Case of the Day: Getma v. Guinea

The case of the day is In re Certain Controversies Between Getma International and the Republic of Guinea (D.D.C. 2016). Getma had a contract to develop Guinea’s main port in the capital city, Conakry. The agreement called for arbitration of disputes under the CCJA arbitration rules. When a dispute arose, Getma demanded arbitration. The tribunal ultimately awarded Getma significant damages.

During the proceedings, the CCJA had ordered the parties to pay certain arbitration costs in advance. The tribunal asked the CCJA, which was administering the arbitration, to increase the arbitrators’ fees. The CCJA seemed to encourage or at least countenance this request, and the parties indicated they had no objection. But later, the CCJA rejected the tribunal’s effort to increase the fees, citing its prior precedents. Nevertheless, the tribunal’s award included a demand for € 450,000 in arbitrators’ fees, contrary to the CCJA’s decision. “And somehow, the tribunal eventually collected half of the increased arbitrators’ fees from Getma,” the prevailing party.

Guinea sought to annul the award in proceedings before the CCJA, and the CCJA granted its petition on the ground sthat the tribunal had violated the CCJA rules by increasing its fees, which only the CCJA had the authority to do. Getma sought confirmation of the now-annulled award in Washington.
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Case of the Day: Doe v. Ethiopia

The case of the day is Doe v. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (D.D.C. 2016). The plaintiff, who sued using a pseudonym, was an Ethiopian who had been given political asylum in the US in the 1990s and who was now a US citizen. He alleged that he was an activist in the Ethiopian community, and that the Ethiopian government engaged in electronic surveillance against him and others. The details of the alleged surveillance, as summarized by the court, are interesting. Doe alleged that his personal computer at home had been infected with “FinSpy.”
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Case of the Day: Comcast v. Hourani

The case of the day is Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. Hourani (D.D.C. 2016). Issam Hourani was plaintiff in a libel action in England against PsyberSolutions LLC, Allison Blair, Alistair Thomson, and Bryan McCarthy. The claim was that the defendants had falsely asserted that Hourani was involved in the abduction, torture, rape, and murder of Anastasya Novikova in Beirut in 2004. The English complaint alleged that the defendant published the allegedly libelous statements on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Hourani claimed that an unknown Comcast subscriber using a computer with a particular IP address was “hired to stage fake performances to defame and cause harm” to him and to “film the performances to be uploaded onto websites and social media sites.” In 2015, the English court ordered Comcast to disclose to Hourani the identity of the users of a particular IP address.
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