From the Editors - Arbitration Committee bulletin February 2024

Monday 5 February 2024

Amr Omran
Freshfields, Dubai

Zelda Hunter
White & Case SA, Geneva

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we welcome a new year, this edition of the Arbitration Committee’s newsletter brings a variety of articles on procedural aspects of the law and practice of arbitration by featuring outstanding contributions from authors across five continents. Considering their growing importance, we considered that the procedural aspects of arbitration were deserving of a dedicated issue.

Beginning in Africa, we feature an article that discusses the Nigerian Arbitration and Mediation Act 2023 and how it aligns the arbitration regime in Nigeria with international best practice in arbitration.

From Asia, we feature six articles from India and the United Arab Emirates. The first article deals with determining the seat of arbitration and the potential confusion that may arise with the use of terminology such as the place and venue of arbitration. The second article considers a recent decision of the Bombay High Court relating to the enforcement of an anti-suit injunction in India. We then we have an article that looks at the intersection of technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and arbitration and explores some interesting applications of technology and AI in arbitration including their gradual global acceptance. Another article covers the global trend of due process paranoia and its impact on the objective of conducting arbitral proceedings efficiently. We also have contributions from the UAE relating to recent amendments to the UAE Federal Arbitration Law and a recent case that defined, for the first time, the difference between jurisdiction and admissibility in UAE-seated arbitrations.

We also feature two articles from North America where the authors review decisions of the Mexican Supreme Court relating to due process violations as well as the approach of the Canadian courts to appeals from arbitral awards rendered in proceedings conducted under the ICC Rules.

Next, from South America, we have an article that sheds light on the importance of the seat of arbitration in light of the IBA Guidelines for Drafting International Arbitration Clauses.

Finally, we have seven contributions from Europe. The first article addresses the current proposal to add to the English Arbitration Act 1996 an express power of arbitral tribunals to dispose of a claim, issue or defence summarily. We also have two articles that look at the approach of courts in the UK to the stay of court proceedings when seized with matters that relate to an arbitration agreement. Another article focuses on the arbitrability of disputes regarding the termination of exclusive distributorship agreements. Another article addresses the limits of State immunity from jurisdiction during wartime. We then have an article that looks at recent reforms to the arbitration regime in Italy. Lastly, and also from Italy, we feature an article on the possibility of executing against assets in Italy in enforcement of foreign arbitral awards that have been partially annulled. 

We express our gratitude to all contributors and to the members of our Editorial Board for their efforts and the IBA production team for their continued support.

We also express our gratitude to the outgoing co-editor of the newsletter, André Abbud, who has now taken up the position of Vice Chair of the Arbitration Committee.

As usual, all committee members who are interested in contributing to the newsletter are encouraged to contact us.

We hope to see you all in Singapore during the 25th IBA Arbitration Day!