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Second Sarajevo Arbitration Day

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Association ARBITRI, in cooperation with the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Wolf Theiss, with the support of the Foreign Trade Chamber of B&H organized and successfully held the 2nd Sarajevo Arbitration Day Friday, April 15th 2016.

Once again, the goal of this conference was the promotion and raising awareness on arbitration in the business community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a special emphasis on investment projects. The conference took place in the Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH and it gathered an impressive body of legal professionals (lawyers, arbitrators) as well as professors and professionals from other fields related to arbitration. The participants and speakers came from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the USA and the Region. The representatives of the leading international arbitration institutions (ICC and VIAC) were also present and held presentations on specific arbitration issues, as well as the characteristics and benefits of their respective institutions. Another important aspect of the conference was the interest and presence of students from the Universities of Sarajevo, East Sarajevo and Zenica, which shows the rising level of awareness among future legal professionals on the importance of arbitration in general and the need for its further development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The conference was opened by Mr. Peter Duffy, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, and Mission Director, USAID Sarajevo, Mr. Zmarak Khan from the Commercial Law Development Program, Prof. Dr. Meliha Povlakić from the Sarajevo Faculty of Lawand Ms. Armela Ramić from Association ARBITRI. The conference was divided into three Panel discussions, each consisting of three presentations by eminent speakers on the various contemporary issues in arbitration and the most recent developments. The presentations themselves were very informative and dynamic. The Panel discussions were organized as follows:

Panel Discussion I – Use of Arbitration in Construction and Infrastructure Projects

  • Ceyda Akbal Schwimann, Wolf Theiss– Energy and infrastructure arbitration, recent practices and developments
  • Ms. Noor Kadhim, Associate at Joseph Hage Aaronson, London, Former Deputy Counsel at the Secretariat of ICC – The pitfalls of arbitrating with State entities in construction/ energy projects
  • Prof. Dr. Mile Lasić, arbitrator, Bosnia and Herzegovina –Investment Arbitration in Bosnia and Herzegovina – BITs and role of the Courts.

Panel Discussion II – Specific Issues in Arbitration: Major Changes and Recent Highlights

  • Ms. Patricia Živković, S.J.D. Candidate (Central European University) – Third Party Funding in Investment Arbitration
  • Mr. Vladimir Pavić, arbitrator, Serbia– Pre-Arbitration Steps
  • Mr. Lee M. Caplan, Partner at Arent Fox office in DC – Multi-Tier Dispute Resolution Clauses

Panel III – Prospective local and regional arbitration venues

  • Ms. Vesna Tokić, Secretary of the Arbitration Court of BiH – Arbitration Court of BiH – recent developments and practices
  • Ms. Ivana Blagojević, Deputy Counsel at the Secretariat of ICC –General Principles of ICC Arbitration and Their Advantages in the Region
  • Mr. Szucsich Marko, arbitrator at Vienna International Arbitral Center –Vienna International Arbitral Center.

The discussions which followed each presentation and the numerous questions from the participants reflected the level of understanding and growing interest the topics related to international arbitration among legal professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Association ARBITRI would hereby like to express gratitude to our partners, panelists, participants and supporters who made this conference successful. We hope that the scope and impact of the Sarajevo Arbitration Day will continue to grow each year and that we will be able to discuss the positive developments in BiH arbitration during future conferences.