Arbitration in Italy was founded in 2015 by Roberto Oliva as a blog.
The underlying idea was that of spreading arbitration culture in Italy and, in that way, boosting arbitration practice in our country.
Over the years, various issues were addressed, and approximately 100 articles were published.
The visitors of the blog have steadily increased over time, and Arbitration in Italy gained the trust of numerous readers.
As of 2020, Arbitration in Italy has become a journal. Or rather, two journals: Arbitration in Italy, the English version (ISSN 2732-5687), and Arbitrato in Italia, the Italian version (ISSN 2732-5695).
The purpose did not change: we always intend to publish accurate – but still understandable even for the layman – articles on arbitration and thus contribute to its spread.
Much has been written, and much will still be written, about the recent reform of Italian arbitration law. The undeniable merit of this reform is that it brings the Italian system closer to that of other jurisdictions sharing the same civilizational perspective. The changes that have (finally) allowed arbitrators to issue interim and precautionary measures, as well as those concerning the disclosure and disqualification of arbitrators, should indeed be interpreted in this sense. Italy is now among the most advanced jurisdictions, with changes that include the choice of applicable law, allowing parties and arbitrators to apply non-state rules such as lex mercatoria.
1 March 2023 represents an important date for Italian arbitration practitioners. The Italian Code of Civil Procedure reform enters into force, containing targeted but extremely relevant interventions for arbitration matters. In addition, the new Arbitration Rules of the Milan Chamber of Arbitration also enter into force (their Italian text is available here).
The recent judgment rendered by the Supreme Court of Cassation no. 32796 dated 8th November 2022 (Italian text available here) resolved a delicate procedural issue, ruling that the following principle of law is also applicable to the appeal proceedings against the arbitration awards “the principles of economic and reasonable duration of the proceedings (…) and in accordance whit a constitutional interpretation set out in art. 384 cod. proc. civ., inspired by these principles, once verified the lack of ruling on a ground of appeal, the Supreme Court can omit a referral decision on the appealed decision and may give a final judgment on the merit of the case, when the question of law referred to that ground results unfounded, so the final decision confirms the ruling of the judgement of appeal (consequently it is useless to return to the merit phase), unless the matter needs further factual findings”.
A recent decision of the Italian Supreme Court (No. 32996 of 9 November 2022, Italian text available here) provides an opportunity for dealing with the possibility to appeal to a procedural order that only resolved preliminary issues.
2022 has been an exciting year for Italian arbitration practitioners.
First, in 2022 was enacted the reform of Italian arbitration law, which will enter into force on 1 March 2023. It is the first significant reform since that passed in 2006. It is worth immediately noting that:
Italian arbitration law will impose specific disclosure duties on the appointed arbitrators. The influence of international best practices is evident, and the fulfilment of the said duties will likely avoid the occurrence of events such as those discussed in BEG v. Italy, and
Italy finally leaves the restricted club of jurisdictions not allowing arbitrators to issue interim measures.
Second, Italian practitioners had to brush up on seasoned precedents on the arbitrability of disputes involving a party affected by trade sanctions. Italian Courts dealt with this matter concerning the sanctions against certain Iraqi entities; the same principles will likely apply to the sanctioned Russian entities.
Third and eventually, Italian institutional arbitration is in sharp expansion. The time is still far when Italian administered arbitrations will outnumber ad hoc proceedings. Nonetheless, Italian arbitral institutions, particularly the leading institution (Milan Chamber of Arbitration), significantly contributed to shaping the landscape for domestic and international cases.
The Milan Court of Appeal, with the ruling hereby commented (No. 3466 of November 4th 2022, Italian text available here), decide a challenge of an arbitral award (rendered at the end of an arbitration proceeding concerning a dispute on the leasing of a branch of business) accepting the objection of tardiness raised by the appealed party. Read more “Service of the award”
The Court of Milan reaffirms, in a recent decision (No. 8411 of 26 October 2022, Italian text available here), the broad applicability of the arbitration clauses contained in the Articles of Association, also with respect to the challenge to the shareholders’ meeting resolutions, with the sole exception of so-called irremediable nullity.
The sanctions adopted against certain Russian entities and individuals after the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation might raise an issue of arbitrability of disputes between sanctioned entities and third parties.
This is not a new subject for practitioners of international arbitration, as it has been addressed in the past when the international community adopted sanctions, for example, against Iraq or Iran. The current sanctions are somehow different (for example, they are not adopted by the United Nations) and are more similar to those adopted against the same Russian Federation following the annexation of Crimea.
The issue now requires further attention, either because of the scope of the new sanctions or because of the relevance in the international trade of several of the sanctioned entities.
Bilateral investment treaties (BIT) are international agreements providing the terms, conditions and protections for private investment by individuals and entities of a contracting State (the home State) in the other Contracting State (the host State).
The proliferation of BITs at the turn of the 20th century has transformed the international investment environment, as they represent a crucial element of globalization.
As far as it is known, approximately 3,000 BITs were signed, and more than 2,000 are in force.
Italy is a party to 102 BITs (and 77 treaties with investment provisions, including the EU treaties). Turkiye is a party to 132 BITs (and 22 treaties with investment provisions).
On 22 March 1995, Italy and Turkiye signed their BIT, which entered into force on 2 March 2004. Its English text is available here.
Turkey has taken significant steps in becoming an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction over the past decade. Nevertheless, we observe that the foreign arbitral award enforcement proceedings in Turkey are being subject to a more detailed review than other arbitration-friendly jurisdictions on a comparative basis.
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