On May 16, 2018, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its new draft model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). The draft model, which remained available for public comment until June 18, 2018, is intended to replace the 2004 model BIT and be used for renegotiation of the 79 existing Dutch BITs with non-EU countries and negotiation of future agreements.
UNCITRAL receives mandate to work on ISDS reform; Transparency Convention to enter into force on October 18, 2017
On July 14, 2017, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) entrusted its Working Group III with a broad mandate to work on the possible reform of 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?
All 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEP) will have comprehensive access to all confidential documents relating to TTIP negotiations. The Parliament announced the agreement with the European Commission on December 2, 2015, after 11 months of negotiations. Under the operational arrangements, MEPs will be able to read the restricted “consolidated texts”—which reflect EU and U.S. compromises—in a […]
In July 2013, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted a package of rules aiming to ensure transparency in investor-State arbitration, ratifying the work done by delegations to UNCITRAL—comprised of 55 Member States, additional observer States and observer organizations—over the course of nearly three years of negotiations. With the adoption of the new rules, there is now a carefully negotiated and widely approved template that can serve as a model for how to conduct investor-State arbitrations transparently.
From October 1-5, 2012, a working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law met in Vienna to continue work on how to ensure transparency in treaty-based investor-state arbitration. It was the working group’s fifth week-long meeting on the topic, but will not be the last.
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 […]
Negotiations over transparency in investor-state arbitrations have reached a critical juncture heading into an October 2012 meeting in Vienna. During the last meeting in February 2012, a large number of countries, developed and developing, strongly supported options to ensure transparency in investor-state disputes that are settled under the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission […]
Philip Morris files for arbitration over intellectual property dispute with Australia The tobacco company Philip Morris filed for arbitration on 21 November 2011, claiming the government of Australia’s regulations on cigarette branding breach the Hong Kong-Australia bilateral investment treaty. The announcement arrived on the same day that the Australian Parliament passed legislation that bans most […]
Working group moves slowly on agreement for transparency in UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules A working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) met from 7-11 February 2011 in New York to discuss public access to information about disputes between investors and states under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. The meeting marked the second […]
Ignacio Torterola In October, State delegations are expected to discuss the issue of transparency in the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration. Ignacio Torterola, ICSID Liaison at the Argentine Embassy in Washington, DC, and Argentine Delegate to the UNCITRAL Working Group II, explains why greater openness would benefit the investment arbitration system. Some preliminary considerations Working Group […]
By Ugo Ukpabi* March 11, 2010 In Giovanna A Beccara and Others v. The Argentine Republic a tribunal composed of Pierre Tercier, Georges Abi – Saab, and Albert Jan Van den Berg has decided that questions of confidentiality and transparency in ICSID arbitrations should be determined on a case by case basis. The dispute – […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 22 January 2009 The United Kingdom has formally declined to release a notice of arbitration delivered by an Indian citizen under the UK-India bilateral investment treaty, explaining that it would likely “prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and an international organisation; UNCITRAL.” UNCITRAL is a United Nations body responsible for international business […]
Société Générale passes jurisdictional hurdle in dispute with Dominican Republic; controversy erupts over press release
By Fernando Diaz Cabrera 28 October 2008 Lawyers for the Dominican Republic have accused a subsidiary of the French financial services company Société Générale of breaking confidentiality rules in an ad-hoc arbitration when it issued a press release announcing that the tribunal had ruled in its favour by rejecting the Dominican Republic’s objections to jurisdiction. […]
An interview with Professor John Ruggie, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Business & Human Rights
1 October 2008 Professor John Ruggie was appointed to be Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on business & human rights in 2005. Prof. Ruggie is also the Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs and Weil Director of the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government, as well as Affiliated Professor in […]
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 […]