The year 2021 has been perhaps the most controversial year for investment arbitration. From the profound structural reform work with respect to the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules, through the complete ban and termination of intra-EU investment arbitration in the European Union, to the ECT modernization process, this year has been marked by change and reform…

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 discussion within UNCITRAL Working Group III (WG III) on counterclaims has still remained, to a certain extent, deadlocked, as opposed to discussions on other topics under the table. As a result, the UNCITRAL Secretariat has been put (at least) until now in the unfortunate position of being unable to bring a coherent package of…

The Presidential Commission on Supreme Court of the United States, established earlier this year by President Biden, released a draft Report last week assessing recent proposals to restructure the U.S. Supreme Court.  Readers from outside the United States, as well as many within, can be forgiven for seeing no apparent connection between that Report and…

The 2021 SIAC Congress held virtually on 10 September 2021 drew arbitration aspirants and practitioners from all over the globe, and sought to grapple with the key challenges of the day within the realm of arbitration. The second panel session, on “The Multi-Dollar Question: Will the Pandemic and Governments’ Responses to it Lead to a…

The issue of dual nationals’ access to investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”) has once again taken the center stage through the recently issued Carrizosa v. Colombia award. Resolved under the auspices of the 2013 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the PCA tribunal unanimously dismissed the entire case for lack of jurisdiction ratione personae, in accordance with the provisions…

Since his inauguration in December 2018, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has endeavored to reverse the liberalization of the energy market achieved by his predecessor. In the last few months, actions to resume government control of Mexico’s free energy markets have intensified with the adoption and proposal of regulation affecting investor’s rights and…

Many will recall the historic ruling of Justice Neil Gorsuch in McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020), where the United States Supreme Court upheld an 1866 treaty between the United States and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which established the Muscogee Nation’s geographic borders. The Court decided that much of current Eastern Oklahoma is to remain Indian land…

Cases involving African parties contribute to a significant number of International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) cases. Indeed, 15% of ICSID cases involve parties from sub-Saharan Africa and 18% of ICSID cases involve parties from Middle East and North Africa. The UNCTAD database of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) cases records 145…

Investor-state international arbitration may provide a way forward for Survivors and their heirs after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision denying claims in two restitution cases regarding Holocaust-era stolen property:  Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp (for return of Medieval art stolen by the Nazis) along with the companion case of Republic of Hungary v. Simon…

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…

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 a ‘ground-breaking’ precedential decision, Al-Kharafi v Libya (Judgment No. 39 of 130 JY, 3 June 2020), the Cairo Court of Appeal in Egypt ruled that it can review an arbitral award for fundamental errors of law that amount to a violation of public policy or equity and justice notions. The decision relates to an…

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…

Traditionally, nationality for corporate entities has been regulated by national law, often by reference to whether a corporation has a seat in a country or was incorporated under its laws. However, international investment law has departed from the generally accepted rules of international law on the nationality of corporate persons. Already in the 1960s, the…

COVID-19: Background and Impact on Foreign Investment in the Developing Countries As discussed on the Blog previously, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus named SARS-CoV-2, continues to rise globally, as shown on this page from the WHO. Today, the virus has already spread in Western Europe and the…

In 2019, the United States (‘U.S.’) made six non-disputing Party submissions in investment treaty arbitrations, three of which took place under the NAFTA (Lion Mexico Consol. L.P. v. Mexico; Vento Motorcycles, Inc. v. Mexico; and Tennant Energy, LLC v. Canada), and one each of which took place under U.S. agreements with Korea, Peru and Panama (Jin Hae…

Extraordinary Times  These are extraordinary times in many regards. The spread of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), now considered a pandemic, continues to have a significant global impact on several fronts. For States, the pandemic of course presents significant public health challenges. As we are seeing, it also presents significant economic challenges, due to the convergence 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…

UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the COP25 climate change conference on 2 December 2019 saying that: “…At current trends, we are looking at global heating of between 3.4 and 3.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The impact on all life on the planet – including ours – will be catastrophic. The only…

As UNCITRAL Working Group III is proceeding to address concrete proposals to reform treaty-based investor-state arbitration, the future of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is at a historic juncture. Reform proposals include both incremental changes to investor-state arbitration and proposals for further institutionalization, such as the call of the European Union (EU) to establish a Multilateral…

As part of International Investment Law and Policy Speaker Series, on November 14, 2019, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment  hosted Dr. Mouhamadou Kane, Project Lead and Manager for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (“OIC”) Investment Dispute Settlement Organ. During the program, Dr. Kane explained the text of a draft investment protocol for the OIC…

The 98th Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association (“ABILA”), known as ABILA’s International Law Weekend (“ILW”), took place in New York City on 10 – 12 October 2019. ILW, ABILA’s premiere annual event, featured 35 panels covering a broad range of topics of international law.1)The summary of the views expressed…

As the number of investor-state disputes grows, so does the number of applications for provisional measures. The recent empirical study conducted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and White&Case suggests that investors were more than twice as likely to obtain positive decisions on their requests than respondent states. The study also showed that…