News Updates

JANUARY 2019

  • Google employees launch a social media campaign to end forced arbitration

A group of Google employees took to social media to protest against forced arbitration at workplaces. The social media campaign on twitter and instagram aimed at educating people about forced arbitration. Forced arbitration ensures workplace disputes are settled behind closed doors and without any right to an appeal. This group that led the campaign is the same one that came together about a month ago demanding Google ends forced arbitration as it relates to case of discrimination.

  • Oral Arbitration Agreements and High Courts' power to recall an order appointing Arbitrator under section 11 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Supreme Court overruled the judgement given by High Court in case of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Anr. v. Pratibha Industries ltd. SC observed that the parties' decision in to arbitrate and appoint an arbitrator, was merely an oral agreement. No application under section 11 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was filed. Given that section 7 of this act clearly requires an arbitration agreement to be in writing, the SC held that the parties' aforesaid oral agreement cannot qualify as an arbitration agreement.

  • An attempt by the Indian Judiciary to make India a future Arbitration hub

The interpretation adopted by the Indian courts in understanding the implied exclusion of Part I of Indian Arbitration Act 1996. The way Indian courts have understood the meaning of 'implied exclusion' used under section 2 (2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, goes against the intention of the contracting parties and is only attempt of Indian Judiciary to make India a future Arbitration Hub.

FEBRUARY 2019

  • Supreme Court for mediation body in all districts for accident claims

Expressing concern over the delay in adjudication of compensation claim of road accident victims who suffer because of a long battle against insurance companies, the Supreme Court said that such cases should be first decided through mediation and asked the centre to consider setting up of accident mediation authority in each district.

MARCH 2019

  • The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill passed

This bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad. It seeks to establish an autonomous and independent institution for the better management of arbitration in India. The bill declares the NDIAC as an institution of national importance. NDIAC is a replacement of International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR).

  • Ayodhya turns into security fortress as mediation panel members arrive

The three member mediation panel appointed by the Supreme Court arrived in Ayodhya to begin the process to resolve the Babri Masjid- Ramjanmbhoomi title suit case. Barricades have been erected to restrict the movement on the road leading to the guest house. Identity of all the residents has been verified and heavy police force has been deployed in the area. The area within half a kilometre radius from the guest house is cordoned off for the outsiders, including media persons.

  • Litigants oppose Ravi Shankar on Ayodhya mediation committee

A Muslim litigant has asked the spiritual leader to quit the panel if he fails to clear his stand on a letter in which he had purportedly suggested that Muslims should give up their claim on the disputed land.

            Shanu Sukhija

BBA LLB 2nd year

JULY:

  • Energy Disputes in a Disruptive World - A Take on Business and Human Rights Arbitration

During the London International Dispute Week in May this year, a panel on "energy disputes in a disruptive world" focused on the increasing prevalence of claims against energy companies in relation to climate change or for involvement in human rights impacts. A new initiative was to use arbitration to resolve business and human rights disputes: the Elements Papers were on the "Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Arbitration" (Rules). The Rules were initiated by the Business and Human Rights Arbitration Working Group, a private group of international practicing lawyers and academics.

  • Impact of the Arab Spring on the International Arbitration Landscape

The Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia was quickly spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and other countries of the Arab World in 2011 and 2012. The Evolution of Arbitration in the Arab World, the uprisings of the Arab Spring and the political changes resulting therefrom were expected to have a significant impact on the international arbitration landscape with a surge of new investment cases anticipated against Arab states.

  • The Effect of Australia's Approach to Construing the Scope of an Arbitral Clause

For the first time, the High Court held in its decision in the Rinehart dispute that the ordinary principles of contractual interpretation must be applied when interpreting the scope of arbitration clauses. While this approach is consistent with modern contractual interpretation, it may deter parties from selecting Australian law to govern arbitration agreements. This post considers the significance of the High Court's decision and, in turn, highlights the importance of drafting clear arbitration clauses, particularly for parties who wish to settle disputes relating to certain aspects of a contract in courts.


AUGUST:

  • Flexibility at the Expense of Certainty? Six Years of the ICC Emergency Arbitrator Procedures

The ICC Commission on Arbitration has recently published a report on Emergency Arbitrator ("EA") Proceedings ("Report") that promises to "offer guidance to users, counsel and EAs to facilitate the use of EA proceedings through increased transparency and predictability". The Report analyses the 80 cases in which the ICC EA procedures have been used in the six years from their inception in 2012 through to 2018.

  • Arbitrability of IPR Disputes in India: 34(2)(B) or Not to Be

The juxtaposition of laws that seemingly operate in different domains has posed a continual challenge to arbitration - conventionally, in the form of concerns over arbitrability of disputes. Here, arbitrability connotes the notion that a dispute, by its nature, is capable of being adjudicated beyond public fora, through a private tribunal chosen by parties. This 'objective' arbitrability differs from 'subjective' arbitrability, which is the scope of arbitrable disputes as defined in an arbitration agreement. This post deals with objective arbitrability. In the context of intellectual property rights ('IPR') disputes, concerns of objective arbitrability stem from the impact arbitral awards may have on non-consenting parties. Owing to insufficient legislative engagement with this issue, judicial position on arbitrability of IPR disputes in India remains unsettled.

  • Kazakhstan Internationalizes Arbitration Law

Kazakhstan has been making concerted efforts to increase foreign investment and to reduce its dependency on ex\tractive industries which have long dominated production. In 2015, when it was ranked 77th out of 190 countries for doing business, the then President introduced a "100 Concrete Steps" Plan to make the country one of the top 30 developed countries by 2050. In 2019 it had risen to 28th place, no doubt in large part due to the Plan which focused on five critical are as - New Modern State Apparatus; Rule of Law; Industrialization and Economic Growth; Nation with a Shared Future; Transparent and Accountable Government. A report by the Boston Consulting Group in December 2018 Investing in Central Asia was optimistic about the potential for future investment in Kazakhstan, identifying further improvement of the investment environment as one of the five keys to unlocking full potential.

  • The 2019 amendment to the Indian Arbitration Act: A classic case of one step forward two steps backward?

The Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 ("the 2019 Amendment"), which amends the Indian Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 ("the Act"), came into force with effect from 9 August 2019. The Law Minister of India was recently quoted as saying in one of the press releases (after the Bill in support of the 2019 Amendment was introduced in the lower House of Parliament), that the government intended to make India a hub of domestic and international arbitration by bringing in changes in law for faster resolution of commercial disputes.

SEPTEMBER:

  • U.S. Department of Justice Uses Arbitration to Challenge Merger

We normally think of the nexus between arbitration and antitrust in the context of a private arbitration that includes an antitrust claim or counterclaim. Yet earlier this month, for the first time in history, the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has agreed to use arbitration to challenge a merger. According to a recent press release, the DOJ determined that a proposed merger between the Canadian company, Novelis Inc., and the Indian company, Aleris Corporation, (the "Parties") threatened competition because it would combine two of only four North American producers of aluminum body sheet, the material used in cars to make them lighter, more fuel-efficient, safer and more durable. The typical path for the DOJ is when it determines that a proposed merger is anticompetitive is to sue in federal court to block the merger.

  • A Further Step Towards Business and Human Rights Arbitration - The Hague Rules

Recently, focus has been brought upon the use of international arbitration to solve human rights abuses caused by businesses ("BHR Arbitration"). Disputes involving human rights violations often occur between parties of unequal financial means and commercial sophistication, and in countries which cannot offer an efficient and free from corruption judicial system. Arbitration has the potential to represent a valid remedy when judicial proceedings are not available or efficient, offering a neutral forum free from political pressures, impartial judges with expertise in human rights selected by the parties, procedural flexibility, greater efficiency and near-universal recognition as a result of the New York Convention.

The proposal for the "International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights Disputes" was published on 13 February 2017 and formally presented on 23 March 2017. In June 2019, the Working Group published the first draft of the Hague Rules, available for public consultation until 4 September 2019. The final version of the Rules is scheduled to be launched in The Hague in December 2019.

Tanmay Tripathy

BBA LLB 2nd Year

OCTOBER 2019

IndiGo Feud: Rahul Bhatia Seeks Arbitration In Dispute With Rakesh Gangwal

Budget airline IndiGo said on Tuesday that its promoters InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) and Rahul Bhatia have approached the London Court of International Arbitration to settle a dispute with another promoter Rakesh Gangwal under the shareholders agreement. According to a regulatory filing on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), IndiGo said that it had been named as a respondent "as it is a party to the shareholders agreement".

"We hereby inform you that InterGlobe Enterprises Private Limited and Rahul Bhatia, as claimants, have submitted a Request for Arbitration dated October 1, 2019 to the London Court of International Arbitration under the shareholders agreement dated April 23, 2015 executed between, inter-alia, the IGE Group, Rakesh Gangwal, The Chinkerpoo Family Trust, Shobha Gangwal and InterGlobe Aviation Limited," the airline said.


Mediation Bombay 2019 | MNLU, Mumbai Makes Its Mark

Mumbai, October 22, 2019: The Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai organised its first National Dispute Resolution Competition, Mediation Bombay from the 17th to 20th October, 2019. The competition witnessed the participation of twenty-four teams representing National Law Universities and Colleges across India. In the backdrop of the signing of the recent United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, better known as the Singapore Mediation Convention, an imminent need was felt to organise the first national mediation competition in Mumbai, the legal hub of the country

NOVEMBER 2019

Calcutta HC lays stress on mediation to reduce backlog of cases

With the number of pending litigations before it touching 2.29 lakh, the Calcutta High Court is stressing on alternative dispute redressal mechanism like mediation to reduce the backlog

Mediation Takes Off at Air Franc

In order to reduce the volume of labor-related court cases faced by Air France, the carrier's director of legal affairs, Franck Raimbault, opened a path to mediation, which has proven to be a great success and a model for resolving industrial disputes in a country known for them.

Singapore Ministry of Law weighs in on importance of global mediation efforts

Two representatives from the Singapore Ministry of Law have spoken out about the historical signing of the Singapore Convention of Mediation, which is set to impact cross-border commercial disputes going forward.

DECEMBER 2019

Supreme Court Allows Vodafone To Initiate Second Arbitration Over $2 Billion Tax Demand

The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Britain's Vodafone to initiate a second arbitration process under an India-UK investment pact over a long-running $2 billion-plus tax dispute with New Delhi.
A two-judge panel of the top court said a second arbitration tribunal may be set up and its proceedings can begin after a regional court formally lifts a stay order on the move.

Government constitutes expert panel to resolve oil, gas disputes
The 'Committee of External Eminent Persons/Experts' for dispute resolution will comprise former oil secretary G C Chaturvedi, Oil India Ltd former head Bikash C Bora and Hindalco Industries Ltd Managing Director Satish Pai, according to an official notification.

Any dispute or difference arising out of a contract relating to exploration blocks/ fields of India can be referred to the committee, if both parties to the contract agree in writing for conciliation or mediation and further agree to not invoke arbitration proceedings thereafter,"

MUSKAN RANI

BBA LLB 2nd Year