Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Syria and Pakistan acceded to ICSID in 2006. Vietnam may be following soon

On January 25, 2006, Syria deposited with the World Bank its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Convention ("ICSID Convention"). It became the 143th ICSID Contracting State.

On November 8, 2006, Pakistan has passed into law the ICSID Convention, which had long been signed and ratified (1965 and 1966, respectively). You can click here for the report.

As to Vietnam, the country has not yet signed the ICSID Convention, but it looks like this is going to take place still in 2006 (you can click here for the story).

Why the above news is headline to a weblawg dedicated to Brazilian arbitration law? Very simple: to date, Brazil has not signed the ICSID Convention.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What does Brazilian law say about the appointment of the arbitral tribunal?

As a principle, the arbitral tribunal is appointed in accordance with the parties’ agreement.

Due to the recognition of the principle of party autonomy, the Brazilian Arbitration Act (“BAA”) gives to the parties broad freedom to —by mutual agreement— either (i) establish their own rules for the appointment of arbitrators, or (ii) adopt any institutional arbitral rules they may chose (Section 13(3) of the BAA). It is important to highlight that Section 13(1) of the BAA establishes that the number of arbitrators must be uneven.

In the absence of such parties’ agreement, or if the arbitration agreement is silent, the concerned party may apply to the court with jurisdiction over the place of arbitration to appoint the arbitrator. The court is supposed to follow —to the extent possible— the procedure foreseen in Section 7 of the BAA.

Section 7(4) of BAA establishes that “if the arbitration clause fails to provide for the appointment of arbitrators, the court, after hearing the parties, shall rule thereon, being allowed to appoint a sole arbitrator to decide the dispute”.

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