Posts

Uber Arbitration Clause Unconscionable

In 2017 drivers working under contract for Uber in Ontario launched a class action.  They alleged that under Ontario law they were employees entitled to various benefits Uber was not providing.  In response, Uber sought to stay the proceedings on the basis of an arbitration clause in the standard-form contract with each driver.  Under its terms a driver is required to resolve any dispute with Uber through mediation and arbitration in the Netherlands.  The mediation and arbitration process requires up-front administrative and filing fees of US$14,500.  In response, the drivers argued that the arbitration clause was unenforceable.

Supreme Court of California (ROCKEFELLER TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS (ASIA) v. CHANGZHOU SINOTYPE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD). A European reading of the ruling

A bit more than a month ago, the Supreme Court of California rendered its decision on a case concerning the (non-)application of the 1965 Hague Service Convention. The case has been thoroughly reported and commented before and after  the ruling of the Supreme Court. I will refrain from giving the full picture of the facts; I will focus on the central question of the dispute.

THE FACTS

The parties are U.S. and Chinese business entities. They entered into a contract wherein they agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of California courts and to resolve disputes between them through California arbitration. They also agreed to provide notice and “service of process” to each other through Federal Express or similar courier. The exact wording of the clause in the MOU reads as follows:

Milan Investment Arbitration Pre-Moot – 14-15 February 2020

Following an earlier post, here’s a reminder of the First Edition of the Milan Investment Arbitration Pre-Moot.

Albert Henke prepared for this reason the following announcement:

On February, 14 and 15, 2020 will take place in Milan the First Edition of the Milan Investment Arbitration Pre-Moot, an event jointly organized by the Law Firm DLA Piper, Milan, Università degli Studi of Milan and the European Court of Arbitration (Italian section). The Pre-Moot will be a chance for ten University teams from all around the world to test their advocacy skills in moot arbitration hearings, in preparation for the Frankfurt International Arbitration Moot Competition, the oldest and most prestigious student competition in the area of investment protection law, scheduled for the beginning of March 2020 in Frankfurt (https://www.investmentmoot.org/news-2-2/). The Pre-Moot will be introduced by a Conference hosted by Università degli Studi on the topic: “Outstanding issues and recent developments in international investment arbitration”. All the information in the attached flyer

New International Commercial Arbitration Statute for Ontario

Ontario has enacted and brought into force the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, SO 2017, c 2, Sched 5 (available here) to replace its previous statute on international commercial arbitration.  The central feature of the new statute is that it provides that BOTH the 1958 New York Convention and the 1985 Model Law have the force of law in Ontario.  Previously, when Ontario had given the Model Law the force of law in Ontario it had repealed its statute that had given the New York Convention the force of law in Ontario.  This made Ontario an outlier within Canada since the New York Convention has the force of law in all other provinces (as does the Model Law).

Galgano & Marrella, Diritto del Commercio Internazionale, III ed.

The Italian publisher house CEDAM has recently published the third edition of the leading textbook on International Business Law in the Italian language, “Diritto del commercio internazionale“, authored by Prof. Francesco Galgano (emeritus at the University of Bologna) and Prof. Fabrizio Marrella (“Cà Foscari” University of Venice and Université de Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne).

A presentation has been kindly provided by the authors (the complete TOC is available here):

Convergence and Divergence in Private International Law – Liber Amicorum Kurt Siehr

As we pointed out in a previous post, a very rich collection of essays in honor of Prof. Kurt Siehr on his 75th birthday has been recently published by Eleven International Publishing and Schulthess, under the editorship of Katharina Boele-Woelki, Talia Einhorn, Daniel Girsberger and Symeon Symeonides: Convergence and Divergence in Private International Law – Liber Amicorum Kurt Siehr. A previous Festschrift was dedicated to Prof. Siehr in 2000: “Private Law in the International Arena – From National Conflict Rules Towards Harmonization and Unification: Liber amicorum Kurt Siehr” (see Google Books).

Here’s the table of contents:

Part I: General Aspects of PIL Law-Making.

  • Talia Einhorn, American vs. European Private International Law – The Case for a Model Conflict of Laws Act (MCLA);
  • Peter Hay, Comparative and International Law in the United States – Mixed Signals;
  • Herbert Kronke, Connecting Factors and Internationality in Conflict of Laws and Transnational Commercial Law;
  • Jim Nafziger, Democratic Values in the Choice-of-Law Process;
  • Anton K. Schnyder, Keine Berührungsangst des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts im Umgang mit Eingriffsnormen;
  • Frank Vischer, ‘Revolutionary ideas’ and the Swiss Statute on Private International Law;
  • Jun Yokoyama, Renvoi in Japanese Private International Law.

Read more

Cuadernos de Derecho Transnacional, vol. 2/2010

The second issue for 2010 of the Cuadernos de Derecho Transnacional, the Spanish journal published twice a year by the Área de Derecho Internacional Privado of Univ. Carlos III of Madrid under the editorship of Alfonso Luis Calvo-Caravaca (Univ. Carlos III) and Javier Carrascosa-González (Univ. of Murcia), has been recently published. It contains twenty articles, shorter articles and casenotes, encompassing a wide range of topics in conflict of laws, conflict of jurisdictions and uniform law, all freely available for download from the journal’s website.

Here’s the table of contents (each contribution is accompanied by an abstract in English):

Estudios

  • José María Alcántara, Frazer Hunt, Svante O. Johansson, Barry Oland, Kay Pysden, Jan Ramberg, Douglas G. Schmitt, William Tetley C.M., Q. C., Julio Vidal, Particular concerns with regard to the Rotterdam Rules;

Limitation Period for Enforcing Foreign Arbitration Award

In Yugraneft Corp. v. Rexx Management Corp., 2010 SCC 19 (available here) the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the decision of two lower courts that the plaintiff’s claim to enforce a Russian arbitration award was brought after the expiry of the applicable provincial limitation period.

Following a contractual dispute, Yugraneft commenced arbitration proceedings before the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.  The arbitral tribunal issued its final award on September 6, 2002, ordering Rexx to pay US$952,614.43 in damages to Yugraneft.  Yugraneft applied to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench for recognition and enforcement of the award on January 27, 2006, more than three years after the award was rendered.

Publication: Galgano & Marrella, Diritto e Prassi del Commercio Internazionale

Galgano-Marrella Diritto e Prassi del Commercio InternazionaleProf. Francesco Galgano (emeritus in the University of Bologna Law School
and founder of Galgano Law Firm) and Prof. Fabrizio Marrella (“Cà Foscari” University of Venice) have recently published “Diritto e Prassi del Commercio Internazionale” (CEDAM, 2010), vol. LIV of the “Trattato di Diritto Commerciale e di Diritto Pubblico dell’Economia“, one of the most authoritative Italian legal series, directed by Prof. Galgano.

A presentation has been kindly provided by the authors (the complete TOC is available on the publisher’s website):