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Authors: Crina Baltag and Ylli Dautaj
In Investors, States, and Arbitrators in the Crosshairs of International Investment Law and Environmental Protection, Dr Crina Baltag and Ylli Dautaj look at the investor-State dispute settlement system and inquire whether this is the most suitable transnational venue for resolving investment disputes that have an environmental component. This culminates essentially in whether arbitration is a legitimate forum and whether privately appointed arbitrators appropriately can resolve environmental-related disputes. These disputes are bound to increase in frequency because host-States are also partaking in global efforts to respond to environmental challenges.
The Selection and Removal of Arbitrators in Investor-State Dispute Settlement examines two essential features in investor-state dispute resolution: how arbitrators are selected and removed. Both topics have received increasing scrutiny and criticism, that have in turn generated calls for reforms. In its first part, Professor Chiara Giorgetti, an expert in international arbitration, explains the selection of arbitrators procedurally and comparatively under the most-often used arbitration rules. She then reviews critically arbitrators’ necessary and desirable qualities, and addresses some important and related policy issues, such as diversity and repeat appointments. In her work, she also includes an assessment of the calls to review how arbitrators are appointed, and specifically the proposal by the European Commission to create a permanent tribunal to resolve international investment disputes, the UNCITRAL Working Groups III Reform Process and the rules amendment proposal undertaken by the Secretariat of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In its second part, this monograph examines how arbitrators can be removed and reviews first the applicable provisions, under a variety of arbitration rules, to remove arbitrators who fail to possess the necessary qualities. It then also reviews the relevant case-law on challenges. The monograph assesses appointments and removals in a multifaceted and comprehensive way, and includes a critical assessment of the reasons and calls for reform of the ISDS system.
In A Critical Appraisal of Initial Coin Offerings: Lifting the “Digital Token’s Veil”, Dominika Nestarcova examines the regulatory treatment of initial coin offerings (‘ICOs’), a novel form of raising capital, where start-up companies issue blockchain-based assets (‘digital tokens’) to the public in return for a payment.
The ICO model promises to utilize blockchain technology to enforce financial contracting via the underlying code, thereby substituting the traditional securities regulation. Dominika Nestarcova provides an in-depth analysis of this promise by examining the nature of digital tokens, the process, underlying benefits and risks to the model and the current state of the ICO regulation with an aim to uncover how the self-regulatory promise offered by ICOs lives up the expectations.
An effective capital markets industry has existed in South Africa for over 120 years. As recently as 2015, South Africa was considered the best regulator of securities in the world. The fall out from the GFC contained lessons for all markets, but not to the same extent. In the pursuit of G20 inspired conformity, aspects of the South African reform agenda may therefore appear replicative of initiatives in other jurisdictions and, consequently, uncritical in parts. In light of the fall to forty sixth place in the world in securities regulation ranking and some uncertainty in respect of the extent and shape of the reform process, C. King Chanetsa reviews activities in South Africa along the busy securities and capital markets value chain, and considers the continuing and emerging regulatory and supervisory framework.
Its Challenges and Transition towards European Standards
For the last few years, Ukraine and its financial sector have gradually sought to apply and comply with EU standards. Most recently, the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has given Ukraine’s transition towards EU standards a formal basis. Ukraine, with EU support, is in the process of implementing EU regulations according to this Agreement. Against this background, the publication Ukrainian Banking Regulation: Its Challenges and Transition towards European Standards elaborates on this process by providing an in-depth background of the current Ukrainian banking regulation, its economics and the challenges of complying with the new EU standards.
Authors: Kabir Duggal and Wendy W. Cai
In Principles of Evidence in Public International Law as Applied by Investor-State Tribunals, Kabir Duggal and Wendy Cai explore the fundamental principles of evidence and how these principles relate to burden of proof and standard of proof. By tracing the applications of major principles recognized by the International Court of Justice and applied by investor-state tribunal jurisprudence, the authors offer valuable insight into the interpretation, understanding, and nuances of indispensable principles of evidence, an area that has been ignored in both investor-state arbitration and public international law more generally.
In this work, Christopher Chen examines and compares the regulation of over-the-counter derivatives in Hong Kong and Singapore, the two largest international financial centres in Asia Pacific. Chen analyses current or proposed regulations on trade reporting, centralised clearing and mandatory exchange trading mandates regarding OTC derivatives against the backdrop of reforms of international financial regulatory structure after the global financial crisis. The article also relates the reforms in Asia to development in major Western markets such as the US, the UK or the European Union. Apart from technical comparison and dissecting of content of rules from different angles, his work also examines the rationale behind those reforms and policy concerns behind Asian adoption of the regulatory mandates prescribed by G20 as well as potential policy concerns (such as competition and extraterritoriality) in a market that is dominated by Western banks.
Author: Maziar Peihani
Part I of this project overviewed the literature on the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision (BCBS) and provided a primer on the Committee’s governance and functions. It also engaged with the current theories on legitimacy and discussed what legitimacy meant for the global governance of banking and how it could be assessed. This part investigates the BCBS’s governance, operation, and policy outcomes to determine the extent to which it is and has been legitimate. The assessment is conducted based on three principles of reasoned decision making, transparency, and accountability. Maziar Peihani argues that the BCBS has gradually become a more legitimate institution but there still exists significant room for improvement. He highlights a number of areas for reform and sets out policy prescriptions to enhance the BCBS’s legitimacy.
A Primer on Governance, History, and Legitimacy -- Part I
Author: Maziar Peihani
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) was established in 1974 as an informal group of central bankers and bank supervisors with the mandate to formulate supervisory standards and guidelines. Although the Committee does not have any formal supranational authority, it is the de facto global banking regulator and its recommendations have been widely implemented by member and non-member states. Maziar Peihani investigates the BCBS’s governance, operation, and policy outcomes to determine the extent to which it is and has been legitimate. The project is comprised of two parts. This part overviews the literature on the BCBS, outlines its contribution, and provides a primer on the Committee’s governance and functions. In addition, it engages with the current theories on legitimacy and discusses what legitimacy means for the global governance of banking and how it can be assessed.
The challenges posed by the non-liquidity and non-diversity of the Islamic debts market make the market an inefficient tool on contributing to Muslim economic growth. Islamic scholars and experts created sukuk as an Islamic debt instrument to avoid riba (usury), but the sukuk market (especially in the Gulf) still struggles with the prohibition of the trade of debt due to the prohibition of the two Fiqh Academies.
Trading and securitizing debts should be permitted in Islamic law, with one condition, that the debt should be considered low risk. This new rule, the permissibility of trading debts, is supported by three Islamic legal bases, istishab, qiyas, and maslaha, which are recognized by all four Islamic schools of legal thought. Furthermore, permitting the trading of debts is more consistent with the principles and theories of Islamic law than is forbidding it. It is consistent with the obligations theory that debt is a personal right. It is consistent with the mal (property) theory that debt may be sold according to the three Islamic schools of legal thought, all of which consider debt as property. It is consistent with other modern Islamic financial transactions that are permitted by the two Fiqh Academies, such as tawarruq and murabaha.