Friday, October 21, 2011

More on White Industries Arbitration: When did it start and who are the real players?

In a previous post, I shared a piece written by Mr. Prabhash Ranjan and me on the White Industries investment arbitration. However, there is much that is not really known in India about this arbitration. For instance, I was surprised when Bar & Bench reported that Additional Solicitor General Mr. Vivek Tankha represented India at the proceedings, as investment arbitration is a complex area of law which cannot be handled by a lawyer specializing in domestic laws, however eminent he may be (Palkhivala's arguing before the ICJ on substantive points is an exception, like Palkhivala himself is). Further, no one really seemed to know when the request for arbitration was filed and who the arbitrators were.

Last night, I had the opportunity to have a chat with Mr. Luke Eric Peterson, a legal journalist reporting on investment arbitration proceedings at IA Reporter. Surprisingly, he had many more details on this case than that have been reported in India. It was he who first reported the existence of the dispute on July 7, 2011. He was kind enough to agree that he would remove the "pay wall" on that article and make it freely accessible here. The article discusses the complete details of the panel, the legal teams, etc. Please note that the article mentions Singapore as the venue which was subsequently shifted to London.

Thanks Luke!

This raises a larger question. In India is there any obligation on the government to inform the public or their representatives in the Parliament when the country is involved in an international dispute? Will cover that in a later post.

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