News In Brief – Winter 2013

Philippines takes South China Sea dispute with China to arbitration
On 22 January 2013, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario made a statement announcing that the Philippines had instituted arbitral proceedings against China under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) in relation to the South China Sea. The Philippines’ Notification and Statement of Claim may be found here.

International Criminal Court opens investigation into war crimes in Mali
On 16 January 2013, the Office of the Prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Mali since January 2012. The Government of Mali had referred the situation in Mali to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) on 13 July 2012. This referral by the Government of Mali is the fourth self-referral to the ICC, following in the footsteps of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

Montenegro faces first ICSID claim
On 6 December 2012, the Secretary-General of ICSID registered a request for arbitration brought by MNSS B.V. and an affiliate, Recupero Credito Acciaio N.V., under the Netherlands-Montenegro Bilateral Investment Treaty. The case, which concerns steel production, will be heard under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules. Montenegro has signed, but not yet ratified, the ICSID Convention.

Former member of International Court of Justice appointed to Iran-United States Claims Tribunal
On 5 November 2012, Professor Bruno Simma, a former Judge of the International Court of Justice (2003-2012), was appointed as a member of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. Professor Simma’s appointment took effect from 1 December 2012.

Australia nominates Professor James Crawford to the International Court of Justice
On 30 October 2012, the Australian Government announced its support for the candidature of Professor Crawford for election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice. Professor Crawford’s nomination will be for elections due to take place in 2014. The press release is available here.

São Tomé and Príncipe accedes to the New York Convention
On 20 November 2012, São Tomé and Príncipe became the 148th State to accede to the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”). The New York Convention entered into force for São Tomé and Príncipe on 18 February 2013.

Firm News

On 8 February 2013, Volterra Fietta was once again named as one of the 100 leading international arbitration practices in Global Arbitration Review’s GAR100 2013.

On 28 January 2013, Robert Volterra spoke at New York University’s Investment Law Forum on a panel of the world’s leading arbitrators and arbitration practitioners. Robert discussed the application of investment arbitration doctrine from several seminal cases to the ongoing Chevron v. Ecuador IIUNCITRAL dispute.

On 30 November 2012, Robert Volterra was named in the Global Arbitration Review’s International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration 2013.

On 23 November 2012, Stephen Fietta spoke regarding “The resolution of maritime boundary disputes under Part XV of UNCLOS – have Annex VII arbitration and ITLOS worked in practice?” at the “UNCLOS at 30” conference organised by the British Institute for International & Comparative Law, held at the Law Society of Northern Ireland in Belfast.

On 19 October 2012, Robert Volterra chaired a seminar entitled “The Global Crisis and International Economic Law: Bridging the Gap between World Economic and Legal Integration” at the British Institute for International & Comparative Law in London.

On 11 October 2012, Stephen Fietta delivered a presentation regarding the South China Sea at a Roundtable discussion held with industry and government representatives at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London.

On 4 October 2012, Robert Volterra spoke regarding “The Judgment in the Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary Between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar) Case” at the 7th International Hydrographic Office’s Advisory Board on the Law of the Sea (ABLOS) Conference 2012 in Monaco.