ICC International Court of Arbitration, number of cases jumped from 599 in 2007 to 663 in 2008

ICC International Court of Arbitration Secretary General Jason Fry described the last year as challenging. “This year can be best described as a period of consolidation. Mr Fry highlighted ICC’s new Hearing Centre in Paris, which opened for business in October 2008. Available for hearings, whether ICC, ‘ad hoc’ or under the auspices of other arbitral institutions. the Hearing Centre, the first of its kind in Paris, was proving to be very successful.

The Court’s Secretary General emphasized the importance of the anticipated information technology system upgrade, which would allow the Secretariat to keep track in real time of the status of each case, this is part of an entire review of priorities and procedures internally and externally with a view to delivering a quality service.

The ICC International Court of Arbitration‘s work load continues to increase at a fast pace. The number of cases registered jumped to 663 last year from 599 in 2007. In addition 407 awards were rendered in 2008, compared with 349 in 2007, while there were 1,317 cases pending compared with 1,285 at the end of the previous year. The new Hong Kong office of the Court was up and running, with some 100 cases already registered.

ICC seminar on resolving disputes in space and aeronautics industries

ICC will hold a seminar on resolving disputes in the space and aeronautics sectors. The conference Dispute Resolution in Aeronautics and Space will take place on 5 February under the auspices of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. It will address three main themes: risk management; the impact of financing on enforcement and repossession strategies; and the methods available for resolving disputes. The conference will identify the specific risks in the aeronautics and space industries, taking into consideration recent developments in this sector; notably the increase in air traffic, new types of material, more innovative technologies and the development of new airline companies. Given these risks, one session will also be devoted to the importance of insurance and re-insurance.

The conference will also delve into dispute resolution in the industry, covering issues such as litigation B2C, secrecy obligations and dual purpose technology, and their impact on dispute resolution proceedings. The range of procedures available to resolve disputes – such as state court procedures and international commercial arbitration – will be addressed.

The conference will be held at the ICC Secretariat in Paris and will be conducted in English and French. Simultaneous translation will be available. Space is limited, and a discount will be offered to members and non-members of ICC who enroll by 12 January.

ICC International Court of Arbitration launches Young Arbitrators Forum YAF in a conference in Barcelona

ICC International Court of Arbitration is hosting a weekend conference in Barcelona 27 to 29 June for lawyers and in-house counsel under the age of 40. The conference marks the launch of the new Young Arbitrators Forum YAF by ICC to strengthen links with the young arbitration community. The conference will be held in collaboration with the YAF US chapter.

Jason Fry, Secretary General of ICC International Court of Arbitration said that the ICC Court is delighted to welcome young arbitration practitioners and corporate counsel to learn from some of the worlds most distinguished arbitrators and professionals. This is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing programme of events tailored to the new generation of arbitration professionals. Continue reading ICC International Court of Arbitration launches Young Arbitrators Forum YAF in a conference in Barcelona

Alternative dispute resolution in IT matters, in UK

Daniel Djanogly was interviewed by ITweek, UK about experts in alternative dispute resolution are a popular way to resolve disputes between conflicting parties in technica cases:

So what exactly is expert determination and how does it differ from other methods?

This is one of a number of private dispute resolution methods collectively referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Other ADR methods include arbitration and mediation.

In expert determination an independent expert is asked by the disputing parties to decide one or more issues between them. The experts are required to use their knowledge and experience to reach a decision based on their own investigation of the issues. The experts must act fairly and the parties must agree to be bound by the decision.

In England and Wales arbitration is supported and controlled by the Arbitration Act 1996, which supports the enforceability of arbitration awards locally and internationally. There is no similar statutory involvement in expert determination.

In arbitration, fairness is formalised by the Arbitration Act. The arbitrator can only undertake an investigation if permitted by the parties and must share the results with the parties. Unlike the arbitrator, the expert is not immune from actions for negligence. In mediation, the mediator helps the parties arrive at their own settlement.

Are there particular types of dispute that suit expert determination?

Expert determinations tend to be applied to technical disputes. The expert is usually chosen for their expertise. The types of dispute for an accountant acting as expert include: share/business valuation disputes; disputes in relation to completion accounts; deferred consideration disputes following a sale of a business; profit share disputes in partnerships and joint venture agreements; and disputes about the loss of profits from breach of contract.

There can be numerous subsidiary disputes in connection with facts and the interpretation of words, which may be outside the expertise of the expert.

Together with other procedural considerations, the expert may need to agree arrangements to enable these matters to be dealt with in a way that does not lead to the validity of his award in respect of the substantive issue(s) being undermined.

How are appointments as expert made and what happens if no agreement can be reached?

A dispute resolution clause may be included in a contract, for example in a sale and purchase agreement for a company, which requires that an expert is appointed to resolve the dispute by expert determination.

If the parties to the agreement have not named the expert, or they are unable to agree on an expert, the contract may provide that the appointment is made by the president of a particular professional body from among its members.

Alternatively, there may be no pre-existing contractual provision for the appointment of an expert to determine the dispute. The parties may decide to use expert determination to solve the dispute.

How does the whole process work and what can the parties expect in terms of fees?

The initial stage of an expert determination assignment involves completion of the engagement formalities and agreement of the expert’s powers. The expert will check whether these are sufficient and, if not, seek to agree those necessary to fulfil their mandate. Continue reading Alternative dispute resolution in IT matters, in UK

Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

¿How, exactly, PayPal resolves disputes between ecommerce merchants and their customers? Colin Rule, PayPals Director of Online Dispute Resolution was intervied by Practical eCommerce magazine:

Practical eCommerce (PeC): If an ecommerce customer pays for a legitimate product using PayPal and then decides he doesn’t like it and complains to PayPal, what will PayPal do?

Colin Rule: In cases where the buyer is simply disappointed in the item, we would encourage the buyer to work directly with the seller. PayPal does offer buyer protection, but this protection covers buyers for items that they didn’t receive and for items that are significantly not as described. It does not cover cases where the buyer is merely disappointed with the item or where the item did not meet the buyer’s expectations.

Practical eCommerce (PeC): What are a merchant’s options if a customer asks PayPal to hold payment?

Colin Rule: If a merchant does get a chargeback, a couple pieces of information can be extremely helpful to dispute it. Proof of delivery, such as online tracking offered by both USPS and UPS, can be critical evidence in reversing the chargeback. A copy of the buyer’s signature confirming receipt can also be extremely effective. Finally, if a merchant did refund the buyer at any point in time, proof of the refund (and/or the shipment of a replacement item) is important.

Practical eCommerce (PeC): What other options are available to merchants to address disputes?

Colin Rule: Again, we always encourage buyers and sellers to first try to work through disputes together. To help with that, we’ve launched the dispute resolution center – a step-by-step system designed to facilitate communication between the buyer and the seller in order to get resolution of the issue. Since launching PayPal Dispute Resolution, buyer claims against sellers decreased by 50 percent, and seller losses on PayPal due to chargebacks decreased 20 percent.

If the dialogue with the seller fails to produce a satisfactory result, the buyer can then escalate the dispute into a claim, where our claims specialists gather information from both parties, examine the case and work with both parties to try to fairly and efficiently resolve the claim. In this process, PayPal will ask sellers for documentation that helps us determine that they shipped the item to the buyer and that the item was as described. Continue reading Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

ICC International Court of Arbitration will open a branch in Hong Kong

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will open a branch of the Secretariat of its International Court of Arbitration in Hong Kong. The branch secretariat, the first in Asia, will have a case management team to administer cases in the region under the ICC Rules of Arbitration. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s decision to set up branch of the Secretariat of the Court in Hong Kong is an endorsement of our position as a premier center for international arbitration services. Its presence will enhance the provision of arbitration services in Hong Kong, ” said Wong Yan Lung, secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government. Continue reading ICC International Court of Arbitration will open a branch in Hong Kong

Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Online Dispute Resolution involving mediation and arbitration with the help of technology, was emerging as a branch of dispute resolution, Chief Justice of Kerala, H L Dattu said on Saturday. In India, this method is in its infancy stage and is gaining prominence day by day, he said after inaugurating the National Conference on court annexed mediation and role of institutional arbitration here.

With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition. Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and ‘Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996’ was enacted, he said.

In mediation, the practitioner has no advisory role, instead, a mediator renders help to parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work towards building a practical and lasting solution, he said.

He also emphasised the need for creating awareness on mediation among the general public. Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

With about 350 arbitration cases / year (mainly in construction matters) Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is one of the most actives dispute resolution centres of the world. Main areas of activity of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC are:

Negotiation: The most common form of dispute resolution is negotiation. By this means alone nearly all disputes are solved. If negotiations fail, it is necessary to seek the assistance of a neutral third party or several neutral third parties to facilitate a solution.

Mr. Christopher To, Secretary General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC, video:

Conciliation and Mediation: Conciliation and Mediation are often terms used interchangeably and they are together referred to as mediation. Both involve the appointment of a third party to assist disputing parties to reach a settlement of their difference. The mediator is not given any power to impose a settlement. His function is to try to break any impasse and encourage the parties to reach an amicable settlement. In commercial disputes an impasse most often arises from either a lack of trust in the integrity of the other party or a genuine good faith difference of opinion on the facts underlying the dispute or on the probable outcome of the case were it to go to court. The mediator may act as a shuttle diplomat acting as a channel for communication filtering out the emotional elements and allowing the parties to focus on the underlying objectives. He will encourage the parties to reach an agreement themselves as opposed to having it imposed upon them. Continue reading Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

e-Justice Centre is an arbitration centre that belongs to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and was developed in collaboration with the Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University. This centre provides mediation and arbitration services for all avatars in Second Life in the resolution of disputes resulting from consumer relations or any other contract-based relations signed between parties.

The most interesting issue is that e-Justice Centre, is a mediation and arbitration centre, in the 3D virtual world of Second Life.

Picture of the virtual ODR centre e-Justice:

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life
The centre provides mediation and arbitration services for avatars resident in Second Life, permitting the opportunity to decide on conflicts deriving from consumer relations or any contracts signed between parties. Users of the centre can opt to resolve submitted disputes through the application of Portuguese law or through the use of impartiality criteria. The functioning of the mediation and arbitration centre will be the responsibility of the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University via a protocol signed with the Ministry of Justice. Continue reading e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

What is (and isn`t) ODR – Online Dispute Resolution?

Jason Krause, ABA Journal online, wrote a really interesting article about ODR. These are some of the most interesting ideas about it:

– The American Arbitration AssociationAAA – says ODR is used in only a small percentage of all cases settled, but it has seen recent growth. In 2006, 3,000 of the 160,000 cases the AAA handled were done digitally.

ODR, Online dispute resolution is a broad category: Any mediation, ar­bitration or dispute resolution that takes place outside of court and at least partially online qualifies. It differs from alternative dispute res­olution, which refers to processes outside governmental jurisdiction. ODR can mean anything from e-mailing documents and evidence to using videoconferencing to bring the sides together. And it has been most effective in international or long-distance disputes involving technology issues. Continue reading What is (and isn`t) ODR – Online Dispute Resolution?