In October 2010, Michel Prada, the Honorary Inspector General of Finances, was commissioned by the French Government to strengthen and consolidate Paris’s position at the heart of the world of international arbitration. As part of his mission, on 19 April 2011, he delivered a consultation paper “Certain considerations on the strengthening of the legal competitiveness of the city of Paris” to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry. The paper, and the proposals for reform which it recommends, are open for consultation until 20 May 2011. Responses to the paper will be discussed at a round-table in June 2011.
Mr Prada’s paper discusses three issues concerning international arbitration in Paris: (i) the risk of the ICC’s possible relocation, (ii) the quality and attractiveness of the legal environment, and (iii) the influence and coherence of the community, including the tools it uses to promote itself.
On the ICC, although it appears that the organisation has decided to stay in Paris, Mr Prada suggests that the handling of the discussion surrounding its possible relocation demonstrated that France does not have a sufficiently competitive system for attracting and maintaining the presence of international private law non-governmental organisations.
On quality and attractiveness, Mr Prada observes that Paris is a very attractive place for international arbitration. He remarks on the significance of recent legislative reforms in France, including the new French arbitration law of 13 January 2011 (Decree No. 2011-48) and the positive effect these reforms have had on the way in which the French legal system deals with arbitration. Mr Prada also discusses the recent INSERM case and the confusion it has caused regarding the involvement of public law bodies in international arbitration.
Mr Prada also calls upon public authorities and those working in international arbitration in Paris to promote the city’s advantages. To achieve this, Mr Prada calls upon the community to collaborate in forming a single organisation for the promotion of arbitration in Paris. One of Mr Prada’s specific recommendations is that a single website be created to provide information on international arbitration in Paris.
Mr Prada’s report notes the role of Paris, the Home of International Arbitration, together with the Comité Français de l’Arbitrage and the International Arbitration Institute, as organizations that advance the place of Paris as a center for international arbitration. Paris, the Home of International Arbitration, which recently launched its website specifically to promote arbitration in Paris, hopes that all actors in the Paris arbitration community will continue their active involvement in the association’s activities and will continue to contribute content and ideas to the association’s website.
We welcome the recognition by Mr Prada of our organisation’s involvement in the promotion of Paris as a place for arbitration and look forward to continuing to be part of the development of the Paris arbitration community in the future.
Mr Prada’s report (in the original French) can be viewed by clicking on the “download” icon, above.