Global focus at Investment Arbitration Conference in Bahrain
Current issues in investment arbitration was the topic for a joint conference recently organized by the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC).
Should investment disputes be submitted to international arbitration or to a permanent investment court? Procedural efficiency in investment arbitration, with emphasis on expedited procedures, emergency measures and summary disposition of claims. How to strike a balance between the protection of investments and the host country's right to regulate? To what extent are conciliation and mediation efficient in the settlement of investor-state disputes? All above, central topics of investment arbitration discussed by the conference’s four panels, comprised by internationally renowned dispute resolution practitioners and academics from North America, Latin America, Europe, and the MENA region. Interesting key questions gathering more than 150 high-level government representatives, policymakers, international dispute resolution practitioners, and leading academics at the conference in Bahrain.
Welcome and introductions remarks were given by Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al Khalifa (Chair of BCDR-AAA's Board of Trustees), Shaikha Rana Isa Al Khalifa (Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain), Annette Magnusson (Secretary General of The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Sweden) and Nassib G. Ziadé (Chief Executive Officer of BCDR-AAA).
A group picture taken after the opening remarks. From left to right: Annette Magnusson, H.E. Nabil Elaraby, H.E. Abdulla Albuainain, Sh. Haya Al Khalifa and Nassib G. Ziadé.
The first panel discussed whether investment disputes should be submitted to international arbitration or to a permanent investment court. This debate was moderated by Nabil Elaraby (Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration and former Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)). The speakers were Marc Bungenberg (Chair of Public Law, Public International Law and European Law at Saarland University, Saarbrücken), Markus Burgstaller (Partner at Hogan Lovells, London), Nikos Lavranos (Secretary General of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration, Brussels) and Nassib G. Ziadé.
A group picture of Panel 1, from left to right: Marc Bungenberg, Markus Burgstaller, H.E. Nabil Elaraby, Nassib G. Ziadé and Nikos Lavranos.
The second panel discussed procedural efficiency in investment arbitration. The discussions were moderated by Adrian Winstanley (OBE, former Director-General of the London Court of International Arbitration, and independent arbitrator). The speakers were Karim Hafez (Senior Partner at Hafez, Cairo, and independent arbitrator), Ginta Ahrel (Partner at Lindahl, Stockholm), Anne K. Hoffmann, (independent arbitrator, Dubai) and Johan Sidklev (Partner at Roschier, Stockholm).
A group picture of Panel 2, from left to right: Karim Hafez, Ginta Ahrel, Adrian Winstanley, Anne K. Hoffmann and Johan Sidklev.
The third panel reflected on how to strike a balance between the protection of investments and the host country's right to regulate. This panel were moderated by Antonio R. Parra (Consultant at the World Bank, Washington, DC). The speakers were Crina Baltag (Senior Lecturer in Law at Bedfordshire University, Luton), Mahmoud M. Elkhrashy (Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain), Francisco González de Cossío (Founding Partner of González de Cossío Abogados, SC, Mexico City) and Alexander Uff (Partner in the International Arbitration Practice of Shearman & Sterling, London).
A group picture of Panel 3, from left to right: Mahmoud M. Elkhrashy, Crina Baltag, Antonio R. Parra, Alexander Uff and Francisco González de Cossío.
The conference's fourth and last panel was moderated by Annette Magnusson and considered to what extent conciliation and mediation were efficient ways of settling investor-state disputes. The speakers were Hannah Tümpel (Director of Communications and Engagements at United World Colleges, London), Laila El Shentenawi (Senior Associate, Al Tamimi & Co., Dubai), Mohamed Abdel Raouf (Partner, Abdel Raouf Law Firm, Cairo) and Eloïse Obadia (Investment Legal Consultant at the World Bank, Washington DC).
A group picture of Panel 4, from left to right: Laila El Shentenawi, Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Annette Magnusson, Eloïse Obadia and Hannah Tümpel.
The conference closed with remarks from Annette Magnusson and Nassib G. Ziadé, followed by a screening of The Quiet Triumph – How Arbitration Changed the World, an inspiring SCC documentary describing the history and role of international arbitration in creating a peaceful international order and upholding the rule of law. For more information and to watch the documentary, click here.
Photos from the conference below