Energy Center Convenes International Arbitration Conference in Santiago, Chile, June 5-6 2014

On June 5 and 6, 2014, the Energy Center convened a conference in Santiago, Chile, that focused on emerging trends in the use of international arbitration to resolve energy disputes in Latin America. It was the first conference on the topic ever held in Santiago. The goal of the event was to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between Latin American experts and specialists from the United States and Europe on critical issues related to energy and arbitration.

Chilean Under Secretary of Justice Marcelo Albornoz opened the conference with remarks about the importance of energy in the global economy and thanked the Energy Center and The University of Texas School of Law for hosting the event. Over the course of two days, six panels of experts from energy companies, law firms, and universities discussed issues relevant to investor-state disputes, the jurisdiction of arbitrators and the roles of courts in reviewing arbitral awards, remedies in arbitration, and the importance of human rights and environmental considerations in arbitration proceedings. Professor Larry Sager from UT Law made closing remarks.

The conference was sponsored by five law firms – Bofill Mir & Álvarez Jana Abogados, Cleary Gottlieb, Debevoise & Plimpton, Gardere, and Vinson & Elkins. In addition, the Centro de Arbitraje y Mediación de Santiago, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce Chile, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration sponsored the event. Over 130 lawyers, students, business people, and academics from Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, the U.S., and elsewhere registered for the conference. The Energy Center’s executive director, Melinda Taylor, said the event was a resounding success. “The discussions among the panelists and the audience were thoughtful and productive. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with many of the individuals and the institutions that participated in this important conference.”

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From left to right: conference participant; conference faculty Professor Victor Ferreres Comella, Pompeu Fabra University and Carlos Saavedra Teran, in-house counsel, YPBF-Andina; Chilean Under Secretary of Justice Marcelo Albornoz; and Professor Melinda E. Taylor, executive director, Energy Center.