The debate surrounding the meaning and scope of the term ‘investment’ under the ICSID Convention is a product of the larger tussle between capital exporting and capital importing states, which convened at Washington in the search for a mutually beneficial agreement on foreign investments. It has been argued by Prof. Julian Davis Mortenson that ‘investment’…

On March 21, 2022, the Member States of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) approved a comprehensive reform of its rules and regulations, including the rules of procedure for ICSID arbitration proceedings (“New ICSID Rules”). Drafted over a five-year consultation process and six working papers, this profound amendment aims to “modernize, simplify,…

Modern society is amazed by empirical analysis, and the legal world is no exception. Indicators, rankings, and reports have been widely used to compare the independence and efficiency of legal systems with very different cultural and historical backgrounds. They are often regularly published and updated by think tanks and international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental….

State parties’ “mutual actions” over a treaty – including interventions such as interpretation, modification and termination – have flourished in recent investment treaty practice. This trend brings to the fore the question of whether there are any limits to such actions, particularly due to the involvement of non-State entities, such as investors and arbitral tribunals….

Insolvency-related claims arising from contracts containing arbitration clauses continue to culminate in intriguing cases before the England and Wales High Court (a previous post on the Blog analysed the Riverrock Securities Limited v International Bank of St Petersburg (Joint Stock Company) [2020] EWHC 2483 (Comm)). In a recent case titled The Deposit Guarantee Fund for…

On January 20, 2022, ICSID submitted its amended rules to the Administrative Council for a vote, marking the end of the five-year-old process of modernizing the ICSID Rules. ICSID members are expected to cast a vote on the amended rules by March 21, 2022, and if approved, the rules will enter into force on July…

In 2011, in an article titled ‘W(h)ither Fragmentation? On the Literature and Sociology of International Investment Law’, Professor Stephan Schill reflected on the prior decade of scholarly and practical developments in international investment law (IIL). He referred to the boom in specialised scholarship and the more than 400 investor-State disputes then in existence as reasons…

Globalization has diversified the actors, institutions, norms, and instruments on the international legal stage. With diversification comes increased specialization and, in turn, organization around so-called regimes. The notion that international legal regimes can exist autonomously has long been refuted; indeed, each regime draws from general international law to some degree. If regimes are not autonomous,…

Nearly 30 years have passed since world leaders signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”), agreeing to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system.” For many of those years, nobody seemed to take that commitment very seriously. But things look different now: climate law has hit its stride. At COP26 in November…

This post deals with the conceptual underpinnings and theoretical justification for the practice of counterclaims in investment arbitration. First, it is important to delineate this post from an analysis of counterclaims case-law in investment arbitration, as ample accounts of the counterclaim debate in practice can be found here, here, and here.  Equally, this post does…

Debates about the fragmentation of international law and the sometimes conflicting relationship between a state’s and investor’s obligations under international investment law (“IIL”), on the one hand, and public international law and domestic law, on the other, have gained renewed relevance for investment arbitration. Issues related to the interactions between these regimes have featured in…

Introduction In the past few years, there has been a visible focus on ensuring diversity, especially in terms of gender, in international arbitration (IA). This engagement has, arguably, assumed the most prominent or tangible form in respect of arbitrator appointments, which has been previously discussed here and here. One of the most significant steps taken…

Western European countries have taken divergent approaches to dealing with the consequences of shutting down power plants while transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. On one side, Germany resolved the resulting compensation disputes by making settlement payments to the owners of affected nuclear and coal power plants. In contrast, the Netherlands appears reluctant to similarly compensate…

A few days ago I had the fortune of attending the fourth webinar of the Young ITA Mentorship Program – Speaker Series, entitled The (Sometimes Forgotten) Importance of the Arts and Psychology in Advocacy in International Arbitration. Part of the dialogue focused on reviewing whether theatrical study could be useful to lawyers in enhancing their…

The relationship between commercial arbitration and European human rights law raises a number of conceptually difficult issues. How can the State be regarded as responsible at all for conduct of private arbitral proceedings? And how does the concept of an independent and impartial tribunal apply to a decision-making body appointed by the parties themselves? The…

In the wake of BEG (see Part I), what conclusions can we draw about the place of arbitral independence and impartiality in the ECtHR’s Article 6 jurisprudence?   State Responsibility and Private Arbitral Proceedings Is a contracting State now in principle answerable under the Convention for the conduct of all private arbitral proceedings taking place…

The Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

International arbitration is changing at a fast pace, and opportunities arise every day in this field. In this context, on May 25, 2021, Young Arbitral Women Practitioners, Holland & Knight, and Rising Arbitrators Initiative co-hosted a webinar to discuss emerging fields of practice for arbitration lawyers. This post offers an overview of the variety of…

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmaceutical companies have engaged in a highly competitive and risky vaccine race. In less than 10 months from the declaration of the global pandemic, the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech received its first regulatory approval, followed by the success stories of other companies. The swiftness of these results was praised as “unprecedented”…

Intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration have been a highly divisive issue in European policy circles for decades. The European Commission has been forcefully pushing for the termination of these agreements since the early 2000s. It criticised inter alia that intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration undermine the European legal order and create inequality among European investors…

The launch of Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (REAL) took place on 18 January 2021.The date to launch this initiative coincided with Martin Luther King’s Day, to commemorate the birth of this influential civil rights leader, known for his fight for racial equality. The initiative is led by Kabir Duggal, Rekha Rangachari, and Crina Baltag,…

As the transition period following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU approached, there was much speculation about what a “no deal” Brexit might entail. Optimistically, some drew inspiration from Singapore to suggest a possible future for the City of London as an “offshore” European financial services hub. While the exclusion of financial services from…

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…

For more than a decade, it was evident that anti-suit injunctions are not permitted in the European Union. Recently, however, there have been developments that could signal the beginning of a new dawn. In late 2019, the Higher Regional Court Munich confirmed the first anti-anti-suit injunction in German history. The court prohibited Continental from further…