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Transparency and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

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In 2006 the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) began revising its arbitration rules, which are the second-most commonly used in investor–state arbitration. IISD obtained status in 2006 to observe this process, and has actively participated in every session of the Working Group since.

IISD was instrumental in bringing the issue of transparency to the forefront of UNCITRAL's agenda. Working with partners, IISD provided expertise throughout the negotiation process, by intervening in the discussions, preparing analyses of textual options and proposing content for rules on transparency. In July 2013 UNCITRAL formally adopted the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor–State Arbitration (“Transparency Rules”), which will officially come into effect on April 1, 2014.

As mandated by the organization's member states, the UNCITRAL Working Group II on Arbitration and Conciliation has now started the preparation of a transparency convention. The transparency convention is intended to facilitate application of the Transparency Rules to investor-state arbitrations arising under the bulk of investment treaties concluded prior to the Rules' entry into force, including arbitrations under rules other than the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Key developments and documents: