Asian Legal Business

ALB OCTOBER 2017

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12 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – OCTOBER 2017 LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRIEFS ARBITRATION UNDER THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION OF THE PHILIPPINES REGIONAL UPDATE: PHILIPPINES The Construction Industry Arbitration Commission of the Philippines ("CIAC") has original and exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising from, or connected with, contracts entered into by parties involved in construction in the Philippines. Construction disputes may range from contractual money claims to disputes over the execution of the construction work. Construction disputes may involve government or private contracts. CIAC arbitration is generally faster and more cost efficient than court litigation. The CIAC's Revised Rules of Procedure mandates that an award should be rendered within 30 days from the time a case is submitted for resolution, but not more than six months from the signing of the Terms of Reference. CIAC-appointed arbitrators also charge lower fees compared to arbitrators under other arbitration institutions and centers. Unlike in commercial arbitration, where parties are given the right to appoint arbitrators, in a CIAC arbitration, it is the CIAC which appoints the arbitrators from a list of CIAC-accredited arbitrators nominated by the parties. The appointment of an arbitrator may be challenged, but the decision of the CIAC to retain or replace an arbitrator is final. Also, unlike commercial arbitration awards which are not subject to court review, CIAC awards may be questioned through an appeal to the Philippine Court of Appeals on grounds not only involving errors of law, but also errors of fact. The Philippine supreme Court has categorized the CIAC as an admin- istrative agency performing quasi-judicial functions, even though the CIAC merely administers the arbitration under its rules, and adjudication is done by CIAC-appointed arbitrators. One of the current issues concerning arbitration under the CIAC is with regard to the enforcement of CIAC awards. Recent issuances of the supreme Court provide that court sheriffs cannot enforce writs of execution issued by quasi-judicial bodies, including the CIAC. This poses a problem since the CIAC, which does not have its own sheriffs, has historically relied on court sheriffs to execute its awards. A recent decision of the Court of Appeals upheld the power of the CIAC to order a sheriff of the national Labor Relations Commission, a quasi- judicial agency which adjudicates labor disputes, to implement a CIAC award. Given that only supreme Court decisions become prec- edents, however, it is uncertain whether sheriffs from the national Labor Relations Commission, or any other quasi-judicial body, will continue to be allowed to enforce CIAC awards. SyCipLaw Center 105 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1226 T: (632) 982 3500 / F: (632) 817 3896 www.syciplaw.com Ronald Mark C. Lleno Partner rmclleno@syciplaw.com samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee last month begin an appeal of his five-year jail term for corruption, in a case highlighting south Korea's issues with the family-run conglomerates that dominate the economy. A lower court in August convicted the 49-year-old Lee, heir to the samsung Group and one of Asia's largest technology companies, of bribing former president Park Geun-hye to help strengthen Lee's control of the crown jewel in the conglom- erate, samsung Electronics. Park is also under trial over alle- gations of abuse of power and bribery. At the first appeal hearing, on sept. 28, the seoul High Court set the order of witnesses and evidence for the appeal trial, which begins in mid-October. since Lee filed for appeal late in August, the appellate court is likely to try to rule by next January, as under Korean law, he can only be kept in detention a maximum of four months while the court considers his appeal. Four other samsung executives were also convicted in the lower court in the bribery case. Lee's legal team has added new lawyers for the appeal, including former seoul Central District Court chief and new lead counsel Lee In-jae. The defense was expected to question the lower court's logic that Lee expected Park's help in "succession operations," which the court defined as all actions samsung affiliates took "to strengthen Lee's control of samsung Electronics." Lee's defense has argued there was no such thing as "succession operations" and actions such as a 2015 merger of two samsung affiliates was taken for the companies' own perceived profit. The lower court ruled that while Lee never asked for Park's help directly, the fact that the merger did help cement Lee's control over samsung Electronics "implied" he was asking for the president's help. Another defense argument turns on whether there was in fact a bribe as defined under south Korean law, which says only civil servants come under the statute. Lee was found guilty of providing financial support for former president Park's close friend and confidante, who was not a civil servant. SAMSUNG'S JAY Y. LEE BEGINS APPEAL REUTERs/Kim Hong-Ji

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