Eye on IPBA

Eye on IPBA Issue #25, June 2016




Issue #25 June 2016

The IPBA Secretariat
Roppongi Hills North Tower 7F
6-2-31 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Tel +81 3-5786-6796 FAX +82-3-5786-6778
E-mail: ipba@ipba.org

Featured Topics: IPBA Membership News • IPBA Committee News • Auckland 2017 • IPBA Scholarship Program •
IPBA Local and Regional Events • IPBA-Supported Events

Dear [[first_name]] [[last_name]] Esq.,
Hello from the IPBA!
The year is already half over, and we enter the second half at full speed. Planning for the IPBA 27th Annual Meeting and Conference is well under way: the committees are preparing their programs; the host committee is working on a schedule for its world promotional tour; the IPBA Nominating Committee is beginning the process to choose the next leadership candidates that will be ratified by IPBA members at the Annual General Meeting in Auckland.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere will soon be starting our summer vacations, and those of you in the south are enjoying the winter months. Wherever you are, we wish you peace and happiness until our next newsletter!

IPBA Membership News

The printed membership directory is now in the works! It should reach your mailboxes sometime in August. In addition to this handy reference, you can access the online membership directory at any time on the IPBA web site in the Member Only section. If you've forgotten your password to log in to this sectoin, you can reset it by using the "Forgot Password" feature in the log in box on the top page of the web site.

The IPBA is seeking young lawyer members! Our official cut-off for the Young Lawyer membership category is age 35, but we welcome "young" lawyers over that age to join at the Standard Membership rate. The IPBA has been changing over the years, and our more experienced members who have been with us since the beginning are starting to retire or move on to other legal-related positions. Although these valued members can never be replaced, young lawyers can contribute to the association in other ways. We've already seen a lot of enthusiasm in our fresher members, and want to keep up the momentum. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to contact the IPBA Secretariat.

IPBA Committee News

This month we have several updates, including a committee introduction, substantive legal developments, and two general notes, which are:

  1. The nominations process has begun for Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs for terms beginning right after Auckland. The IPBA encourages all members interested in getting involved in these capacities to contact the current Committee Chairs now.
  2. Planning for Auckland has begun! Contact the Committee Chairs to share your ideas for sessions or if you want to be a speaker, moderator, or help organize the sessions.

Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Committee - Mohan Pillay and Hiroyuki Tezuka, Co-Chairs
The Dispute Resolution & Arbitration committee is co-chaired by Mohan Pillay (Pinsent Masons MPillay LLP, Singapore) and Hiroyuki Tezuka (Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo) and is proud to be the largest and among the most active of all 23 committees, boasting members from most, if not all, jurisdictions represented by the IPBA.

Testament to this high level of engagement in the work of the committee were the six highly interactive committee sessions organized by the Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Committee during the recent annual conference in Kuala Lumpur. The sessions ran the full length of the conference from the Thursday afternoon to the Saturday morning, and covered such diverse topics as the use of illegally obtained evidence in arbitration proceedings and the evolving nature of costs orders in dispute resolution. If the committee's 2017 planning session is anything to go by, the committee's contribution to the Auckland conference is likely to be just as comprehensive!

It wasn't all work and no play in KL, however. A drinks reception was kindly & jointly hosted by 39 Essex Chambers and KLRCA on the Wednesday evening in the opulant surroundings of KL's Malaysian Petroleum Club, which provided welcome opportunity for old friends to catch up while admiring the view from the Petronas Towers.

If you're interested in the practice of dispute resolution in any or all of its forms (including litigation, arbitration, negotiation, mediation, conciliation, expert determination, adjudication, and online dispute resolution), this is the committee for you, and we encourage you to get involved.

Also: the Dispute Resolution Committee's Asia-Pac Arbitration Day in KL will be September 8th. See below and the IPBA web site for more information.

International Trade Committee - Corey Norton, Chair
Members of the International Trade Committee are particularly interested in the IPBA regional conference to be held in Brussels on October 10th, and to continuing discussions on the conference topic in Auckland. The topic is "Government's role and regulatory tools in cross-border transactions between Asia Pacific and Europe." More information is available on the IPBA's web site and below.

This topic speaks directly to what most international trade lawyers do - our expertise is generally in laws that affect the ability to get goods, services and technologies into or out of a market. Speaking anecdotally, our members' recent matters cover issues such as defending against or encouraging government increases in import duties that aim to offset unfair trade (antidumping), guiding companies on how to comply with export controls and economic sanctions that restrict access to sensitive markets, and guiding governments themselves on the development of health and safety standards for imported products or the degree to which foreign service providers can operate within a market. We'll be offering more specific practice updates in this space soon.

The roles of government (and counsel) and the types of regulatory tools involved in cross-border transactions are extremely diverse and significant. We look forward to the discussions on this topic in Brussels and will be offering several related panels in Auckland. More information to come! Please reach out if you would like to help develop Auckland panels in these areas!

Technology, Media and Telecommunications
From Monika Singh (India):

On May 31, 2016, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Government of India issued guidelines for grant of Unified License VNO {UL(VNO)} to introduce Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) in the telecom sector. VNOs are service delivery operators who do not own the underlying core network but rely on the network and support of the infrastructure providers for providing telecom services. It is believed that introduction of VNOs will lead to faster penetration of telecom services in rural India besides encouraging lower rates and introduction of new & innovative services.

On May 11, 2016, Supreme Court struck down an amendment to the Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2012, which was issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The amendment, issued in October 2015, mandated mobile service providers to provide compensation to consumers for call drops. The Court held that the amendment was arbitrary and unreasonable. It observed that cause for call drops could be twofold: owing to the fault of the consumer or owing to the fault of the service provider. However, the amendment made the service provider pay for all call drops, irrespective of whether it was at fault. Further, the court noted that while TRAI permitted an average of 2% of call drops per month, the amendment was penalizing service providers who complied with this standard.

From JJ Disini (Philippines):
Globe, PLDT buys SMC's telco shares; PCC Investigates

Following their buyout of San Miguel Corporation's telecommunications business involving 100% equity interest in Vega Telecom, Inc., the Philippines Competition Commission (PCC) warns telecommunications giants Globe Telecom, Inc., and Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT) of possible violations of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). The deal would allow Globe and PLDT access to 700 megahertz (MHz) frequencies, helping them provide better Internet in the Philippines.

PCC is set to investigate the deal for acts that can be considered abuse of dominant market position and anti-competitive agreements. In their defense, Globe and PLDT argued that the PCC has no power to undo the deal because they filed a notice before the release of the implementing rules and regulations of the PCA.

DICT passed into law
The law creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is finally signed. The DICT shall be the primary entity of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national ICT development agenda. Among the powers and functions of the DICT is to establish a free internet service accessible in government offices and public areas.

According to Republic Act 10844, or the law creating the DICT, all operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications are to be abolished and their powers and functions are to be transferred to the DICT. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the National Privacy Commission (NPC), and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center (CICC) will also be attached to the DICT for policy and program coordination.

NPC members named
The members of the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the body in charge of administering and implementing the provisions of the Data Privacy Act, have been named. President Benigno Aquino III appointed Raymond Liboro as Commissioner, and Dondi Mapa and Ivy Patdu as Deputy Privacy Commissioners. The deputy commissioners are responsible for data processing systems and policies and planning.

The Data Privacy Act was passed in 2012 primarily to protect the Philippines' BPO industry as it would make the country compliant with international data security standards.

IRR of the Data Privact Act released
Four years after the law was passed, the Data Privacy Act's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) has been finally released for comments. The IRR is essential to effectively implement the provisions of RA10173.

The IRR was released following the appointment of Raymond Liboro as the National Privacy Commission's (NPC) Commissioner and Dondi Mapa and Ivy Patdu as Deputy Privacy Commissioners.

27th IPBA Annual Meeting and Conference in Auckland: 
Connectivity & Convergence
April 6-9, 2017
  • Only 278 days to go until the first day of the conference! Register now at the Super Early Bird Rate, available until October 3rd, via the official conference web site.
  • The IPBA Secretariat is now accepting applications for the Scholarship Program to attend the conference in 2017! See the information below for details and a downloadable application form.
  • IPBA President-Elect Denis McNamara, who is Chair of the conference Host Committee, will soon be starting a worldwide tour to promote the conference. We will announce the venues when the plans are fixed, so be sure to make plans to attend. If you'd like to host an event in your jurisdiction, contact the IPBA Secretariat.

IPBA Scholarship Program 2017

The Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications for the IPBA Scholarship Program to attend the 27th Annual Meeting and Conference in Auckland, New Zealand!

Scholars are awarded a fee waiver to attend the conference, hotel accommodation during the conference, roundtrip airfare, and a 3-year Term Membership in the IPBA.

Click the image at left for a description of the program and an application form. Please pass on this information to your colleagues, local bar associations, and anyone you think would be interested in applying!

IPBA Local and Regional Events

IPBA Arbitration Day
September 8th
IPBA Regional Conference in Brussels
October 10
IPBA East Asia Forum
November 10-11


"Government's role and regulatory tools in cross-border Transactions Between Asia Pacific and Europe"

Topics that will be discussed include:

Market restrictions in emerging economies

  • “Going out” – domestic encouragement of outbound transactions
  • Granting of market status economy to China
  • Security considerations in assessing and authorising foreign investment: is yoghurt a vital national asset? The reach and influence of CFIUS
  • Antitrust review as a political instrument? The Hutchison O2 case. Are SOEs amalgated to their shareholder-state?
  • Bidding wars : a case study of some landmark cases (Starwood, Syngenta, Club Med, Kuka and others).

IPBA-Supported Events

Dates Organizer Event Venue
July 15-16 HKIAC Public International Law Colloquium on Maritime Disputes Settlement Hong Kong
July 30 Kluwer Law International Shanghai International Arbitration Summit Shanghai, China
July 31 Kluwer Law International 2nd Annual Global Competition Forum Shanghai, China
October 18-22 ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting Tokyo, Japan
October 24-25 marcus evans Corporate Counsel Asia Summit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Check the IPBA web site for more events! IPBA members can enjoy discounted registration rates for these events.

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