Importance Of International Arbitration

Author:Rana Ijaz & Partners
Profession:Rana Ijaz & Partners

In the past few years, Pakistan has been involved in international arbitral proceedings in connection with a couple of important international commercial and investment disputes including the Reko Diq and the Rental Power Plants (RPP) cases. One striking aspect of the discussions and analyses of these proceedings has been the glaring lack of even elementary knowledge of the substantive and procedural issues related to international arbitration. In view of the high stakes involved in these proceedings, it is imperative to have an institutional mechanism in Pakistan to build capacity and raise awareness about the importance of international arbitration. In furtherance of this goal, the idea of having such a mechanism was brought to fruition last month at the formal inauguration of the Lahore-based Center for International Investment and Commercial Arbitration (CIICA).

Besides highlighting CIICA's vision and objectives, the inaugural event provided a forum for understanding international commercial and investment arbitration in general and with respect to Pakistan in particular. The diverse pool of speakers and attendees had representation from all important stakeholders including representatives of the legal and business communities as well as the government. So why do we need such a center and how is international arbitration important for Pakistan?

International arbitration is a rapidly growing area of law and is increasingly being adopted around the world by states and international businesses as a method for resolving international commercial and investment disputes. Pakistan itself is a signatory to important international arbitration conventions and has also entered into several bilateral trade and investment agreements that stipulate dispute resolution clauses, arbitration being one of the dispute resolution methods. By signing these trade and investment agreements, Pakistan has and will be obligated to resolve any disputes in connection with these agreements in accordance with the dispute resolution clauses. Furthermore, by enacting some relevant international arbitration conventions including the New York Convention on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and making them part of our national law, Pakistani courts are required to enforce foreign arbitral awards pursuant to these laws. Therefore, it is imperative for Pakistanis to be equipped with the requisite knowledge and expertise to understand the implications of signing...

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