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…

States have spent the last decade and a half rebalancing the design of their international investment agreements (IIAs). In their new-generation IIAs, states have clarified core protective standards, omitted controversial clauses, and inserted new carve-outs and general exceptions. These reformed treaties, it was hoped, would provide investment tribunals with “new analytical devices for adjudicating disputes…

On 21 March 2022, the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes , or ICSID, approved extensive amendments  of ICSID’s Regulations and Rules. The Regulations and Rules prominently include the rules of procedure for arbitration proceedings initiated under the constituent treaty of ICSID, the 1965 Convention on the Settlement of Investment…

FET is often described as the core standard of international investment law.  Recently, there has been renewed discussion on its intended meaning, by reference to a range of source materials that arguably reflect States’ intentions at the time of concluding investment treaties.  On December 10, 2021, the Dispute Resolution Interest Group of the American Society…

The year 2021 has been the busiest year for Ukraine since 2008, with four investment arbitrations initiated against Ukraine. The odds were not always in Ukraine’s favour. Having secured the dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction in Littop and others v. Ukraine, Ukraine was defeated by the investor in Olympic Entertainment v. Ukraine….

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…

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), agreed in principle in December 2020, was announced with great fanfare. Forged after seven years of negotiations between the world’s current largest trading block (the EU) and the country expected to have the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade (China), the CAI was set to…

Earlier this week, the YSIAC Conference 2021 took place virtually for the first time since its inception. The opening webinar was a panel discussion titled “Resolving ESG Disputes Through International Arbitration”, which agenda was to analyse the disputes in the buzzing environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) domain, distil the trends and lessons learnt therefrom, and…

The 18th Annual ITA-ASIL Conference, hosted virtually for a half-day on March 23, 2021, discussed ongoing efforts at ICSID and UNCITRAL Working Group III to reform investment arbitration. José Alvarez (New York University School of Law) kicked off the conference by throwing down the gauntlet: procedural reform does not go far enough. In the long…

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”…

As Phase II negotiations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”) have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a draft legal text of the AfCFTA Investment Protocol (“Protocol”) has not been submitted to the January 2021 Session of the Assembly, as originally expected.  There are reasons to believe that with the recent start…

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by its 15 Parties (after India, an initial negotiating party, withdrew from negotiations) on 15 November 2020.1)This article represents the authors’ personal opinions and does not represent the opinion of their respective organisations. The signature of this agreement amid the COVID-19 pandemic has made quite a headline…

The announcement on 13 August 2020 of a rapprochement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (‘UAE’) took the world by surprise. Seasoned regional observers noted quiet cooperation and cross-border transactions over the past few years, but few expected these covert relationships to burst into public view so fully and wholeheartedly. The joint declaration, soon…

With the results of the U.S. presidential election announced last week, international lawyers are now looking closely at how the incoming Biden Administration will handle the many challenges facing the global legal order.  President-elect Biden has promised to turn away from the unilateralism that marked the Trump presidency and instead focus on multilateral reengagement.1)See, e.g.,…

Many see the Pan-African Investment Code (PAIC), a model instrument adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2015, as the first step toward the ‘africanization’ of international investment law. While several national and regional instruments on foreign investments had been adopted by African States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) prior to the PAIC, the latter’s…

In their reform discussions, States and arbitration institutions have been exploring the potential for investor-State mediation to work alongside arbitration, or even to replace it altogether for some disputes. While investor-State mediation has strengths relative to arbitration, any reform must carefully integrate mediation with existing processes and reform efforts.1)This post builds on: Esmé Shirlow, ‘The…

As North America embarks into a post-NAFTA era with the USMCA, it is crucial to analyze the new agreement’s disciplines. The USMCA Investment Chapter, for instance, has been the subject of many articles that have reviewed relevant differences with respect to NAFTA, particularly on investment arbitration. This post will explore the arbitration rules applicable to investment disputes…

Amid global economic uncertainty, the years-long project of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) (also known as “the new-NAFTA” or “NAFTA 2.0”) has finally reached fruition. On March 13, 2020, Canada became the final North American party to ratify the agreement and now the treaty will enter into force on July 1, 2020. Kluwer Arbitration Blog has…

In less than a decade, the Republic of Côte-d’Ivoire enacted two investment laws (2012 and 2018). The latter one recently amended, reflects the best practices the country has learned from its previous investor-states disputes. On December 18, 2019 the Council of Ministers introduced some amendments to the 2018 Investment Code related inter alia to VAT…

On March 25, the European Commission issued a set of guidelines addressed to Member States, concerning foreign direct investment (FDI) from third countries and the protection of European critical assets. In face of the current crisis caused by the outbreak of Covid-19, the European Commission calls upon Member States to make full use of their…

In interpreting one of the most contested investment treaty protection standards – fair and equitable treatment – arbitral tribunals have increasingly referred to the necessity for an investor to conduct a due diligence investigation before investing in a host state. Foreign investors have been required to assess not only commercial, but also general socio-political risks….

On 25 January 2020, India and Brazil signed an investment agreement  (the “India-Brazil BIT”). As an agreement that has been signed at the dawn of the new decade, it is symbolic for a few reasons. First, it is a south-south agreement between two large and growing economies. Second, it abandons investor-state arbitration in favor of…

In response to the escalating COVID-19 crisis, States around the world have taken a variety of measures seeking to stem the spread of COVID-19 and to provide for medical supplies and protective equipment, including emergency declarations empowering governments to take control of private businesses, closure of borders, quarantines, stay-at-home orders, suspension of mortgage and utility…

On February 4, 2020, ICSID registered a request for arbitration submitted by the company Odebrecth Latinvest Sarl, a Luxembourg-based subsidiary of the Brazilian company Odebrecht SA, against the Republic of Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/04). This post analyzes the background to this dispute, as well as the possible strategies that the parties could use during…