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New Year, “New” ICC Arbitration Rules

The latest amendments to the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) Arbitration Rules enter into force today, providing for a restyling to the 2012 rules (as earlier amended in 2017). The restyling aims to fine-tune the current rules by increasing flexibility, efficiency and transparency of the ICC arbitrations and taking in the practice that the International Court of Arbitration (“Court”) has meanwhile developed and consolidated.

This post briefly lists the main novelties.


Massimo V. Benedettelli, International Arbitration in Italy


Arbitration community lacked a comprehensive guide in English to move through the multiple and multifaceted connections between arbitration and the Italian legal system: International Arbitration in Italy fills in this gap, addressing both international commercial and investment arbitration.

The book deeply depicts said connections, raising interpretative problems and providing solutions with the view to building a coherent system against the backdrop of the author’s thought about the phenomenon of the arbitration taken as a whole.

This approach qualifies the entire analysis elaborated on in 12 Chapters, which start with the focus on what international arbitration is and what its grounds are, then moving on how arbitration “dialogues” with the different sources of Italian law, and what the principles for the right interpretation of this law are.


Ulla Liukkunen on Chinese private international law, comparative law and international commercial arbitration – launch of Ius Comparatum

Guest post by Ulla Liukkunen, Professor of Labour Law and Private International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture

The International Academy of Comparative Law launched a new open access publication in November 2020. Volume no 1 on the use of comparative law methodology in international arbitration contains articles by Emmanuel Gaillard, Sebastián Partida, Charles-Maurice Mazuy, S.I. Strong, Johannes Landbrecht, Morad El Kadmiri, Marco Torsello, Ulla Liukkunen, Alyssa King, Alexander Ferguson, Dorothée Goertz and Luis Bergolla as well as introductory remarks on the topic by the Secretary-General of the Academy, Diego P. Fernández Arroyo.

The volume no 1 is available on



Out now: Leonardo de Oliveira/Sara Hourani (eds.), Access to Justice in Arbitration

Access to Justice in Arbitration: Concept, Context and Practice by DE OLIVEIRA

Access to justice is not a new topic. Since Mauro Cappelletti and Bryant Garth’s survey of different methods to promote access to justice was published (Access to Justice. A World Survey (Giueffre SIJTHOFF 1978), making access to justice cheaper and effective has become a legal policy (see for instance The Right Honourable the Lord Woolf report on Access to Justice, 1996). One of Cappelletti and Garth’s ideas was that there were three waves of access to justice. The third wave, called ‘The Access to Justice Approach’, stated that arbitration would play a significant role in fomenting access to justice. The idea was that people would seek alternatives to the regular court system.  Arbitration has grown exponentially since the publication of Cappelletti and Garth’s work, reaching disputes that were traditionally only decided by courts. The guarantee of adequate access to justice is now generating questions about the impact of this expansion. For purely commercial arbitration, such as one between two multinational companies represented by multinational law firms, waiving some rights of access to justice might not create a problem to the fairness in the arbitral procedure. However, in a dispute in which the inequality of bargaining power is evident, for arbitration to be fair and a trustworthy sustainable dispute resolution method, waiving rights to access to justice might not be the best way forward.


Chukwudi Ojiegbe on International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union

Chukwudi Ojiegbe has just published a book titled: “International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union: Brussels I, Brexit and Beyond” with Edward Elgar Publishing.

The abstract reads as follows:

This illuminating book contributes to knowledge on the impact of Brexit on international commercial arbitration in the EU. Entering the fray at a critical watershed in the EU’s history, Chukwudi Ojiegbe turns to the interaction of court litigation and international commercial arbitration, offering crucial insights into the future of EU law in these fields.


Determining the applicable law of an arbitration agreement when there is no express choice of a governing law – Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S. v OOO Insurance Company Chubb [2020] UKSC 38.

This brief note considers aspects of the recent litigation over the identification of an unspecified applicable law of an arbitration agreement having an English seat. Though the UK Supreme Court concluded that the applicable law of the arbitration agreement itself was, if unspecified, usually to be the same as that of the contract to which the arbitration agreement refers, there was an interesting division between the judges on the method of determining the applicable law of the arbitration agreement from either the law of the arbitral seat (the view favoured by the majority) or from the applicable law of the underlying contract (the view favoured by the minority). As will become clear, the author of this note finds the views of the minority to be more compelling than those of the majority.


R. Brand on Provisional Measures in Aid of Arbitration

The success of the New York Convention has made arbitration a preferred means of dispute resolution for international commercial transactions. Success in arbitration often depends on the extent to which a party may, in advance, ensure that assets or evidence is secured in advance, or that the other party is required to take steps to secure the status quo. This makes the availability of provisional measures granted by either arbitral tribunals or by courts important to the arbitration process. In this chapter, Ron Brand of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law considers the existing legal framework for such provisional measures in aid of arbitration, giving particular attention to the source of the rules that might govern such relief related to international commercial transactions and the arbitration of disputes they may generate. These include the New York Convention, the applicable lex arbitri, institutional arbitration rules, and the arbitration contract. He considers how these sources do or do not provide a comprehensive and coherent framework for effective dispute resolution – including especially the effective satisfaction of any resulting arbitral award – and some of the ways in which the arbitration clause may be drafted to specifically take into account the often unanticipated, but always possible, need for provisional measures.


Chinese Court Holds Arbitral Award by Foreign Arbitration Institutions in China Enforceable

(This is another version of views for the recent Chinese case on international commercial arbitration provided by Chen Zhi, a PhD candidate in the University of Macau, Macau, PRC)

On 6 August 2020, Guangzhou People’s Intermediate Court (“Guangzhou court”) handed down a ruling on a rare case concerning the enforcement of an award rendered by International Commercial Court of Arbitration (“ICC”) in China,[1] which have given rise to heated debate by the legal community in China. This case was thought to be of great significance by many commentators because it could open the door for enforcement of arbitral awards issued by foreign institution with seat of proceeding in China, and demonstrates the opening-up trend for foreign legal service.
[1]Brentwood Industries Inc. v. Guangdong Faanlong Co, Ltd and Others 2015 Sui Zhong Min Si Fa Chu No.62?