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International Arbitration and Litigation

The International Arbitration and Litigation Forum periodically brings together experts from the practice of international economic law in a broad sense in order to analyze current legal problems related to these methods of dispute resolution. In our sessions we analyze both legal problems, relevant issues of private and public law, as well as the perspectives of economic operators, States and international organizations within the framework of international economic relations.

Ignacio Diez-Picazo

Professor of Procedural Law, Complutense University of Madrid. Lawyer. Member of the Academic Council of FIDE.

Carlos Esposito

Professor of Public International Law, Autonomous University of Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Francisco Garcimartín

Professor of Private International Law, Autonomous University of Madrid, Linklaters SL Consultant. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.


Discover all the publications, session summaries and other documents related to the activity of this forum:

25th November 2019

Panelist: Andreas Kulick, Senior Research Fellow, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany. Visiting professor, University of Cologne (*).

Moderator: Carlos Espósito, Chaired Professor of Public International Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


International courts and tribunals only enjoy jurisdiction to settle a dispute if what is submitted before them is precisely thus - a “dispute”. From Article 36 (2) of the ICJ Statute over Articles 286 and 287 UNCLOS to the dispute settlement clauses in international investment agreements - both, with respect to investor-state and state-state arbitration - international adjudication usually requires demonstration that the parties are in fact engaged in a "dispute". According to the World Court, a “dispute” is a “disagreement on a point of fact or law”. However, what if the parties disagree over whether there actually exists such disagreement? What if, say, in a state-state investment arbitration under a BIT, the opposing party refused to respond to the applicant's submissions prior to the introduction of proceedings? Or, before the ICJ, the respondent argues that there is no “dispute” because it declined to react to the applicant's contentions? In other words, can a disputing party avoid a dispute by playing dead? On the other hand, where to draw the line in order to prevent the applicant from seizing an international court or tribunal where there is in fact no real disagreement among the parties?

The session addressed these matters analyzing recent ICJ jurisprudence and arbitrations between States, including in the framework of international investment agreements, and discussing the implications of various approaches to addressing the issues raised.

(*) Andreas Kulick, (Habilitation, Tübingen; Doctor iuris, Tübingen; LL.M., NYU School of Law; First and Second State Exams, Berlin) is currently a visiting professor at the University of Cologne. He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tübingen, a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Center for International Law (University of Cambridge), a Global Fellow at NYU School of Law and a guest at the WZB Social Science Research Center Berlin. He is widely published on various aspects of public international law, including international adjudication, international investment law and international and regional human rights protection. He has advised and represented states in various matters of public international law before international courts and tribunals and is a Member of the ILA Study Group on Content and Evolution of the Rules of Interpretation in International Law.

December 2 2019

Speaker: Mercedes Tarrazón, Founding Partner, Dispute Management

Moderator: Ignacio Díez-Picazo, Professor of Procedural Law, Complutense University of Madrid. Lawyer. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.


With the transposition in 2012 of Directive 2008/52 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of May 21, 2008, on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters, mediation was fully incorporated into our legal system . However, today its use in business disputes is still not significant.


Beyond the public initiatives to reverse this situation, such as the Draft Law for the Promotion of Mediation approved by the Government in January of this year or the Forum for Mediation created by the Ministry of Justice that same month, the generalization The use of mediation necessarily requires that the economic and legal agents know what actually happens in mediation.


Knowing how to prepare, what to expect, and how to act is what can allow the parties and their advisers to have sufficient confidence in mediation as a conflict resolution mechanism. Only this knowledge can make them decide to participate in a mediation with commitment, investing the time and resources necessary to prepare properly. And it is this preparation that will most help the mediation to be fruitful.

In the session we have had the opportunity to learn, from the hand of an expert mediator and through her experiences and reflections, issues such as the approach to the strategy in a mediation, the use in it of what would be evidence in a contentious procedure or how to ensure the confidentiality of what is discussed in mediation.

December 12 2019


  • Álvaro López De Argumedo, Partner, Uría Menéndez

Moderator: Francisco Garcimartín, Professor of Private International Law, Autonomous University of Madrid, Linklaters SL Consultant. Member of the Academic Council of Fide


Recently, various Superior Courts of Justice have issued judgments regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards that raise procedural issues of interest such as (i) whether the negative exequatur of arbitration awards is possible; (ii) whether an action for recognition and an action for enforcement of the same award could be filed simultaneously; or (iii) if possible the exequatur of foreign awards that have been annulled in the State of origin.

The last session analyzed these issues and some other current procedural issues related to the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.

21 January 2020


  • Alfonso Church, Partner, Cuatrecasas

Moderator: Ignacio Díez-Picazo, Professor of Procedural Law, U Complutense University of Madrid. Lawyer. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.


International construction arbitration is considered a subspecialty of international commercial arbitration. On the other hand, a relevant percentage of commercial arbitrations deal with infrastructure and engineering projects. The session discussed some of the characteristics that, both from a material and procedural-arbitration point of view, give international construction arbitration a certain personality.

March 2 2020


  • Jesús R. Mercader Uguina, Professor of Labor Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Counsel of Uría Menéndez. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.
  • Juan Antonio Lascurain, Professor of Criminal Law, Autonomous University of Madrid


Moderator: Carlos Espósito, Professor of Public International Law, Autonomous University of Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of Fide


We convened two leading experts in Criminal Law and Labor Law to analyze the EU Directive 2019/1937, of October 23, 2019, on the protection of people who report violations of Union Law, whose transposition period ends at the end of December 2021. In this first approximation to the Directive on whistleblowers, we mainly talked about the matters it covers, the information channels and, in general, the obligations it imposes on the States.

13 January 2020

Speaker: Luis Cortezo, Partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in the Litigation, Insolvency and Arbitration area in the Madrid office

Moderator: Luis Sanz Acosta, Magistrate of Section 28 bis of the Provincial Court of Madrid. Professor of Commercial Law, Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of Fide


The request and practices of the test of the interrogation of the parties and testimony, presents many doubts when one of the parties is a legal person.

The reality is that the casuistry presented by art. 309 and is of the ritual standard. Many companies have difficulties when it is not entirely impossible to make their legal representative appear, giving rise to the controversial figure of the "attorney-in-fact to acquit positions" and this generates many practical problems.

Furthermore, in most cases the legal representative did not personally intervene in the controversial legal relationship and this entails a whole series of identification obligations and collaboration with the Court to enable the development of the evidence. Thus we will analyze: the indication of the person who intervened In what capacity is it? What are the consequences of its lack of indication? Is it necessary to request the court summons? How does the fictional confession operate in these cases?

Likewise, the exceptional privilege granted to public legal persons by art. 315 LEC for your written statement raises interesting questions when requesting and developing the test or how to cross-examine.

Finally, the statement of the employee of the mercantile companies as a witness forces us to reflect on aspects such as the blemish or the greater or lesser credibility that is granted by the probative assessment of our Courts.

March 3 2020


  • Patricia gabeiras, Founding Partner of Gabeiras & Asociados
  • Eduardo Villellas, Partner of the Litigation and Arbitration department of Deloitte Legal

Moderator: Miguel Guerra, Director of the Revista Sepinnet Enjuiciamiento Civil. Member of the Academic Council of Fide


The counterclaim has been defined as the new claim that is accumulated by the defendant to an ongoing process and constitutes a possibility, not an obligation.

Now, do we know your requirements? Is the implicit counterclaim allowed in any case? What is the degree of connection required with the main claim? How does your approach influence the setting of the amount and delimitation of the object of the entire process? Does it open the way of resources? Do we know their differences with both legal and judicial compensation? The procedural rule does not require a counterclaim when the defendant is limited to requesting acquittal, but is it enough to answer when defensive allegations are introduced that cover up petitions and that may have effects in subsequent processes given the effect of res judicata? These and other questions have been answered in this session.

Academic coordination: Victoria Dal Lago Demmi


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