Summary of SOAS Arbitration Public Seminar of 25th October 2018
The first SOAS Arbitration Public Seminar for this academic year held on 25 th October 2018 at SOAS, University of London. It was organised by Dr Emilia Onyema and chaired by Mr Ian Edge with about 70 people in attendance. We welcomed Mr Hussein Haeri, Partner & Co-Head of International Arbitration at Withers LLP, as our guest speaker. He examined and questioned the following five controversies in investment treaty arbitration: (1) Does investment treaty arbitration undermine sovereignty? (2) Are national courts more suitable than arbitral tribunals to resolve investment treaty disputes? (3) Do States mostly lose investment treaty arbitrations? (4) Does investment treaty arbitration lack transparency? (5) Are there better alternatives to investment treaty arbitration?
In the context of his presentation, Mr Haeri discussed several investment related conventions, bilateral and multilateral investment agreements including: the ICSID Convention 1965, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, Indian Model Bilateral Investment Treaty 2015, South African Protection of Investment Act 2015 (in effect 13 July 2018), UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency and the Mauritius Convention, He also discussed several investment arbitration awards and cases including: ELSI case (USA v Italy), ICJ Reports, 1989, Swisslion DOO Skopje v The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, ICSID Case No ARB/09/16, 2012, Yukos Universal v The Russian Federation, UNCITRAL, 2012, Saipem SpA v The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, ICSID Case No ARB/05/07, 2009, Philip Morris Brands Sàrl, Philip Morris Products S.A. and Abal Hermanos SA v Oriental Republic of Uruguay, ICSID Case No ARB/10/7, 2016, Global Trading Resource Corp and Globex International, Inc v Ukraine, ICSID Case No ARB/09/11, 2010, Ansung Housing Co, Ltd v People’s Republic of China, ICSID Case No ARB/14/25, 2017, World Duty Free Company v Republic of Kenya, ICSID Case No Arb/00/7, 2006, Metal-Tech Ltd v Republic of Uzbekistan, ICSID Case No ARB/10/3, 2013, Hesham Talaat M. Al-Warraq v Republic of Indonesia, UNCITRAL, 2014, and Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v Republic of Indonesia, ICSID Case Nos ARB/12/40 and 12/14, 2016.
Mr Haeri’s presentation was very well received judging by the quality of the Questions and Answers and animated discussions that followed and during the drinks reception. The drinks reception was kindly sponsored by Dr Emilia Onyema, and organised by Ms Ancuta Faur and Ms Shu Cean Shua.
Our next seminar in the series will hold on Thursday 29 November 2018. We shall welcome Judge Edward Torgbor of Christ Church College, University of Oxford, who will examine the New York Convention at 60.
This summary is produced by Ms Ancuta Faur (SOAS LLB, Final Year; Student in the Law of Commercial Arbitration Module).