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In 2012, ICCA launched a series of workshops for judges on the New York Convention known as the “New York Convention Roadshow”. This initiative recognizes the dependence of international arbitration practice on the critical role of national court judges in applying the New York Convention. With 157 contracting States and more than 2000 court decisions interpreting and applying the Convention published in ICCA's Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, the New York Convention is rightly considered to be the legal cornerstone of international commercial arbitration.

ICCA's workshops are led by the ICCA Judicial Committee and organised with the assistance of Young ICCA. Each event is tailored to take account of national and regional legal practice, taking note of the specific challenges national judges face in resolving requests by parties to apply the Convention.

Officially launched in Mauritius in May 2012, the workshops make extensive use of ICCA’s “Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention” (now available in multiple languages, complimentary copies of which are provided to participating judges) and of the New York Convention website (an initiative of Professor Albert Jan van den Berg and Marike Paulsson to accompany classes at the University of Miami).

Past Judicial Workshops 2016

Dubai New York Convention Roadshow, 6 November 2016

On 6 November 2016, Prof. Dr. Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab held two meeting sessions with judges from the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts regarding the role of the judiciary in enforcing arbitral awards under the New York Convention.
The day started with a meeting at the DIFC Courts with H.E. Chief Justice Michael Hwang and two Emirati judges (H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi). Subsequently, a second meeting was held at the Dubai Courts premises with the participation of H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi from the DIFC Courts and senior justices from the Dubai Courts, including H.E. Taresh Eid Al Mansouri (Director of the Dubai Courts), H.E. Mohammed Al Sabousi (Chief Judge, Commercial Court) and other senior judges from the Dubai Courts.
H.E. Chief Justice Hwang made some introductory remarks on ICCA and its initiatives before he left the Dubai Court meeting that was wholly conducted in Arabic. In total, 6 senior judges participated and a productive discussion followed with Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab regarding the role of the judiciary in arbitration, the interaction between the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts, the ICCA's Guide on the New York Convention (its purpose, content, aim, etc.) and some of the issues regarding enforcement of arbitral awards in the UAE and recognition and enforcement under the NYC. There was much interest and the dialogue brought about some interesting ideas, amongst which were: the need for ICCA to consider an initiative for training of GCC judges (from all over the gulf), and the judges suggested a cooperation between ICCA and the UN or the WBG to fund this initiative. Dubai Courts judges also showed interest in the ICCA Guide and advised that they are starting the publication of all judgments rendered by the Dubai Courts. At the heart of the discussion was the long-awaited UAE Arbitration law, the indispensable role of the judiciary in supporting arbitration and in inducing confidence in the friendly role of courts in the prudent and restrained review of awards.

Towards the end of the meeting, it was agreed that another training session with Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab is needed with wider participation from all Dubai Courts' judges. Thereafter, Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab returned to the DIFC Courts for a quick tour of the DIFC Courts before concluding the day.

Sao Paulo New York Convention Roadshow

On the 18th of October 2016, members of ICCA's Judiciary Committee Adriana Braghetta and Marike Paulsson spoke with representatives of Brazil's judiciary, the judges-in-training of the Magistrates School in Sao Paulo, Brazil alongside Claudio Finkelstein of PUC, Antonio Carlos Villen director of the Magistrates School, and judge João Negrini Filho. The dialogue was a reflection of the international and national outreach of ICCA's New York Convention Roadshows; Marike Paulsson addressed the global impact of the 1958 New York Convention and the role of the courts envisaged by members of the international arbitration community and Adriana Braghetta focused on the role of the courts in Brazil and whether their role is related to enforcement of domestic or foreign awards or the setting aside of awards.
Marike Paulsson focused on the vital role played by courts around the globe for a successful outcome of the New York Convention and for international arbitration to be an effective means of dispute resolution in international trade. She highlighted recent cases that made headlines worldwide such as the Tapis case, Sekolec and the PEMEX case that resulted in the enforcement of annulled award in the United States. She emphasized that the role of the courts is not to grade papers but to preserve the fundamental right to access to justice and the protection of international comity.
She commended the Brazilian judiciary and Brazil as a jurisdiction for having an exemplary attitude toward international arbitration and the enforcement of awards and for having a regime on enforcement for domestic awards that is even more favorable than the regime for enforcement of foreign awards.
Adriana Braghetta explained that Brazil does so well as a jurisdiction and arbitral seat because it is relatively young and can build an arbitration climate without the vices that burden many other jurisdictions:

"We had a very positive judicial dialogue with judges from the Sao Paulo Court of Appeals. The initiative demonstrates a great deal interest from the judiciary as a whole in relation to arbitration matters. We could discuss setting aside proceedings, pre arbitral injunctions and the competence-competence principle, among other issues," explained Adriana Braghetta. She also talked about the arbitral letter, which will be one of the most relevant tools for international arbitration in the future and will be discussed at future dialogues in Brazil.
Judge Negrini Filho emphasized how important it is for judges to have these types of events and conversations and how it will be necessary for the Brazilian judiciary to have another judicial dialogue once the first case applying the arbitral letter has surfaced.
Both Marike Paulsson and Adriana Braghetta introduced the Virtual Forum of ICCA, a forum that will enable the judges in the audience and judges in training to communicate with judges around the world about the application of the New York Convention, the role of the courts and how courts are to apply treaties.

Serbian translation of NYC Guide presented to Serbian Judiciary

On 12 October 2016, Managing Editor of ICCA Publications Silvia Borelli delivered a talk on the system and key-points of the New York Convention at the yearly meeting of the Serbian Judiciary in Vrnjačka Banja, in southern Serbia. In her talk, Ms Borelli underlined the role of ICCA in promoting the harmonious application of the Convention through its publications and its Judicial Forum, and presented the newly published Serbian translation of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the New York Convention – A Handbook for Judges to the Serbian Judiciary . About forty Serbian judges attended the event. 

Washington, DC new york convention roadshow

On 19 August 2016, ICCA collaborated on a New York Convention-themed event with the NAFTA 2022 Committee. The collaboration was at the initiative of Carolyn Lamm, member of both ICCA’s Judiciary Committee and the NAFTA 2022 Committee.  As part of the NAFTA 2022 Committee’s Washington program, ICCA organized sessions about judicial application of the New York Convention, treaty interpretation and compliance by national courts, the Pemex decision recently rendered by the 2nd Circuit and how to properly conduct judicial trainings.

The organizing committee consisted of Carolyn Lamm (ICCA/NAFTA) Michael Coffee (US Co-chair NAFTA 2022 Committee) and Marike Paulsson (ICCA Judiciary Committee and University of Miami School of Law’s International Arbitration Institute ), who spoke during the sessions, and were joined by Erica Stein of Dechert LLP. The event was attended by the co-chairs and members of the NAFTA 2022 Committee, Judge (ret) Ted B. Borek, Georgetown’s adjunct professor Mark Kantor and representatives of ICCA including Francisco Gonzalez de Cossio (member of the 2022 NAFTA Committee and ICCA’s NYC Latin America Committee).

Like ICCA, the NAFTA 2022 Committee aims to promote judicial training. With recent decisions such as Comissa v PEMEX by the US 2ndCircuit (enforcing an award that had been annulled in Mexico), a dialogue amongst Mexican and American arbitration and international law specialists is important to revisit both the notion of international comity and also the role of the courts as envisaged by the drafters of the New York Convention.

The Dialogue in Washington

Part I of the program focused on ICCA’s work on promoting a harmonized attitude towards the worldwide application of the 1958 New York Convention. Marike Paulsson engaged with the representatives of Canada, Mexico and the US about successful formats for judicial training and how to persuade judges to rely on proper methods of treaty interpretation. In discussing proper treaty interpretation and treaty compliance, Paulsson shared with the audience the Paulsson Snail Diagram, a simple visual aid breaking down the treaty sources of interpretation provided for in Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The session also addressed the question of how judges can ensure that their governments comply with their obligations under the New York Convention: by construing treaty provisions on the basis of an assumption that Congress aims to comply with obligations under international law -- a doctrine developed by justice Marshall in a 1804 decision by the US Supreme Court in Murray v Schooner. This theory was dubbed by Paulsson, the Charming Betsy Alignment.

The audience agreed that more judicial training was necessary to persuade judges of their essential role in contributing to treaty compliance and a successful and harmonized application of the New York Convention.
Part III of the program highlighted two core Articles of the New York Convention: Article II (the recognition of the arbitration agreement), and Article V (the grounds for refusal of the enforcement of awards). The first was discussed by Erica Stein and the latter by Marike Paulsson.

In addition to future judicial dialogues in Mexico, Canada and the US as a joint endeavor of ICCA’s Judiciary Committee and the NAFTA 2022 Committee, the group agreed that perhaps resolutions should be designed suggesting ways in which US landmark cases could be relevant in the international realm.

ICCA will follow up with another judicial dialogue in Washington DC in the spring, with members of the judiciary hoping that it will not only spearhead discussions about the US approach to the New York Convention but also the use of ICCA’s Virtual Forum as an endeavor to connect judges worldwide: an essential step towards harmonization of the New York Convention worldwide.


Cairo New York Convention Roadshow

By Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Director of CRCICA

On 21 May 2016, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) hosted a Cairo New York Convention (NYC) Roadshow in cooperation with ICCA and the National Centre for Judicial Studies. The event took place at the CRCICA Conference Centre in Cairo, Egypt.

The event was attended by 56 Egyptian judges from the Egyptian Court of Cassation, the Cairo Court of Appeal, the Southern Cairo First Instance Court, the Giza First Instance Court and the Cairo Economic Court, in addition to public prosecutors at the Court of Cassation.

Discussions were led by the seven experts: Prof. Dr. Ahmed S. El Kosheri (Founding Partner, Kosheri, Rashed and Riad, Cairo-Egypt and Advisory Member of ICCA); Prof. Dr. Borham Attallah (Civil Law Professor, Faculty of Law, Alexandria University); Judge Dominique Hascher (French Cour de Cassation and ICCA Governing Board member); Judge Bohan Amrallah (former President of the Cairo Court of Appeal); Judge Nabil Omran (Vice-President of the Court of Cassation); and Judge Ismail Al-Ziady (Cairo Court of Appeal), in addition to CRCICA Director and ICCA Governing Board member, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf.

The program of the one day event commenced with three lectures covering the following topics: 1) An overview of the NYC, its objectives, means of interpretation and salient comparative judicial application; 2) the importance of the NYC as a means of assuring legal security; and 3) the role of the national judge in the international arbitration process from the perspectives of both practitioners and judges.    

The lectures were followed by panel-led discussions covering: 1) Article I to IV of the NYC relating to its scope of application, the arbitration agreement, the enforcement procedures and the requirements to be satisfied by the parties seeking to recognize/enforce foreign arbitral awards; 2) Article V of the NYC relating to the grounds for refusing the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards; 3) Article VII of the NYC with special emphasis on the relationship between the NYC and the Riyadh Convention of 1983 covering inter alia the enforcement of Arab arbitral awards in Arab states; and 4) the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards set aside at the seat of arbitration.

The texts of the NYC, the Egyptian Arbitration Act, the relevant provisions of the Egyptian law on civil procedure, as well as the Arabic version of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention were made available to participants, in addition to five relevant judgments rendered by the Egyptian Court of Cassation and the Cairo Court of Appeal and three doctrinal articles regarding the application of the NYC.

Participants agreed that the Roadshow was a great success, and it generated interesting discussions on topics such as the discretion of national judges in enforcing arbitral awards while one or more of the causes of refusing enforcement exist; the importance of having a harmonized application of the provisions of the NYC in accordance with the standards and principles of interpretation of international law; the public policy defence under the NYC; and an analysis of the position of the French courts regarding the enforcement of arbitral awards that have been set aside at the seat.  Participants also showed interest in ICCA’s Virtual Forum for Judges, and expressed an interest to learn more about international arbitration in general and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in particular.

CRCICA expresses its thanks to Judge Nabil Omran for his tremendous efforts in successfully conducting the Cairo NYC Roadshow. CRCICA also acknowledges the valued cooperation of Judge Borhan Amrallah and Judge Omar Hafiz, as well as the latter’s colleagues at the National Centre for Judicial Studies.  


Costa Rica New York Convention Roadshow

The ICCA Judicial Dialogue was held at the Supreme Court of Costa Rica, San Jose on the 17th of February. The event was preceded by the ICC Costa Rica conference and followed by a special event at the University of Costa Rica. The Dialogue was co-organized with the International Arbitration Institute at Miami Law.

The Dialogue was conducted by Dyala Jimenez, Christina Diaz, Mag. Luis Guillermo Rivas, Roy Herrera from Costa Rica and Francisco Gonzalez de Cossio, Julieta Piedro Ovalle, Jan and Marike Paulsson.

With almost a hundred in attendance, the Dialogue was lively, passionate with interesting remarks from the members of the judiciary. Costa Rica has proven to be an arbitration friendly jurisdiction not in the least because the Supreme Court has a specialized Chamber dealing with arbitration matters. The Dialogue was not one of judges only but of judges and members of the arbitration community. Gratitude wad expressed for enabling that platform where lawyers can interact with the judiciary and works towards a uniform application of the Convention. The Dialogue was conducted in Spanish with Francisco Gonzalez de Cossio addressing the most complex issues in a very practical manner. It remains remarkable that national judges have many questions about the application of the New York Convention in the national space and it demonstrate the need for these judicial dialogues.

Copies of the ICCA NYC Guide were distributed and Marike Paulsson gave a presentation about the Judicial Virtual Forum. ICCA hopes that not only the guide but also the Forum will enable judges to continue to question the proper application of the Convention by engaging in discussions with their colleagues abroad. At the occasion of the Costa Rica Dialogue, the idea was born to establish a task force -- as part of ICCA's endeavors to promote uniform application of the New York Convention -- that will focus on Latin America. The members of this Task Force are Francisco Gonzalez de Cossio, Dyala Jimenez, Katherine Gonzalez Arrocha, Albert Jan van den Berg and Marike Paulsson. A first meeting will be held in June in Miami.