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Arbitrating International Contract Disputes in England – Why and How? The popularity and prestige of England and Wales as an arbitration jurisdiction is well-known, and this is particularly true concerning arbitrating in London. Despite uncertainties surrounding the impact of Brexit, when it comes to international arbitration there seems to be no noticeable negative change. On the contrary, as we will see, the case numbers are rising, commercial arbitration remains the most-popular resolution mechanism for international transactions, and primary attractions of England and London remain the same. Some of these were already discussed in the AKT blog (https://www.akt.rs/en/publication/english-contract-law-and-its-importance-for-international-commercial-transactions) but it is worth focussing on what arbitrating in London actually entails, in particular for companies such as those from Serbia. In broad terms, most attractive points for opting for London are the refined legal framework, strong support for arbitration by experienced courts, and a number of world-renown arbitral…

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COMPULSORY ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION – A PATH TOWARDS EFFICIENT JUSTICE? On 12 July 2021 the UK Civil Justice Council, an advisory public body tasked with overseeing the modernisation of the judicial system, published a long-awaited report on Compulsory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in courts of England and Wales (available here https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Civil-Justice-Council-Compulsory-ADR-report-1.pdf). The report was commissioned to look at key issues in relation to the topic, but it was ‘not made in the context of any specific proposals for the introduction or extension of compulsory ADR but in order to inform possible future reform and development in this area’. The importance of (compulsory) ADR and why reports such as these might have influence beyond UK borders stems from both the long-standing access to justice issues and more acute challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. English courts (and many others worldwide) struggled with increasing backlogs of civil and criminal…

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Taking the Lead on New Technologies – Digital Dispute Resolution Rules Published On 22 April 2021 the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce published the Digital Dispute Resolution Rules (“the Rules”),aimed at setting out new arbitration rules for disputes arising from novel digital technologies including crypto assets, cryptocurrencies, fintech apps, smart contracts, blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This builds on the Legal Statement of the same Taskforce from November 2019 which laid out that crypto assets were recognised as property under English law, as well as that smart contracts (potentially concluded/executed via blockchain technology) were indeed contracts under that same law. The new Rules should promote the UK and London as a leading jurisdiction for resolution of these disputes and can also provide the template for other countries. The Rules envisage arbitrators with specialised knowledge resolving the digital disputes speedily and efficiently, and should instil confidence in the sector stakeholders that arbitration is…

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WORK PERMIT FOR FOREIGNERS The status of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia is regulated by the Law on Foreigners and the Law on Employment of Foreigners. A foreigner who aims to be employed in our country has the same rights and obligations in terms of work, employment and self-employment as domestic citizens. Employment of a foreigner is realized under the condition that he/she has a visa for a longer stay on the basis of employment, a permit for temporary residence or permanent residence and a work permit. Most commonly, the application is submitted for a work permit on the basis of a temporary residence permit. The documentation required for submitting an application differs from the type of requested work permit. A work permit can be issued as: – personal work permit; – work permit. Only one type of work permit can be issued for…

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Serbia-UK Trade Deal – Keeping the Old and Opening New Possibilities The commercial cooperation between Serbian and UK companies, the legal aspects of which we discussed in a number of previous AKT blog posts (see e.g. https://www.akt.rs/en/publication/english-contract-law-and-its-importance-for-international-commercial-transactions) has received a strong boost with the recent signing of the Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the two countries. Its aim is to secure continued preferential trade access between the UK and Serbia, along the lines of the existing EU-Serbia agreement which has been used as its template. The agreement, now provisionally applied, allows for significant savings for businesses and supports the wider economy of both states. Another aim is to strengthen political, security and cultural ties, and reaffirm the support for governance reform in Serbia to improve competitiveness of the economy and the democratic society. The agreement establishes institutional arrangements between the UK and Serbia based on…

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ENDURING POPULARITY, TECHNOLOGICAL ADAPTATION, AND DIVERSITY – THE NEW QMUL ARBITRATION SURVEY PROVIDES KEY INSIGHTS Despite the immense challenges of the past year, international arbitration is adapting and thriving – that is the key message of the 2021 Queen Mary/White& Case International Arbitration Survey Despite the immense challenges of the past year, international arbitration is adapting and thriving – that is the key message of the 2021 Queen Mary/White& Case International Arbitration Survey (https://www.arbitration.qmul.ac.uk/media/arbitration/docs/2021-International-Arbitration-Survey-Adapting-arbitration-to-a-changing-world.pdf). The survey is a unique and invaluable resource for anyone in this field and sharing some main points of interest can help illustrate where the world of arbitration is heading. Out of many interesting findings, based on the answers provided by over 1200 participants (the largest number ever)it is possible to discern three broad trends: 1) enduring popularity of arbitration and its global appeal; 2) rapid technological development and adaptation,…

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