UNCITRAL secretariat publishes documents to be considered at October 2019 session of Working Group III on ISDS reform

Delegates to the UNCITRAL Working Group III process on multilateral ISDS reform will meet again in Vienna during the week of October 14–18, 2019. In the previous session, held in April 2019 in New York, the working group had agreed that in the October session it would develop a project schedule for reforms and “discuss, elaborate and develop multiple potential reform options simultaneously,” focusing on two tracks: structural reforms and other types of solutions.

The draft agenda for the Vienna session indicates that the working group is expected to continue its consideration of ISDS reform based on notes prepared by the secretariat and on submissions from governments to the UNCITRAL secretariat.

Documents prepared by the secretariat include newly published notes on reform options (also available in tabular form), the establishment of an advisory centre, selection and appointment of adjudicators, and possible solutions regarding third-party funding, as well as two yet-to-be-published working papers, focusing on a code of conduct and on shareholder claims and reflective loss.

Submissions made to the secretariat by the following governments are publicly available: Brazil; Chile, Israel and Japan (joint submission); China; Colombia; Costa Rica (submissions I and II); Ecuador; EU and its member states (including an addendum); Indonesia; the Republic of Korea; Morocco; South Africa; Thailand; and Turkey.

Any further submissions made by states—as well as translations of submissions in all six official UN languages—will be published on the working group’s webpage as they become available. Submissions made by international and non-governmental organizations and other resources are available on a separate page of the working group’s website.

(Editor’s note: IISD, the publisher of ITN, has made four joint submissions with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment [CCSI] and the International Institute on Environment and Development [IIED]: [1] Draft Treaty Language – Withdrawal of consent to arbitrate and termination of international investment agreements; [2] Draft Text Providing for Transparency and Prohibiting Certain Forms of Third-Party Funding in Investor–State Dispute Settlement; [3] Third Party Rights in Investor–State Dispute Settlement: Options for reform; and [4] Shaping the Reform Agenda: Concerns identified and cross-cutting issues.)