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ICCA past and current presidents visit Beijing

 By Jane Willems

In May 2019, ICCA President Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, past President Donald Donovan and past President Albert Jan van den Berg visited Beijing.

On 17 May 2019, ICCA and the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) hosted a Joint Conference on the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) System: Uniformity and Diversity”. Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler presented on the UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS and its contribution to addressing concerns and developing reform options. The other speakers also focused on current procedural and substantive issues in the current ISDS debate: Prof. van den Berg gave his views on the debated appellate mechanism for ISDS Awards, while Mr. Donovan examined the balancing between the protection of investor and the integrity of the state. BAC Deputy Secretary General Chen Fuyong offered the perspective of an international arbitration center to investor-state arbitration, and introduced the new BAC draft rules on international investment disputes.

On 20 May 2019, ICCA and CIETAC held a Joint Conference on Practical aspects of Investment Arbitration in Beijing, which was broadcast live.  ICCA President Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Jiang Chenghua (Deputy Director of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC), and Wang Chengjie (Vice Chair and Secretary general of CIETAC) gave the welcome address to the audience. The first panel of speakers comprised Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler, Prof. van den Berg, Prof. Shan Wenhua of Xian Jiaotong University, Global Law Office’s Ren Qing, and addressed practical issues relating to costs in investment arbitration. The second panel of speakers comprised Mr. Donovan, Zhang Yuejiao (former WTO judge appellate body), Zhonglun’s Sun Huawei and Prof Shi Jingxia (University of International Business and Economics), and addressed questions on valuation of damages in investment arbitration. Mr. Donovan also presented an update on the ongoing work of the ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages in International Arbitration. 

At the luncheon seminar which took place on 19 May 2019 at Tsinghua University School of Law, the ICCA-Tsinghua University Working Group on Chinese Arbitration Practice released their Compendium of Chinese Commercial Arbitration Laws, the first complete and bilingual collection of statutes and Supreme People’s Court of China’s judicial interpretations and opinions on commercial arbitration. The Compendium is the fifth volume in the ICCA Reports Series. To download the Compendium, click here.

Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler and Mr. Donovan gave lectures on advanced topics in investment arbitration at the International Arbitration and Dispute Settlement LLM Program (IADS) offered by the Tsinghua University School of Law. They were joined by Prof. van den Berg who lectured on the New York Convention.

Students from Law Schools of the Mainland and Taiwan were fortunate enough to also have the “three presidents” join the panel of 36 arbitrators for the Third Tsinghua Cup on International Arbitration, which took place on 18 and 19 May 2019. Prof. Kaufmann-Kohler, Teresa Cheng (Hong Kong SAR Secretary for Justice) and Li Yongjie (Vice Director of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC) presided the final round of the Tsinghua Cup on 19 May 2019.