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…

What does the future hold for investment protection in Europe? A colossal question that resonates across board rooms and government halls on both sides of the Channel. With a consortium of investment law experts including Nikos Lavranos (NL Investment Consulting), Ayse Lowe (Bench Walk), Gordon Nardell QC (Twenty Essex), and Laura Rees-Evans (Fietta LLP) joining…

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 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…

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement regime is at the centre of a long-standing debate, subsequent reform efforts, and, more in general, great innovation. In this context, on 14 May 2021, a LIDW member-hosted event – organised and co-hosted by Clifford Chance, EFILA, Herbert Smith Freehills, Queen Mary University’s School of International Arbitration, and White & Case…

Many will recall the historic ruling of Justice Neil Gorsuch in McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020), where the United States Supreme Court upheld an 1866 treaty between the United States and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which established the Muscogee Nation’s geographic borders. The Court decided that much of current Eastern Oklahoma is to remain Indian land…

Investor-state international arbitration may provide a way forward for Survivors and their heirs after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision denying claims in two restitution cases regarding Holocaust-era stolen property:  Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp (for return of Medieval art stolen by the Nazis) along with the companion case of Republic of Hungary v. Simon…

“To disclose or not to disclose?” no longer seems to be a question for international arbitrators. The narrative and policy space surrounding the independence and impartiality of international arbitrators has been consistently driven towards maximum disclosure obligations. This is evidenced in recent legal instruments seemingly blurring the lines between the recognized ethical standards for arbitrators,…

Egypt has been trying to control the number of investor-state arbitration disputes which has been steeply increasing since 2011 and the Arab Spring movement (see past discussion on the Blog here). To that end, Egypt created alternative out-of-court forums for amicable settlement of existing arbitration cases and worked toward curbing the eruption of new cases…

The ITA (Institute for Transnational Arbitration) – ALARB (Latin American Society of Arbitration) Americas Workshop took place virtually on 2-4 December 2020. The conference focused on the role of arbitrators, their liabilities, challenges, and the need for increased diversity efforts. The conference was co-chaired by Julie Bédard (Skadden, New York), and Maria Inés Corrá (Bomchil, Buenos…

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…

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by its 15 Parties (after India, an initial negotiating party, withdrew from negotiations) on 15 November 2020.1)This article represents the authors’ personal opinions and does not represent the opinion of their respective organisations. The signature of this agreement amid the COVID-19 pandemic has made quite a headline…

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…

Much has been written – on this page and elsewhere – about the future viability of investor-state arbitration based on intra-EU BITs in the aftermath of the CJEU’s Achmea decision. In the authors’ view, the May 2020 Termination Agreement concluded between 23 of the 27 EU Member States with the intention to terminate existing intra-EU…

The Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”) hosted a four-part webinar discussing the Draft Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, between 21-25 September 2020. Each part addressed specific practical considerations raised by the matters addressed in the Draft Code of Conduct: issue conflict, double hatting, repeat appointments, and implementation and enforcement of the…

Ever looked up at the night sky and wondered…what is the regulatory and dispute settlement regime that governs commercial activities out there? Well, it might be about time you did. This post celebrates October’s World Space Week by looking at the developments in the legal framework regulating commercial space activities and how the investor-state dispute…

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…

Arbitrating investment disputes has its peculiarities stemming out of the nature of the dispute, as well as from the parties involved, which become relevant when assessing the feasibility of implementing expedited arbitration provisions. ICSID Arbitration Rules and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the main arbitration rules currently used for investment arbitration proceedings, are in the process of…

Arbitration has been the default dispute resolution mechanism in the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime for a long time. Provisions for third-party procedures other than arbitration have been relatively rare in older generation bilateral investment treaties (BITs). Even where those have provided in advance for the option of ICSID (Convention or Additional Facility) Conciliation Rules,…

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) hosted its Congress on 2 September 2020.  For the first time, the Congress was held virtually.  The Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIAC, Mr Davinder Singh, SC, in his welcome address thanked over 1,000 attendees for attending virtually from all over the world despite time zone differences. …

Today, there is no universal code of conduct, no single professional regulatory organization or global certification process in the field of investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”). Instead, the field of international arbitration is didactically governed by self-policing, episodic, and distinct ad hoc measures serving to collectively safeguard the integrity of the international arbitration process. On the…

Denial of benefits clauses (DoB) have gained considerable traction in the past prolific years of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), and more specifically, with the growing number of Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitrations. UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Hub still lists a considerably small number of international investment agreements (IIAs) providing for DoB: little above 200 which would…

The Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) opened for signature in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and now boasts some 50 member States. The ECT has since given rise to some 130 investor-State arbitrations, making it “the most frequently invoked international investment agreement”. This high use, coupled with a perception that the ECT is frequently invoked…

The Changing Landscape of the ISDS System The ongoing global discussions on the reform of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system have been broad in scope and covered a wide range of concerns. As previously documented on this blog, the governments participating in the UNCITRAL Working Group III – ISDS Reform (WG III) have determined…