The Emergency Arbitrator – Getting Interim Relief Before a Tribunal is Constituted

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In today’s guest post, Jakob Horn summarizes his doctoral thesis on key legal issues around emergency arbitration, Der Emergency Arbitrator und die ZPO, published by Mohr Siebeck. Jakob primarily discusses the emergency arbitrator in the context of German law. Despite this focus, his findings are easily transferrable to other jurisdictions, as Germany has adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration

In commercial life, from time to time conflicts arise that require prompt action to avoid irrevocable harm. For instance, imagine a scenario where a business agreed on a non-compete clause with a former business partner. A violation of this non-compete clause would pose an immediate danger to the business, requiring prompt enforcement.

Traditionally, most state courts offer injunctions in such circumstances. However, in the commercial world today, parties often opt for an arbitration clause for reasons such as confidentiality. How does one uphold these arbitration agreements as well as seek urgent relief?

The answer is the emergency arbitrator. In the last 14 years, most large arbitral institutions around the world, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) have introduced the emergency arbitrator as a tool in their toolbox to deal with such urgent cases. Continue reading

The Termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties in the EU – One Agreement to End Them All?

My colleagues Nick Storrs and Michael Wietzorek look at the EU memberstates’ exit from bi-lateral investment treaties (BITs) in the wake of the Achmea decision of the European Court of Justice. This case had several appearances on this blog, as it made its way from the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) and the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) to the European Court of Justice, first under its original name, Slovakia v. Eureko. 

On 5 May 2020, 23 Member States of the EU entered into an Agreement for the Termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties between the Member States of the European Union (the Agreement). The Agreement will terminate any bilateral investment treaties (BITs) in force between any of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as Belgium and Luxembourg, who had entered into BITs together as the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union.

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Corona and the German Courts – A Tale in Three Acts

SARS-CoV-2_49534865371Like every other area of public life, the Corona crisis has hit the German courts with full force and did not leave it unscathed. But the reactions vary: They range from judges and courts still holding ordinary sessions and carrying on with oral hearings to courts being virtually closed except for on-call judges for very urgent matters, with standard civil and commercial matters being postponed ex offico. Three aspects of the current situation are of particular interest: Continue reading

US Ratification of Hague Choice of Court Convention: Bad News from Across the Pond

HCCH PictureWe have regularly covered the Hague Convention of Choice of Court Agreements on this blog. From a German, and indeed from a European perspective, a major breakthrough in terms of practical relevance of the Convention would be the ratification of the convention by the United States, given that there currently is no treaty in place between Germany and its biggest non-European trading partner that deals with recognition of judgments. Ted Folkman on his blog lettersblogatory.com is probably the best source for coverage of the Convention’s road towards ratification in the United States. This is what Ted has to Report: Continue reading