In March 2021, a major newspaper broke the story that a Hong Kong investor had filed what may be considered the very first investment treaty arbitration claim against Japan under the Hong-Kong Bilateral Investment Treaty (Hong Kong, China SAR – Japan BIT 1997). While it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years…

It is important to first define what are hybrid mechanisms in international dispute resolution. As Voltaire once stated, ‘If you wish to converse with me, define your terms’.  Hybrid mechanisms refer to processes that involve and combine more than one dispute resolution mechanism. Hybrid mechanisms take a variety of forms. By way of illustration, Singapore…

There may have been a lot of government restrictions limiting physical gatherings this year, but these restrictions surely did not limit our enthusiasm in gathering (virtually and intellectually) for the first-ever United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (‘UNCITRAL’) Working Group III (‘WGIII’) Pre-Intersessional Meeting. The virtual event, with the theme “The Use of Mediation…

Of the six States that have ratified the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (“Convention”) only Singapore seems to have made any requisite preparation for its implementation, by passing the Singapore Convention Mediation Act in February 2020. Yet, following the Convention’s entry into force on 12 September 2020, forthcoming developments in…

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…

Aron Broches, the chief architect of the ICSID Convention, said in 1964 that the role of conciliation in the Convention’s framework may prove to be more important than arbitration. There is little doubt that more than 50 years later, this forecast by one of international investment law’s giants has not yet become a reality. The…

As has been previously reported in this blog (e.g., here and here), there exists a rising interest globally for alternative forms of dispute resolution (ADR) for investor-state disputes. Indicative examples from investment treaty-making confirm this, including the USMCA, CPTPP, the EU’s investment agreements with Canada, Singapore and Viet Nam, ACIA, and the China-Hong Kong CEPA…

In their reform discussions, States and arbitration institutions have been exploring the potential for investor-State mediation to work alongside arbitration, or even to replace it altogether for some disputes. While investor-State mediation has strengths relative to arbitration, any reform must carefully integrate mediation with existing processes and reform efforts.1)This post builds on: Esmé Shirlow, ‘The…

The Singapore Convention on Mediation entered into force on 12 September 2020. Its entry into force compels a deeper look at dispute resolution design for investor-state disputes, and encourages a reconsideration of the common choice of arbitration in favour of mediation for two main reasons. The first reason relates to enforcement as the entry into…

Arbitration has undoubtedly become the dominant international procedure for settling investor-State disputes. Over the years, we have published various posts on the Blog that have considered intersections and tensions between arbitration and other, alternative, forms of investor-State dispute settlement (‘ISDS’). To mark this month’s entry into force of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, our series…