The 7th Geneva Global Arbitration Forum

Wednesday & Thursday December 2 and 3, 1998

Settling Disputes on a Shrinking Planet

Wednesday December 2, 1998

First session: Reconsidering a key tenet of international commercial arbitration: is finality of awards what parties really need? Has the time of an international appellate arbitral body arrived?

13:00 Registration

14:00 The case for reconsidering – or, from utopia to new realism

Jacques Werner, Werner & Associés, Geneva
Conference Chairman

15:00 Finality of awards: Is this what parties really need? Is it an obstacle to the propagation of arbitration to new fields?

Comments by
Marcus C. Boeglin, Lalive & Partners, Geneva
Formerly Managing Director at Sbc Warburg, New York

Philippe Boivin
Directeur à la Direction juridique, Alcatel, Paris
Alternate member of the Icc International Court of Arbitration

Jakob S. Smid, Maritime and commodities arbitrator, Geneva
Member of the Gafta and FosFa Appeals Boards

16:00 Has the time of an international arbitral appellate body arrived? What has been the experience of the existing appellate bodies? Could an appellate body be linked with a court for international arbitral awards having exclusive annulment jurisdiction?

Panel discussion including
Geoffrey M. Beresford Hartwell, Engineer and arbitrator, London
Past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Antonias Dimolitsa, A. Dimolitsa & Associates, Athens
Member of the Icc International Court of Arbitration

André FaurÈs, Coppens Van Ommeslaghe and Faurès, Brussels
Heinz Hintermann, Senior Counsel, Gargill, Geneva

Howard Holtzmann, Honorary Chairman, American Arbitration Association, New York – Former Judge, Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal

Laurent Lévy, Brunschwig Witmer, Geneva

The Rt. Hon. The Losd Mustill, Privy Councillor, Essex Court Chambers, London

Mauro Rubino-Sammartano, Rubino Borghesi De Tilla & Valensise, Milan
President of the European Court of Arbitration

18:00 Cocktail reception

Thursday December 3, 1998

Second session: The WTO Dispute Settlement System

08:00 Registration

09:00 The WTO Appellate Body: The first four years

Comments by
Edwin Vermulst, Vermulst & Waer, Brussels

Followed by a panel discussion with
Jacques H.J. Bourgeois, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Llp, Brussels
Professor, College of Europe, Brugge

Robert Howse, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toronto

Petros Mavroidis, Professor of Law, University of Neuchâtel

Jawashree Watal, Former Director, Trade Policy Division, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, New Dehli

10:30 Break

11:00 The review of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Understanding: Which way?

Comments by
William J. Davey, Director, Legal Affairs Division, Wto

Followed by a panel discussion including
Thomas Cottier, Professor of Law, University of Bern
Of counsel, Baker & McKenzie, Geneva
Heather G. Forton, Permanent Mission of Canada, Geneva
WTO Panelist

David Palmeter, Powell Godlstein Frazer & Murphy Llp, Washington, D.C.

Yukyun Shin, Deputy Director General, International Cooperation Bureau, Korea Custom Service, Seoul

Brigitte Stern, Professor of Law at Paris I

13:00 Lunch

Third session: Globalization, investment conventions, and arbitral justice

The present economic crisis in Asia and its threat to the world economy are calling the much-heralded advantages of globalization into question; in this growing debate, the multilateral investment conventions, and especially the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (Mai) presently being negotiated within the Oecd, are fingerprinted in various quarters as the vehicle which multinational corporations would use to encroach on governments' sovereignty.

One essential element of these multilateral investment conventions, be they Nafta, the Energy Charter Treaty, or the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, is their settlement dispute system where the host countries are obliged to accept the exclusive jurisdiction of international arbitral tribunals for their disputes with foreign investors. Different from their role in traditional commercial arbitration, the arbitrator's role in these investor-to-State disputes is a perilous one since, as a private person, they will have to render decisions which might disavow the policies carried out by elected officials in the host country.

14:30 The position of the international arbitrator in Chapter Eleven NAFTA proceedings: Perils and glories

J-C. Thomas, Thomas and Davies, Vancouver

The MAI dispute settlement system for investment disputes: the French position

Brigitte Stern, Professor at University of Paris I

15:30 Arbitrators in investment disputes: True international judges or enforcers of multinational investor's interests?

Panel discussion including
Michel A. Calvo, Calvo & Calvo-Goller, Jerusalem and Paris
Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration

Nagla Nassar, Zaki Hashem & Partners, Cairo

Hans K. Van Houtte
Professor of Law, Leuven University
Member of the Commission on Real Property Claims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brussels

Guiguo Wang, Director, Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law, City University of Hong Kong

The conference will end at 17:00

Conference chairman: Jacques Werner