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Preparing for International Council for Commercial Arbitration 2014

ICCA 2014

By Rachel Holt and Jo Wojtkowski

Oxford University Press is excited to be attending the twenty-second International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) conference, to be held at the InterContinental Miami, Florida, on 6-9 April 2014. This year’s theme, “Legitimacy: Myths, Realities, Challenges” gives opportunity for practitioners, scholars and judges to explore the issues surrounding, what has been dubbed by some, the legitimacy crisis. To find out more take a look at this year’s exciting program devised by Lucy Reed and her team.

The four-day conference is packed with informative panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions, ICCA Interest Groups lunch meetings and networking events. With over 1,000 participants from around the world, highlights include “Legitimacy: Examined against Empirical Data” chaired by Jan Paulson, Holder of Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair, University of Miami, and the opening session “Setting the Scene: What Are the Myths? What Are the Realities? What Are the Challenges?”, where Oxford author Eric Bergsten is to receive the ICCA Award for Lifelong Contribution to the Field of International Arbitration. Here are some of the conference events we’re excited about:

  • Monday 7 April, 12:15 -13:30p.m.: Latin America: The Hottest Issues, Country-by-Country
    Lunch seminar chaired by Doak Bishop.
  • Monday 7 April, 13:45-15:00p.m.: Proof: A Plea for Precision
    Proof is fundamental and can be maddeningly elusive. But must proof of fact and law so often be so imprecise? This session will explore the often fudged and occasionally ignored elements of burden of proof, the standard of proof, methods of proof to establish applicable law, and the importance of addressing these topics in a procedural order.
  • Monday 7 April, 15:30 – 16:45p.m.: Premise: Arbitral Institutions Can Do More To Further Legitimacy. True or False?
    Have arbitral institutions been steady stewards of legitimacy in arbitration? Or, as more say, are they stagnant and protective of the status quo? In particular, can arbitration be legitimate if the arbitrator selection process is opaque, the quality of awards is variable, and the arbitral process lacks foreseeability? Particularly as the growth in regional institutions continues, are there consistent practices to be encouraged, and others to be eschewed, to promote and preserve legitimacy? This session will challenge whether institutions are doing enough to ensure the availability of diverse, well-trained arbitrators and to ensure first-rate, timely performance of their duties.
  • Tuesday, 8 April, 8:45 – 10:00p.m.: Matters of Evidence: Witness and Experts
    Witness statements and expert reports tell the story, but whose story is it to be told? How rigorous are tribunals in “gating” witnesses? This session will explore the “do’s and don’ts” of drafting witness statements; whether the weight given to statements should vary and, if so, precisely why; and the impact of witness nonappearance on the admissibility and weight of testimony. It will also examine parallel questions for experts and expert reports.
  • Tuesday, 8 April, 13:45 – 15:00p.m.: ‘Treaty Arbitration: Pleading and Proof of Fraud and Comparable Forms of Abuse’
    This session will explore and catalogue standards that govern the presentation and resolution of issues of fraud, abuse of rights, and similarly serious allegations that may impugn either a claim or the investment in treaty arbitrations. How do these issues arise? And how do tribunals address them? Is there a common understanding of pleading and proof standards for fraud, abuse of rights, or the bona fides of an investment? These are easy questions to ask, but precise answers are vexing.
  • Tuesday, 8 April, 12:15 -13:30p.m.: Spotlight on International Arbitration in Miami and the United States
    A mock argument of BG Group PLC v. Argentina—the first investment treaty arbitration case to be heard by the US Supreme Court—will be one of the stops on a tour of international arbitration in Miami and the United States. Other stops will include Miami’s favorable arbitration climate, enforcement of arbitral awards in the United States generally and Florida specifically, arbitration class actions in the US, and an update on the Restatement (Third), The US Law of International Commercial Arbitration.

There is even a “Spotlight on International Arbitration in Miami and the United States” session which is not to be missed, but there is more to this amazing city than just arbitration. Located on the Atlantic coast in south-eastern Florida, Miami is a major centre and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, and international trade. In 2012, Miami was classified as an Alpha-World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. In her upcoming title, Ethics in International Arbitration (publishing summer 2014), author Catherine Rogers argues:

“Ultimately, the challenge of ethical self-regulation is a challenge for the international arbitration community to think beyond its present situation, to future generations and future developments in an ever-more globalized legal world. It is a challenge for international arbitration to bring to bear all the pragmatism, creativity, and sense of the noble duty to transnational justice that it has demonstrated in the very best moments of its history.”

This comment highlights just one of the challenges facing arbitral legitimacy in the ever-growing world of international arbitration, which further highlights the importance of the ICCA’s chosen theme for the 2014 conference. If you are joining us in Miami, don’t forget to visit the Oxford University Press booth #16 where you can browse our award-winning books, and take advantage of the 20% conference discount. Plus, enter our prize draw to for a chance to win an iPad Mini, and pick up a free access password to our collection of online law resources including Investment Claims. See you in Miami!

Jo Wojtkowski is the Assistant Marketing Manager for Law at Oxford University Press. Rachel Holt is Assistant Commissioning Editor for Arbitration products at Oxford University Press.

Oxford University Press is a leading publisher in arbitration including the Journal of International Dispute Settlement, edited by Dr Thomas Schultz, and the ICSID Review edited by Meg Kinnear and Professor Campbell McLachlan, as well as the latest titles from experts in the field, and a wide range of law journals and online products. We publish original works across key areas of study, from trademarks to patents, designs and copyrights, developing outstanding resources to support students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide.

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