Brazil has been notoriously reluctant to enter into treaties with other States that provide for the protection of investors and investments, viewing them as detrimental to the host State and its national investors. Brazil has no bilateral investment treaties in force, a limited number of its own treaties, named Cooperation and Facilitation Investment Agreements (CFIAs),…

Brazil has recently executed two new Cooperation and Facilitation Investment Agreements (“CFIAs”) with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on April 11, 2018; and with the Republic of Suriname on May 2, 2018. These are, respectively, the 7th and the 8th CFIAs that Brazil has executed since 2015 (the former ones were executed with Chile,…

On 26 May 2018, the Ninth Investment Arbitration Forum took place at the Juridicum of the University of Vienna jointly organized by Prof. Irmgard Marboe of the University of Vienna, Adriana San Román and Herfried Wöss of Wöss & Partners and ICC Austria. The topic of this year’s forum was “Valuation of Damages in Changing…

In the first part of this article, we discussed the problems of balancing an investor’s intellectual property rights with the sovereign right of a State. Now, we look at how Philip Morris v Uruguay has added to the debate. In 2010 Philip Morris challenged two measures adopted by the government of Uruguay: (1) a “single…

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…

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 panel on Arbitration Challenged Part I: Reforming Substantive Obligations in Investment Treaties and Conditions of Access to Investment Arbitration, at ICCA Sydney 2018 Conference, was moderated by Meg Kinnear, Secretary General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Canada) and had contributions from speakers Christophe Bondy, Cooley LLP (Canada); Max Bonnell, White…

In the midst of challenges to the very legitimacy of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) celebrated its 50th anniversary and embarked on the fourth ICSID Rules amendment process in ICSID history. The previous amendment processes brought notable additions to the ICSID Rules, such as enhanced transparency in…

Introduction The two main reasons why countries generally agree to sign bilateral or multilateral investment treaties (BITs or MITs) are to attract foreign direct investments, while at the same time protecting their own citizens’ investments abroad by reducing political risk. Arguably, there might be multiple added values on top of these reasons for a specific…

The Opinion delivered on 19 September 2017 by Advocate General Wathelet in the case C-284/16 Achmea has already been widely commented on in the international arbitration community. The views are either critical or approving, but so far, they have mostly been focused on whether a particular legal point made by the Advocate General was right…

The international economic order is today bound together through a network of bilateral (and multilateral) investment treaties which provide investors with a variety of protections. Such Bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) are a relatively young species dating back to 1959’s Pakistan-Federal Republic of Germany BIT. While the exact content of BITs varies by agreement, most contain…

The potential clash between protection of investors under investment treaties and protection of the environment has emerged in a number of recent arbitrations. More than 60 investment disputes filed since 2012 have had some environmental component. Amongst them, there have been several cases in which States have sought to enforce environmental law against investors in…

On May 30, 2017, Volterra Fietta and the University of Notre Dame hosted a debate of whether foreign investors can sue the United Kingdom for a hard Brexit. The recorded video is now available for viewing. Markus Burgstaller and I presented the case that foreign investors may have viable claims against the UK, while Jeremy…

In October 2016, the ICSID advised the Member States of the ICSID Convention that it was beginning the fourth amendment process since the enactment of the definitive ICSID Arbitration Rules in 1967. The first amendment to the Rules took place in 1984 and mainly referred to the possibility to resort to national courts for provisional…

A provision enacted in 2016 seems to have created a revolutionary change in Brazil’s approach to arbitration involving State parties. It is well-known that Brazil is not a party to the Washington Convention of 1965 nor of any ratified BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty). The country has relied on commercial arbitration to resolve disputes with State…

On 8 March 2017, the Romanian Parliament sent to the Romanian President for promulgation the Law allowing for the termination of the Bilateral Investment Treaties between Romania and other Member States of the European Union (“Intra-EU BITs”). This comes after Poland adopted a similar measure at the beginning of January 2017 and with the European…

Much Ado About India’s Protectionist Model BIT The last week of November 2016 was an eventful and rather paradoxical week for India. While India and Brazil successfully concluded negotiations for a new Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”), the India-Netherlands BIT expired. India has spent the past year refurbishing its investment agreements. According to UNCTAD, India is…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, signed on 4 February 2016 among 12 Asia-Pacific economies, faces a rocky road to ratification. In the run-up to the US presidential election in November, both Donald Trump and (for now) Hillary Clinton say they are opposed. Yet Australian Prime Minister Turnbull urged President Obama to put the FTA to a vote in Congress…

Climate change is a serious threat to humankind. The sources of the problem are many, requiring a multidimensional approach to find practical and viable solutions. In the last several years, awareness of the issue has been addressed in the public domain, by international community, and civil society. This publicity has resulted in States taking concrete…

Just like a century ago – and throughout their entire history – the Balkans remain a zone of structural instability. In this respect, the ‘end of history’ has not come around to the fringes of Europe, as Francis Fukuyama once optimistically expected. Therefore, although the Balkan area is an essentially coherent cultural sub-space, while still…

The Asian economy is considered an engine of global economic growth, accounting for almost two-thirds of forecasted global economic growth for 2016.1)“Asia: Growth Remains Strong, Expected to Ease Only Modesty”, International Monetary Fund Survey Magazine, 3 May 2016, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2016/CAR050316B.htm. Over the last decade, the flows of foreign investment into and out of Asia have consistently…

The Government of the Republic of India has adopted a revised text of the former 2003 version of its Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Having entered into effect in December 2015, this text is intended to serve as a template for negotiations of India’s existing and future investment relations with countries around the world, including…

International investment law and investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) are at a historic juncture as the United States and the European Union (EU) have started to address the content and contours of the investment chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the latest negotiation round that took place in Brussels the last week…

Investing internationally is all about taking risks. Risk-taking is essential to survive in today’s business world, where competitors, rivals, challengers, in all sectors of the economy, are growing like mushrooms. One needs to take risks to stand out from the rest. Foreign investors are at the center of our economies and appear as key actors…