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Private Justice and the Rule of Law

Permanent Court of Arbitration Clerkships 2015-2016

Application Deadline: January 31, 2015

With the assistance of the Québec Ministère des relations internationales, the FQRSC McGill Research Team on Private Justice, and the Faculty of Law, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) is accepting applications for a twelve-month clerkship at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) starting in September 2015. The successful candidate will receive a stipend to assist with living expenses and other costs.

The purposes of the internship are a) to increase the participant’s understanding of current dispute resolution and arbitration issues, both at the regional and international levels, and give him/her an insight into the work of the PCA; and b) to provide the PCA with the assistance and contribution of an outstanding young graduate. The candidate is chosen to work within the PCA’s Secretariat, helping counsel in their work in support of major arbitration or other cases.

For complete details, download the Permanent Court of Arbitration Clerkships - Call for Applications 2015

On September 29, 2014, Dominique Hascher, Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court of France and Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne, delivered the John E.C. Brierley Memorial Lecture. His talk was titled "Les perspectives françaises sur le contrôle de la sentence internationale ou étrangère".

UPDATE: you can now listen to his presentation online (View Webcast) or download its as a file (MP3; WMV; MP4)

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New PCA Rules book authored by two McGill Law grads 

A Guide to the PCA Arbitration Rules
Together with Brooks Daly, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), McGill Law graduates Evgeniya Goriatcheva (BCL/LLB'10) and Hugh Meighen (BCL/LLB'09) have co-authored a commentary on the new procedural rules for arbitration adopted by the PCA in December 2012. The book, A Guide to the PCA Arbitration Rules, was published in May 2014 by Oxford University Press and provides article-by-article analysis of the Rules and their unique provisions intended to govern the resolution for complex international arbitrations involving States, state-controlled entities, and international organizations.

The PCA is a an intergovernmental organization with over one hundred member states and a rapidly growing annual caseload of arbitrations involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.

The 2012 PCA Rules constitute a consolidation of four sets of PCA Rules drafted in the 1990s, and updated in light of PCA experience and the revision of other procedural regimes. The co-authors are all current or past PCA lawyers, with Hugh Meighen and Evgeniya Goriatcheva, serving as McGill Law Fellows of the PCA in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Arbitration and beyond

As a form of private justice supported by the power of the state, arbitration is subject to the control of a court of law. Of its own motion, the court ensures that the matter is arbitrable and that public policy has been respected. At the request of a party, the court is also responsible for ensuring compliance with the agreement between the parties, including issues related to the competence of the arbitrator.

Arbitrability, public policy, arbitration agreements and competence lie at the heart of the dynamic between private justice and public justice, as they determine for the latter what remains an area reserved to the state, free from competition. This area has become the focus of attention because of the increasing recognition of the right of the parties to determine their own law, which can entail the application of rules taken outside the parameters set by recognized legal systems. For example, these rules can refer the arbitrator to religious law or to rules of transnational commercial law.

A McGill research team is currently asking the hard questions about the relation between private justice and the rule of law.