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Space Law and Arbitration


September 29, 2022
8:00 am to 9:30 am EDT


Moderator and Presenter: Viva Dadwal (King & Spalding, Associate)
Irmgard Marboe (University of Vienna, Professor of International Law, Head of the National Contact Point for Space Law)
Werner Eyskens (Crowell Moring LLP, Partner)
Maximilian Trautinger (Schonherr)
Nick Storrs (Taylor Wessing, Partner)
Dr. Jan Frohloff (Space Arbitration Association)

Traditionally, space law was mainly limited to States and international organizations, but now the “commercialization” of Space is steep and accelerating.  In a report dated May 2022, Citi expects the space industry to reach $1 trillion in annual revenue by 2040, after the global space economy’s value reached $424 billion in 2020, having expanded 70% since 2010.  Whereas State actors were the only real driving forces behind the development of Space activities until about 15 years ago, private interests have no doubt driven the development of this nascent industry.

These evolutions are likely to result in an increase in the existing types of space-related disputes, generate new types of disputes, and impact the ways in which such disputes are resolved, including disputes involving, among others, space debris, property rights, and frequency licensing issues.  Most famously, in Devas v. India the tribunal decided that India had expropriated the investor’s frequency spectrum and touched upon how physical presence is not necessarily a requirement for territorial nexus, thus opening the possibility for frequencies to be part of a State’s sovereign interests. In Eutelstat v. Mexico the tribunal rejected the claims of the investor regarding violations to legitimate expectations and fair and equitable treatment. The claims were brought in the context of use of frequencies at a given orbital slot and the requirement of satellite operators to reserve a certain amount of frequency capacity for the Mexican government.

This panel will address, among others, the following key questions:

  • What are the main treaties, principles and rules of international space law?
  • Can international investment treaties apply to disputes arising from space-related activities?
  • Which are the existing areas of space-related disputes and where can new disputes be expected to arise in the future?
  • On what bases could tribunals uphold jurisdiction related to disputes involving space ventures and/or space debris?
  • What are some examples of State acts or omissions that might be attributable to a State in space?
  • What, if anything, makes arbitration more or less attractive than other dispute settlement processes used in resolving space-related disputes?

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September 26 - September 30

September 26 - September 30

International Dispute Resolution and the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

World Arbitration Update (“WAU”) invites you to attend a 75-minute webinar discussion by leading practitioners in the international dispute resolution field on the recent developments concerning the intersection of dispute resolution and the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine has so far experienced economic damage amounting up to $600 billion. Over $10 billion in airplane assets have been reportedly stranded in Russia setting off potentially large insurance claims and related disputes. Yale School of Management has collected data showing that almost 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions. The Russian parliament continues to consider the expropriation of foreign assets. International disputes involving Russia and Ukraine are arising from the crisis and more likely to follow. Our speakers will discuss related topics, including: the impact of sanctions, the proposed formation of an international claims commission for Ukraine, the impact of the crisis on the legal profession, the potential and current international forums in which Ukrainian businesses and investors could submit legal recourse to address the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as an update on the ICJ case, Ukraine v. Russian Federation.

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September 26 - September 30

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The Actions of Russia, Countermeasures and Resulting International Disputes, Including Investor-State and Commercial Arbitration

September 26 at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT



JULY 12, 2022


6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT


Moderators: Gene Burd (FisherBroyles) (TBC)

Presenter: Rob Houston (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC)

Panelist: Tatyana Slipachuk (Of Counsel at Chief Legal Department of the Ukrainian Parliament, Special Advisor at Sayenko Kharenko Law Firm) (TBC)

Panelist: Raja Bose (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC) (TBC)

Panelist: Derek Loh (Deputy Director-General (Economic & Social), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore) (TBC)

Panelist: Simon Chesterman (Dean, National University of Singapore School of Law) 

In response to the imposition of international sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has imposed sweeping economic measures on foreign investors from States it considers “unfriendly”, including Singapore, the UK, the US, and EU Member States.  Both international sanctions on Russia and Russia’s own economic measures on foreign investors have had wide-ranging impacts across global market sectors, affecting foreign investors from around the world both directly through compliance mechanisms and indirectly through international commercial contracts.   

However, a number of venues exist for the resolution of the wide range of disputes anticipated to result from the current crisis.  In particular, foreign investors may still seek protection under investment treaties.  Currently, there are 62 BITs in force between Russia and other States, including 27 States that Russia has determined to be “unfriendly” as a result of international sanctions imposed on Russia.  Such treaties generally include substantive obligations to promote and protect foreign investment (e.g., to provide fair and equitable treatment, not to undertake unlawful expropriation of foreign investments, etc.) as well as for access to investment treaty arbitration against the Host State in certain circumstances.  Such public international law obligations under international investment treaties now appear at odds, for example, with recent economic measures imposed by Russia against foreign investors including: 

  • Currency Transfer Restrictions 

  • Transaction Approval Requirements 

  • Prohibition of Foreign Currency Export 

  • Restrictions on Debt Repayment 

  • Prohibition of Certain Exports and Imports 

  • Non-Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 

Also, the Russian Duma has considered additional measures (which many anticipate to be expropriatory) to effect the transfer of ownership or operation of certain foreign investments where foreign investors have ceased operating in Russia in the current climate of international sanctions. The resulting international legal climate arising from Russia’s actions in Ukraine breaks new ground in public and private international law. Practitioners are therefore broadly anticipating a wave of disputes both in international commercial arbitration and in investor-State arbitration, including with respect to claims advanced by covered investors in investment treaty arbitration against Russia for economic measures like the above.   

This panel will explore the implications of these developments both from a global perspective and a regional perspective in Southeast Asia, highlighting the following key points of interest: 

  • The Current International Sanctions Climate 

  • Regional Focus on International Sanctions in Southeast Asia 

  • Consideration of Current Venues for Disputes Arising from the Invasion of Ukraine 

  • Potential Mechanisms for Foreign Investors to Pursue Claims Arising from the Conflict in Ukraine in Investment Treaty Arbitration 

  • Anticipated Disputes and Issues in International Commercial Arbitration Prompted by the Conflict in Ukraine 

  • The Current Landscape for Sovereign Immunity and the Potential for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Against State Assets 

This program will provide a brief summary of recent developments in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and identify key legal issues, including the interplay between international sanctions and customary international law (e.g., the characterization of countermeasures and the application of the law of State Responsibility (including State Defences) in Public International Law as well as issues arising in Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration (such as Force Majeure).  The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A period as well as a networking session.