision, which recognized the CAS independence towards the International Olympic Committee, and affirmed that there is no prima facie justification to depart from this jurisprudence. Furthermore, since the Lazutina decision, the CAS had implemented numerous measures to reinforce its structural independence vis-à-vis sports federations. Concerning the economic dependence, FIFA financial participation to the CAS general expenses represented less than 10 % of the CAS total budget. That said, the Supreme Court also referred to the decision rendered in the Pechstein case by the German Federal Court of Justice which, after an extensive review of the CAS functioning, considered that it constituted a proper, independent and impartial arbitral tribunal. In conclusion, the Supreme Court did not find any valid legal ground to overturn its previous jurisprudence and confirmed that the independence of the CAS from FIFA was sufficient to consider the former as an independent and impartial arbitral tribunal.

Concerning the alleged breach of substantive public policy, the Supreme Court reiterated that competition law provisions, whether Swiss or European, do not form part of substantive public policy within the meaning of Article 190(2)(e) PILA as already decided in the Tensacciai case. Therefore, despite the fact that a Swiss arbitral tribunal shall consider Swiss and European competition laws when rendering an award, the Supreme Court would not review how the arbitral tribunal applied these competition law provisions in appeal proceedings.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court rejected RFC Seraing’s submission that TPO agreements were already declared lawful in the decision 4A_116/2016. Indeed, this decision concerned TPO agreements entered into prior to the ban adopted by FIFA, so that the CAS and the Supreme Court only reviewed whether such agreements were contrary to mandatory provisions of European and Swiss law. More specifically, the CAS and the Supreme Court noted in their respective decision that issues related to the financing of professional soccer clubs, such as the legality of TPO, had to be regulated by the relevant sports authorities. Therefore, these previous decisions did neither prevent FIFA from banning TPO, nor address the validity of such prohibition under European and Swiss law.

Finally, RFC Seraing’s contention that the prohibition of TPO violates Article 27(2) of the Swiss Civil Code, as it constitutes an excessive contractual restriction to its economic freedom, was dismissed since RFC Seraing remained free to resort to alternative financing mechanisms.

As to the alleged violation of RFC Seraing’s right to be heard, the Supreme Court found that RFC Seraing shall be precluded from raising such argument since it did not react immediately during the arbitral proceedings.

The Legality of TPO Remains Uncertain

While this decision of the Supreme Court adds to the already existing decisions about the independence of the CAS so that this issue can almost be considered as finally settled, the legality of the prohibition of TPO under European law remains far from being definitively confirmed. Indeed, the Brussels Court of Appeal, seized by RFC Seraing in parallel to the proceedings in front of the Swiss Supreme Court, rendered a partial decision on 29 August 2018 affirming that the obligation for soccer clubs to submit to the jurisdiction of the CAS was null and void as the corresponding arbitration clause was overly broad and not limited to a defined legal relationship (Article II of the New York Convention). Now that the objection to jurisdiction raised by FIFA has been rejected, the Belgian court is expected to address whether the prohibition of TPO is lawful under European law. To add complexity to this issue, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee issued a press release on 26 June 2018 indicating that players were not to be considered as “third party” under Article 18ter RSTP, which could trigger the return of TPO in another form. The TPO saga is just beginning and the Swiss Supreme Court decision might turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for FIFA.

More from our authors: Arbitration in Belgium: A Practitioner’s Guide
by Edited by Niuscha Bassiri, Maarten Draye
€ 185

The post FIFA Ban on Third-Party Ownership: A Pyrrhic Victory for FIFA in Front of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court? appeared first on Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

The Kavanaugh Hearings Through the Lens of Arbitration

ADR Prof Blog - Sun, 2018-09-30 22:01
Greetings from Hong Kong, where the Kavanaugh hearings have been the subject of much discussion among non-American colleagues based here, many of whom stayed up into the night to watch the hearings live.  I have wanted to say something about this for a while now, and so I thank Jen Reynolds and John Lande for … Continue reading The Kavanaugh Hearings Through the Lens of Arbitration →

State Courts and BIT Arbitrations: Cautious Optimism in the Vodafone v. India Saga?

Kluwer Arbitration Blog - Sun, 2018-09-30 21:51

Aman Deep Borthakur

Young ICCA

A key issue that has assumed importance in BIT arbitrations today is the role of state courts vis-à-vis investment tribunals. Two aspects of this issue become particularly relevant when courts are faced with claims of vexatious BIT arbitrations: (i) the law applicable in the court’s supervisory capacity, and (ii) the extent to which courts can intervene in such arbitrations. On 7 May 2018, the Delhi High Court addressed these issues from the Indian perspective in Vodafone’s long-running retrospective taxation dispute with the Indian authorities. Its judgement is significant for the 20 plus investment disputes India is currently embroiled in.

Factual Background

On 17 April 2014, the Dutch company, Vodafone International Holdings B.V., initiated an arbitration under the Netherlands-India Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA), now terminated, disputing its tax liability under Indian statute. Several years later, on 24 January, 2017, Vodafone UK initiated an arbitration under the UK-India BIPA. The Indian government approached the Delhi High Court seeking an anti-arbitration injunction since both arbitrations were related to the same question. The Court dismissed the Indian government’s plea (CS(OS) 383/2017 & I.A.No.9460/2017).

The Ruling of the Delhi High Court

The Court adopted a pro-arbitration outlook while declining to issue the anti-arbitration injunction. It held that the UK-India tribunal was the appropriate authority to decide on the question of abuse of process caused by a multiplicity of proceedings under different BITs. Three related questions were adjudicated upon by the Court: (1) the jurisdiction of state courts to deal with BIT arbitrations, (2) the law applicable to such arbitrations, and (3) multiplicity of BIT proceedings.

Firstly, as regards the jurisdiction of national courts in investment arbitrations, the Court recognised that a signatory to the ICSID Convention would agree to completely negate the jurisdiction of national courts as made clear by Article 26 of the Convention. Countries such as India which are not signatories to the Convention are therefore not bound by this requirement. Hence, a national court in an ICSID non-signatory state such as India has the power to intervene in a BIT arbitration to decide jurisdictional questions if the subject matter of the dispute was in that country. In other words, there is no threshold bar to the jurisdiction of state courts in BIT arbitrations. However, due to the kompetenz-kompetenz principle, courts should exercise this power only in exceptional circumstances such as when no alternative efficacious remedy is possible.

Secondly, on the nature of an investor state arbitration, the Court drew a distinction between an international commercial arbitration and an investor state arbitration. It overruled India’s first investment arbitration court case (Board of Trustees of the Port of Calcutta v. Louis Dreyfus, decided by the Calcutta High Court), holding that commercial arbitrations are born out of the consent of private parties, while the latter is based on state guarantees arising out of treaties. Consequently, a BIT arbitration would not be subject to domestic arbitration statutes but to international law.

The third issue which the Court ruled on was the initiation of separate arbitration proceedings under a different treaty by an entity in the same vertical structure, in this case the U.K. based parent company. It observed that since such multiple proceedings would not per se be vexatious or oppressive, this was not an extraordinary circumstance warranting the court’s intervention. Therefore, this question was ultimately left to the India-UK tribunal.


The judgement in Vodafone is certainly a step forward in making India a more preferred seat for investment arbitrations. The court rightly recognised the competence of the UK-BIPA tribunal in being better placed to rule on its own jurisdiction.

However, a number of crucial issues merit clarification and improvement. For instance, the judgement does not define the extent to which international law would be applicable to a BIT arbitration, given specific choice of law clauses now common in a number of BITs. It also implicitly indicates a differential standard of scrutiny for intervention by a state court (whether the proceeding is abusive per se) as opposed to a tribunal. This requires clarity on what constitutes this prima facie standard of abuse of process on which the state court itself could intervene.

Furthermore, the Delhi High Court relied on international investment law cases instead of relying on the domestic Arbitration and Conciliation Act of India. This approach takes the distinction between investment and commercial arbitration too far by completely precluding the application of the Act. This is so because solely for the purpose of supervisory jurisdiction of a state court, an investment arbitration should not be treated differently from a foreign seated commercial arbitration. There is a need to draw a distinction between the substance of a country’s treaty obligations and the procedural aspects of a BIT arbitration. A state court should not intervene in questions such as whether an entity qualifies as an ‘investor’ under a treaty. These are matters that should be left entirely to the domain of a tribunal. However, the characteristic of a BIT proceeding as an arbitration should allow a state court to consider questions such as the granting of provisional measures, assisting in the taking of evidence or injunct vexatious BIT proceedings, as in this case. Adopting an entirely deferential stance towards international investment tribunals (especially problematic when the country in question is not a signatory to the ICSID Convention) would render courts unable to aid parties during BIT proceedings.

Therefore, while the substance of a BIT dispute may be governed by both public and private international law, procedurally it must be looked at from the lens of domestic law of the state court as if it were a commercial arbitration. As a consequence, Part II and Sections 9, 27 and 37 of Part I of the Arbitration Act (provisions applicable to foreign seated commercial arbitrations) would apply even to an investment arbitration with a foreign seat or no designated seat as in this case. Similar powers can be invoked under the statutes of other jurisdictions, most notably Sections 12A and 44 of the Singapore and UK arbitration legislations respectively. Furthermore, if the Act were to not be applicable, several practical issues would arise when invoking the supervisory jurisdiction of a state court. For instance, there would be no statutory scheme for the granting of interim measures by a court or execution of an investment award.

Courts have routinely applied domestic statutes while deciding on the recognition and/or enforcement of investment treaty awards. In both Sanum Investments v. Laos (PCA Case No. 2013-13) and Ecuador v. Occidental Exploration Company (LCIA Case No. UN3467), courts in Singapore and the U.K. respectively determined whether to set aside BIT awards based on provisions in their domestic arbitration statutes.

Lastly, while the court recognises the power of Indian courts to restrain/annul vexatious BIT arbitrations, it refuses to exercise its inherent power in this case on the ground that since Vodafone had offered to consolidate proceedings, there is no question of a double remedy (a view also taken by the CME v. Czech Republic Tribunal). However, there are other reasons apart from multiple awards as to why such arbitrations initiated by companies in the same vertical structure on the same facts are vexatious. The host state is put under a more onerous obligation of defending all of these arbitrations simultaneously while the investor need succeed in just one. However, as the Delhi High Court concurs, the abovementioned tactic is not per se unlawful and has been used in a number of arbitrations such as OI European Group BV v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (ICSID Case No ARB/11/25). It is yet to be seen if Indian courts remain similarly cautious when called upon to exercise their powers to restrain such claims.


This decision has important consequences for the 51 countries India has BITs with at present. It firmly establishes that there is no threshold bar to the jurisdiction of Indian courts to issue anti-arbitration injunctions in investment arbitrations. The wide jurisdiction granted by Section 9 of India’s Civil Procedure Code and recognised by the court can potentially lead to greater court scrutiny of investment awards.

The Delhi High Court’s position on international law being applicable highlights another aspect of non-ICSID investment arbitrations. Article 42 of the Washington Convention provides for parties to agree on the applicable law failing which the law of the host state (including Conflict of Laws Principles) and international law become applicable. Since India is not an ICSID signatory, the BIT provisions must be relied upon. Most Indian BITs, including the UK-India BIPA, contain a clause to the effect that the dispute is to be decided in accordance with the provisions of the BIT. The judgement gives an indication that the interpretation of BIT provisions or any investor-state contracts which contain similar arbitration clauses will now take place in accordance with international principles and will not be subject to the same kind of grounds for annulment as in domestic law.

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Teaching the Kavanaugh Hearings

ADR Prof Blog - Sun, 2018-09-30 16:47
On Thursday, I decided not to teach my scheduled ethics class and, instead, put on the Kavanaugh hearings.  During a break, we had about 30 minutes to talk as a class about the students’ impressions which ranged from he is lying to she is lying and everything in between (including the interruptions by the Judge, … Continue reading Teaching the Kavanaugh Hearings →

Mediation Summit in Changsha, China

Business Conflict Blog - Mon, 2018-09-17 04:46

The China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CPPIT) in conjunction with its Hunan Province Sub-Council convened a dynamic Mediation Summit in Changcha, China, on 12-13 September 2018.

The first panel discussed implications of the Belt/Road Initiative, announced five years ago.

GAO Xiaoli, Deputy Chief Judge of the Civil Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court, addressed how Chinese courts can provide assistance in international disputes, particularly international commercial mediation.  She noted that increased engagement in international trade has challenged China’s capacity to resolve commercial trading disputes efficiently and in line with disputants’ interests.  She rejected the model of mediation as a substitute for litigation, and suggested that there is no need to approach the challenge with an “either/or” attitude.  It does require that mediated agreements be enforceable (either judicially or through the notary process), strengthening the effectiveness of the international mediation process.  Enforcement proceedings should also be quick and not protracted, and sensitive to commercial demands.  She proposed certain procedural administrative improvements to support the growth of mediated resolutions.  Some of these – such as court-appointed mediation — were promulgated already by decree dated 27 June 2018.    (A later panel, which I moderated, addressed enforcement of mediated settlement agreements through the newly promulgated Singapore Convention.)

Pasit ASAWAWATTANAPORN, Managing Director of the Thailand Arbitration Center, noted that his country is an important trade and investment partner with China.  It has benefited from China’s aggressive investment activities in connection with Belt/Road, resulting in a 10% growth in Chinese trade.  Thailand’s own infrastructure plans are heavily influenced by Belt/Road, for example the high-speed train from China through Laos to Thailand.  These public and private investments amount to at least 1.5 trillion baht (USD 45 billion) in the past five years, including roads, airports, hospitals, ports and tourism.  In acknowledgement of the critical nature of the success of these projects, the Thai government has eased restrictions on foreign workers, loosened regulations of procurement laws, and – in the case of the high-speed train project – taken actions to anticipate and forestall disputes.  He noted that arbitration is not the ideal approach inasmuch as disputes in this area are best addressed early, inexpensively, and with the goal of a consensual outcome.

CHEN Fuyong, Deputy Secretary General of the Beijing Arbitration Commission, offered several case studies of disputes that have arisen from activities associated with Belt/Road.  One was a construction dispute between a Hong Kong and Beijing corporations to complete a construction located in Russia, featuring an arbitration clause before the Beijing Arbitration Center.  Claimant initiated such an action, but Respondent sought to enforce the requirement of mediation prior to arbitration.  The arbitral tribunal interpreted the Russian “Development Project General Contract” to be too general to enforce, and permitted the arbitration to go ahead.  In another case involved a purchase agreement providing for payment by the acquired company of contingent debt or outcomes of lending legal proceedings.  Dispute resolution proceedings were sufficiently vague as to be commercially ineffective.  The lesson is a general one – clarity matters when drafting dispute resolution agreements and when transferring risk through contracts of insurance.

Prachant KUMAR, of the Bar Association of India, noted you can choose friends and enemies but not neighbors, and the close regional reliance with China has dictated consensual, non-confrontational dispute resolution processes between Chinese and Indian businesses.  Cultural traditions such as frugality, efficiency, and attention to elders inform the use of consensual resolution processes in the region; it is simpler and more cost-effective than alternatives.  He warned of the risk that, as happened with international arbitration, the simple features of mediation may be made obscure, legalistic and expensive if appropriated by the legal community.  He used an iPhone as an example of something that contains much expertise, but is designed to be very simple for the user of the device.  He urged that companies engaging in cross-border deals opt for simple agreement language, close monitoring of local advisors, and early attention to operational issues that, if left unattended, could develop into formal, disruptive disputes.  He reported on a 2018 initiative in Indian courts that commercial disputes be mandatorily referred to mediation – an effort that, if successful, could have a substantial and welcome impact on the state of civil justice in India.


Supreme Court Grants Cert Addressing Delegation of Arbitrability

Business Conflict Blog - Thu, 2018-07-05 13:46

Upon reconvening in October 2018, the Supreme Court will take up  an interesting question involving the familiar rules of First Options v. Kaplan:  Who is to decide whether a claim is subject to arbitration — a court or the arbitrator?  The peculiar facts giving rise to that concern in Archer and White Sales Inc. v. Henry Schein Inc. broaden, rather than limit, the case’s interest.

Archer, a distributor and seller of dental equipment, brought a suit against Schein, a manufacturer, alleging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act through a pattern of conduct including price-fixing and anti-competitive agreements that were continuing.  The suit sought both money damages and an injunction prohibiting the continuing conduct.

Schein moved to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement that required the application of AAA Rules and that carved out of its scope “actions seeking injunctive relief.”  The Magistrate Judge granted the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that (a) the choice of AAA Rules evince an intention to delegate arbitrability to the arbitrator, and that (b) the arbitration agreement can be reasonably construed as contemplating the inclusion of this dispute.

(AAA Rule 7(a) provides that an “arbitrator shall have the power to rule on his or her own jurisdiction, including any objections with respect to the existence, scope, or validity of the arbitration agreement or to the arbitrability of any claim or counterclaim.”)

The district court vacated the Magistrate Judge’s order and held that the dispute was not arbitrable  pursuant to the arbitration agreement, because it expressly carved out any claim for the injunctive relief sought by the plaintiff in the action.

Upon appeal to the Fifth Circuit, the parties agreed to the existence of an arbitration agreement, but not to whether its scope included the filed action.  Following its precedent in Douglas v. Regions Bank, the court entered into a two-step analysis, asking first whether the parties “clearly and unmistakably” intended to delegate the question of arbitrability to an arbitrator, and second whether there is a plausible argument for the claim’s being arbitrable.  This is so because, according to the Douglas analysis, if the argument of arbitrability is “wholly groundless,” it made no sense to send to an arbitrator a dispute as to which there are no grounds whatsoever for arbitration.

As to the first step — whether the parties unmistakably agreed to delegate arbitrability — the court skirted the question of whether AAA Rule 7(a) delegated the question of arbitrability to claims that are subject to the carve-out in the arbitration agreement.  Instead, it held that the second Douglas step was dispositive irrespective of the resolution of that first inquiry.  That second-step analysis was straightforward, according to the Fifth Circuit.  The arbitration agreement “expressly excludes certain types of disputes,” and among them are claims for injunctive relief.  Here we have a dispute where the claimant seeks injunctive relief.  Any conclusion  that the claim is subject to arbitration is therefore “wholly groundless,” and the court could see “no plausible argument that the arbitration clause applies” to it.  The district court therefore properly determined that the action was not subject to arbitration, and its order denying defendants’ motion to compel was affirmed.  “The mere fact that the arbitration clause allows [plaintiff] to avoid arbitration by adding a claim for injunctive relief does not change the clause’s plain meaning.”

[Note to Self:  Revise slide 19 of the “Drafting Arbitration Clauses” Power Point!]

So we have several interesting questions.  Does a clause carving out “actions seeking injunctive relief” carve out that portion of an action that seeks an injunction, but preserve that portion that seeks monetary damages?  Is the idea of booting “wholly groundless” claims of arbitrability properly applicable only to claims having nothing whatsoever to do with the contract at issue (say, a claim for an unrelated, non-contractual injury)? In determining the “wholly groundless” nature of the assertion of arbitrability, is the court improperly construing the arbitration agreement, in derogation of the parties’ determination that the arbitrator should do so pursuant to AAA Rule 7(a)?  Is there an at-least-colorable construction of the carve-out language that would hold that the parties may come to court to seek injunctive relief, but must arbitrate claims for money damages?

At least we will have no doubt about “who decides” these questions — the Supreme Court will.

Music for Mediators

The Mediation Times - Sun, 2013-05-26 16:07
For years I have talked about the similarity of mediation with both photography and music, particularly jazz. I have been clearing out my inbox and came across an hilarious email trail between some of the UK’s top mediators. The topic – songs for mediators, parties and mediation! I thought I would share … Thank to [...]
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