ISSN  1286-4528
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                  &nbsbsp;      *                       *
                      *       EUROPEAN        *
                      *      ARBITRATION      *
                      *                       *
                      *       issue  37.      *
                      *                       *

                                                          March 19th, 1999.

ISSN 1286-4528                                   Publisher Michael Chapman.

1. Talking Point.
2. Diary of Events.
3. Directory.
4. News items.


                    Arbitratp;  Arbitration rediscovered?

 "Several themes strike me about developments in dispute resolution over the past several months. One is the rediscovery of arbitration as a major form of dispute resolution. It had begun to look as if arbitration was losing its place in the dispute resolution continuum, but ... "
                                         James Boskey in the opening
                                         Editorial in this month's
                                         'The Alternative Newsletter'




 All contributions to this DIARY are welcome. It is both for the individual arbitrator and for those who plan meetings.''
 Generally, listed meetings will be at least half-day and usually full day events. Evening meetings are likely to be only of local interest.
 The emphasis is European: However to help in scheduling, major world events are listed.

                PLEASE see important note below,
                 befornbsp;  before using any of this info.


Mar. 18-20   Familien-Mediation im europäischen Vergleich. Freiburg.

March 19     Second Joint AAA/LCIA Conference ('Consent in Arbitration:
             Reality or Illusion?') London. Contact: LCIA.

March 23rd   LCIA Pan-African Council. 'Arbitration and Globalisation'.

Apl. 21-22   The 6th International Commercial Arbitration Conference.
             Nile Hilton, Cairo.

May 7-9      LCIA European Council Symposium.

May 8-10     International Conference on International Commercial
             Arbitration. Sydney, Australia.
             Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia.

May 11-16   May 11-16    Hague Appeal for Peace.
             includes session on International Public Arbitration
             and the Permanent Court of Arbitration's role.

May 14th     ARIAS Annual General Meeting, London. fax 0171 617 4440

May 17       Conference of the [state] members of the Permanent
             Court of Arbitration, The Hague.

May 17-18    WIPO Workshops for Mediators in Intellectual Property
May 20-21    Disputes. Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York.

May 18-19    THIRD HAGUE (Governmental) CONFERENCE, celebrating the
             Centenary of the First Conference.

June 4-6     Mediation - von anderen Beratungsformen Iernen. Berlin

June 14-16   ADA M 14-16   ADA Mediation Online Conference. Online.

June         Celebration of the 1899 First Hague Conference, to be
             held in St. Petersburg.

July         Conflicts and Religion in the Middle East. Amman.
("1st week")

Sept. 14-16  WIPO International Conference on Electronic Commerce and
             Intellectual Property. WIPO, Geneva.

Sept. 24-26  LCIA European Council Symposium. Barcelona/
26/9 - 1/10  IBA Conference, Barcelona.

Oct. 21-22   WIPO Workshop for Arbitrators. WIPO, Geneva.

Nov. 17-18   CIArb, Millennium Conference. QEII Conference Centre, London.

Dec. 1-2     8th Geneva Global Arbitration Forum.

Dec. 4-5     LCIA Pan African Council Conference. Cairo.


Feb. 17      LCIA Young International Arbitration Groernational Arbitration Group. Hong Kong.
Feb. 19      LCIA Asia-Pacific Council Symposium. Hong Kong.

July 7-9     A.B.A. Annual Meeting, New York. (see also July 18-20).
July 14-16   ABA, Dispute Resolution Section, meeting, London.
             See ABA-DRS below for contact details.
July 18-20   A.B.A. Annual Meeting (continued, see also July 7-9), London.

Please CONFIRM all details directly with organisers, the above material is drawn from various sources and should not be relied on by itself(!).


The Directory now only records recent entrants, organisations referred to in the Diary, a few 'information' sites, etc.
A fuller listing will be found at
Every effort is being made to keep that directory both as complete as possible and as up-to-date as possible. Readers' assistance is welcomed!

bibliographic/information sources:

The Alternative Newsletter
    or   mabsp;  or

Serge Braudo
         La Conciliation, la Mediation et l'arbitrage:

European Arbitration:

Kluwer Law International ‘Arbitration Site’

Prof.Dr. Marianne Roth (Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, D-Kiel)
         International Commercial Arbitration


The Dr A Kheir Law & Arbitration Center, Cairo

Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada

Cybertribunal (Centre de recherche en droit public, Montreal)

Estonian Chamber of Commerce

Family Mediation Association (UK):

Institute of World Business Law, see ICC (Paris).

Lebanese Review of Arab and International Arbitration.

PIDA  (Programme de l'Institut de Dix Ans) of the ICC, Paris.




Call for assistance in providing local news:
  EA is looking for committed reporters/analysts to provide us with original reports on the main arbitration developments in their region.
  EA has over its short history slowly but surely become a relevant resource for many practitioners. It is wholly a voluntary enterprise. Our thanks to all those who have, and who continue to help.
  This aspect of freely contributed information that becomes valuable to many people by aggregating it, is something we wish to pursue further. We are looking for broader cooperation from readers:
-First of all: news stories from around Europe (and wider!) are most welcome at any time. There are still a lot of countries in Central and Eastern Europe for which we have not located local experts. We accept both single stories as well as interest in taking up a role as a regular contributor.
-We are also interested in further developing in further developing the EA website. Some major changes have been in the planning over the last two months (hence the rather tardy publication of this issue of the newsletter), but we would still welcome wider cooperation.
We are interested to hear if others are interested in joining us to develop some additional services. Yes, you would contribute your services for free,
but there is a very interesting and growing audience looking at both the site and this newsletter -both very relevant resources for all of us!
  If any of our readers are interested, we'd be most interested to hear from you ...

Digital signatures:
For a comprehensive table of current digital signature laws, see

describes itself as "a legal and technological first: a completely automated system for the resolution of disputes". It is at
Parties are allowed three 'rounds'. each makes an offer (or in the vocabulary used a "demand" and an "offer"). If the offer is close enough to the amount demanded, but still lower, then the case settles for the median of the two figures. If the demand is less than the offer, the case than the offer, the case settles for the offered amount. If there is no settlement after three rounds the procedure ends.
The formula applied is said to be "case specific" but examples quoted are of settlement if the offer is X percent of the demand, where X is 70% or 80%. There is also the possibility of a 'mop up' part to the formula, so that regardless of percentages if the offer and the demand are within Y,000 dollars of each other then it settles (with the given example being $5,000).
   An interesting role for an honest broker (independent third party) and one ideally suited to automation.
   No justice ... but one suspects lots of potential for gamesmanship! With insurers being potentially large users it would be nice to see the software *they* have written in a few years time to allow for the best chance of minimising pay outs(?).

Books advertised:
"Insolvency Proceedings and Commercial Arbitration" Vesna Lazic.
Dr Lazic received her doctorate in November for a study of the interaction between arbitration and insolvency laws (in England, France, germany, the Netherlands and the US).
ISBN 90-411-1115-8, 382 pp, Kluwer, 175 NLG.

"Commercial Arbitration: An International Bibliography (2nd edition)."
Hans Smit & Vratislav Pechota (ed's). Looseleaf 850pp. USD 225
JP Juris Publishing

"A Comparison of International Arbitration Rules." Hans Smit & Vratislav Pechota (ed's). 160 pp.  USD 95.
JP Juris Publishing

Book Review:
Le Règlement amiable des Litiges.
Nabil Antaki.
xi+374  pp
Yvon Blais, Québec.   fax +1 450 263 9256
ISBN 2-89451-284-8 (1998)
This is a rigorous book, the body of which is divided into three sections ('titres'). The remaining part of the book (about a quarter) consists of annexes (the UCR and the mediation rules of CACNIQ, CAMCA & WIPO) and a detailed bibliography covering thirty pages and indices.
The introductory section (about one sixth of the book) discusses the development of Extra-judicial methods of Dispute Resolution ('MERL' is the French acronym used). The subject of this book, MARL, or 'amiable' methods, are distinguished as a subset of extra-judicial methods. This classification avoids the usual trans-Atlantic rift over which of these two groups of methods is ADR.
The second section (about one quarter of the book) classifies methods of dispute resolution. The first chapter covering methods under party control (negotiation, advice, facilitation: partnering anilitation: partnering and mini-trial, and mediation). The second chapter covers methods under third party control whether they are judicial (arbitration) or not (e.g. expertise). It would be easy to quibble about some of the material on arbitration, not because it is at fault, but because more detail could easily be advocated, but that would be to miss the purpose of the book and the less than twenty pages that arbitration (in all events not strictly an 'amiable method') receives. That such a quibble passed through the reviewer's mind, only to be rejected, does perhaps show the rigour of this book and the detail it devotes to setting its subject in context. The latter half of this chapter is a discussion of hybrid methods (med-arb, etc.). The final chapter of the section deals with practical aspects of mediation.
The third of the three sections is a study of the law of mediation. This is the largest section accounting for about a third of the entire book. After some preliminary definitions (chapter one) the section is divided between two further chapters. These study, in turn, the contract between the parties to negotiate and the contract of service of the mediator himself.
Only one error was noticed, on page 411, the author of the report of FIDIC's ADR Committee is described as Mr (or Mme) 'C. Fidi' (!).
 The systematic approach of this work makes it highly readable and an excellent introduction.ellent introduction. Anyone who wishes to not only improve the rigour of their own approach to the subject but who also wishes to improve their knowledge of the French vocabulary associated with it is highly recommended to read this book.

Review Article:
Borders in Cyberspace.
Brian Kahin and Charles Nesson (ed's)
xix+471  pp.
MIT Press ISBN 0-262-61126-0 (1997)
There are those that see the Internet as a brave new frontier (the 'electronic frontier') or even more not as a frontier but as a place beyond the frontier as a 'new world' where one can actually exist (if not physically live), that is "Cyberspace".
Europeans lack some of the culture of the New World. Its initial colonisation and then the push ever westward as the frontier swept across North America in the last century. Much of that culture has come over to us though in the arts (if that is not too fine a word), in particular in science fiction -both writing and more importantly in films. Indeed living through the debates on the 'electronic frontier' has enabled me to gain a new perspective on the SciFi films of the Fifties and Sixties I grew up with ... and of the culture that produced them.
(An interesting aside must be made here, and that is to refer to "E-City", being run by Expandia banka, the Czech Internet bank (www.ech Internet bank ( A virtual city where one can live, earn and consume (if not yet, die). The push for virtual communities seems to be growing ... and on both sides of the Atlantic!)

This book is an important contribution to the development of our ideas on these topics.
There is a view that the Internet has been very good at policing itself, that there is no need for a heavy state hand controlling it. That argument becomes more difficult as commerce becomes more and more common electronically.
 Indeed it does appear more and more idealistic. One wonders whether it is too cruel to compare the brave new world model of Cyberspace with mediaeval ideas of heaven(?). It is perhaps going too far, and is too simplistic to ask whether or not the Middle Age utopia was a place free from hunger, whilst the contemporary American utopia is a place free of lawyers.

 The book has twelve chapters, the majority by sole authors, four by co-authors. They are divided, with six chapters in each of two sections. The first is "Life and Law on the Frontier". these deal with the rise of law on the Internet and run through to considerations of jurisdiction.
 The second section "Issues across Borders" is the more provocative. Chapters deal with digital piracy, free speech, privacy regulation, encryption regulation, restrictions on access to information and end with a delightfnd end with a delightfully entitled chapter on consumer protection: John Goldring's "Netting the Cybershark: Consumer Protection, Cyberspace, the Nation-State, and Democracy."
 The book is a stimulating read and remains so some months after publication even in the fast developing world of the Internet.

 The reviewer recently found himself having at short notice to lecture on aspects of a foreign contract law. The statement he has frequently made in the past was ever more reinforced by the experience: Commercial law varies little in essence between jurisdictions -for example contract law basically says that if there is a contractual agreement both parties should honour it (!).
 Yet we seemingly look for 'differences'. Part of that is good, the basis of the academic essay is so often to 'compare and contrast'. Part of it is though flawed and has two origins: Firstly the thirst for the under-occupied to find a brave new field to excel in (if not merely to clean-up financially in!) and the second the persistent millennialist idea that society could be better; if only ... . If only, we could start again, start on an island, start on a new planet and create a society, it would not be like this one ...
The Internet may indeed be 'Cyberspace', a brave new place where we can do brave new things. Where the things that physically can be done are only limited by the ingenuity of thosehe ingenuity of those of us who work there. But I see no brave new basis for human relationships, no brave new system of social mores, and thus no new legal system (or the lack of the need for one).

 Paradise, if it exists, is not the United States, is not California, will not be built on a South Sea island, nor on the Moon, nor Mars, indeed by definition it will not be built by man at all. That is not to say that we should not continue to search, to continue to ever search for improvement. But we must remember that in medicine the quest for 'the cure' too often obscures the quest for better treatment.

COPY DATE for EA38 is: April 2nd.

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EA is published as a simple text newsletter. No attempt has been made to format, or 'style' the back-issues reproduced here.
BACK TO Index Page of back-issues of EA.