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international arbitration

What is International Arbitration?

International arbitration is an area of increasing concern for legal practice, business strategy, and government policy.

In an international arbitration, a neutral third party serves as a judge who is responsible for resolving a dispute. The arbitrator listens as each side argues its case and presents relevant evidence, then renders a binding decision.

The disputants can negotiate virtually any aspect of the arbitration process, including whether lawyers will be present at the time and which standards of evidence will be used. But international arbitration has led to some interesting intersections of disciplines.

The rapid growth in investment treaties, for instance, has led to a burgeoning number of international arbitration decisions that have applied and interpreted treaty provisions in disputes between investors and states concerning their respective rights. 

One example comes from a conflict between Eureko, a Dutch insurance company, and the Polish government. After Poland announced plans to privatize the nation’s leading insurance group, PZU, Eureko acquired 30% of PZU’s shares for the equivalent of about $700 million with the goal of eventually gaining a controlling stake in the company. But the Polish government stalled on its promise to privatize PZU, and Eureko sued. 

In a negotiated settlement, the Polish government promised to sell another 21% of PZU shares to Eureko, but movement stalled again. 

Eureko eventually filed an international arbitration case against Poland, seeking reimbursement of its initial purchase payment plus damages. 

New management at Eureko, however, determined the Polish government would not pay the damages it was likely to be fined—and the decision would be unenforceable. Eureko’s upper management abandoned the arbitration and opened up negotiations with Poland. The two parties ultimately reached a deal.

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Check Out the International Investor-State Arbitration Video Course

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: What is it? How Does it Work? This two-hour video course is intended to teach students, legal practitioners, business executives, and government officials the essentials of international investor-state arbitration, an area of increasing concern for legal practice, business strategy, and government policy. In the video Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: … Read More 

Negotiate International Energy Contracts with ENCO

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ENCO: Negotiating International Contracts in the Face of Political Instability Negotiating international contracts can be tricky, and unstable, especially when governments are parties in the negotiation. ENCO is a Texas-based power company that has begun to move aggressively into emerging markets. The Indian government has approached ENCO to build an electrical generating plant to increase the power … Read More 

Announcing the 2017-2018 PON Graduate Research Fellows

Posted by & filed under Daily, Graduate Research Fellowships, PON Graduate Research Fellowships, Students.

The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with PON’s goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation … Read More 

Announcing the 2016-2017 PON Graduate Research Fellows

Posted by & filed under Daily, Graduate Research Fellowships, PON Graduate Research Fellowships, Students.

    The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with PON’s goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation … Read More 

Grant Strother (HLS 2012) Wins Conflict Prevention and Resolution Award for Best Original Student Article

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Recent Harvard Law School Graduate Grant Strother ’12 was selected to receive The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Outstanding Original Student Article Award for his paper, “Resolving Cultural Property Disputes in the Shadow of the Law.” This award recognizes a student article or paper that is focused on events or issues in … Read More