Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UNCITRAL revises 34 year old arbitration rules

UNCITRAL has, for the first time after 1976 published a revised version of its arbitration rules.  The new rules can be accessed here. A good summary of the rules by Mr. Badrinath Srinivasan can be found here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Delay in arbitration to make arbitrator liable for capital punishment (!)

Recently, I met a professor of ADR in a leading law school in India. Among other things, the discussion drifted to the papers of an examination he had evaluated recently. This professor has, in the past been very generous in sharing humorous bits from answer scripts evaluated by him and apparently intends to publish a seminal work consisting of "pearls of wisdom" emanating from some of the answer scripts he has evaluated in his long career.

One of the questions in the examination I mentioned was a problem with a fact scenario in which the arbitrator had, despite long proceedings, not been able to render an award. It required the students to discuss the options available to the parties. One answer script read: "Failure to render award in time attracts penal consequences for the arbitrator including capital punishment." (or something to this effect). 

Does anyone wish the statement was valid in law?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

SIAC publishes new arbitration rules

The Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) has published the fourth edition SIAC Arbitration Rules, a new set of procedural rules for arbitrations to be administered by it. The Rules were drafted by the Rules Committee of the SIAC Board of Directors consisting of Mr. David Rivkin (Chairman) Mr. Sundaresh Menon (Deputy Chairman), Ms. Judith Gill, QC, Mr. Pierre-Yves Gunter and Mr. John Savage. The Rules came into effect on July 1, 2010 replacing the 2007 Rules. 

The special features of the new Rules include: (i) an expedited procedure to be followed in cases involving sums not exceeding S$5million or cases of extreme urgency or cases where parties agree; (ii) provision for appointment of Emergency Arbitrator to issue interim measures pending the constitution of the tribunal.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Arbitration updates: The Kishanganga Project and Commerce Benches

1. We had reported earlier on the impending arbitration between India and Pakistan regarding the Kishanganga water dispute. India and Pakistan have both selected their respective arbitrators.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Against whom can remedy under Section 9 lie? Guest post by Shantanu Naravane

After a guest post by Niranjan V., we are glad to publish another guest post from Shantanu Naravane, a final year student of National Law School of India University, Bangalore and one of the most widely read student bloggers in the country. Other writings by Shantanu can be found on the Indian Corporate Law Blog.
Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 allows parties to approach a court for interim measures, before, during or after an arbitral award. The corresponding provision granting competence to the tribunal to grant interim measures is section 17. However, unlike section 17, which specifically allows for measures to be directed only against parties, section 9 is silent on whom the court-granted measures may be directed against. There has been a fair degree of debate in the High Courts over this question, and the matter is yet to be settled by the Supreme Court.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recent Developments on the Scope of S. 11 Jurisdiction: Guest Post by Niranjan V.

We are happy to publish here a guest post by Niranjan V. Niranjan is a final year student of law at National Law School of India University Bangalore. He is a Rhodes Scholar elect for the present academic year and will proceed to read for BCL at Oxford University. The following is the text of Niranjan's post. We express our sincere gratitude to Niranjan for this post.
It is no surprise that the Government of India released a Consultation Paper in April 2010, proposing (effectively) a new Arbitration Act. In its short history of fourteen years, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, has attracted strong criticism, especially on account of a series of well known Supreme Court decisions that are said to have interpreted the Act widely. As these decisions themselves are too well-known to require discussion, the purpose of this post is to highlight interesting developments arising out of one of these – SBP v. Patel Engineering, AIR 2006 SC 540.
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