Addressing Issues of Corruption in Commercial and Investment Arbitration

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  • Location: Paris, France
  • Date: 24/11/2014
  • Event Type: Conference
  • Language: English and French with simultaneous translation

34th Annual Meeting of the ICC Institute of World Business Law 

34th Annual Meeting of the ICC Institute of World Business Law

The ICC Institute of World Business Law, which acts as a think-tank working closely with the ICC International Court of Arbitration, is composed of a Council of 36 members of 21 nationalities, all experienced professionals or academics in international business law or international commercial arbitration, as well as 140 members from around the world. In line with its philosophy of excellence, the ICC Institute organizes this annual conference, an occasion for legal experts to deliberate on a topical issue and contribute towards reflection on new practices in international arbitration.

Conference Highlights

While issues of corruption are not a recent phenomenon in international arbitration, the frequency with which they occur and the complexity of their consequences have increased significantly in the last few years. Both in commercial and investment treaty-based arbitration, allegations, findings and admissions of corruption and in particular bribery are by no means unusual occurrences. By their nature, they also pose doctrinal and practical challenges which are often different from and more difficult than those posed by fraud or other illegal conduct.

This conference aims to address issues of corruption in arbitration in a systematic way, balancing theoretical and practical considerations, considering the different perspectives of the parties, counsel and arbitral tribunal, and the relevant differences between commercial and investment treaty arbitration. It first considers the impact of corruption on “gateway issues“ of arbitrability, jurisdiction, admissibility and procedure. It then addresses the most recent thinking and case law on the burden and standard of proof for allegations of corruption. Subsequently, the arbitrator’s rights and duties to investigate and report corruption are considered. Furthermore, the conference examines the consequences and effects of allegations or positive findings of corruption on the dispute on the merits and the enforceability of the award respectively. It concludes with a consideration of whether anything is broken or otherwise worth fixing, what the prospects for the future are, and what is realistic and feasible.

In principle, the proceedings will be published in the “Dossiers of the Institute“ series, and a copy of the publication will be sent to all those who register for this Annual Meeting.

Who should attend?

All professionals involved in international trade and dispute resolution: lawyers, arbitrators, judges, academics, corporate counsel and compliance officers.

Monday 24 November 2014

Programme of the conference

09.00-12.45 Morning sessions


Definitions and scope of the issues
Corruption vs money laundering, fraud or other illegal conduct; relevant law(s) in the definition of corruption; current trends and key challenges in commercial and investment arbitration

The impact of corruption on gateway issues of arbitrability, jurisdiction, admissibility and procedural issues
When should evidence or allegations of corruption be considered non arbitrable? When should or must they deprive the arbitrator of jurisdiction over the subject matter and/or the parties? When are corruption issues more properly addressed as a question of admissibility rather than of jurisdiction? When can or should “equal fault” or “mutual fault” in the sense of “unclean hands” result in a lack of jurisdiction or admissibility, and when not? What is the law applicable to these issues? What is the impact of ongoing or completed criminal or state investigations? When is bifurcation of these issues from the merits or a stay of the proceedings appropriate? What are the relevant differences between commercial and investment treaty arbitration?

Proving corruption: burden of proof and standard of proof
Should the burden and standard of proof be adjusted for allegations of corruption generally? Or in the case of corruption of government officials? Does the characterization of these issues as procedural versus substantive under the law applicable make a difference? Is there a basis for a “plea for more precision” from arbitrators as to burden and standard of proof in the case of corruption? What should be the impact of ongoing or completed criminal or state investigations? What are the relevant differences between commercial and investment treaty arbitration?


14.15-17.45 Afternoon sessions

Addressing allegations and findings of corruption: the arbitrators’ investigative and reporting rights and duties
What are the sources and boundaries of the arbitrators’ right or duty to investigate corruption? What are the sources and boundaries of the arbitrators’ right or duty to report corruption admissions, findings or suspicions, and report to whom? What are the relevant differences between commercial and investment treaty arbitration?

Consequences and effects of allegations or of a positive finding of corruption on:

- The dispute on the merits: Should the underlying contract and/or the arbitration agreement be deemed void or voidable? If so, what other remedies are available? What are the approaches under different applicable laws? What is and what should be the approach in investment treaty arbitration?

- The enforceability of awards: To what extent are “public policy” principles relevant to assessing the consequences of a finding of corruption on enforceability, and what are these consequences? What are the relevant differences between commercial and investment treaty arbitration?

Concluding remarks
Is anything broken or otherwise worth fixing? What are the prospects for the future? What is realistic and feasible?

Chairman of the ICC Institute of World Business Law

Yves Derains, Founding Partner, Derains & Gharavi, France; Former Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration; Chairman, ICC Institute of World Business Law

Co-Chairs of this 34th Annual Meeting

Domitille Baizeau, Partner, LALIVE, Switzerland; Member, Arbitration Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution; Member, ICC Institute of World Business Law; Councillor, European Users’ Council of the LCIA

Richard Kreindler, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Germany; Council Member, ICC Institute of World Business Law


Yas Banifatemi, Partner, International Arbitration Group, Shearman & Sterling, France

Sebastien Besson, Partner, Python & Peter, Switzerland; Member, Arbitration Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution

Antonio Crivellaro, Of Counsel, Bonelli Erede Pappalardo Studio Legale, Italy; Council Member, ICC Institute of World Business

Juan Fernandez Armesto, Founding Partner, Armesto & Asociados, Spain

Matthew Gearing, Partner, Global Co-Head, International Arbitration Group, Allen & Overy, Hong Kong; Council Member, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

Vladimir Khvalei, Partner, Baker & McKenzie, Russian Federation; Vice-President, ICC International Court of Arbitration

Aloysius Llamzon, Senior Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague

Edoardo Marcenaro, Head of International Legal & Corporate Affairs, Enel SpA, Italy

Andrea J. Menaker, Partner, White & Case LLP, United States

Sophie Nappert, Arbitrator, 3 Verulam Buildings, United Kingdom

Hi-Taek Shin, Professor of Law, Seoul National University School of Law, Korea; Chairman, Executive Committee, Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center

Thomas K. Sprange, Partner, Solicitor Advocate, King & Spalding International LLP, United Kingdom

Hiroyuki Tezuka, Partner, Nishimura & Asahi, Japan; Committee Vice Chairperson, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration, Inter-Pacific Bar Association

Carita Wallgren, Partner, Lindholm Wallgren, Attorneys Ltd., Finland; Member, ICC International Court of Arbitration

Nassib Ziadé, Chief Executive Officer, Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA), Bahrain

Eduardo Zuleta, Partner, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta Abogados, Colombia; Member, ICC Institute of World Business Law

Logistical notes


Monday 24 November 2014


L'Hôtel des Arts et Métiers

9 bis, avenue d'Iéna, 75116 Paris, France

Registration fees

The registration fee includes all conference documentation, lunch and cocktails, as well as a copy of the publication of the proceedings of the conference, should they be published. Travel and hotel expenses are not included.

Until 26 September 2014
Special early-bird rate: 759€* (910,80€ incl. VAT)

After 26 September 2014
ICC Member rate: 910€* (1092€ incl. VAT)
Non-Member rate: 1092€* (1310,40€ incl. VAT)

*excl. VAT 20%. ICC Services must set its prices to include the VAT pursuant to Article 53 of the European Directive 2006-112CE.
To request a VAT refund:
- Foreign companies established in another member country of the European Union should consult the VAT Refund Web Portal of the General Directorate of Taxes in their country
- Foreign companies established outside the European Union should fill in form n° 3559 SD from the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques in France
For more information, please consult the following website:

How to register

Easier and faster: register online (secured payment by credit card) at
Or return the registration form indicating method of payment to:
Tel: +33 1 49 53 28 67

Fax: +33 1 49 53 30 30
Post: ICC Services, Training and Conferences, 33-43 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France

Registration will be confirmed upon receipt of the registration form and registration fees.
To benefit from early bird rates, please note that ICC Services must receive the payment before the deadline.

Travel and accommodation

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. A list of hotels in Paris, situated near to the venue, will be sent to you upon registration.
We are only able to dispatch visa invitation letters to support your visa application once we have received your registration form and full payment of your registration fees.

Working languages

English and French. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Credits and hours

ICC Training and Conferences is eligible for CLE credit under New York's approved jurisdiction procedures, is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider and is a Solicitors Regulation Authority and General Council of the Bar of England and Wales External CPD Course Provider. French bars: This training has been sent for CNB approval. Lawyers practising in France may apply for the reimbursement of this course before the FIFPL (Fonds Interprofessionnel de Formation des Professionnels Libéraux), subject to terms and conditions.
Continuing legal education: organization registered in France under n° 11 75 40892 75.

Cancellation policy

50% of the registration fee will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received in writing before 24 October 2014. Cancellations after this date are not refundable. Subject to agreement from ICC Training and Conferences prior to the event, the registration may be transferred to another person from the same company or organization at no extra charge. Updated registration information will be required.

Please note that ICC Services reserves the right to cancel this event or to make minor alterations to the content and timing of the programme or to the identity of the speakers. In the unlikely event of cancellation, delegates will be offered a full refund. ICC Services will not, however, be held responsible for any related expense incurred by the participant.


The photos and audiovisual recordings taken at this meeting/event may be used and published by ICC, its subsidiaries or affiliates, for informational or promotional purposes in printed materials or online, including on ICC websites and in social media. Participation in the meeting/event implies agreement to such use of photos or audiovisual recordings in which the participant may appear unless ICC Services receives written notification to the contrary.

This conference offers you an unrivalled opportunity to build worldwide partnerships. Partnering will get you visibility with the major decision makers in global business and/or within the international arbitration network.
For further information please contact Ms Luz Rodriguez.

Programme and logistics: Katharine Bernet, Project Manager, Email Katharine Bernet, Tel: +33 1 49 53 28 91

Registration issues: Sylvette Abenzoar, Sales Administrator, Email Sylvette Abenzoar, Tel: + 33 1 49 53 28 67

Sponsorship: Luz Rodriguez, Global Partnerships Manager, Email Luz Rodriguez, Tel: + 33 1 49 53 28 42

Download Document(s)

Event registration fees

ICC Member rate (after 26 September 2014) €910

(1092 € incl. VAT)

Non-Member rate (after 26 September 2014) €1092

(1310,40 € incl. VAT)

Hours and credits

  • CLE Credits7

  • MCLE Credits6

  • CPD Hours6

  • CNB Hours6

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