Essam Tajer, student
Fatima Naam, lawyer
An innovative project of the renowned American Law Institute (“ALI”) aims to distill, synthesize, and codify the law governing international arbitration, which is the leading method of dispute resolution in international business, trade, and investment today.
Fatima Naam (a civil litigation lawyer in Montreal) and Essam Tajer (a student in Quebec Bar school) represented the Montreal legal community at an April 14 briefing in New York on the development of the draft first Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration.
The briefing was delivered by Columbia Law School Professor George A. Bermann, who serves as Chief Reporter for the project. The briefing coincided with the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, also held in New York.
Begun in 2007, the ongoing ALI project will “restate” the U.S. law of international arbitration in the form of a comprehensive treatise and is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2017. The Restatement is expected to cover (among other topics):
- arbitration agreements;
- the conduct of international arbitral proceedings, including the very limited role that judges may play in some proceedings; arbitral awards;
- recourse from arbitral awards, as well as recognition and enforcement of such awards; the judicial role in international arbitral proceedings abroad;
- the preclusive effect of international arbitral awards; and
- arbitration under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States (“ICSID Convention”).
Although the forthcoming Restatement on international arbitration will focus on the law of the United States, international sources and authorities from other countries are cited in the Reporters’ Notes. Moreover, Restatements in other areas of the law (such as Contracts, Torts, Property, Conflict of Laws, and Foreign Relations) have been recognized as highly authoritative resources and have been relied on by judges and lawyers in other countries around the world. Similarly, the Restatement on international arbitration will be relied on and critiqued by constituencies outside the U.S., including foreign arbitrators, lawyers, and parties, as well as foreign courts and international arbitration institutions.
Prominent Canadians serving as Advisers and members of the Consultative Group for the project include Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund (McGill University Faculty of Law), Bruce Leonard (Miller Thomson, Toronto), and Professor Janet Walker (Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto).
Other countries represented among the members consulting on the project range from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, to Argentina, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, in addition to the United States and Canada. The next meeting of the Advisers and the Members’ Consultative Group is calendared for October 26, in Philadelphia.
Founded in 1923, the American Law Institute is the United States’ leading independent organization devoted exclusively to producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. ALI’s members include leading judges, legal academics and scholars, and practitioners from around the world. ALI members draft, discuss, revise, and publish Restatements of the Law that are enormously influential in the courts and in legislative bodies, as well as in legal scholarship and education. Restatements have been cited in more than 150,000 reported court decisions in the U.S. alone.