The European Commission has published the Trade and Investment pillar of the Advanced Framework Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Chile (the Agreement), as politically concluded. This seeks to modernise the EU-Chile Association Agreement. Undoubtedly, it represents a success for the EU, as it reinvigorates its trade and investment agenda, particularly in light of…

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…

The author presented on this topic at the ACICA/CIArb Future Frontiers Conference, held in Melbourne, Australia on 7 November 2022 during Australian Arbitration Week.  This piece elaborates on the presentation that was delivered. In the last decade, as more states have refused to comply with arbitral awards, attempts have been made to seize the assets…

International Law Weekend (“ILW”), held at Fordham Law School in New York City between October 20-22, 2022, celebrated the centennial anniversary of the American Branch of the International Law Association with a program entitled “The Next 100 Years of International Law.”  It brought together a wide variety of engaging panels and events to explore current…

The Centre for International Law and Governance, University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with Hasselt University and Seven Summits Arbitration, recently hosted an expert roundtable on “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) at a Crossroads”. The discussion, moderated by the three authors of this post, focused on the relationship between investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), investment protection, modernization…

In 2017, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) initiated a consultative process to consider procedural reform options for investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). Kluwer Arbitration Blog ran a series on UNCITRAL’s reform work in 2020, highlighting several subjects under consideration by Working Group III (WGIII). To get first-hand insights into the current status…

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…

The 2019 Moroccan Model BIT (the ‘2019 Model BIT’) is a good example of the growing body of ‘new generation’ Model BITs fuelling the ISDS reform conversation. Broadly speaking, the drafters of these agreements (including the 2019 Dutch Model BIT, 2017 Colombian Model BIT, and 2016 Pan-African Investment Code) have attempted to rethink means of…

On January 20, 2022, ICSID submitted its amended rules to the Administrative Council for a vote, marking the end of the five-year-old process of modernizing the ICSID Rules. ICSID members are expected to cast a vote on the amended rules by March 21, 2022, and if approved, the rules will enter into force on July…

The year 2021 has been perhaps the most controversial year for investment arbitration. From the profound structural reform work with respect to the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules, through the complete ban and termination of intra-EU investment arbitration in the European Union, to the ECT modernization process, this year has been marked by change and reform…

In the first week of November 2021, Seoul, once again, connected leading ADR practitioners, legal professionals, and scholars from different corners of the world through the Seoul ADR Festival 2021 (“SAF”). The SAF’s main flagship event was the 10th Asia-Pacific ADR Virtual Conference. Co-hosted by the UNCITRAL, Korea’s Ministry of Justice, KCAB INTERNATIONAL, the International…

Antonio R. Parra led a lengthy and luminous career of international public service, having held various roles in the OPEC Fund and the World Bank. Of special interest to our readers is that from 1990 to 1999 Mr. Parra was Legal Adviser at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and then from…

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…