The UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has approved a Code of Conduct for arbitrators in international investment arbitration (available here). The Code is intended to apply to members of an ICSID arbitral tribunal or ad hoc committee, and to candidates for such roles, and also to apply to other investor-state arbitrations. The precise mechanics by which this will be achieved is unclear, and the commentary to the Code suggests that it may come to be incorporated into the UNCITRAL Arbitral Rules. Parties are free to agree that the Code should apply in their arbitrations and it is likely that this will become common.
The Code of Conduct is a mixture of codifying existing best practice, such as a prohibition on ex parte communications outside the remit of an initial appointment, and a requirement for independence and impartiality.
The Code also, however, contains a number of far-reaching new rules, in relation to so-called “double-hatting” where the same person acts as both arbitrator and party-appointed counsel in relation to the same actions by particular states or the same treaty provisions; in relation to the a requirement to maintain an arbitration’s confidentiality; and requirements for arbitrator disclosure.
Continue reading “New Code of Conduct for arbitrators in investment arbitration”
On 10 March 2023, my colleague Paul-Raphael Shehadeh authored an article providing an introduction to the Singapore Convention on Mediation (the “Convention”). This article is a follow-up to that, on what is a vogue topic in the international arbitration community.
Mediation is generally regarded as the more amicable, efficient and cost-effective method of resolving disputes. However, in the cross-border context, enforcing settlement agreements resulting from mediation can be complex and expensive, deterring otherwise willing parties from choosing mediation as their dispute resolution mechanism.
Continue reading “The Singapore Convention On Mediation – A Step-By-Step Approach”
On 2 March 2023, the Ministry of Justice published the UK Government’s response (“Consultation Response”) to the consultation on the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (New York, 2019) (the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”, or the “Convention”) concluding that “it is the right time for the UK to become a Party”.
In some measure, the Singapore Convention on Mediation seeks to replicate the success of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”). Continue reading “UK Government announces intention to sign and ratify the Singapore Convention on Mediation”