BAC Newsletter Issue 23
BAC News
New Laws

1. International Commerce Arbitration Seminar Held in Beijing
On July 5, 2011, International Commerce Arbitration Seminar was held in Beijing, which was sponsored by China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, Court of Arbitration of the ICC, and China International Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 150 legal professionals, distinguished scholars and representatives of enterprises attended the seminar.

2. The First Household Service Arbitration Center established in Shandong Province
On July 12, 2011, the Arbitration Center of Household Service Association of Shandong Province under Jinan Arbitration Commission was inaugurated by Household Service Association of Shandong Province and Jinan Arbitration Commission. Arbitration Center of Household Service Association of Shandong Province is the first arbitration center of China’s household service sector.

3. The 2011 National Arbitration Symposium Held in Guiyang City
The 2011 National Arbitration Symposium was held in Guiyang City on July 26. The theme of the symposium was: actively advance foreign-related arbitration work, ensure smooth progress of reform and opening up; and bring a success to the promotion and publicizing of arbitration work in an all-round way. It is reported that in 2010, 209 arbitration commissions across the country received 78923 cases with subjects valued at RMB 93.2 billion.

1. CIArb measures costs of international arbitration at major conference
25 July 2011
Experts in the field of international arbitration from across the world and from sectors including oil and gas, commercial, construction and maritime will join forces to explore ways of reducing the costs of international arbitration at a major conference in September organised by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

2. Arbitrator 'not an employee', says Supreme Court
27 July 2011
The UK Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal in the landmark case of Jivraj v Hashwani on the grounds that an arbitrator is not an employee for the purposes of the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

3. Singapore Court of Appeal Rules Against Arbitrability of Insolvency Claims
Client/Legal Alert
June 2011
In the first decision of its kind, the Singapore Court of Appeal analyses the concept of arbitrability and rules that insolvency claims arising from the operation of the statutory provisions of the insolvency regime are per se non-arbitrable. However, a creditor may arbitrate his claim(s) against an insolvent company if the claim stems from the company's pre-insolvency rights and obligations.

4. Arbitral Tribunals can decide Shareholders' Unfair Prejudice Disputes
25 July 2011
The Court of Appeal has held that there is no rule of public policy which has the effect of rendering an arbitration agreement void and/or unenforceable insofar as it purports to bind the parties to refer to arbitration the determination of issues that would arise in an unfair prejudice petition under the Companies Act.

5. New mandatory mediation in Italy for finance disputes
27 May 2011
On 20 March 2011, a controversial new Italian law came into force imposing a duty on parties to disputes to pursue mediation (Legislative Decree No 28 of 4 March 2010).
The duty to mediate is now mandatory for certain kinds of dispute, including disputes concerning insurance, banking and financial contracts. Mediation proceedings must be pursued prior to a trial and are to be held before bodies enrolled on a special register.

6. ICC unveils Guide to the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees
28 June 2011
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published the comprehensive ICC Guide to Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG) to serve as a practical tool for users of the rules, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the main international standards for demand guarantee practice.

7. Agreement on Transfer of Rights Paves Way to Treaty on Performers’ Rights
June 24, 2011
WIPO’s top copyright negotiating body will recommend to the September session of the General Assembly to resume a Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances after agreement on the last outstanding issue relating to the transfer of rights. The convening of a diplomatic conference signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations, with the objective of concluding a treaty that would shore up the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances.