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Mexico Ratifies the ICSID Convention

Monthly Wrap: News, insights & analysis from Arent Fox's International Arbitration team.

Mexico Ratifies the ICSID Convention

Timothy J. Feighery

On July 27, 2018, the United Mexican States deposited its Instrument of Ratification of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention) with the World Bank. In accordance with its Article 68(2), the ICSID Convention will enter into force for Mexico on August 26, 2018. With Mexico’s recent elections and the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA, this ratification seems designed to send a message that Mexico is open to foreign investment.

Mexico is the 154th State to ratify the Convention since it entered into force in 1966.

Read the ICSID News Release

Hainan International Arbitration Court Established

Joseph C. Mauro

As reported in the press, a second Chinese international arbitration body has been established in Hainan, after the Shenzen Court of International Arbitration was set up earlier this year. The Hainan International Arbitration Court, established on July 29, is to have “two separate branches” that focus on financial matters and maritime disputes, respectively. The maritime branch reportedly has specific authorization to “rule on issues related to the construction on islands in the South China Sea.”

The state-run Xinhua news agency advises that “no less than one third of the court’s council members would be from overseas,” according to the head of the Hainan Arbitration Commission. The intention is evidently to “win confidence in the independence and fairness of the institution.” Nevertheless, the “goal of the court” is reportedly to “boost Hainan's maritime trade, shipping business, exploration of ocean resources, and construction on islands and reefs in the South China Sea by providing strong legal support.”

California Changes Its Law to Welcome International Arbitrations

Karen Van Essen

Beginning on January 1, 2019, foreign counsel and out-of-state attorneys will be able to appear in international arbitrations held in California. The California State Assembly approved new SB 766 bill unanimously in early July and Governor Jerry Brown has signed the bill. This change in law will permit California to join New York, Miami, and Washington, DC as centers of international arbitration in the United States. Businesses and arbitration providers hail the law as positioning California to become a leading market for international arbitration. In addition to its West Coast location, California has the world’s fifth largest economy, including technology and entertainment industries, and has the facilities and resources to draw international practitioners.

Read the Legislation

Uruguay and Argentina Adopt New Arbitration Laws Based on the UNCITRAL Model Law

Lee M. Caplan

Earlier this month, two countries in Latin American adopted new arbitration laws based on the UNCITRAL Model Arbitration Law. On July 3, Uruguay’s Chamber of Senators passed a bill to reform the country’s arbitration law based on the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law and certain elements of the 2006 version of the model law. On July 4, Argentina’s House of Deputies approved a bill to overhaul the country’s arbitration law based on the 2006 UNCITRAL Model Law, with some deviations from the model. Both laws govern international commercial arbitration. Other countries in Latin America to incorporate the UNCITRAL Model Law into their domestic legislation include Venezuela, Paraguay, Chile, and Peru.


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