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…

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…

In late November, the UN Headquarters in Vienna saw the first meeting of Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL). The meeting marked the initiation of a process of analysis and reform – whatever shape it may ultimately take – of the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime. At…

In an interesting post published on Kluwer Arbitration Blog by Eric Leikin and Martina Magnarelli, it is described in a very comprehensive manner the state of play as regards the soundness of Respondents and European Commission’s arguments refusing the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals in intra-EU ECT claims. Among these arguments (all rejected by the tribunal…

Cryptocurrency is a term that is becoming increasingly familiar. But how many of us have considered its implications for the world we live in—let alone for the practice of international arbitration? Cryptocurrencies—essentially digital cash—and the blockchain technology on which they are built, have the potential to revolutionise the way funds are raised, traded and stored….

Recently, it was reported that after 14 years since Zimbabwe had illegally evicted Dutch farmers from their farms, it finally agreed to pay the damages awarded under the ICSID award, which dates back in 2009. In the Funnekotter et al case, the arbitral tribunal rejected Zimbabwe’s necessity defence, which was based on the claimed need…

In the 2000s, mortgages in Swiss Franc (CHF) were very popular among consumers in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe for the acquisition of both private and commercial properties, as the CHF was a stable and reliable currency and offered lower interest rates than loans in Euro or in local currencies. When on 15 January 2015…

The year 1993 saw a significant political transition in Cambodia through the adoption of democratic principles and free market economy. Since then, many legal reforms have been made in order to attract foreign direct investment, and one of which is providing a legal framework for protecting the investment. To date, the Kingdom has signed a…

With Manuel Castelo-Branco, Carlos Aguiar, Francisco Prol, Paula Costa e Silva, Carlos Alberto Carmona, Duarte G. Henriques, Sofia Vale, João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, and João Vilhena Valério The massive programme of investments that will take place under the “One Belt, one Road” (OBOR) initiative of the People’s Republic of China leaves no one indifferent. With the aim…

Since the first application for provisional measures suspending criminal proceedings in Tokios Tokelés v. Ukraine (ICSID Case No. ARB/02/18, Order No. 3, 18 January 2005), the number of applications before ICSID tribunals for these types of measures has steadily increased. Recent applications have been widely commented on in the arbitration community, including in this blog….

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…

On 24 February 2017, the Government of Vietnam promulgated Decree No.22/2017/ND-CP on Commercial Mediation (the “Decree”). It is the first legislation specifically governing commercial mediation in Vietnam. The Decree is inspired by the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation (the “UNCITRAL Model Law”), but includes several local modifications. From the drafting process, the Decree…

The ICSID Tribunal in the case Eskosol S.p.A. in Liquidazione v. Italian Republic (ICSID Case No.ARB/15/50) has recently issued a Decision on Respondent’s Application under Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Rules of Procedure for Arbitration Proceedings (Arbitration Rules). In 2015, Eskosol filed a Request for Arbitration based on Italy’s claimed violation of the Energy Charter…

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…

On March 14th the Investment Treaty Forum at The British Institute of International and Comparative Law hosted a panel of experts to discuss practical and legal aspects of investments protection in the context of territorial disputes. Territorial disputes sometimes lead to the annexation of the territory of one state by another, of which the annexation…

In early March 2017, the Singapore High Court released a judgment in which it considered an important question of enforcement of investor-state awards. In Josias Van Zyl v Kingdom of Lesotho [2017] SGHCR 2, AR Pereira was asked to decide whether an order to enforce a final award in a treaty dispute administered by the…

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…

Newspapers, cable television shows, and Twitter are abuzz with claims of “fake news.” Within the past two weeks alone, the U.S. President accused his predecessor of wiretapping his office building, apparently in reliance upon reporting in online news media. More traditional news outlets have responded with innuendo that the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau…

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…

On 30 December 2016, The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) finally released the first edition of its Investment Arbitration Rules (IA Rules). The IA Rules were first published as draft rules on 1 February 2016, and were discussed in a previous article. The IA Rules, which came into effect on 1 January 2017, now reflect…

Introduction “The world is curious about Myanmar”, said U Htay Aung, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2013. And indeed, he is right. This article serves as evidence. Myanmar has managed to take a number of important steps in gradually opening up its economy,…