The upcoming meeting of Working Group III of UNCITRAL in January 2020 will be a valuable opportunity to intensify the push for real reform of ISDS. This ITN Insight provides an update from the October 2019 discussions in Vienna, where countries set out a workplan for their upcoming talks on reform solutions, outlining when to discuss which options. The authors review lessons learned to date and look ahead to the topics slated for discussion in January 2020: a stand-alone review or appellate mechanism; a standing MIC; and the selection and appointment of arbitrators and adjudicators. Taking a deep dive into each, they highlight key issues for negotiators to consider.
ICSID Rule Amendment: An attempt to remedy some of the concerns regarding ISDS identified by UNCITRAL WG III
The process for updating ICSID’s rules has been taking place in parallel to the UNCITRAL Working Group III deliberations on ISDS reform, prompting an important conversation of how these efforts may complement each other. In this new Insight, Rafael Ramos Codeço and Henrique Martins Sachetim examine the ICSID rule amendment process, taking a close look at a few key amendments under consideration and examining the extent to which these might help address some of the ISDS-related concerns that have been identified at UNCITRAL.
The idea of entrusting party-appointed arbitrators with powers to decide investor–state disputes through final and binding awards, inherited from commercial arbitration and traditionally accepted as appropriate, now causes discomfort among critics.
This paper examines compensation systems for adjudicators and dispute settlement administrators in investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS).
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?
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. 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.
*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 […]
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.
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
Among the grounds upon which Argentina is seeking to vacate a $185+ Million arbitration award in favour of British Gas (see previous item) is one which criticizes the International Chamber of Commerce for failing to disqualify one of the three arbitrators presiding in the BG v. Argentina arbitration. Argentina had moved in June of 2007 […]