The 6th Annual Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration, co-hosted by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), the Institute for Energy Law (IEL), and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), took place on January 24-25, 2019, in Houston, Texas. Under the guidance of conference co-chairs Andrew T. Clarke (ExxonMobil…

On 22 November 2018, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation hosted a High Level Event on the Reform of Investment Protection. Distinguished panellists from arbitral institutions, international organisations, academia, civil society, arbitration users and legal practitioners presented diverse views on the need for reform of the system of investor-State dispute…

On 7 February 2019, Young ITA Talks Mexico conference addressing investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”) in Latin America was organized at Greenberg Traurig S.C.’s Mexico City office. The panellists, including leading practitioners and government officials, discussed the development of and approaches to international arbitration and ISDS in Latin America, and how these are influenced by divided…

On 22 November 2018, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation hosted a High Level Event on the Reform of Investment Protection. Distinguished panellists from arbitral institutions, international organisations, academia, civil society, arbitration users and legal practitioners presented diverse views on the need for reform of the system of investor-State dispute…

        [Source:Google] In this post the Kluwer Arbitration Blog’s Latin American editorial team (Associate Editor Gloria Alvarez and Assistant Editors Daniela Páez  and Enrique Jaramillo) joins us in an adventure to reflect on the Blog’s 2018 coverage of arbitration developments in the region. First, it is worth recapping the environment and circumstances…

In 2013, China proposed to jointly build the “Belt and Road” Initiative. While the international investment agreements (“IIAs”) proposed to be concluded with China and its counterparties along the “Belt and Road” will provide a robust source of potential investor protections, they must be easily understood among investors, states, and international tribunals. IIAs, as the…

On 17 December 2018, the Prime Minister of Hungary issued a decision entitled “Decision authorizing the conclusion of an Agreement to terminate bilateral agreements on encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments concluded between governments of certain Member States of the European Union” The rather succinct Decision confirms the Prime Minister’s approval of the commencement of…

In a marked departure from its usual closed-doors policy, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) recently held public deliberations in two separate appeal proceedings concerning foreign investment arbitrations. In both cases, a public deliberation by all five judges of the first civil chamber was necessitated due to the lack of unanimity among the…

In 2014, Tanzania was identified as the top destination for foreign direct investment in East Africa by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”). Between 2011 and 2013, the country signed five new Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”). With these, it would seem like the country is opening up and attracting foreign investors. However,…

The CERSA (CNRS-University Paris II Pantheon-Assas) organises a series of seminars on select topics in international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The purpose of these seminars is to discuss and debate such topics bringing together academics, practitioners and policymakers in a small international group in Paris. The conference about Topical issues in ISDS: Latin…

International investment agreements (IIAs) are divided into two types: (1) bilateral investment treaties and (2) treaties with investment provisions. I would primarily focus on the first category i.e. bilateral investment treaties. A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement between two countries regarding the promotion and protection of investments made by investors from one country…

After the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, the new local “authorities” have taken a number of privately and state-owned assets in the peninsula.  Ukrainian companies have commenced at least eight investment arbitrations against the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine BIT (the “BIT”), seeking compensation for the lost property in Crimea.  A number of tribunals have…

A key issue that has assumed importance in BIT arbitrations today is the role of state courts vis-à-vis investment tribunals. Two aspects of this issue become particularly relevant when courts are faced with claims of vexatious BIT arbitrations: (i) the law applicable in the court’s supervisory capacity, and (ii) the extent to which courts can…

Introduction The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-284/16, Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Achmea) has attracted much comment in many fora, including the Kluwer Arbitration Blog (See e.g., articles authored by Florian Stefan, Clement Fouchard and Marc Krestin, and Vivek Kapoor). This is not surprising. The CJEU…

The arbitral tribunal in Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Limited v. Bolivia has recently hinted at its intent to address an old question: What is the doctrine of “clean hands” in investment arbitration? On 31 January 2018, an arbitral tribunal composed of Professor Ricardo Ramírez Hernández, Professor John Gotanda and Professor Philippe Sands issued a Procedural Order…

For AfricArb The evolution of foreign direct investment in the African continent The African continent has been an important recipient of foreign investment for many decades, with a significant rise in such investment being witnessed in the last 15 years. The economic growth, the limitation of regulatory barriers and importantly the high rates of return…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) issued its long-awaited decision in the Achmea case (C-284/16) between the Slovak Republic and Dutch insurer Achmea BV. In Achmea, the CJEU found investor-state dispute settlement provisions in investment treaties concluded between EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs“) to be incompatible with EU law….

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Allen & Overy, nor those of its clients. Introduction Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented level of attention on corporate responsibility for human rights. As public calls for action in this area intensify, States are…

The first half of the year has been a rollercoaster when it comes to BITs and ISDS, in particular in Europe. Several developments at various levels can be distinguished with one common denominator: for better or for worse, the European Union (EU) and EU law have become one of the key drivers in shaping international…

Over the past two months, the judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV, hereinafter referred to as “Achmea”, has created much discussion among arbitration practitioners. Its reasoning and implications have already been addressed in several Kluwer Arbitration blog posts, available here, here and here. The…

The world after the  Achmea v Slovakia decision focuses on the question about the future of ISDS in relation to intra-EU BITs. At the ASIL conference on the 6 April 2018, a representative of the EU observed the decision in the Achmea case as one that was perhaps a natural consequence of the intricacies of…

After three high-value infrastructure and energy projects cases at ICSID and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) is now facing a new US$40 million investment treaty claim. This time it involves the privatization of an insurance company – Krajina osiguranje a.d. Banja Luka, based in the Republic of Srpska (one of the…

In the context of the backlash against investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”), one of the main criticisms is the asymmetric nature of investment treaties, which impose numerous obligations on the States, but do not seem to hold corporations accountable for the social, environmental and economic consequences of their activities. Some recent developments reflect a redirection away…

The CJEU judgement issued in the much-discussed (here and here) C-284/16 Slovak Republic vs. Achmea case has every chance of becoming a game changer in the field of the investment protection regime within the EU. Where does that leave the protection of investors within the EU? The message of the CJEU to those who welcomed…