Global Private International Law
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Global Private International Law

Adjudication without Frontiers

Edited by Horatia Muir Watt, Lucia Bíziková, Agatha Brandão de Oliveira and Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo

Providing a unique and clearly structured tool, this book presents an authoritative collection of carefully selected global case studies. Some of these are considered global due to their internationally relevant subject matter, whilst others demonstrate the blurring of traditional legal categories in an age of accelerated cross-border movement. The study of the selected cases in their political, cultural, social and economic contexts sheds light on the contemporary transformation of law through its encounter with conflicting forms of normativity and the multiplication of potential fora.
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Chapter 16: Interpretation at cross-purposes: Dallah v. Pakistan

Hayk Kupelyants and Sylvain Bollée


This case arises out of a controversy between Dallah Real Estate & Tourism Holding Co (‘Dallah’) and the Government of Pakistan regarding the validity of an ICC arbitration commenced by Dallah in 1998. Dallah was a Saudi Arabian company that provided services to pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia. In 1995, Dallah signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, whereby Dallah agreed to build housing for Pakistani pilgrims. In January 1996, the President of Pakistan then established an Awami Hajj Trust (‘Trust’), whose principal objective was to facilitate activities related to the pilgrimage. In the same year, the Trust and Dallah concluded a contract for the construction of housing for 45,000 Pakistani pilgrims. The contract referred to the terms that had been previously negotiated with the Government and also contained an arbitration clause, under which the parties agreed to refer all disputes to ICC arbitration in Paris. However, the Government of Pakistan was not a party to this contract. In November 1996, the Trust ceased to exist and the contract was never really executed. As a result, in 1998 Dallah initiated an arbitral proceeding against the Government of Pakistan before the ICC. The tribunal sided with Dallah awarding approximately US$20 million in damages and legal costs. Sitting in Paris, the tribunal composed of distinguished arbitrators (Lord Michael Mustill, Nassim Hasan Shah and Ghaleb Mahmassani) delivered three awards – on jurisdiction, applicable law and on the merits.

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