On March 30, 2018, Russian Arbitration Day resumed after a 3-year interruption. This year, the Conference was held by the Arbitration Center at the Institute of Modern Arbitration and LF Academy educational project. Organization partners included international law firms Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Goltsblat BLP, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. In total, the event hosted almost 300 visitors, and had more than 800 online viewers worldwide.
RAD 2018 was moderated by Anton Asoskov, Andrey Gorlenko and Roman Khodykin. Among special guests of the Conference were such outstanding specialists in the area of international arbitration as Constantine Partasides (UK), Stanimir Alexandrov (USA), Michael Schneider (Switzerland) and Gary Born (UK) who delivered a video report.
The first session was focused on the issues of arbitrability and alternative dispute resolution. The attendees shared their views on whether their expectations with regard to international arbitration had been met in terms that arbitration would comprise all the positive aspects that state courts were missing, that everything would be quick, cheap and straightforward and would result in conciliation of parties rather than sparking further disputes.
In light of the overhaul of arbitral proceedings in Russia, arbitrability of disputes involving public interest remains one of the most hotly debated issues. In this regard, experts addressed the global experience of arbitrability of international commercial disputes with “a concentration of important public elements” and looked into prospects of introduction and development of arbitration of disputes related to inheritance in Russia.
The session’s participants did not leave unnoticed the issues related to arbitrators’ activities in the course of arbitral proceedings as well. For instance, they analyzed how psychology affects arbitrators’ decision-making, most commonly made psychologically driven mistakes and ways to overcome them.
The second RAD 2018 session dedicated to “Special Types of International Arbitration” started with a unique talk on newly available formats of international dispute resolution delivered by Gary Born, a celebrated expert of international arbitration. Many lawyers are aware of international investment treaties, while bilateral arbitration treaties are presently a much less familiar topic. Gary Born gave a comprehensive analysis of the concept of bilateral arbitration treaties by revealing both strengths and weaknesses of this institution.
Further, the participants sought to find an answer to a fundamental issue related to arbitral proceedings, namely, what constitutes the objective of an arbitral tribunal – resolution of a particular dispute at hand or punishment of a party in the event of a proven wrongdoing? The speakers also mentioned issues associated with corruption in investment arbitration.
Landmark cases related to doping control involving Russian athletes, which occurred shortly before the Chinese Olympic and Paralympic Games, aggravated problems existing in international sports law and allowed both participants and viewers to theorize on whether or not awards issued by sports arbitration tribunals constitute a source of sports law.
In addition, in the course of the second session, the attendees discussed contractual claims arising from investment treaties and the issue of arbitrators’ involvement in the conciliation of parties.
The final third session touched upon “Procedural Issues of International Arbitration.” Special attention was given to training of young Russian specialists in the field of arbitration. Mikhail Galperin shared the news about Russian students’ unprecedented winning on March 29, 2018 at Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna. Future Russian lawyers prevailed in the finals and became the best team among 362 university teams from around the globe.
The speakers also brought up issues of regulating third-party funding in arbitration, representatives’ ethics and problems of illegal evidence in international arbitration.
All the reports were published in a special digest «New Horizons of International Arbitration. Issue 4», which was gifted to all participants of the Conference and was also made available for downloading.
The video of the Conference can be accessed on the Russian Arbitration Center YouTube channel.