Arbitrator Independence

Analysis  |  Wednesday August 10th, 2016

UNASUR Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes: Comments on the Draft Constitutive Agreement

The future operation of the investment dispute settlement facility of the Union of South American Nations is likely to generate scepticism, as it could undermine international standards in favour of regional parameters and lead to increased instability in the region. Alternatively, it could enhance the legitimacy and popularity of ISDS mechanisms in UNASUR member states. What are the procedural and substantive novelties contained in the Draft Constitutive Agreement?

Analysis  |  Thursday May 21st, 2015

Rethinking Investment-Related Dispute Settlement

Investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS), a concept much unknown to the broader public and even top policy-makers only a year ago, is making headlines, especially as the European Union and the United States contemplate including the mechanism in the deal they are currently negotiating, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Public awareness is growing of […]

Analysis of the European Commission’s Draft Text on Investor-State Dispute Settlement for EU Agreements

With the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, in force since December 2009, foreign direct investment fell under the exclusive competence of the European Union (EU). Since then the three European institutions—the European Commission, the European Council of Ministers and the European Parliament—have been engaged in a vigorous debate over a new legal framework and negotiating positions […]

Pro-Investor or Pro-State Bias in Investment-Treaty Arbitration? Forthcoming Study Gives Cause for Concern

Debates about investment treaties often raise questions about fairness and independence in international investment arbitration. Some observers argue that investment arbitration offers a neutral and impartial forum in which to resolve investor-state disputes as a basis for protecting foreign-owned assets and ensuring the rule of law.[1] Others claim that the arbitration mechanism favours investors and […]

Fairness and independence in investment arbitration: A critique of “Development and Outcomes of Investment Treaty Arbitration”

There has been recent interest in the use of quantitative research tools to evaluate the fairness and independence of investment arbitration. In this article, Professor Gus Van Harten critiques one of the most prominent studies to examine this question. While the study in question, “Development and Outcomes of Investment Treaty Arbitration” (2009), has been used in some policy circles to support the argument that investment arbitration functions fairly, Van Harten argues it has limitations that prevent such conclusions.

ITN  |  Thursday September 23rd, 2010

News In Brief*

  *These are abridged versions of articles originally published by the independent news service Investment Arbitration Reporter (http://www.iareporter.com/). They are used with permission and may not be reproduced without the express permission of IAReporter.   Parties announce settlement of dispute over German power plant 28.8.2010 A Swedish power company and the Federal Republic of Germany […]

ITN  |  Thursday September 23rd, 2010

Procedural requirements for arbitrator challenges: Finding fault with CEMEX v. Venezuela

One fundamental principle of investor-State arbitration is the ability of parties to have their disputes resolved by independent and impartial arbitrators. In order to ensure adherence to this principle, laws and rules governing investor-State arbitrations grant parties the right to challenge arbitrators lacking these qualifications. Given the importance of ensuring arbitrator independence and impartiality, and as evidenced by the recent decision in and subsequent commentary on Vivendi v. Argentina, practitioners and stakeholders in investor-State arbitrations are devoting significant efforts to defining the substantive standards warranting arbitrator challenges, and to understanding what those standards require in practice.

ITN  |  Thursday September 23rd, 2010

Arbitrator appointments in investment arbitration: Why expressed views on points of law should be challengeable

Tony Cole The aspect of international investment arbitration that is perhaps most consistently condemned by critics of the system is the role played in the resolution of investment disputes by non-permanent tribunals, constituted solely for deciding the case at hand, and consisting of individuals drawn primarily from the world of international commercial arbitration. Such tribunals, […]

ITN  |  Tuesday May 11th, 2010

ICSID Panel Denies Ukraine’s Challenge to Arbitrator

By Elizabeth Whitsitt May 11, 2010 On March 19, 2010 two members of an ICSID arbitral tribunal – the Honourable Davis R. Robinson (President) and Dr. Stanimir A. Alexandrov – dismissed the Ukraine’s challenge to the tribunal’s third member, Dr. Yoram Turbowicz. Arbitral proceedings between Alpha Projektholding GMBH (Alpha) and the Ukraine began in 2007 […]

ITN  |  Wednesday February 10th, 2010

ICSID tribunal affirms power to exclude counsel, but declines to do so

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 An ICSID tribunal, composed Sir Franklin Berman, Mr. Donald Donovan and Mr. Marc Lalonde, has determined that Mr. Barton Legum, a partner with Salans & Associés, can continue to represent Dutch firm Rompetrol N.V. in its arbitration against Romania.  Mr. Legum formally took over as counsel for Rompetrol in […]

ITN  |  Friday December 4th, 2009

Arbitrator forced to choose in NAFTA dispute over thwarted Canadian garbage site

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 Mr. J. Christopher Thomas Q.C. has resigned from his appointment as an arbitrator in a Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute initiated by US investor Vito G. Gallo against the Canadian government. Canada’s nominee to the tribunal resigned on October 21, 2009, one week after ICSID Deputy Secretary-General, Nassib G. Ziade, […]

ITN  |  Thursday August 7th, 2008

Commentary: A case for an international investment court

By Gus Van Harten Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University 7 August 2008 I shall lay out an argument for an international investment court, not because I wish to associate myself with grandiose schemes for international reform, but because I see it as the most pragmatic and appropriate way to fix serious problems […]