A cursory reading of the mandate of Working Group III reveals that the discussion at UNCITRAL of ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) reform focuses only on procedural aspects of dispute settlement under investment treaties and excludes any substantive aspects. However, the topic of respondent states’ counterclaims, albeit procedural in itself, is so inextricably intertwined with substantive…

Ahead of the thirty-ninth session of UNCITRAL Working Group III (Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform), the General Assembly Secretariat issued a note on issues to be considered on the topic of security for costs and frivolous claims. Averting frivolous claims has been a recurring topic in the ISDS debate over the past years, not least in…

One of the topics on the agenda of UNCITRAL Working Group III is the establishment of an Appellate Court system. The system of investor-State dispute resolution therefore now faces the fact that WG III is considering, among other matters, the following: the repeal of local law governing the setting aside of an UNCITRAL award giving…

Arbitrators under the Crossfire While investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) was created with the purported goal of depoliticizing investment disputes, it is currently at the centre of heated political debates. Investment arbitration follows the commercial arbitration paradigm, with disputing parties playing a direct role in the composition of the tribunal. This is perceived as a tool…

During its last resumed 38th session which took place in Vienna from 20–24 January 2020 the UNCITRAL Working Group III discussed in parallel three reform alternatives, based on the notes prepared by the Secretariat. These alternatives suggested the creation of: (i) a stand-alone review or appellate mechanism; (ii) a standing multilateral investment court (MIC); and/or…

Next week was due to be the 39th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (UNCITRAL) Working Group III, and its sixth session considering the issue of reform to investor-State dispute settlement (‘ISDS’). The session has since been postponed indefinitely, in light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of Working…

Late last year, Herbert Smith Freehills Seoul and Kim & Chang held a “Women in Arbitration” Networking-Dinner and panel discussion as part of the Seoul ADR Festival 2019. The dinner aimed to provide an opportunity for female professionals in the Korean arbitration community to network with their industry peers and work to advance their position…

During the recent visit of Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, to India, Brazil and India inked the investment cooperation and facilitation treaty (hereinafter bilateral investment treaty – BIT). From Brazil’s point of view, this BIT is an extension of a novel approach to foreign investment in international law based on investment facilitation and cooperation, not investment protection…

Last month, ICSID published a further Working Paper (WP4) linked to its ongoing reform process, by which it is considering a series of amendments to the ICSID and ICSID Additional Facility Rules. The Working Paper is the fourth in a series of working papers, preceded by Working Papers 1 (August 2018), 2 (March 2019), and…

The legal considerations arising out of climate change and environmental matters more generally have been considered extensively in the context of worldwide litigation, and, to some extent, in investment treaty arbitration. However, such issues have not been subject to the same level of public debate in the commercial arbitration sphere. This post analyses how environmental…

Over the past few months anti-corruption protesters in Lebanon have taken to the streets calling for widespread reforms to the Lebanese economic and political system. This has caused considerable strain on the country’s already frail economy. The first two weeks of the unrest saw a complete closure of banks with no possibility of making transfers…

International arbitration (IA) maintains its popularity as business’ premier choice of dispute resolution in the 21st century. This does not mean that the process is free from criticism which raises the question how IA attracts and retains the trust of its users in spite of its limitations. The question of trust comes to the fore…

This is a follow-up post that updates on developments in the escalating tensions between Cyprus and Turkey over hydrocarbon explorations in the Mediterranean Sea. In the previous post it was argued that the Italian oil company ENI could launch an arbitration against Turkey under the Italy-Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in the aftermath of the…

Goethe’s famous journey along the Italian peninsula left humanity a collection of verses that still make him the most notorious German author worldwide. Amongst others, he expressed his fascination for the country in these few lines: “Do you know the land where lemon blossom grows? / Amid dark leaves the golden orange glows. /A gentle…

This is the 1st part of the report highlighting the most significant arbitration related decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) issued in 2019.   Arbitrability In the decisions 4A_244/2019 and 4A_246/2019 of 12 December 2019, the Supreme Court dealt with the issue of arbitrability. In two arbitrations brought before a tribunal…

This is the 2nd part of the report highlighting the most significant arbitration related decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) issued in 2019.   Ne Eat Arbiter Extra Petita In the decision 4A_294/2019 / 4A_296/2019 of 13 November 2019, the Supreme Court dealt with an extra petita appeal against an ICC-award….

The Finland Chamber of Commerce has recently revised its Arbitration Rules and the Rules for Expedited Arbitration to address the growing demands of the competitive world of commercial arbitration, as reported by the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce ( “FAI” or the “Institute”) in its article from December 2019. The revised Rules,…

Consolidation of arbitral proceedings is commonly regarded as a procedural device designed to deal with the challenges associated with complex cases. It is a method that combines multiple proceedings and harmonizes the final outcome of the disputes that bear significant resemblance, thus eradicating the risk of having contradictory awards rendered on a closely related set…

For a number of years, most Hungarian domain name disputes have been decided by an Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum (hereinafter: ‘Forum’) operated by the Council of Hungarian Internet Providers (‘Internet Szolgáltatók Tanácsa’, abbreviated as ‘ISZT’). Although the procedure conforms to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names…

The Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (“Macau”) has seen a dramatic decrease of foreign direct investment in the last few years. According to data from the Macau Statistics and Census Service, foreign direct investment dropped 79.9% in 2017 compared to 2016. In order to attract more investment, Macau needs to…

Nkiru Agbu is the winner of the 2020 Kluwer Arbitration Quiz. Nkiru spent New Year’s Day researching the Quiz in order to be the first to submit the correct answers. Now that’s passion for international arbitration! Nkiru won a very special prize for her correct answers for which she will be contacted. In addition to…

In 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) seized two opportunities to confirm and develop its existing case law in relation to the personal scope of arbitration agreements and their possible extension to non-signatories.   Extension to Non-Signatories under the New York Convention In a first decision, ATF 145 III 199, dated 17 April 2019,…

2019 has seen a series of important arbitration-related developments for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. This post highlights selected key arbitration developments in these States from the past 12 months. It focuses on several domestic arbitration law reform efforts and on important developments in respect of investor-State arbitration.   Domestic Arbitration: Legal Developments and…