Introduction The Delhi High Court’s recent judgment in Union of India v. Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) marks the third instance of an Indian court adjudicating upon issues related to arbitration under an international investment treaty. Within these three judgments, courts have fundamentally disagreed on a crucial point – the applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,…

The year of the pig was off to a good start in Hong Kong at the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform Conference organised by the Hong Kong Department of Justice and the Asian Academy of International Law on 13 February 2019. Like the fabled pig, ISDS reform has been slow in coming, and the aim…

Overview On 11 February 2019, Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (‘BAC/BIAC’) launched its draft of ‘Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center International Investment Arbitration Rules’ (the ‘BAC Rules’) for public comments, comprised of its main text and six appendixes. The BAC Rules are the second investment arbitration rules promulgated by a Chinese international arbitration…

The CERSA (CNRS- University Paris II Panthéon-Assas) organized its third event in a series of seminars on selected topics in international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) (for the report of the first seminar, see here). The seminar on Topical issues in ISDS: EU Investment Law was held in Paris on 7 February 2019…

At the heart of the debate surrounding Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform is UNCITRAL Working Group (WG) III.  Until two years ago, WG III was dedicated to discussing issues surrounding online dispute resolution.  But in 2017, in response to several significant awards against states in investment arbitration and corresponding public outcry, the WG III was…

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…

Introduction On 14 December 2018, an ICSID committee issued a decision on annulment of the award of Suez, Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona S.A., and InterAguas Servicios Integrales del Agua S.A. v. The Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/17 (“Suez 03/17”) in which it declined to uphold the application for annulment from Argentina. This…

Foreign Direct Investment into Africa has increased from $10 billion in 1999 to $41,8 billion in 2017. Makhtar Diop, former World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, pointed out that “Intra-African investment is also on the rise, creating a virtuous circle”. ICSID statistics also show that the number of newly registered cases involving African…

As an arbitration hub, Hong Kong has an enviable pedigree. The territory boasts a modern workable arbitration law, robust legal system, and a cohesive arbitration community. It is routinely ranked highly in indices of economic freedom; judicial independence; and perceived arbitration friendliness. In the Year of the Dog, Hong Kong’s authorities and institutions have continued…

Over the last couple of decades, arbitration, its practical aspects, but also its very notion, have faced severe attacks from a variety of critics: politicians, members of civil society, users, etc. While arbitration practitioners are actively tackling many areas of reform, the majority of these denunciations appear, for the most part, biased and overly simplistic….

In recent years, a number of arbitral tribunals adjudicating treaty-based investment disputes have been confronted with the question of what to do when the state party to such a dispute alleges that the investors acquired the investment through corrupt means. In some instances, tribunals have applied the defense as a jurisdictional bar, preventing the investors…

Last year was a busy one for arbitration practitioners in Australia and New Zealand, and 2019 looks set to be even busier. In 2018, both countries initiated a range of arbitration reforms, initiatives and negotiations which give insights into the likely general direction of travel for both countries in the coming year. This post focusses…

Young ITA has organised over fifteen successful events this year all over the world including in Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Guatemala City, Miami, Washington DC, New York City, London, and India. The first Dubai Young ITA talk took place on Wednesday 5 December 2018. The event hosted by Vinson & Elkins featured two panel discussions…

Very rarely would a single arbitration-related decision produce as significant an impact as the judgment of the Court of Justice of European Union (“EU” and “CJEU” respectively) in the Achmea case did during 2018. We should not doubt that Achmea will remain a cornerstone issue in the world of arbitration for a long period of…

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…

While the jury is still out on whether winter is coming or has already arrived regarding ISDS and investment treaties, I would rather turn to agriculture and use the metaphor of sowing the seeds and harvesting. Since July 2010, when the European Commission published its very first Communication on ISDS and investment treaties, it has…

Commensalism of IIL Critique While the popular criticism of investment arbitration provides fertile ground for the academic proposals for ISDS reform, the latter hardly shape the development of (investment) law and even less so, its popular perception. Reform proposals are usually firmly grounded in positive law, and as such they are inherently constrained. Alternatively, general…

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…

The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) judgment in Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Achmea) on arbitration under intra-EU BITs has been broadly discussed (on this blog, see e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Nine months after the Court’s ruling, some tribunals have had the opportunity to react. Food for…

Introduction The assessment of human rights within an investment arbitration framework, typical for the investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) mechanism, is one of the topics which has gained significant momentum in the past years, and has led even to the establishment of a Working Group on International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights. Arbitral tribunals often…

For AfricArb It is twelve years since an ICSID tribunal dismissed World Duty Free’s claim against the Republic of Kenya for breach of a lease agreement signed in 1989. As is well known, the claimant obtained the contract with a $2 million bribe to former President Moi, and the tribunal held, inter alia, that it…

The last decade has seen multiparty arbitration emerge as a contentious issue in investment treaty arbitration. Beginning with Abaclat v Argentina, investment tribunals have grappled with whether similarly-situated, but otherwise unrelated investors with distinct investments, can bundle their claims in a single arbitration. While decisions on this issue continue to evolve, a new ground for…

Introduction Unquestionably, Spain captures the highest percentage of arbitration procedures for cuts applied to renewable energies, accumulating almost thirty ongoing lawsuits from foreign investors, with claims pending in the ICSID, in the SCC and in the ICC arbitrations. Spain as the respondent was successful in the first two arbitrations, but these were unique cases and…