International Arbitration Court Current Affairs - 2020

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Draft Rules for International Arbitration Centre issued by GoI

On February 12, 2020, Government of India issued draft rules to set up International Arbitration Centre. In order achieve institutionalized arbitration, GoI has enacted the New Delhi International Arbitration act, 2019.

Highlights

The draft rules for the arbitration centre prescribe allowances, pay of the full-time members and the chairperson. The rules have also set minimum educational qualification and method of selection of employees and officers of the centre.

Background

The Arbitration and Conciliation act, 1996 was amended to make the arbitration process simpler. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019 was enacted to make Delhi an international arbitration centre.

What is International Arbitration Centre?

The International Arbitration Centre is a dispute settling body that settles arbitration between individuals and companies.

The world famous arbitration centres include

  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes funded by World Bank
  • International Court of Arbitration, Paris

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law provides set of rules for international commercial arbitration along with other investment related rules.

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International arbitration court imposes $5 billion penalty Pakistan

International Arbitration Court has imposed over $5 billion penalty on Pakistan for unlawful denial of a mining lease to a company called Tethyan Copper Company for Reko Diq project in 2011. This penalty on cash-strapped Pakistan is one of the biggest in its history.

About Tethyan Copper Company v/s Pakistan Case

In 2012 Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had filed claims for international arbitration before World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) after Balochistan government rejected a leasing request from company in 2011.

Damage Claims: TTC a joint venture between Chilean mining company Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation had claimed 11.43 billion dollars in damages.

Case between Pakistan government and company continued for 7 years.

Arguments by TCC: During August 2010 TCC undertook an extensive and detailed bankable feasibility study that established basis for mine development at Reko Diq and submitted a mining lease application in February 2011, along with an environmental and social impact assessment (SIA) report. Then in November 2011, after Balochistan government summarily rejected application by local operating subsidiary of TCC for mining lease in respect of Reko Diq, the project was stopped.

Way Ahead: Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan has issued orders for formation of commission to investigate and fix responsibility for massive loss borne by country in Reko Diq Mining case.

About Reko Diq

In Balochi language Reko Diq means sandy peak. It is a small town in Chagai district in Balochistan that lies close to the border with Iran and Afghanistan.

Reko Diq mine is famous for its vast gold and copper (Cu) reserves. It is believed to have the world’s 5th largest gold deposit.

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

It is an international arbitration institution established in 1966.

It arbitrates for legal dispute resolution and conciliation between international investors.

Parent organization: World Bank Group.

Background: ICSID was established in 1966 by Convention on Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention). It is Headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States.

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