The Centre for International Law and Governance, University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with Hasselt University and Seven Summits Arbitration, recently hosted an expert roundtable on “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) at a Crossroads”. The discussion, moderated by the three authors of this post, focused on the relationship between investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), investment protection, modernization…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has long been subject to debate focusing on its perceived chilling effect on energy transition, the compatibility of intra‑EU disputes under the ECT with EU law, and the cost-efficiency of investment arbitration. On 24 June 2022, after five years of negotiations, the Energy Charter Conference Member States reached an agreement…

In November this year, the Energy Charter Conference will meet to adopt amendments to the ECT in accordance with the agreement in principle on the modernised ECT. However, the text of the modernised ECT has received much criticism in recent weeks (see e.g., here). Despite the fact that the modernised text of the ECT largely…

Seeing the Agreement in Principle on Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) “modernization” and its leaked full text, the “modernization” misnomer can safely be abandoned. The renegotiated ECT does not rise to the mounting global challenges regarding energy investment, climate action, and sustainable development. The ECT reform process missed the mark in nature, scope, ambition, and speed…

On 13 September 2022, the long-awaited text of the modernised Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was published. Still subject to final agreement, this is the text that reflects the Agreement in Principle reached by the parties to the Treaty in June this year after more than three years and 15 rounds of negotiations. Modernisation has several…

Negotiations towards a modernized Energy Charter Treaty (ECT, Treaty) ended on 24 June 2022, with the States Parties reaching an agreement in principle following discussions towards reform that began in November 2017. While the final text of the modernized Treaty has not yet been published, the Secretariat of the ECT in June issued a public…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the two legal orders of on the one hand, international investment law (i.e., International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and investor-State arbitration provisions (ISDS)), and on the other hand, EU law, were peacefully co-existing next to each other with only occasional contact. Indeed, it was the time when the…

From 20-26 July last year, this Blog ran a series on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) modernisation process. The Energy Charter Conference (the Conference) had recently established a Modernisation Group (the Subgroup) to conduct the modernisation negotiations, and the series aimed to provide updates to readers on various aspects of that process. At the time…

On December 11, 2020, the Dispute Resolution Interest Group (“DRIG”) of the American Society of International Law (“ASIL”) hosted a webinar on “The Future of Investor-State Dispute Settlement under the Energy Charter Treaty.”  The event featured Amaia Rivas Kortazar, André von Walter, Crina Baltag, and Yuriy Pochtovyk, and was moderated by DRIG co-chairs Simon Batifort…

Following a highly-publicized diplomatic battle among the EU Member States (MS), the EU revealed in mid-February its proposal to amend the ECT’s definition of the “Economic Activity in the Energy Sector” (EAES). The announcement allayed fears of the intra-EU discussions on the matter falling apart. Insofar as it sets forth a vision for amendments that…

On 3 December 2020, Belgium announced the submission of a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for an opinion on whether the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) are compatible with the EU Treaties. Belgium indicated that the purpose of its request…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has recently become a household name, moving from the oblivion of the 1990s, when the treaty was drafted, to one of the most hotly debated topics in legal (and other) circles nowadays. Some have demonized it as an instrument for the corporate usurpation of democratic functions, such as the host…

The signatories of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) have begun the process of the Treaty’s modernisation. This is by no means a small task given the complexity of the Treaty’s scope which covers energy trading, efficiency, transit, investment protection and dispute resolution. Additionally, in order to amend it, all the signatories need to be on…

In the absence of a uniform standard of compensation under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”), tribunals have been tasked with filling the gap and have done so by exercising an important margin of appreciation for the assessment of damages. Such wide discretion has resulted in divergent approaches in assessing damages. Since the first ECT decision,…

The investment protection mechanism in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is meant to, among other things, promote, attract, and protect foreign investments in the member states’ energy sectors. In 2018, the Energy Charter Conference announced its list of approved topics for the modernization of the ECT. The list included several substantive investment protection provisions. This…

Denial of benefits clauses (DoB) have gained considerable traction in the past prolific years of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), and more specifically, with the growing number of Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitrations. UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Hub still lists a considerably small number of international investment agreements (IIAs) providing for DoB: little above 200 which would…

Modernisation of any multilateral treaty is a category of tasks on its own. There are several prerequisites which shall be in place, apart from obsolete language and provisions. The most crucial element is a steady political will of a critical mass of countries based on the strong motivation, which will break inertia and create new…

The Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) opened for signature in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and now boasts some 50 member States. The ECT has since given rise to some 130 investor-State arbitrations, making it “the most frequently invoked international investment agreement”. This high use, coupled with a perception that the ECT is frequently invoked…