Resources and Events


IGF Guidance for Governments: Local content policies

By Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), Published by IISD, July 2018

The guidance focuses on mining sector local content policies—a suite of policies aimed at leveraging mining investment to, for example, increase local employment, boost mining companies’ local purchases and foster entrepreneurs in non-mining sectors. It aims to help resource-rich countries move away from commodity dependency and diversify their economic base. Local content policies are being increasingly used, particularly as governments review or revise their mining and investment codes and contracts. The guidance document also covers three cross-cutting themes: ensuring goals are achieved in a gender-equitable way, exploring the relationship between local content policies and countries’ obligations under trade and investment law, and exploring the implications of technological advances on the success of local content policies. Available at

World Investment Report 2018: Investment and new industrial policies

By UNCTAD, Published by UNCTAD, June 2018

The 2018 World Investment Report presents foreign direct investment (FDI) trends and prospects at global, regional and national levels; analyzes the latest developments in national policy measures on investment; highlights trends in investment treaties and investment dispute settlement; and presents progress and next steps in the reform of the investment treaty regime. The report argues that modern industrial policies, especially those aimed at positioning for the new industrial revolution, call for a strategic review of investment policies. While FDI remains the largest external source of finance for developing countries, global FDI flows fell by 23 per cent to USD 1.43 trillion, with a slower rate of expansion of international production and a decrease in rates of return on foreign investment to 6.7 per cent from 8.1 in 2012. The report also indicates that growth in global value chains has stagnated and that projections show fragile growth of global FDI in 2018. Available at

IIA Issues Note: Investor–State Dispute Settlement: Review of developments in 2017

By United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Published by UNCTAD, June 2018

UNCTAD’s annual review of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) contains an overview of cases initiated pursuant to international investment agreements (IIAs), overall case outcomes and an in-depth analysis of decisions. At least 65 treaty-based arbitrations were filed in 2017, reaching 855 known cases in total. Investors brought many of the new cases under IIAs that date back to the 1980s and 1990s. This points to the importance of addressing “old-generation” treaties as part of the so-called Phase 2 of IIA Reform. Decisions rendered in 2017 generally covered regulatory changes under fair and equitable treatment (FET), the police powers doctrine, indirect expropriation, provisions limiting ISDS access, host state law compliance, the scope of the most-favoured-nation (MFN) and umbrella clauses. Available at

The Rise of Investor–State Arbitration: Politics, law, and unintended consequences

By Taylor St John, Published by Oxford University Press, May 2018

Why did governments create a special legal regime in which foreign investors can bring cases directly against states? This book takes readers through the key decisions that created investor–state arbitration, drawing on internal documents from several governments and extensive interviews to illustrate the politics behind this new legal regime. It argues that, at the creation of the investor-state regime, the lobby of corporations and law firms that dominate investor–state arbitration today were not present. It shows that powerful states did not have a strong preference for the specific dispute settlement regime and that there was no evidence that it would facilitate investment. The book explains how the actions of international officials with peacebuilding and development aims kicked off a process of gradual institutional development. It argues that institutions do not determine the purposes to which they may be put and illustrates how unintended consequences emerge and why institutions persist regardless of a pre-determined objective. Available at

International Investment Law and Arbitration: Commentary, awards and other materials

By Chin Leng Lim, Jean Ho & Martins Paparinskis, Published by Cambridge University Press, May 2018

The book offers a comprehensive introduction to international investment law and dispute settlement. Presenting the facts of daily legal practice and the largely unaltered aims of the subject alongside a broad selection of key awards and original materials, historical developments are discussed in the context of the changing directions in arbitral jurisprudence and the current treaty and arbitration reform debate. Available at

IIA Issues Note: Recent Developments in the International Investment Regime

By UNCTAD, Published by UNCTAD, May 2018

The note highlights that the number of new IIAs concluded in 2017 was the lowest since 1983, and that, for the first time, the number of effective treaty terminations outpaced the number of new IIAs. Reform is well under way across all regions. Since 2012, over 150 countries have taken steps to formulate a new generation of sustainable development-oriented IIAs. They have reviewed their treaty networks, revised their treaty models and are beginning to modernize the existing stock of old-generation treaties. An increasing number are issuing interpretations, and replacing and consolidating their older agreements. Many have also been engaging in multilateral reform discussions, including with regard to ISDS. After improving the approach to new treaties and modernizing existing treaties, the piece calls for the last step in the reform process (Phase 3): ensuring coherence with national investment policies and other bodies of international law. Available at

The WTO and International Investment Law: Converging systems

By Jürgen Kurtz, Published by Cambridge University Press, April 2018

International law has historically regulated foreign trade and foreign investment differently, leading to variances in treaty form, institutional culture and dispute settlement. However, economic, legal and sociological factors are now pushing the two systems together. Jürgen Kurtz explores the dynamics of this convergence phenomenon, proposing a framework to understand the deepening relationship between them. The book offers reform ideas and possibilities, providing theoretical insights and doctrinal models that can guide actors in building a commonality between the two legal systems. Available at

International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)–Queen Mary Task Force Report on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration

By ICCA & Institute for Regulation and Ethics, School of International Arbitration, Queen Mary University of London, Published by ICCA, April 2018

The ICCA-Queen Mary Third Party Funding Taskforce, comprised of representatives drawn from among all relevant stakeholders and interested members of ICCA, convened to systematically study and make recommendations regarding the procedures, ethics and related policy issues relating to third-party funding in international arbitration. This report presents the task force’s findings and recommendations. Available at

Events 2018

July 30–August 9

EXECUTIVE TRAINING ON INVESTMENT TREATIES AND ARBITRATION FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), at Columbia University, New York, United States,

September 11

2018 ENERGY CHARTER TREATY FORUM, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) & Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), at World Bank, Paris, France,

September 24

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND THE SDGS: EXPLORING LINKS WITH EXTRACTIVES, AGRICULTURE, AND LAND USE, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources (SDSN Thematic Network), Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) & partners, at Columbia University, New York, United States,

September 27–­28

INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW & COMPETITION LAW COLOQUIUM, University of Zaragoza Faculty of Law, Athens Public International Law Center of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Faculty of Law, Research Centre of University Paris II Panthéon-Assas (CERSA), Research Centre of the University of Burgundy (CREDIMI), French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), at University of Zaragoza Faculty of Law, Zaragoza, Spain,

13TH ANNUAL COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE, “Multinationals in the Age of Sustainable Development: New Thinking on the Role of International Investment Agreements,” CCSI, at Columbia University, New York, United States,

October 1–5


October 13

2018 GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM, “Unlocking Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable Technology-Driven Infrastructure,” Asian Development Bank (ADB), at Laguna Villas, Bali, Indonesia,

October 15–19

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018, Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland,

COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY CFS 45, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy,

October 22–26

WORLD INVESTMENT FORUM 2018, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland,

October 23–25

8TH INVESTMENT TREATY ARBITRATION CONFERENCE, Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic & KPMG Czech Republic, at Lichtenstein Palace, Prague, Czechia,

October 29–November 2

36TH SESSION OF UNCITRAL WORKING GROUP III, “Investor–State Dispute Settlement Reform,” United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Vienna, Austria,