Economic sanctions are a favored foreign policy tool of governments and constitute a lively issue in contemporary international economic relations. After the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last year President Trump reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran. In addition the U.S. implemented the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which is targeting Russian companies and individuals. As a consequence companies discontinue their trade with countries and business partners and terminate existing agreements. However, a unilateral withdrawal from an agreement may lead to major disputes about exemptions from the fulfilment of a contract, termination rights and damage claims.
Even if a contract is rendered invalid or unenforceable as a result of the imposition of sanctions an arbitration clause may more than likely still be effective. Arbitration proceedings resulting from sanctions raise many practical issues affecting all actors in the arbitration procedure: the parties and their lawyers, the arbitrators and the arbitration institutions.
The impact of sanctions on the design of trade agreements and on international arbitration is subject of our 4th Arbitration Day. After an introduction of Susannah Cogman, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, on applicable sanctions regulations, representatives from industry will speak about the arrangements parties should keep in mind during contract negotiations. Alexis Mourre, President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Inka Hanefeld, Vice-President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and Mathias Wolkewitz, General Counsel at Wintershall Holding Ltd. will end the conference with an exchange on practical and procedural challenges brought by economic sanctions to international arbitration parties and institutions.