the Second annual NLSIR Symposium - Towards Unification: Perspectives on Investment and Commercial A (NLSIR Symposium)

Venue: NLSIU, Bangalore

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Event Date/Time: Apr 18, 2009 End Date/Time: Apr 19, 2009
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There is little doubt that today arbitration is among the preeminent systems of dispute resolution. This claim extends well beyond the frontiers of a nation, and is a crucial variable in an investor’s assessment of the investment climate of the country in question.

In this context, this Symposium asks one specific, and one broad question. The first considers the most controversial issue in investment arbitration, and the arguments for and against a wide interpretation of an MFN clause, and its implications for exporting countries. The second question more directly addresses the Indian arbitration world – how has the Supreme Court fared in resolving the two most crucial thematic questions in Indian Arbitration Law? Has its view of the scope of arbitrability and the role party autonomy plays in the scheme of arbitration correctly understood the significance of these concepts in arbitration law? More importantly, what does its view of the scope of its power to interfere with arbitration proceedings in various forms entail for India’s rapidly receding aspirations to join some of its Asian counterparts in the club of ‘international arbitration hubs’? In a sense, the first question dovetails into the second, since the argument employed in both cases is that the level of economic development of a country should influence the degree of its adherence to international arbitration concepts. That lays the foundation for the final aspect of this Symposium – assessing the contribution of Indian Courts to the unification movement. Have Courts remained true to the General Assembly’s recommendation to uphold the ‘uniformity of the law of arbitral procedure’? Should they?

The first session discusses the scope of arbitration law and arbitrability in the Indian context, focussing, both, on critically analysing the current legal regime in India and on avenues for future reform. The second session discusses the dialectic between the Indian Judiciary and arbitration statues in India, while examining the impact and nature of court intervention. Session 3 discusses investment arbitration and MFN clauses and our final session seeks to examine broader trends in like the Unification Movement in international arbitration today.

Session 1: Domestic Arbitration – The Scope of Arbitrability and Applicable Law

Session 2: The Expansive Role of the Indian Judiciary and its Implications

Session 3: Investment Arbitration and MFN

Session 4 – The Unification Movement


National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore, India