February 2017 - international litigation blog
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February 2017

U.K. Supreme Court Rules on State Immunity and (Crown) Act of State Doctrines

On 17 January 2017, the U.K. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) handed down three exceptionally significant decisions on allegedly tortious acts done by British Armed Forces in the context of overseas military operations or by government officials alleged to have been complicit in the wrongful acts done by foreign States. Each of the three decisions dealt with important questions of law such as State immunity, the “Foreign Act of State” doctrine, the “Crown Act of State” doctrine as well as the compatibility of overseas detentions with Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

The three decisions at issue are: (i) Rahmatullah (No 2) e.a. v. Ministry of Defence; (ii) Al-Waheed and Serdar Mohammed v. Ministry of Defence; and (iii) Belhaj e.a. v. Straw e.a.READ MORE


Singapore Passes Legislation on Third Party Funding and Mediation

On 10 January 2017, Singapore’s Parliament made further strides in securing Singapore’s place as a leading global hub for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by passing two pieces of legislation: (i) amendments to its Civil Law Act legalizing third party funding in international arbitration proceedings; and (ii) a mediation bill (the Mediation Bill).READ MORE


Potential Implications of AG Sharpston’s Opinion 2/15 on Investment Court System

As mentioned in one of my previous post, the European Union (the EU) has proposed the establishment of a permanent Investment Court System (ICS) as a means to respond to the criticisms against the traditional Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. The main elements of the reform suggested by the EU Commission are the following: (i) a permanent court composed of a first instance Tribunal and an Appeal Tribunal; (ii) publicly appointed judges; and (iii) publicly-held proceedings and a right to intervene for parties with an interest in the dispute.

On 21 December 2016, Advocate General Sharpston (AG Sharpston)* handed down a reasoned opinion (the Opinion) on the allocation of competences between the EU and its Member States for the conclusion of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (the EUSFTA). Although the Opinion is not directly related to the issue of the ICS, it can potentially have implications on the establishment and development of this new multilateral international court (in particular the question of “who may establish the ICS“).READ MORE


European Cross-Border Debt Recovery: European Account Preservation Order Procedure Enters into Force

On 18 January 2017, Regulation 655/2014 of 15 May 2014 establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters (the EAPO Regulation) entered into force.

The EAPO Regulation allows a creditor, domiciled in one Member State, to request the courts of a Member State to issue a European Account Preservation Order (the EAPO). This order preserves the funds held by a debtor in a bank account located in another Member State and prevents a debtor from jeopardising the creditor’s claim by transferring or withdrawing those funds.READ MORE