The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is currently hosting its’ first annual meeting outside Asia, in Luxembourg (July 12-13, 2019). The theme of the meeting is “Cooperation and Connectivity” – “in recognition of the economic and social benefits to be realized through better connectivity within and between countries and regions, including Europe and Asia”, as the AIIB details in the conference agenda.
Cross-boundary connectivity and the challenges of dispute resolution is the subject of one of the event seminars. With panelists from the AIIB’s legal team and leading dispute resolution lawyers in the private sector, the event is covering the following specific issues (as detailed by AIIB):
- “What are the key features of successfully resolving disputes generally, and specifically involving cross-boundary infrastructure projects?
- What are the various forums for resolving such disputes?
- What are the types of disputes that can arise in cross-boundary infrastructure projects and how are they best mitigated?
- What is the role of, and differing strengths of arbitration, national courts and multilateral tribunals in resolving project-related disputes?”
In an interview from the conference, Peter Quayle, AIIB’s Chief Counsel, Corporate, provides Asia Law Portal with insight about the organization’s efforts to streamline dispute resolution and more greatly involve the European legal community in AIIB’s work, as well as background on his unique role within the organization.
Describe your role as AIIB’s Chief Counsel, Corporate
I am Chief Counsel, Corporate, member of the management team of the Office of the General Counsel and started-up and head the Corporate Law Unit which advises on public international law, international administrative law, good governance, corporate procurement, HR policy, communications, ethics and integrity. I also lead AIIB’s dispute avoidance and resolution strategy across all administrative and operational activities. I chair the annual AIIB Legal Conference and am co-editor of the AIIB Yearbook of International Law, which launches its second volume at this fourth Annual Meeting in Luxembourg.
One of the AIIB Luxembourg panels focused on dispute resolution. What is AIIB doing to streamline dispute resolution in projects it is supporting?
We recognize that realistically, complex, cross-boundary infrastructure projects may likely lead to disputes. So we anticipate this from the outset and build-in robust, effective and legitimate dispute resolution procedures to our contracting. Ideally, if used, this will get things back on track quickly and without damaging cooperation and client relations. We take this approach comprehensively across all our engagement with third parties, whether it be corporate procurement with vendors or project financing operations. As the second volume of the AIIB Yearbook of International Law proves, there is an affinity between multilateral institutions, such as AIIB, and institutional international arbitration. AIIB engages with venues such as LCIA, ICC-ICA, CIETAC, SIAC and HKIAC. These all have robust, responsive procedures, including the provision of expedited processes, and lead to foreseeable and enforceable outcomes.
How can the European legal community help support AIIB?
Amongst institutions that we draw upon for dispute resolution include distinguished Europe-based venues, such as LCIA, ICC-ICA and our fellow international organization, the PCA. In this field there is a vigorous exchange between Europe and Asia which drives up client service standards across the board. This exchange includes personnel. Under the institutional rules we rely upon, arbitrators are drawn from around the world, including Europe. This mobility of personnel is also reflected in the multinational make-up of AIIB’s Office of the General Counsel, which includes European and European-educated lawyers.