UNCITRAL Working Group III (“WGIII”) on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) Reform convened for its 48th session in April 2024 in New York to continue its work, among others, on the establishment of an advisory centre (“AC”) on international investment dispute resolution (“IIDR”). In light of the discussions during the past three sessions from October 2023…

2023 marked a milestone in the reform of investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”). In July 2023, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) Commission notably adopted the Code of Conduct for Arbitrators in International Investment Dispute Resolution (“Code for Arbitrators”) and adopted in principle the Code of Conduct for Judges in International Investment Dispute…

In the forest of reform deliberations at the UNCITRAL Working Group III (ISDS Reform), the development of a draft Code of Conduct for decision-makers in investment disputes (Draft Code) was considered a low-hanging fruit. WGIII delegates and commentators frequently used this metaphor to reflect on the consensus among the key stakeholders that the Code should…

With 17 minutes to spare before the end of the 45th Session, the chair of UNCITRAL Working Group III (WGIII), Mr Spelliscy, announced that a workable compromise had been reached on the last remaining outstanding issue (how to regulate double hatting) and that, therefore, an agreement was reached on a text of the Code of…

In preparation for the 42nd session of the UNCITRAL Working Group III (“Working Group”) in February 2022, the UNCITRAL Secretariat issued a note on “Standing Multilateral Mechanism: Selection and Appointment of ISDS Tribunal Members and Related Matters” (“Note”), dated December 8, 2021. The Note builds on several Working Group reports that addressed the selection and appointment…

Among the items on the agenda of the 43rd session of UNCITRAL Working Group III (“WGIII“) was the multilateral instrument on investment reform (the “MIIR“). This instrument is being developed as a mode for delivering the reforms to ISDS that are agreed upon by WGIII. Although the Secretariat was instructed to do further work on…

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…

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…

A cursory reading of the mandate of Working Group III reveals that the discussion at UNCITRAL of ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) reform focuses only on procedural aspects of dispute settlement under investment treaties and excludes any substantive aspects. However, the topic of respondent states’ counterclaims, albeit procedural in itself, is so inextricably intertwined with substantive…

Ahead of the thirty-ninth session of UNCITRAL Working Group III (Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform), the General Assembly Secretariat issued a note on issues to be considered on the topic of security for costs and frivolous claims. Averting frivolous claims has been a recurring topic in the ISDS debate over the past years, not least in…

One of the topics on the agenda of UNCITRAL Working Group III is the establishment of an Appellate Court system. The system of investor-State dispute resolution therefore now faces the fact that WG III is considering, among other matters, the following: the repeal of local law governing the setting aside of an UNCITRAL award giving…

Arbitrators under the Crossfire While investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) was created with the purported goal of depoliticizing investment disputes, it is currently at the centre of heated political debates. Investment arbitration follows the commercial arbitration paradigm, with disputing parties playing a direct role in the composition of the tribunal. This is perceived as a tool…

During its last resumed 38th session which took place in Vienna from 20–24 January 2020 the UNCITRAL Working Group III discussed in parallel three reform alternatives, based on the notes prepared by the Secretariat. These alternatives suggested the creation of: (i) a stand-alone review or appellate mechanism; (ii) a standing multilateral investment court (MIC); and/or…

Next week was due to be the 39th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (UNCITRAL) Working Group III, and its sixth session considering the issue of reform to investor-State dispute settlement (‘ISDS’). The session has since been postponed indefinitely, in light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of Working…