In addition to grabbing an increasing share of orders for oil and gas exploration and operational contracts, Scots law itself is seeking to increase the share of energy-related dispute-resolution work following the recent opening of the International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA). The ICEA is a joint venture between Dundee University’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy and the Scottish Arbitration Centre.
Renewable energy research forms a key area of Centre strategy for the future. Current work focuses on regulatory issues surrounding electricity market design with the rapid growth of intermittent supplies on the horizon. It has submitted a report to the Scottish Government on this at its request and has an open dialogue with the European Commission and key stakeholders on this growing sector.
Professor Peter Cameron, Director of both the CEPMLP and the ICEA, explained: ‘Energy-related disputes are now making up more than 30% of all disputes in international commerce. For Scotland to now stake a claim to expertise in this area is timely and builds on our deep knowledge of all kinds of energy resources.’
And Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and a Director of the ICEA, added: ‘When it comes to energy dispute resolution in Scotland, we find that in our universities, in our legal firms, and in industry, we have a clustering of legal and technical energy expertise that is not readily found in any other part of the world.’
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Secretary General of the ICEA, said: ‘We are consulting with the energy sector and work with relevant representative bodies to establish current trends and desired requirements in respect of dispute resolution within the industry. This research will support the proposed preparation of bespoke energy arbitration rules.
“Meanwhile, we will promote Scottish arbitration under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 for energy disputes and promote Scotland as a place in which to arbitrate such disputes.”
After the formal opening last year, First Minister Alex Salmond later commented: “Scotland is a leading international energy centre, being home to a global oil and gas hub and some of the best renewable resources and technologies on the planet.
“At the same time, we have built on Scotland’s distinguished legal system to develop a world-class legal framework for cost-effective arbitration services at the International Centre for Energy Arbitration.”