2022 was arguably the year when climate change entered the mainstream of policymaking in the investment treaty regime, with a particular focus on aligning the regime with international climate commitments, most notably the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, debates over the interaction between the investment treaty regime and climate mitigation efforts have been active for around 15…

Investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) has been widely criticized for being a tool in the hands of multinational companies, used to challenge domestic public policy measures even when legitimately adopted in the public interest. Critiques have been notable concerning the asymmetrical nature of international investment agreements (IIAs). While IIAs were concluded to afford protection to foreign…

The Chinese Arbitration Association, Taipei and Asian Center for WTO & International Health Law and Policy co-hosted the annual Taipei International Conference on Arbitration and Mediation during the Taiwan Arbitration Week on 5 October 2022. With onsite and online moderators and speakers, three sessions of the Conference explored how the pandemic, digital economy and ESG…

On the second day of the 11th Asia-Pacific ADR Virtual Conference, the KCAB, the South Korean Ministry of Justice, the ICC Court of Arbitration and UNCITRAL hosted a panel on the state of the energy markets in 2022. The panel was moderated by Dr. Wolfgang Peter (Senior Partner, Peter & Kim) and the panelists included…

This year’s ITA-ALARB Americas Workshop took place in early September and focused on the intersection between domestic environmental protections and international investment law. The workshop was co-chaired by Gabriela Álvarez Ávila (Partner, DLA Piper) and Miguel López Forastier (Partner, Covington & Burling). The aim of the workshop was to address, from the perspective of states…

On the third day of Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2022, HKIAC hosted a panel as part of the ADR in Asia Conference entitled “Beyond Mere Greenwashing? The Impact of ESG on International Arbitration”. This panel brought together a group of specialists who discussed what environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) is, how it impacts dispute resolution,…

From 28 to 30 September 2022, the Brazilian Arbitration Committee – CBAr held its 21st International Arbitration Conference (“21st CBAr IAC” or “Conference”) in Rio de Janeiro. Considering the rising number of arbitration proceedings related to corporate disputes, the subject of this year’s Conference was “Arbitration and Corporate Law”. The 21st CBAr IAC was a…

This contribution comments on growing global trends in climate change and the important role arbitration can play in the settlement of this type of dispute, specifically in the future dispute resolution landscape in Latin America. In June 2022, the Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change…

Negotiations towards a modernized Energy Charter Treaty (ECT, Treaty) ended on 24 June 2022, with the States Parties reaching an agreement in principle following discussions towards reform that began in November 2017. While the final text of the modernized Treaty has not yet been published, the Secretariat of the ECT in June issued a public…

States’ international obligations to reduce emissions, on the one hand, and to protect foreign investment, on the other, suggest a collision course between climate activists’ desires and foreign investors who rely on treaty protection to safeguard their investments. Recent investment treaties, especially bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have tended to expand the rights of States to…

Nearly 30 years have passed since world leaders signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”), agreeing to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system.” For many of those years, nobody seemed to take that commitment very seriously. But things look different now: climate law has hit its stride. At COP26 in November…

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…

ISDS has faced harsh criticism from environmental groups as being inimical to the protection of the environment. This post argues that environmental protection is an emerging jus cogens norm, and thus, an arising erga omnes obligation, which investment tribunals must recognize as such. Additionally, it explores the legal consequences of applying this public international law…

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…

The Third Annual Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference took place on Friday, January 15, 2021. The conference was hosted by the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and generously supported by Les and Linda Schiefelbein. This post distills selected topics and highlights from the conference – including comments from…

Following a highly-publicized diplomatic battle among the EU Member States (MS), the EU revealed in mid-February its proposal to amend the ECT’s definition of the “Economic Activity in the Energy Sector” (EAES). The announcement allayed fears of the intra-EU discussions on the matter falling apart. Insofar as it sets forth a vision for amendments that…

The Casablanca International Mediation and Arbitration Centre (“CIMAC”) convened its sixth edition of the Casablanca Arbitration Day (“CAD”) on December 3, 2020. The virtual CAD presented four panels focusing on one burning issue: “Is Arbitration Helping or Hindering the Protection of the Environment and Public Health?” This question deepens the discussion focused on during the…

For a long time, the word ‘environment’ occurred in the realm of arbitration only when disputes between parties had some connection to it. Lately, however, there has been a shift from environment only being a subject-matter specific issue in arbitrations to a more diverse theme of discussion among the global arbitration community. Credit for this…

The Sixth Sarajevo Arbitration Day conference took place on 23 October 2020 and it was dedicated to the opportunities to adopt positive arbitration practices amidst the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. This annual conference organized by the Association ARBITRI took place online for the first time and gathered legal practitioners from all over the…

The signatories of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) have begun the process of the Treaty’s modernisation. This is by no means a small task given the complexity of the Treaty’s scope which covers energy trading, efficiency, transit, investment protection and dispute resolution. Additionally, in order to amend it, all the signatories need to be on…

In an industry which thrives on lofty ideals of amicable dispute resolution and open debate, it is startling to observe that the environmental impact involved in the conduct of international arbitrations has received little attention.  This is not to suggest that the international arbitration community has completely ignored the issue, but the focus has been…

The legal considerations arising out of climate change and environmental matters more generally have been considered extensively in the context of worldwide litigation, and, to some extent, in investment treaty arbitration. However, such issues have not been subject to the same level of public debate in the commercial arbitration sphere. This post analyses how environmental…

After 11 years and more than US$ 89 million in costs,1)Perenco claimed US$ 57,923,322 in legal costs and other expenses, while Ecuador claimed US$ 31,620,369.27 for legal costs and other expenses and an additional US$ 49,629.76 for Petroecuador’s legal costs (a total of US$ 31,701,618.76). an international tribunal rendered a final decision awarding damages in…

Our planet faces unprecedented threats, including irreversible global warming, loss in biodiversity, and water pollution and water scarcity. The impacts of these environmental crises also threaten human rights and exacerbate inequality. Slowing these worsening environmental trends – and addressing the impacts of environmental change on populations – will require cumulative policy responses at the national…