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International Arbitration Update - November 2011

Welcome to the latest edition of our International Arbitration update 2011.


In this edition of the update, we continue our analysis of the recent decisions handed down in a number of high-profile matters, namely the:

  • Australian High Court's ruling in the Gordian Runoff case
  • UK Supreme Court's overturning of the Court of Appeal's decision in Juvraj v Hashwani, thereby upholding the arbitration principle of party autonomy
  • Victorian Court of Appeal's overturning of the Supreme Court's decision in Altain Khuder LLC v IMC Aviation Solutions, setting aside the earlier orders for enforcement of the Mongolian arbitral award.

There have also been several interesting cases before the Hong Kong courts this year, including the Gao Haiyan v Keeneye Holdings Limited matter, which looked at the enforceability of an arbitral award in circumstances where the impartiality of an arbitrator was called into question. It was one of the first matters that adopted the practice of 'med-arb', where an arbitrator presided over a mediation while the arbitration was in progress. We also report on the final judgement of the Congo case, relating to the application of state immunity in Hong Kong. The issue of procedural fairness in the enforcement of an ICC arbitral award, is also examined in reference to the Pacific China Holdings Ltd v Grand Pacific Holdings Ltd case.

In this update, we take a closer look at the first bilateral investment treaty claim lodged against Australia by tobacco company, Philip Morris, following the proposed introduction of the plain cigarette packaging legislation. We analyse the broad implications of the case, including the issue of jurisdictional authority and the ability of the tribunal to award damages and injunctive relief. 

We continue to introduce you to our key team members via this update; on this occasion profiling three practitioners based in our Sydney office.

As always, we hope you find this update informative.  Please contact us if you have any comments or feedback about our publications.

Best wishes,