23 Sep 2016

LES VENDREDIS VARIÉS – American Law Institute: Restatement on international arbitration

Tajer, student
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.

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