Mexico held its general elections (including presidential election) on July 1st. The Government of the country has shifted from a center-right president, Enrique Peña Nieto from the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party), to the favorite candidate for the recent elections, the left-wing politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”). AMLO, a member of the Movimiento…

The 5th Annual ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration was held in Houston last month, and the focus was on the year past and the year ahead in the arbitration of international disputes in the energy industry. From the topics discussed, predictions rendered and questions raised at the conference, attendees departed considering whether the…

In the first part of this article, we discussed the need to broaden the debate about the UK’s future trading relationships, touched upon some potential advantages of the UK joining the NAFTA and traced the idea’s limited history. Is there political will? These days, the idea remains on the periphery, even out of sight. Each…

To many, it would seem foolish even to ask whether the UK might join the North American Free Trade Agreement. Yet, the UK should explore all possibilities open in a post-Brexit world. As we explain, the idea that the UK might join the NAFTA is not only conceptually interesting, but also merits entertaining with a…

Chapter 11: Where Investors Go to Complain NAFTA renegotiations began last year and, with attention once again on this 23-year old trade deal, critics are taking the opportunity to voice their concerns. U.S. President Trump has himself propounded, and indeed campaigned on, an abundance of criticism directed at NAFTA. While no part of NAFTA has…

2017 was a busy year for international arbitration. Taking a walk down memory lane, we saw new players and new industries entering the game, institutions adopting new rules, and we have some new challenges to tackle. This note summarizes some highlights and low lights in international arbitration during 2017 from across the globe. Happy Holidays…

On the campaign trail, and throughout his term in office, President Trump has not been shy to express his discontent with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vowing he will either renegotiate it or “tear it up.” As a result, in August 2017, the United States, Canada, and Mexico (the Parties) officially began renegotiation…

Debates about the propriety of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) were revived by a recent letter by U.S. academics, which urged the abandonment of ISDS in the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This letter repeated arguments that are familiar from prior ISDS debates, such as that ISDS “grants foreign corporations and investors rights to skirt domestic…

After the US election, it was a certainty that in my inbox every morning there was at least one, if not more, email with a discussion on the future of arbitration in our changing society today. And this debate has continued in halls of university law schools to GAR events to law firm seminars. I…

Despite apparent “America First” language in the US Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA renegotiation which appear contrary to the minimum standards of treatment and fair and equitable treatment, those protections are likely to remain in a new NAFTA. On 17 July 2017, the US Trade Representative published the “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA…

The recent mention of “judicial economy” in the award in Eli Lilly and Company v. Government of Canada provides an opportunity to consider judicial economy in investor-state arbitration more generally. In its award of March 16, 2017, the Eli Lilly tribunal determined that certain judicial interpretations of Canada’s patent law did not violate the substantive…

NAFTA on the tightrope One of President Donald Trump’s most frequent campaign promises was to “eliminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which he described as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” He then softened his tone and stated that he would renegotiate the treaty,…

In recent weeks, criticism of the TPP has been increasingly focused on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in its Chapter Nine. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren initiated the charge against the TPP’s ISDS mechanism, and her attacks were recently supported by more than two hundred economists and law professors, who addressed a letter to…

On June 6, 2016, the ICSID Secretary General registered a request for arbitration in Global Telecom Holding (GTH) v. Canada. Although the text of the arbitral claim is not yet public, it appears likely that the dispute relates to GTH’s involvement (or attempted involvement) in Canada’s wireless telecommunications sector. This claim may be historic for…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) is a state-of-the-art multi regional trade agreement that, once ratified, will transform the scenario of international trade and arbitration for the next century. The TPP will have an impact on the rules governing global investment, influencing future and current negotiations of Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) and Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”). It…

A lot has been written recently about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the context of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. TPA is the authority Congress grants to the President to enter into certain reciprocal trade agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot…

The recently published Award in Apotex Holdings Inc. and Apotex Inc. v. United States of America (Apotex III Award) is the first NAFTA award to apply the doctrine of res judicata. The Apotex III Tribunal confirmed that the operative part, together with the underlying reasoning, of an earlier award determined that Apotex’s abbreviated new drug…

Procedural orders rarely become the subject of blog posts, much less the impetus for concerted action among states anxious to control the strategic space on which investment treaty arbitrations unfold. However, a series of orders in Detroit International Bridge Company v. Canada generated controversy when the tribunal steadfastly excluded representatives of the United States from…

In its Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, a unanimous tribunal in Apotex, Inc. v. United States dismissed a Canadian manufacturer’s claims that the United States judiciary had violated NAFTA by mis-applying a regulatory time period. Most of the reaction to Apotex has focused on the tribunal’s decision that the claimant’s activities in the United States—and…

In recent years, Oxford University Press has devoted considerable effort to enhancing its transnational law list. In doing so, it has added several titles addressing international arbitration and investor-State topics. Among its more recent offerings is Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties (hereinafter “Commentaries”) edited by Dr. Chester Brown. Commentaries is substantial. It comprises 895…

Last week the hearing on jurisdiction and liability in an arbitration between Bilcon of Delaware et al. and the Government of Canada was streamed live on the website of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (‘PCA’). One of the most disputed issues between the parties in this case is the meaning and the scope of the…

As described in Part 1 of this post, the mounting debate about investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) has crescendoed in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. There are at least two “schools” of concern with ISDR, both of them voiced inside and outside the TPP context. Threats to Public Interest Policy For a growing array of…

Transparency of investment treaty arbitration is back on the radar this week as delegations convene in Vienna for the latest meeting of the UNCITRAL Working Group II on Arbitration and Conciliation. While governments debate the scope and content of new transparency obligations, one issue that has received less attention is a sometimes-seen corollary of greater…

Monday’s New York conference on “Arbitration with States and State Entities under the ICC Rules” got me thinking about the possibility of amicus submissions in investment cases before the ICC or other institutions beyond ICSID. A few musings: Are amicus debates likely to arise in the ICC context? The answer is yes. Although most ICC…