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

Frankfurt Court of Appeal: Arbitrator’s Dissenting Opinion Violates Public Policy

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a German court has gone on the record on the issue of dissenting opinions in arbitration: The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) has taken the view that the publication of a dissenting opinion by the minority arbitrator violates the procedural ordre public, thus constituting a reason to set aside the arbitral award pursuant to Section 1059 para. 2 no 2 b) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO). I discuss the decision in detail in a post at the Kluwer Arbitration Blog. Here’s the summary: Continue reading

Federal Supreme Court on Court Assistance to Arbitral Tribunals in Taking of Evidence

Anyone summoned by a state court to be heard as a witness is in principle obliged to appear and testify (Section 380, 395 et seq. Code of Civil Procedure ZPO) and the courts can enforce that obligation. Things are different, however, in arbitration: There is no duty to appear before an arbitral tribunal. 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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