07. April 2014 · Comments Off on VI Belgrade Arbitration Conference · Categories: Uncategorized

The traditional gathering of world experts in the field of arbitration took place in Belgrade again this April. On 4 April 2014 the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law  hosted the sixth Belgrade Arbitration Conference, one of the trademark events of this law school with an ever increasing number of participants. The topics discussed this year revolved around two defining factors of efficiency of arbitration proceedings – arbitrators’ powers and party autonomy (see Conference Program).

The opening ceremony begun with the words from the Dean of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Professor Dr. Sima Avramovic, who reminded the participants of the success of the previous conferences and expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law is organizing again such a prestigious event. On behalf of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), an esteemed partner in organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference, the participants of the conference were welcomed by Ms. Caroline Bechtel, DIS Case Menager, who expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the host institution on organization of the Belgrade arbitration conference and Belgrade Open Pre-Moot. She also introduced the DIS services to the Conference participants highlighting its distinctive features.  In the name of the traditional partner  in the organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference, GIZ Open Regional Fund for SEE, Ms. Adela Llatja took the floor and expressed her satisfaction that thecooperation on organization of these arbitration events has been so fruitful over the course of past seven years. Dr. Judith Knieper of UNCITRAL highlighted the role of UNCITRAL in the field of development of arbitration law and introduced the participants with the most recent developments in this area. Finally, Dr. Miroslav Paunovic, President of the Serbian Arbitration Association, expressed his satisfaction that the Serbian Arbitration Association has joined the pool of organizers of this highly important event and informed the participants of the recent developments in the field of arbitration in Serbia.

The chair of the first panel, the one dedicated to the issues of arbitrators’ powers, was Dr. Christoph Liebscher, attorney-at-law with the Viennese law firm Wolf Theiss. This panel dealt with the questions of the role and powers of emergency arbitrators (presentation was given by Mr. Thierry Augsburger, attorney-at-law with Schellenberg Wittmer in Geneva), the power of arbitrators to apply mandatory rules (presentation was given by Mr. Alfred Siwy, attorney-at-law with Schoenherr in Vienna), the role and powers of the arbitral tribunal in respect of misconduct by parties and counsel (presentation was given by Dr. Tilman Niedermaier, attorney-at-law with CMS Hasche Sigle in Munich), the power of the arbitral tribunal to freeze the assets of a party (presentation was given by Mr. Axel Benjamin Herzberg, attorney-at-law and founder of Herzberg Legal in Berlin) and arbitrators’ powers in taking of evidence (presentation was given by Mr. Milan Lazić, attorney-at-law with Karanović-Nikolić in Belgrade).

The second panel focused on the issues of party autonomy and it was chaired by Professor Vladimir Pavic of University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. The questions that were discussed within the second panel were: party autonomy and consent to arbitration in light of  two recent decisions of German courts on the questions of party autonomy (presentation was given by Dr. Sarah Ganz, attorney-at-law with Wilmer Hale in London),  limitations to party autonomy in arbitration agreements (presentation was given by Ms. Gaëlle Filhol, attorney-at-law with White & Case in Paris), party autonomy in choosing the applicable substantive law (presentation was given by Mr. Derek Soller, attorney-at-law with Baker & McKenzie in New York) and limits to party autonomy during the arbitral proceedings (presentation was given by Mr. Simon Greenberg, attorney-at-law with Clifford Chance in Paris).

The panel discussion was preceded by Dr. Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz’s from Gessel law firm based in Warsaw presentation on “Arbitral Women…Arbitral Man… Arbitral People” and followed by a key note speech by Dr. Maxi Scherer of Wilmer Hale London on ”Аrbitration in energy disputes”.

The conference gathered more than 250 participants from 30 different countries who actively took part in the discussion sections of the Conference.

As in the previous years, the organizing committee of this year’s arbitration conference was consisted of Professor Dr. Mirko Vasiljević, late Professor Dr. Gašo Knežević, Professor Dr. Vladimir Pavić, Assistant Professor Dr. Milena Đorđević and lecturers Marko Jovanović and Uroš Živković.

The organization of the conference was supported by German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), GIZ Regional Open Fund for South East Europe, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and Serbian Arbitration Association. The Conference was sponsored by the following renowned law firms in the field of arbitration: WilmerHale, White & Case, Baker & McKenzie, Moravčević, Vojnović & Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr and Karanović-Nikolić, and endorsed by UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Center for International Legal Education of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, School of International Arbitration of Queen Mary University of London and American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia.

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