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…

From 20-26 July last year, this Blog ran a series on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) modernisation process. The Energy Charter Conference (the Conference) had recently established a Modernisation Group (the Subgroup) to conduct the modernisation negotiations, and the series aimed to provide updates to readers on various aspects of that process. At the time…

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…

On May 13, 2021, after several years of public consultations, Global Affairs Canada released a new Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement Model (“2021 Model”). The prior iteration of the FIPA Model was broadly understood to have been influenced by Canada’s experience under the NAFTA regime. Similarly, the 2021 Model benefits from Canada’s continued trade…

On 20 February 2021, the King’s Forum on IDR and Triumvir Law organised a virtual fireside chat with Mr. Salman Khurshid (former Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Dr. Aniruddha Rajput (India’s Member of the International Law Commission). The fireside chat was part of the webinar series on ‘Investment Arbitration in India’. During the conversation,…

Delegates to the recently held 40th session of UNCITRAL Working Group III set out to debate the character of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) from three angles: the selection of tribunal members, the adoption of a code of conduct, and the establishment of an appellate mechanism (discussed in a series of posts on this reform process)….

It will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on international arbitration (see blog coverage here).  In this post, we take a look back at 2020 to consider the intersection of the pandemic, investment, and human rights.  In February 2020, one of…

Ndanga Kamau is a Vice President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration and the President of the ICC Africa Commission. She is an international lawyer who specialises in international dispute settlement and international law. She sits as arbitrator and represents clients in international disputes. She also provides consultancy work and…

Introduction In spite of delays and shifting priorities owing to the pandemic, institutional efforts to reform the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime have continued throughout 2020. In this post, we look back at our coverage of the work of UNCITRAL Working Group III (“WGIII”) on investor-State arbitration reform, especially in light of the 2021 reform…

The 1st edition of Washington Arbitration Week (WAW) included focus on systemic issues pertaining to ISDS. Today, ISDS reform is at a crucial point. Theories and approaches to reform are now crystallized into working papers from States and other organizations, and academic papers submitted before UNCITRAL’s Working Group III (“WG III”). Panelists critically reviewed the…

On 5-6 November 2020, reputable arbitration practitioners joined together for the 9th Asia Pacific ADR Conference and shared their experiences and insights on the latest developments in the arbitration landscape. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference took place virtually. It successfully attracted approximately 15,000 participants across 50 countries. The event was co-hosted…

Much has been written – on this page and elsewhere – about the future viability of investor-state arbitration based on intra-EU BITs in the aftermath of the CJEU’s Achmea decision. In the authors’ view, the May 2020 Termination Agreement concluded between 23 of the 27 EU Member States with the intention to terminate existing intra-EU…

The Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”) hosted a four-part webinar discussing the Draft Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, between 21-25 September 2020. Each part addressed specific practical considerations raised by the matters addressed in the Draft Code of Conduct: issue conflict, double hatting, repeat appointments, and implementation and enforcement of the…

Arbitration has been the default dispute resolution mechanism in the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime for a long time. Provisions for third-party procedures other than arbitration have been relatively rare in older generation bilateral investment treaties (BITs). Even where those have provided in advance for the option of ICSID (Convention or Additional Facility) Conciliation Rules,…

Just like many of us have learned to work remotely these past few months, those leading the efforts to reform international arbitration have also had to endure the constraints imposed by the pandemic. At the first-ever virtual ITA-ASIL conference, held on 24 June 2020, Professor Chiara Giorgetti from the University of Richmond School of Law…

The relationship between developing countries and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has not been smooth, to say the least. Several developing countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador have pulled out from the ICSID Convention. India is one of the prominent developing countries that has refrained from joining the ICSID Convention,…

The Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) opened for signature in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and now boasts some 50 member States. The ECT has since given rise to some 130 investor-State arbitrations, making it “the most frequently invoked international investment agreement”. This high use, coupled with a perception that the ECT is frequently invoked…

Last month, ICSID published a further Working Paper (WP4) linked to its ongoing reform process, by which it is considering a series of amendments to the ICSID and ICSID Additional Facility Rules. The Working Paper is the fourth in a series of working papers, preceded by Working Papers 1 (August 2018), 2 (March 2019), and…

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…

Alejandro, thank you for joining us on the Kluwer Arbitration Blog! We are delighted to have the opportunity to interview you at a time when the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and its modernisation are on the spotlight. Alejandro is the current General Counsel and Head of the Conflict Resolution Centre at the ECT Secretariat, which…

On the 1 October 2019, the Europa-Institut of Saarland University and the International Investment Centre Cologne (IILCC) co-organized a workshop on the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform and the creation of a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). At the event, the IILCC Study Group presented its preliminary conclusions regarding a comparative report on the Multilateral…

Introducing the Rules Playing its part in the twenty-first century movement to protect human rights, the international legal community has taken a significant step forward by providing for a framework to resolve business and human rights disputes by arbitration. Lead by the former ICJ justice, Judge Bruno Simma, The Hague Rules on Business and Human…

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…

Last week QMUL, in partnership with the Corporate Counsel International Arbitration Group (“CCIAG”), launched its first ever survey focusing exclusively on international investment. This is the tenth major empirical International Arbitration survey conducted by the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London. A link to the survey can be found here. The…