Welcome from the Conference Chairs
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the Third Annual Columbia Arbitration Day, to be held on Friday, March 23, 2012. The Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) is honored to welcome sixteen eminent practitioners and academics to Columbia Law School for a one-day conference on "Arbitrating with a Sovereign: Issues in Commercial and Investment Arbitration."
The conference will focus on arbitrations between private investors and sovereigns—either a State, or a State entity. It will engage speakers and attendees in a discussion on recurring and topical issues in commercial and investment arbitration. To mirror the differing and sometimes irreconcilable positions on these problemsin the arbitration community, each panel will be structured as a debate, where a moderator and three speakers from varied backgrounds will bring to bear diverging perspectives on the central topics.
The first Panel will address the issue of legitimacy (or lack thereof) in the investment arbitration system: Can arbitrators who are repeat players in a small community be truly independent and impartial? Does the current system protect the public interest by ensuring an adequate level of transparency and public participation? Are investment arbitration tribunals bound by previous arbitral decisions? Panel 2 will center on overlapping contract and treaty obligations. It will discuss the notions of umbrella clauses, lis pendens and res judicata, and seek to discover whether an investor is entitled to recovery based on both the treaty and the contract. Panel 3 will explore the controversial problem of enforcing an arbitral award against a defaulting sovereign, an issue that has become very topical in light of Argentina’s defaults. Finally, Panel 4 will explore the possibility of rebalancing the investment arbitration regime. It will attempt to assess the future of the current system in light of the transformation of capital-importing countries into capital-exporting countries and the official denunciation of ICSID and BITs by a number of current governments.
The conference will feature an evening reception, a lunch buffet and several coffee and snack breaks for conference delegates, allowinf the eminent panelists and other participants to engage in deeper discussions. Columbia Arbitration Day 2012 will be a unique opportunity for practitioners, scholars and students in the field to come together, share, and gain special insight into the cutting-edge issues of this practice.
We hope that you will embrace this opportunity to meet your peers and sharpen your edge for the most significant and fast-changing issues in our field. If you have not yet registered, please do so here.
We look forward to welcoming you in New York City on March 23!
Diogo Ciuffo Carneiro
Marcela Cursino de Moura Levy
Paula F. Henin