Witness examination in international arbitration: doing it right is only the beginning

By Epaminontas Triantafilou, (Of Counsel, Quinn Emanuel, London)

Witness examination, and in particular cross-examination, is a legal process familiar to many due to its frequent use in the numerous legal TV shows and in cinema – discounting of course for the several inaccuracies inserted in the name of poetic license that have caused at least one seasoned professional to leap from his armchair “in a shower of biscuits and fury“.

Rooted in the common law, the practice of counsel examining a fact or expect witness is a well-established way of seeking to confirm or impeach the veracity and accuracy of evidence, or the credibility of the witness.  Simultaneously, counsel for the side that presents the witness has the opportunity to defend the witness during cross-examination, and to rehabilitate the witness on re-direct.

It is perhaps trite to note that cross-examination in international arbitration takes place astride the rift that exists between the civil law and the common law as to the presentation of evidence.  In simple terms, the civil law lays emphasis on documentary evidence and in many instances discounts entirely the testimony of “partial” witnesses.  By contrast, the common law encourages the “testing” of witness evidence by direct confrontation in open court, and allows for credible witness testimony to supersede documents in evidentiary value.  In common law systems, cross-examination is a potent weapon, if deployed effectively.

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Breaking the Bond: Vulture Funds and Investment Arbitration

by Dimitri Euler
and Giuseppe Bianco

The recent decision on jurisdiction and admissibility in Abaclat and others v Argentina [i] has brought to the arbitration community’s attention the issue of sovereign defaults and restructurings. Several legal scholars have speculated about the potential consequences of its evolution.[ii] Moreover, the French government recently has filed an amicus brief in the proceedings NML v Argentina in New York.[iii]

This blog focuses on vulture funds, which are at the centre of international investment law. The blog also focuses on the potential defences available to the host state. In this regard, the blog elaborates on public policy in the context of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) and non-ICSID proceedings. Lastly, the blog addresses the different procedural means of a host state in response to the claim of an investor.


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