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 explosive development of IT companies offering social platforms (social networking and instant messaging applications) over the past years has gifted us with many tools that we now use on a daily basis. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, What’s App, Skype, Telegram and many others services help us to stay in touch with people all around the…

International arbitration claims are oftentimes bedevilled with the contention that the claimant invoked the option to arbitrate much too early. Sometimes, this contention is no more than a lawyers’ artifice utilised to delay advancing arbitral proceedings. Yet, quite commonly, this contention is true in some cases. In my experience, I have identified a number of…

Consistent decision-making has been an ongoing concern in the way arbitrators approach the issue of treaty shopping and indirect expropriation. The article of Ozlem Susler and Therese Wilson, “Restoring Balance in Investor State Dispute Settlement: Addressing Treaty Shopping and Indirect Expropriation Claims and Consistent Approaches to Decision-Making” ,1)Published in CIArb’s Academic Journal: International Journal of…

[I]t is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.1) R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy [1924] 1 KB 256, 259 (Lord Hewart C.J.) If you sought to distil [the connection between ISDS’s transparency and…

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…

In the midst of the second edition of the Paris Arbitration Week, Jeantet hosted, on Thursday 12 April 2018, a roundtable on the topic “Arbitrating with States in CEE & CIS”. The speakers of the roundtable were: Cosmin Vasile (Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners), Yas Banifatemi (Shearman & Sterling), Davor Babić (University of Zagreb), Yasmin Mohammad…

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…

Cruising around investment cases against the Caribbean islands is not only a recreational journey.  It is also an informative one.  This article aims at presenting key observations made during this journey. As mentioned in a previous publication, since 1973, the sovereign islands of the Caribbean Sea, have concluded over 140 international investment agreements.  The ICSID…

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…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in the case no. C‑284/16 Slovak Republic v. Achmea BV (“Achmea case”) (available here) stated that arbitration agreements concluded between the Member States of the European Union (“EU”) in the so-called intra-EU BITs have an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU“) delivered its ruling in the case of Slovak Republic v Achmea (“Achmea“), holding that the investor-state arbitration provisions in a bilateral investment treaty (“BIT“) between the Netherlands and the Slovak Republic are invalid, as they are incompatible with EU law. In…

On the second day of the ICCA Sydney 2018 Congress, two separate panels considered ‘Arbitrations Involving Public Bodies and Public Interest Salient Issues’. The first panel, moderated by Professor Stavros Brekoulakis (Queen Mary University of London) focused on ‘the Increasing Participation of Public Entities in International Arbitration.’ The panel comprised of Marie Talašová (Government of…

The afternoon session of the second day of the ICCA Sydney 2018 Conference on “New Voices” was moderated by Monty Taylor and had the insightful contributions of Jawad Ahmad, Lucas Bastin, Samantha Lord Hill and Solomon Ebere. Monty Taylor opened the session by noting that not only was this a new initiative for ICCA, but…

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…

On March 6, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in its 12-page judgment backed the Commission in its grid to finally scrap the intra-EU BITs and defied Advocate General’s attempt to preserve the system. The purpose of this note is to concisely analyze this far-reaching judgment of the CJEU against the…

The countries of Africa are nascent economies, some with well developed, and most with burgeoning energy and natural resources (ENR) sectors. With the vast resource of wealth comes a greater expectation of economic development and a greater interest in ENR and infrastructure investment. Disputes are often inevitable, considering the vested interests involved. Navigating ENR arbitration…

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court, in a rare appeal against an award in a bilateral investment treaty arbitration, confirmed its statutory restraint in reviewing arbitral awards pursuant to article 190 of the Private International Law Act (“PILA”) and rejected the host state’s request to set aside the award for violating substantive public policy. (Case 4A_157/2017,…

The Belt-and-Road Initiative (“BRI“) is a grand vision about connectivity, infrastructure, trade and unimpeded foreign direct investment (“FDI“) flows. It is a path to China’s largest export market  – the European Union – which does not only propose to ‘transit’ Eurasia (and coastal East Africa), but to radically transform it. And, thus, mere construction and…

For many years, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), supported by thousands of bilateral investment treaties (BITs), has served as the main mechanism for deciding investment disputes. This controversial system permits affected investors to sue states for damages before arbitral panels on the grounds that their investments have been treated unfairly. For many commentators, the main problem…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a long-awaited decision on a preliminary ruling from Germany’s Federal Court of Justice in the Slovak Republic v Achmea case (available here and already addressed in a different KluwerBlog entry here) [Case C-284/16]. By concluding that the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands…

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…