Reliance on the investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) mechanism of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is booming, with at least ten new cases registered in the past year alone. Notably, nine of these ten cases – and almost 60% of all publicly reported cases initiated to date – have been brought by an investor from a…

Recently the U.S. Executive Branch made headlines by agreeing with Venezuela. In particular, the Executive Branch filed an amicus curiae submission in New York federal appeals court in which it agreed with Venezuela regarding the treatment of ICSID awards in U.S. courts. According to the U.S. Executive (and Venezuela), a party seeking recognition of an…

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) published a draft of new investment arbitration rules (the “draft SIAC IA Rules”) for public comment on 1 Feb 2016. They will be finalized on 27 May 2016. The draft SIAC IA Rules are a unique hybrid of modern commercial arbitration rules and specialist investment arbitration rules (e.g. the…

In the past two years, Canada has signed BITs with nine African states: Benin (January 2013), United Republic of Tanzania (May 2013), Cameroon (March 2014), Nigeria (May 2014), Senegal (November 2014), Mali (November 2014), Cote d’Ivoire (November 2014), Burkina Faso (April 2015) and most recently Guinea (May 2015). The first eight of these treaties (the…

 ‘By putting its head in the sand, the ostrich can see no problems, and if it can’t see any problems, they don’t exist”[1] To what extent can legal systems differ? Can these differences be legitimate enough to collapse a “conflictive” legal system? These two ambitious questions are difficult to be answered in one go, and…

The controversial role of non-disputing parties has been the object of a significant amount of literature. While third party funding was a hot topic hitherto, the so-called amicus curia, and its evolving role, might be back in the spotlight. Since the first ICSID amicus case -the Bechtel case- until today, the rights, interests at stake…