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Baragwanath, D.

Baragwanath, D.

David Baragwanath, born in Balclutha, New Zealand, in 1940.  B.L. from University of Oxford. Judge of Appeals Chamber, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague.

HUGO Fellow (1 September 2011 – 1 November 2011)


During my fellowship at NIAS I was engaged in research intended to assist in the establishment of P.R.I.M.E. Finance. The Stichting PRIME Finance Disputes Centre was recently established in The Hague to undertake research, give advice and facilitate dispute resolution in respect of derivatives and other complex financial transactions. National courts and ad hoc arbitration have failed to provide a settled and authoritative body of law and do not keep pace with the needs of commerce. Decisions are unpredictable, too decentralised, taken too slowly and not always enforceable in home jurisdictions. Judges do not always have the necessary experience and skills to deal with the complexity of the global market. The broad purpose of the P.R.I.M.E. Finance research project at NIAS was to identify the greatest needs and to propose the focus of P.R.I.M.E. Finance.

My research focussed on obtaining a broad understanding of the niche that P.R.I.M.E. Finance could or should fill in a world in which disputes involving complex financial transactions are expected to arise more frequently. I sent a detailed and comprehensive questionnaire to the large number of experts on the P.R.I.M.E. Finance panel of experts. The responses to that questionnaire, and my research, were distilled in a paper I wrote “How should we resolve disputes in complex international finance transactions?”. I presented this paper at the opening of P.R.I.M.E. Finance in the Peace Palace in The Hague on 16 January 2012.