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The Emerging Harmonization of the International Investment Law Regime

Given the existence of thousands of international investment agreements, the international investment law regime has been described as “complex and confusing,” “highly fragmented,” and “characterised by overlaps and incoherence”.

Two key developments, however, are contributing to the harmonization of that regime. First, a set of major agreements is being negotiated by many of the world’s largest economies, which, if completed, will cover a very significant share of global investment. Second, given the recent treaty practice of the States participating in those negotiations, that set of major agreements likely would include relatively consistent approaches to some of the most ch [...]

The Canadian Model BIT—A Step in the Right Direction for Canadian Investment in Africa?

In the past two years, Canada has signed BITs with nine African states: Benin (January 2013), United Republic of Tanzania (May 2013), Cameroon (March 2014), Nigeria (May 2014), Senegal (November 2014), Mali (November 2014), Cote d’Ivoire (November 2014), Burkina Faso (April 2015) and most recently Guinea (May 2015). The first eight of these treaties (the “New Canada-African State BITs”) are based on the Canadian Model BIT (which Canada calls the Model Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement or “FIPA”). The text of the Canada-Guinea BIT is not yet available, but it is likely to follow this same model. While only two have entered into force (Benin in May of 2014 and United Repu [...]

The Evolution of Arbitration in the Arab World

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the author’s law firm.

Arbitration in the Arab World is a hot topic these days. Over the past few decades the Arab World has become a region at the forefront of international arbitration expansion. With increasing numbers of commercial actors coming out of the Arab World and with regional arbitration centers being established in many Arab states, large numbers of international arbitration cases are now linked to the Arab World.

The increased use of arbitration in the Arab World has often been attributed to foreign investment and the presenc [...]

From Ford to Ferrari? A Brief Look at the Changes Introduced in the Draft Model Indian BIT


The Government of India recently released the Draft Indian Model BIT (“Draft BIT”) for public consultation. India has an extensive BIT network with over 72 BITs in force. In 2012, following the investment treaty award against India in White Industries award, the Government initiated a comprehensive effort to revise the Model Indian BIT (“Old BIT”). The Draft BIT is radically different from the Old BIT, making substantial changes to provisions in the Old BIT, and deleting many other provisions such as the FET and MFN provisions, as well as the clear consent to arbitration under the ISDS clause.

Changes Introduced in the Draft BIT

The preamble of the Draft BIT contains an [...]

Canada, China, and the Anti-BIT

If the Canada-China BIT is any guide, then the US-China BIT may prove to be profoundly state-friendly. Unlike Canada’s 2004 model investment agreement and the investment chapter of the 2014 Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA), the Canada-China BIT offers only negligible establishment-phase protections and lacks disciplines on state-owned enterprises. With such provisions, the Canada-China BIT (and perhaps the US-China BIT) may prove to be an anti-BIT which, rather than promoting new investment, simply asserts states’ ability to regulate existing investments.

Three provisions contribute to the Canada-China BIT’s weak establishment-phase protections: ( [...]

Evolving Meaning: The Interpretation of Investment Treaties and Temporal Variations

International investment law is shaped by key terms such as “investment”, “indirect expropriation”, “national treatment”, “most favored nation”, “fair and equitable treatment”, among others, which are at the heart of most investment treaties. But after 1959, when West Germany and Pakistan signed what is known as the first ever bilateral investment treaty, and, since then, the conclusion of more than three thousand investment treaties, the meaning of these key terms has been exposed to potential temporal variations. This raises the question as to whether the interpreter should look for the meaning of the term at the time of the conclusion of the investment treaty or for th [...]

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