New Arbitration Center
Herald Tribune - June 4, 1986
For thousands of years, traders operating internationally have confronted
unfamiliar commercial practices and legal systems. The international
arena is full of unexpected risks: one can easily become embroiled
in a controversy that ultimately may have to be resolved in a foreign
country according to unfamiliar rules.
There are, of
course, many protective measures that can be adopted to minimize the
risks of exporting goods, settling insurance claims or negotiating
financial transactions, freight agreements, real-estate deals, construction
projects or industrial ventures abroad. Those most frequently relied
upon are :
against letters of credit, preferably confirmed by prime banks;
· Performance-bond guarantees;
· Inspection certificates issued by leading inspection firms;
· Loan collateral control facilities;
· Financial auditing by reputable international accounting
· Private and/or public insurance schemes;
· Foreign-currency hedging transactions;
· International conciliation or arbitration.
conciliation and arbitration are among the most reliable methods of
resolving transnational business conflicts. They can help contracting
parties avoid the risks inherent in the jurisdiction of foreign states,
and instead assure them of dealing with each other as equals.
There is a growing demand to settle or arbitrate international business
disputes as discreetly as possible, in a neutral setting. To satisfy
this growing need, a group of international executives, judges and
lawyers recently created in Geneva the Association pour l'Arbitrage
International en matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (ARICI).
The Association founded the Cour pour l'Arbitrage International en
matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (CARICI), and is in the
process of establishing Geneva's new International Conciliation Center.
Chairman of ARICI
is André Baladi, a Swiss business-development consultant with
over a quarter of a century of international experience in industry,
banking and trade. Chairman of CARICI is Philippe Cahier, professor
of international law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies
in Geneva, and a world-renowned jurist with considerable experience
in arbitration between sovereign states.
Like many other
international arbitration courts, CARICI is relatively diverse. It
claims to be capable of handling disputes in any field of business
endeavor, for example import-export transactions, financial agreements,
industrial ventures, construction projects, insurance schemes and
transportation contracts. These disputes may involve both public or
private corporations, as well as sovereign states.
of CARICI now are reported to be setting up an international network
of qualified arbitrators and experts.
GENEVA NEWS And International Report - Vol.5 - No. 8 - October 1984
International Business Development Consultant. Chairman of the "Association
pour l'Arbitrage International en matière de Commerce et d'Industrie
(ARICI)" and Expert of the "Cour pour l'Arbitrage International
en matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (CARICI)".
The "Cour pour l'Arbitrage International en matière de
Commerce et d'Industrie (CARICI)" has recently been set up in
Geneva by the "Association pour l'Arbitrage International en
matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (ARICI)". Since it
is the only independent international arbitration court of its kind
in Geneva, a better understanding of its scope of activities appears
warranted within the larger global framework of the arbitration of
international business disputes.
Practically all businessmen operating internationally - whether exporting
goods, settling insurance claims or negotiating financial transactions,
freight agreements, real estate deals, construction projects or industrial
ventures abroad - are at some time confronted with legal systems and
commercial practices with which they are not sufficiently familiar.
Indeed, the international arena is fraught with unexpected risks,
and one can easily become embroiled in a controversy which may ultimately
have to be resolved according to alien rules in a foreign country.
This type of problem cannot always be solved by lawyers , who may
be highly qualified to deal within their own environment but insufficiently
versed in international affairs. A classical example could be the
case of a transaction between a businessman in a "civil law"
country like France with his counterpart in a "common law"
country like the U.S.A., where the federal structure characterized
by the lack of a unified system can further aggravate the complexity
of the situation. Another example could be the case of a contract
between this French businessman and an institution in a country with
a "centrally planned economy" in Eastern Europe for instance.
The problem could be further compounded should this French businessman
be dealing in a country applying Islamic law (or Sharia law, based
on the Koran), such as Saudi Arabia, for example, where the "Hanbalis
" school of Islamic law is practiced.
The question then arises as to whether international law can contribute
to solve international business disputes.
To be able to answer this question in a meaningful manner, it appears
appropriate to outline the constituents of international law and to
position the subject within its historic perspective.
According to Article 38 (I) of the Statue of the International Court
of Justice, international law includes : (a) international conventions
(treaties), whether general or particular; (b) custom, as evidence
of a general practice accepted as law; (c) the general principles
of law recognized by civilized nations; (d) judicial decisions and
teachings of the most highly qualified jurists of the various nations,
as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.
Actually, one can wonder whether this definition of international
law would not also have been valid some 5,000 years ago, at the time
when the scribes of the City of Ebla (close to where Aleppo stands
today in Syria) inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets a treaty detailing
commercial relations and double taxation matters between Ebla and
the Kingdom of Ashur. We must also remember that the first known recorded
legal code in history, composed of 282 articles, was drafted about
4,000 years ago in Babylon, under the rule of King Hammurabi.
Why has the situation not changed much since this ancient Near Eastern
legal heritage ?
The fact is that, despite the commendable efforts of both the League
of Nations and the United Nations, as well as of their specialized
agencies, the world is still divided into independent territorial
legal units. The laws of the Province of Ontario in Canada, for instance,
are intended to govern the people of this Canadian province practically
as if no other legal units or communities existed. As to private international
law or conflict of laws, although it may appear to be international,
it is a branch of law which is essentially national in character.
As a matter of fact, it could be argued whether we are not currently
witnessing a trend towards a fragmentation of the international political
scene, resulting in a growing number of antagonistic States governed
by groups belonging to a mosaic of different cultural or ideological
environments. Some of these States are struggling to restore rights
which they feel have been impaired by other States, while the latter
feel threatened by the former. Recurring confrontations between all
these States tend to erode the concept of trust among nations and
to increase the risks of facing litigation whenever conducting international
There are several protective measures which can be adopted to minimize
the risks of conducting business abroad, such as for example :
- sales against letters of credit, preferably confirmed by prime banks,
- performance bond guarantees,
- inspection certificates issued by leading inspection firms,
- loan collateral control facilities,
- financial auditing by reputable international accounting firms,
- private and/or public insurance schemes,
- foreign currency hedging,
- as well as, of course, the insertion of arbitration clauses in contracts.
Indeed, to minimize the risks associated with litigation abroad, the
tracts is a must. Actually, international arbitration emerges as the
only reliable system to resolve transnational business conflicts,
inter alia because it allows contracting parties to remain in principle
at a level of equality, by avoiding the risks inherent to the jurisdiction
of foreign States.
Arbitration has been used since at least the thirteenth century. A.D.
for settling claims in maritime disputes, and since the seventeenth
century for settling commercial disputes. Over the years, London became
the main international arbitration centre, stemming from the supremacy
of England as the largest maritime nation. The Baltic Exchange offered
a meeting place for arbitrators and the political stability encouraged
the parties to use the English standard forms of contracts usually
providing for arbitration in London. Today, London is still a major
international arbitration centre, where over 10,000 disputes are submitted
every year in shipping (most of them concerning charter-parties and
bills of lading), construction and commodities trading. The major
commodities arbitration courts have been set up in London by :
- the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA)
- and the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA).
The main characteristic of most of these London based arbitration
courts is that their arbitrators are usually chosen among experts
in the field in which the litigation occurs.
Another well known international arbitration centre is located in
Paris, due to the presence of the Court of Arbitration of the International
Chamber of Commerce, which was established about fifty years ago.
It recommends to all contracting parties to use the following standard
clause in their international contracts :
arising in connection with the present contract shall be finally settled
under the Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration of the International
Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance
with the said Rules."
courts have been set up by Chambers of Commerce located in major European
cities, and by regional international Chambers of Commerce, such as
the Arab-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Geneva, for instance,
which settles disputes arising in Arab countries. In the U.S.A., the
American Arbitration Association also monitors international disputes,
and the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission specializes,
as indicated by its name, in inter-American disputes.
There are many other arbitration courts offering their services internationally,
and we hope to be forgiven for not being able to list them all here.
In order to ensure
the enforcement of arbitral awards, a "Convention on the Recognition
and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards", to which about 60
States have adhered, was issued under the auspices of the United Nations
in 1958. In 1975, the United Nations Commission of International Trade
Law (UNCITRAL) formulated a set of rules for optimal use in "ad
hoc" arbitration relating to international trade. A large number
of other conventions and rules were also formulated, such as the "Convention
on Settlement by Arbitration of Civil Law Disputes Resulting from
Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation" or the "Rules
of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
(ICSID)" for example.
Actually, some practitioners are tempted to announce that a new "lex
mercatoria" is now emerging from the principles of international
arbitration, derived from the main national legislations and from
a few well known arbitral awards.
In this context, what could then be the advantages offered to the
international business community by the new "Cour pour l'Arbitrage
International en matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (CARICI)"
in Geneva ?
1. Geneva is an ideal neutral international arbitration forum
As the seat of
a large number of international institutions, e.g. : GATT, ILO, ITC,
WHO and other specialized agencies of the United Nations (including
the European Office of the latter), the European Centre for Nuclear
Research (CERN), the International Red Cross, or the World Council
of Churches, Geneva deserves, perhaps more than any other city on
earth, the epithet of "International City". Its neutral
political climate creates an ideal meeting ground for international
conferences (e.g. the Disarmament Negotiations between the U.S.A.
and the U.S.S.R.). The long standing international humanitarian traditions
expressed in the "Spirit of Geneva" seem to reduce tensions,
even between representatives of antagonistic States. Moreover, Geneva
is a truly multilingual and multicultural centre, where the main languages
of the world are spoken, and the main cultures and religions entertain
2. Geneva is favored with a host of professional (commercial, financial,
industrial, etc) experts
As a major international
financial and trading centre, Geneva is literally flooded with professionals
who could intervene either as arbitrators or experts in either the
financial or trading fields. A relatively diversified industrial base,
including several engineering consulting firms as well as a highly
qualified scientific community - due to its renowned University, the
Battelle Institute or the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN)
- , offers a large supply of technical experts. There are also many
insurance and shipping experts in Geneva.
3. Geneva Is favored with a large number of jurists
There are probably
about 600 jurists in Geneva, including over 50 judges and some 400
attorneys members of the Geneva Bar Association. Some of them happen
to be highly qualified international jurists, fully versed in the
art of both negotiating and arbitrating international contracts.
4. A Geneva-based independent international arbitration court attracts
worldwide professional competence
international arbitration court like CARICI can easily tap professional
competence from all over the world, thanks to Geneva's unique positioning
as an international city located in neutral Switzerland. Actually,
qualified professionals can apply from all over the world to become
members of the "Association pour l'Arbitrage International en
matière de Commerce et d'Industrie (ARICI)" Which founded
its arbitration court CARICI and is sponsoring its development. If
the applications of these professionals are accepted, they are then
registered on the official lists of arbitrators and experts of CARICI.
Therefore, an Algerian, a Brazilian and a Swiss could possibly be
selected to arbitrate a dispute between a French and an Iranian organization,
5. Geneva offers maximum discretion
independent international arbitration court can maximize secrecy to
avoid unwanted publicity, which could damage the reputation of the
parties requiring arbitration.
6. Rapid settlement of disputes
organization like CARICI can speed up the proceedings to satisfy the
requirements of the parties involved, since it is not plagued by the
red tape affecting certain other large arbitration institutions.
7. Last, but not least, a recourse to CARICI will probably cost less
than a recourse to most other courts
The rates of
fees fixed by CARICI are competitive with those of other international
arbitration courts, and extremely reasonable anyway compared to legal
expenses generated by proceeding before local Law Courts.
CARICI was originally set up to deal more particularly with international
business disputes which, for one reason of another, may not be considered
suitable to be entrusted to one of the leading international arbitration
courts, e.g. :
- certain contracting parties litigating against a French organization
may prefer to avoid entrusting the International Chamber of Commerce
with the dispute, merely because it is located in France;
- there are many trading commodities which are not covered by trading
associations (like FOSFA and GAFTA) in London, such as for instance
: meat, milk products, cement, steel, fertilizers, chemicals, petroleum
products, etc. These commodities, as well as industrial equipment
and other capital goods, require an international arbitration forum.
was initially set up by a group of both French and Swiss businessmen,
judges and attorneys, such as, among others : Mr. Edouard Berthier,
former Judge at the Supreme Criminal Court of Geneva and former President
of the Court of Justice of Geneva; Mr. Philippe Cahier, Professor
of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies
in Geneva; Mr. Maurice Dahan, Attorney member of the Paris Bar and
Professor at the University of Paris-Sud; Mr. Simon Grandjean, Attorney
member of the Geneva Bar; Mr. Pierre Greber, Judge at the Court of
Justice of Geneva; Mr. Robert Jore, former President of the Brokers
registered with the Tribunal of Commerce of Paris; Mr. Marcel Normand,
Attorney before the Court of Appeal of Paris; Mr. George Perréard,
Attorney member of the Geneva Bar, Mr. François Rouquet, Honorary
Counsellor at the Supreme Court of France, etc.
CARICI is already endowed with an impressive list of arbitrators and
experts, initially composed by its founders and then by the continuous
addition of newly registered professionals. It now includes, for instance
: Mr. Jacques d'Arnaudy, Consultant in computer sciences management;
Mr. Edmond Besse, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers
of the French Refrigeration Industry; Mr. Jean-Daniel Bredin, Attorney
before the Court of Appeal of Paris; Mr. Jacques Covo, Legal Adviser
at Finagrain (member of the Continental Grain Group of companies in
Geneva), who acts as arbitrator with the Federation of Oils, Seeds
and Fats Associations (FOSFA), with the Grain and Feed Trade Association
(GAFTA), as well as with the Paris based International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC); Mr. Philippe Duclos, Broker registered with the Tribunal
of Commerce of Paris and President of the International Association
of Chartered Commodity Brokers; Mr. Jean-François Egli, Judge
at the Supreme Federal Court of Switzerland.
is capable of handling international disputes in practically any field
of business endeavour, e.g. :
- Import-Export transactions
- Financial agreements
- Industrial ventures
- Construction projects
- Insurance schemes
- Transportation contracts
These disputes can concern either public or private corporations,
as well as sovereign States from practically every part of the globe.
At a General Meeting held on May 17, 1984, Professor Philippe Cahier,
a world renowned international jurist with considerable experience
in international arbitration - particularly between sovereign States
- was elected Chairman of CARICI in Geneva.
All international businessmen wishing to rely on the facilities offered
by CARICI would just have to insert in their contracts the following
or controversies which the parties may not be able to settle amicably
will be submitted to the arbitration of CARICI and judged by either
one or three arbitrators, according to the rules of this Court.".
therefore ideally suited to resolve international business disputes,
drawing its authority from the agreement of the parties in an international
city like Geneva.
As international business arbitration grows in importance year by
year, the "Association pour l'Arbitrage International en matière
de Commerce et d'Industrie (ARICI)" is striving to expand CARICI's
international network of highly qualified arbitrators and experts,
so as to better serve the international business community. We trust
the same "Spirit of Geneva", which inspired the founders
of the International Red Cross and of the other Geneva-based international
institutions, will guide the arbitrators of CARICI to always arbitrate
in a most professional, fair and trustworthy manner, faithful to the
reputation of Geneva and of its long-standing humanitarian tradition.
COUR D'ARBITRAGE POUR LE COMMERCE ET L'INDUSTRIE
Nouvel atout pour la Genève internationale
Romande - No 2163 - 19 janvier 1990
L'arbitrage entre l'Angleterre et les Etats-Unis au sujet du vaisseau
de guerre " Alabama " constitue, à Genève,
le premier maillon d'une longue tradition de conciliation sur le plan
politique, selon des procédures bien établies. Le dernier
de ces arbitrages s'est tenu à l'Hôtel-de-Ville entre
Israël et l'Egypte à propos du lieu touristique de Taba.
Pourquoi ne pas étendre cette pratique de l'arbitrage, associée
au renom de Genève et à ses institutions internationales,
à des questions relevant du commerce et de l'industrie pour
arbitrer des litiges qui surviennent à l'échelle internationale
lorsque des pratiques juridiques et des pratiques commerciales entrent
en conflit ? Telle est l'idée qui a conduit deux personnalités
de notre ville, M. André Baladi et le professeur Philippe Cahier,
à créer la " Cour pour l'arbitrage international
en matière de commerce et d'industrie " (CARICI). M. Baladi
est président de " l'Association pour l'arbitrage international
", soutenant par un rayonnement international grandissant la
" Cour pour l'arbitrage international " que préside
M. Cahier, entouré d'une pléiade de juristes éminents.
Le recours à
l'arbitrage n'est pas nouveau. Du XIIIe siècle à nos
jours, Londres s'est imposée comme la principale plaque tournante
de l'arbitrage international, en raison de la suprématie maritime
du pays. Dix mille litiges en la matière y sont soumis chaque
année. Les arbitres sont généralement choisis
parmi les experts du domaine dans lequel le litige est survenu.
Paris est également un centre d'arbitrage international renommé,
grâce à la présence de la Cour d'arbitrage de
la Chambre de commerce internationale (CCI), créée il
y a une cinquantaine d'années. D'autres encore ont vu le jour
: la Chambre arabo-suisse du commerce et de l'industrie à Genève,
l'Association américaine de l'arbitrage aux Etats-Unis.
Sous les auspices des Nations Unies, soixante Etats ont adhéré
à une " Convention pour la reconnaissance et l'exécution
des sentences arbitrales étrangères ". En 1975,
la Commission de l'ONU pour le droit commercial international a élaboré
une réglementation pour l'usage optimal de l'arbitrage "
ad hoc " en matière de commerce international.
Ce qui existe
ailleurs est déjà riche de possibilités. Fallait-il
créer une nouvelle Cour à Genève ? Telle est
la question que nous avons posée à MM. Baladi et Cahier.
D'abord, Genève profite de la neutralité helvétique
: aucun pays ne peut suspecter la Suisse de poursuivre des visées
expansionnistes. De plus, la présence de nombreuses institutions
internationales constitue un " réservoir " intellectuel
et juridique précieux. L'Université et ses instituts
spécialisés, l'Institut Battelle, le CERN représentent
un véritable " creuset " d'experts techniques auxquels
il faut ajouter la présence de nombreux spécialistes
des finances, de l'assurance et des transports maritimes. Genève
est aussi une pépinière de juristes : plusieurs d'entre
eux sont des experts en matière de commerce international.
N'étant pas une institution atteinte de gigantisme, la CARICI
n'est pas menacée par le fléau de la bureaucratie, des
indiscrétions et des pertes de temps.
des professionnels qualifiés dans le monde entier, l'ARICI
est ouverte à des juristes dont les demandes d'adhésion
sont examinées, puis agréées. " C'est ainsi,
explique M. Baladi, qu'un Algérien, un Brésilien et
un Suisse pourraient être invités à trancher un
litige survenu, par exemple, entre une société française
et une organisation iranienne ".
Toutes les transactions
A ces avantages
d'ordre objectif, la CARICI, implantée à Genève,
peut faire valoir qu'elle est totalement indépendante; en litige
avec une société française par exemple, des exportateurs
peuvent préférer Genève à l'arbitrage
de la CCI, simplement parce que cette dernière est à
Paris. De plus, de nombreuses marchandises ne sont pas couvertes par
des associations commerciales qui opèrent à Londres
; un arbitrage international s'impose pour de nombreux biens d'équipement
A l'heure actuelle,
la CARICI, composée à l'origine d'hommes d'affaires,
de juges et d'avocats de France et de Suisse, est à même
de régler des litiges internationaux dans la quasi-totalité
des transactions industrielles, financières d'assurance ou
Le recours à
la CARICI est simple. Il suffit à toute société
internationale qui souhaite bénéficier de ses avantages
d'insérer dans ses contrats une clause selon laquelle "
tout litige ou différend que les parties ne parviendront pas
à régler amiablement sera soumis à l'arbitrage
de la CARICI et jugé par un ou trois arbitres, conformément
aux règles de procédure de cette Cour ".
administratifs et les honoraires des arbitres sont fixés selon
un barème adapté aux sommes faisant l'objet du litige;
ils sont tout à fait concurrentiels avec ceux d'autres Cours.