The Investor-State Dispute Settlement Provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Not the Death Knell Critics Are Looking For

Michael Pucci, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

A little over a year before handing over the keys to the White House to his successor, President Obama finds himself in a peculiar position: he may have to rely primarily on Republican support for one of his last major legislative initiatives. After years of negotiations, the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), a trade agreement that is a “capstone [to Obama’s] economic agenda to expand exports and of his foreign policy ‘rebalance’ toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia.”[1] Now Congress will have its say on that matter. Earlier this summer, the Senate approved fast-track authority for the TPP, ensuring that Congress will have an up-or-down vote free from a Senate filibuster or any amendments.[2]  Continue reading

Legal Uncertainty Remains in International Arbitration for Chinese-Foreign Disputes

Zhouyuan Diana Duan
Vol. 37 Executive Editor
Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Introduction

The question of whether a foreign arbitral institution can administer an arbitration seated in Mainland China has been discussed for many decades and still remains unresolved till this day. Until 2009, two leading cases established two different perspectives on this issue. In 2006, the Supreme People’s Court in Züblin International GmbH v. Wuxi Woke General Engineering Rubber Co., Ltd. (“Züblin”) ruled that the award rendered by an ICC tribunal seated in Shanghai was invalid.[1] In contrast, in Duferco S.A. v. Ningbo Arts & Crafts Import and Export Co., Ltd. (2009) (“Duferco”), the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court of Zhejiang Province upheld an award rendered by an ICC tribunal seated in Beijing.[2] Continue reading

South China or West Philippine Sea? United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and International Arbitration

Sam Fitzpatrick, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

On January 23, 2013, the Republic of the Philippines initiated binding arbitration in the Permanent Court of Arbitration after exhausting diplomatic and political remedies to resolve its dispute with China over the South China Sea.[1]  The Philippine’s memorial requested that the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in accordance with Annex VII of UNCLOS as administered by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), arbitrate a dispute of maritime rights between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China.[2]  Specifically, the Philippines requested that the court determine the boundary between China’s historic “nine dash” claim to exclusive control over the islands and water in the South China Sea and the 200 mile exclusive economic zone off the coast of the Philippines.[3]  The overlap between these maritime claims has caused considerable and increasing diplomatic tension and confrontations between Philippine and Chinese naval vessels and fishermen over the past 20 years.[4] Continue reading