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.
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 ofHong 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
International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK
World of Arbitration In a civilised society, citizens look to the courts to settle their disputes. The courts put judges at the disposal of the parties, the courts determine the substantive and procedural law which is to be applied and the courts enforce their own orders through court officers, when necessary. It is a one-stop shop.
For those engaged in alternative dispute resolution – ADR, the courts are available not merely to enforce decisions and awards but also to supervise and control the chosen ADR procedures, should matters go awry.
Where disputes arise in the international arena, the picture is a little different because national courts are rarely acceptable to both sides. Disputes between states or between an individual and a foreign state or between an individual and an international organisation may be regarded as being in a special category, where the aggrieved party may have recourse to treaty arbitration. Examples are arbitration before the PCA1 and arbitration under the auspices of ICSID2. Beyond that special category, the parties must make express provision for dispute resolution in their agreement, failing which the aggrieved party will be left to seek his remedy from the domestic courts of one country or another, depending upon which will assume jurisdiction.
The result is a contrast. Whereas national courts often represent a convenient and acceptable means of dispute resolution for parties to a dispute which has no international element, there is no international equivalent. In consequence, most international disputes fall to be resolved through a process or by a tribunal which is essentially consensual in origin.
This paper is concerned with the resolution of disputes arising under international construction contracts. The purpose is to survey the available alternatives and to identify some of the considerations to be borne in mind by those concerned. In this last context, the emphasis is on two key considerations, being enforcement and applicable law. Continue reading International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK
Wireless technology company InterDigital Communications Corp. announced it has been awarded $134 million by an arbitrator in a decade-long royalty dispute with South Korean-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
The arbitration award for InterDigital (King of Prussia, Pa.) covers past royalties plus interest on Samsung’s sale of single mode 2G GSM/TDMA and 2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE terminal units through 2005. The arbitrator said Samsung would have to pay InterDigital $17 to $21 million to cover royalties for the first half of 2006.
In a separate matter, the arbitrator determined that Samsung has not obtained the broader CDMA and 3G patent license rights in the Nokia agreement with InterDigital.
LexisNexis, a leading provider of business and legal information services, and the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the global leader in conflict management and dispute resolution services, today announced a strategic relationship to deliver a new electronic collection of searchable Labor Arbitration Awards exclusively via the LexisNexis® research services. Continue reading AAA arbitration awards will be online
Online Dispute Resolution News A Colleague writes “Efforts by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to combat the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names, or cybersquatting, made significant headway in 2003 although the problem persists most notably for high-value brands around the world. Since the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) went into effect in December 1999, through 2003, WIPOs Arbitration and Mediation Center has handled some 6,000 disputes, covering 10,000 domain names.
“While daily filings with WIPO are less now than in the early days of the UDRP, we need to continue our efforts to ensure that the rights of legitimate trademark owners are not diluted,” said Mr. Francis Gurry, Deputy Director General of WIPO, who oversees the work of the Center. “Reducing the practice of cybersquatting is an important element in enabling the Internet to develop as a secure and reliable environment which inspires confidence on the part of the ever-growing number of Internet users,” he observed. “The fact that over 80 percent of the WIPO expert decisions went in favor of the trademark holder, be it a large multinational corporation or a small or medium-sized business, underlines the bad faith inherent in this practice,” Mr. Gurry further noted. Continue reading WIPO Continues Efforts to Stamp Out Cybersquatting
The fourth volume of ICC Publishing’s Collection of ICC Arbitral Awards, covering cases over four years up to 2000, is now available from ICC Publishing.
The full series covers 26 years. Collection of ICC Arbitral Awards 1996 – 2000, co-published with Kluwer Law International, contains extracts of cases by the ICC International Court of Arbitration, one of the world’s most respected arbitral institutions.
The three previous volumes cover the periods 1974-85, 1986-90 and 1991-95. The collection is a practical reference tool, containing three types of useful indexes incorporating information from all the volumes:
– a consolidated analytical table, in both English and French, with extensive cross-references based on the terminology used in awards and case notes;
– a chronological index listing the awards with references to legal literature;
a key word index, also in English and French, allowing the reader to find material of interest quickly and easily;
– a cross-referenced index of cases referring to the Journal du droit international, the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration and to the International Construction Law Review for each of the awards published in the Collection. Continue reading Collection of ICC Arbitral Awards