2022 was strongly marked by the change and reform of institutions, treaties, and procedural rules relevant to investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). This post summarizes the most important institutional and structural reforms that were progressed during 2022 in relation to investment treaty law and ISDS. The focus is on the various reforms pursued under in the…

Amidst the turmoil surrounding the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and the announced withdrawal by Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Slovenia and Luxembourg, the very first edition of the Report on compliance with investment treaty awards by States has been published by the present author. Whereas the discussion usually focuses on whether international investment agreements (IIAs)…

The Second Edition of the World Arbitration Update (WAU) took place from September 26 to September 30, 2022. This post highlights the panel on “Taking Stock of the ECT Modernization Process: Fit for the 21st Century?”. The panel was moderated by WAW Co-founder José Antonio Rivas (Xtrategy LLP/Georgetown Law). He was joined by Daniela-Olivia Ghicajanu (Georgetown…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has long been subject to debate focusing on its perceived chilling effect on energy transition, the compatibility of intra‑EU disputes under the ECT with EU law, and the cost-efficiency of investment arbitration. On 24 June 2022, after five years of negotiations, the Energy Charter Conference Member States reached an agreement…

In November this year, the Energy Charter Conference will meet to adopt amendments to the ECT in accordance with the agreement in principle on the modernised ECT. However, the text of the modernised ECT has received much criticism in recent weeks (see e.g., here). Despite the fact that the modernised text of the ECT largely…

Seeing the Agreement in Principle on Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) “modernization” and its leaked full text, the “modernization” misnomer can safely be abandoned. The renegotiated ECT does not rise to the mounting global challenges regarding energy investment, climate action, and sustainable development. The ECT reform process missed the mark in nature, scope, ambition, and speed…

On 13 September 2022, the long-awaited text of the modernised Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was published. Still subject to final agreement, this is the text that reflects the Agreement in Principle reached by the parties to the Treaty in June this year after more than three years and 15 rounds of negotiations. Modernisation has several…

Poland surprised the world when on 25 August 2022 the Government submitted to the Polish Parliament a draft law authorizing the President of Poland to terminate the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects. The idea of Poland terminating the ECT had not been floated in the…

News of the award in Green Power and Obton v Spain is sinking in. Initial responses indicate that this is no ordinary decision – but rather a ‘major earthquake’, a ‘landmark decision’ and ‘one for the history books’. It may well be: on 16 June 2022, an SCC arbitral tribunal seated in Stockholm declined jurisdiction…

Germany found itself as the hotseat of the “battle” between EU law and investment arbitration in May 2016 when the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) referred questions relating to the compatibility of EU law with the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands BIT to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in Slovakia v….

Amidst the still ongoing negotiations on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which were concluded with an agreement in principle yesterday (24 June 2022), the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) delivered its ruling on Belgium’s request for an opinion on the compatibility of intra-EU investor-state arbitration under a modernised text of…

As part of the 2022 Paris Arbitration Week, Jeantet organised a round table on “The Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard: Update and Perspective”. The panel was composed of Yuriy Pochtovyk (Legal Official, Energy Charter Secretariat), Prof. Kaj Hobér (Associate Member, 3 Verulam Buildings), Barton Legum (Partner, Honlet Legum Arbitration), Irena Alajbeg (Croatian Ministry of Foreign and…

Looking back on 2021, one realizes that for those interested in the intersection between EU law and investment arbitration, it was a busy year. As part of our customary “year-in-review” series, this post offers a brief overview of the key investment arbitration-related developments in Europe and their coverage on the Blog. I have grouped these…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the two legal orders of on the one hand, international investment law (i.e., International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and investor-State arbitration provisions (ISDS)), and on the other hand, EU law, were peacefully co-existing next to each other with only occasional contact. Indeed, it was the time when the…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism provided for by the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) (Article 26(2)c) is not applicable to intra-EU disputes (C-741/19). In the same decision, it also decided that the acquisition of a claim arising from an electricity supply contract does not constitute…

Western European countries have taken divergent approaches to dealing with the consequences of shutting down power plants while transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. On one side, Germany resolved the resulting compensation disputes by making settlement payments to the owners of affected nuclear and coal power plants. In contrast, the Netherlands appears reluctant to similarly compensate…

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 Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

International arbitration is changing at a fast pace, and opportunities arise every day in this field. In this context, on May 25, 2021, Young Arbitral Women Practitioners, Holland & Knight, and Rising Arbitrators Initiative co-hosted a webinar to discuss emerging fields of practice for arbitration lawyers. This post offers an overview of the variety of…

On 23 April 2021, Paul Vlas, Advocate-General of the Dutch Supreme Court issued his opinion in the Yukos case, setting the stage for the final setting aside act in The Hague after nine years of PCA-administered arbitration and six years of setting aside litigation. Advocate-General Vlas had previously advised the Dutch Supreme Court to reject…

The investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism provided by Art. 26 (2) (c) of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is highly relevant to the protection of intra-EU investments.1)In 2018, about 45 per cent of all treaty-based intra-EU investment arbitrations were brought pursuant to the ECT. See UNCTAD, Fact Sheet on Intra-European Union Investor-State Arbitration Cases, IIA…

Intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration have been a highly divisive issue in European policy circles for decades. The European Commission has been forcefully pushing for the termination of these agreements since the early 2000s. It criticised inter alia that intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration undermine the European legal order and create inequality among European investors…

No doubt, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has become the hottest topic in the investment treaty arbitration world. Not only are EU Member States the most frequent respondent in ECT disputes – for example, the Netherlands has recently received its first ECT claim – but the ECT itself is currently in the middle of a…

On December 11, 2020, the Dispute Resolution Interest Group (“DRIG”) of the American Society of International Law (“ASIL”) hosted a webinar on “The Future of Investor-State Dispute Settlement under the Energy Charter Treaty.”  The event featured Amaia Rivas Kortazar, André von Walter, Crina Baltag, and Yuriy Pochtovyk, and was moderated by DRIG co-chairs Simon Batifort…