by Albert Sanchez-Graells, Professor of Economic Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Law and Innovation
Post-Brexit, the UK has been repositioning itself in the global trade scene. Focusing on trade-related public procurement liberalisation, the first two moves for the UK were: one, to join the World Trade Agreement Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), of which it had been a member via the EU, and two, to enter into a comprehensive procurement chapter with the EU in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). As a result of these two moves, the UK largely consolidated the pre-Brexit status quo and ensured continuity in market access for UK suppliers abroad, as well as foreign suppliers in the UK.
The next move is now for the UK to expand procurement-related trade liberalisation via free trade agreements (FTAs), of which it has signed one with Australia and another with New Zealand. The UK is also seeking accession to other multilateral FTAs covering procurement, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Interestingly, both Australia and New Zealand are parties to the GPA and to the CPTPP, so the UK is about to create a triple layer of regulation of procurement liberalisation with these two countries, as all relevant procurement exercises will be subjected to the GPA, the CPTPP and the FTAs. Is this a problematic strategy? (more…)
By Dr Jule Mulder, Lecturer in Law (University of Bristol Law School).
Dr Jule Mulder has published an article on European comparative law methodology entitled New Challenges for European Comparative Law: The Judicial Reception of EU Non-Discrimination Law and a turn to a Multilayered Culturally-informed Comparative Law Method for a better Understanding of the EU Harmonization.This article argues that comparative law needs to explore its critical potential when engaging with the European harmonization process and its effects on the law of the Member States. (more…)
A previous blog addressed certain problems surrounding the interpretation of arbitration clauses, particularly in relation to a lack of transparency concerning the parties’ choice of the seat of arbitration. This blog continues the same theme – albeit in the context of different interpretative questions.
Although the notion of the ‘pathological’ arbitration clause has been part of the international arbitration literature for nearly half a century, difficulties generated by poor drafting continue to bedevil both arbitral tribunals and the courts. Notwithstanding the availability of a wealth of clear and helpful advice (see, for example, Born, International Arbitration and Forum Selection Agreements: Drafting and Enforcing (4th edn, 2014), a surprising number of those who draft commercial contracts seem to be either unaware of the available advice or incapable of heeding it. (more…)
It is a truism that arbitration clauses are often poorly drafted, not infrequently agreed at the 11th hour or lifted (inappropriately) from unrelated contracts. As a consequence, courts often have to try to make sense of clauses which are unclear or potentially inconsistent. In Shagang South-Asia (Hong Kong) Trading Co Ltd v Daewoo Logistics  EWHC 194 (Comm),  1 All ER (Comm) 245 the parties had agreed that arbitration was to be ‘held in Hong Kong’, but that ‘English law [was] to be applied’. After the tribunal had rendered its award, the claimant applied to the English court for setting aside of the award under section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996. As in Dubai Islamic Bank v Paymentech  1 Lloyd’s Rep 65, the English court’s setting aside jurisdiction depended on England being the seat of arbitration (see Arbitration Act 1996, s 2(1)). (more…)