A year ago, on 25 February 2016, it was reported that Poland intends to terminate its Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”; see initial comments here). Earlier this year, by a resolution of 5 January 2017, an interministerial Working Group on Polish investment policy was officially established to, among other things, review and analyse existing BITs (as…

2016 was an important year for international arbitration. Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales challenged the legitimacy of international arbitration, while supporters such as former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (Robert French AC) came forward to defend its coexistence with commercial courts. Several institutions such as ACICA, SIAC and KCAB updated…

On 30 December 2016, The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) finally released the first edition of its Investment Arbitration Rules (IA Rules). The IA Rules were first published as draft rules on 1 February 2016, and were discussed in a previous article. The IA Rules, which came into effect on 1 January 2017, now reflect…

Much ink has recently been spilt on the Investor State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) system, especially in the light of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”) (summary of criticism recently collected by G. Kaufmann-Kohler, M. Potesta, at 10, available here). The existence of a potential overlap and…

  Arbitral tribunals are increasingly faced with allegations of corruption. In these situations, arbitral proceedings and criminal investigations frequently go in tandem. Their findings overlap and may influence one another. Regardless of the many instances where corruption is alleged, there have been only a few investment cases in which a finding of corruption was actually…

Lundin Tunisia B. V. v. Republic of Tunisia is a case that very little information was (and, in many ways, still is) available about until very recently. In November 2016, excerpts from the award (in French), itself dated December 22, 2015, became available on the ICSID website. The published excerpts give very limited information on…

Co-authored with Ivaylo Dimitrov, George Washington University Law School Foreword A recent award rendered in the case of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited v. Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) (ARB/10/20, Award, 12 September 2016) (hereinafter: “SCB HK v. TANESCO”) seems to put an end to a dispute which had sparked lately relating to an arbitral…

Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) is generally perceived as a good emerging market for investment. The country is rich with natural resources and has a long tradition of industry with favorable and attractive locations and resources. Potential areas of investment include banking and finance, energy and mining, construction and IT (ICT) sector. The relevant national framework…

Criticism of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) system is common these days. Protesters demonstrate against “secretive tribunals of highly paid corporate lawyers” as which the mainstream media increasingly portray arbitral tribunals. (“Investor-state dispute settlement – the arbitration game”, The Economist, 11 October 2014) A Controversial Doctrine Central to the general public’s opposition to ISDS…

On 30 November, Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) released its Report 165 on its inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). JSCOT is a 16-member parliamentary committee tasked with advising the Australian parliament on ratification of treaties. This article presents an overview and discussion of the Report’s findings on ISDS, the most common…

The Paris Agreement does not include an enforcement mechanism.   However, trends show that different actors have been innovative in using different legal mechanisms to address environmental and climate change issues. As noted by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in this respect, “[g]reen investors have resorted to international arbitration to resolve disputes related to, among others,…

On 6 December 2016 the German Constitutional Court (GCC) delivered its judgment in the case of Vattenfall and other nuclear power energy companies against Germany. This dispute and final judgment – which have attracted far less attention and criticism from anti-ISDS groups than the Vattenfall dispute currently under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) – provide…

Much Ado About India’s Protectionist Model BIT The last week of November 2016 was an eventful and rather paradoxical week for India. While India and Brazil successfully concluded negotiations for a new Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”), the India-Netherlands BIT expired. India has spent the past year refurbishing its investment agreements. According to UNCTAD, India is…

Last month I was privileged to organize a conference at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway on the topic of UK trade and Brexit. The conference had three sessions: (1) UK trade negotiations with the EU; (2) UK trade negotiations outside the EU; and (3) UK’s post-Brexit status within the WTO. You can…

Investment obligations and investor-State arbitration provisions normally have been negotiated under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), or, more recently, in the larger context of free trade agreements (FTAs). For investment provisions, the movement from BITs to FTAs recently has taken an additional, significant step: the negotiation of such provisions in the even larger context of mega-regional…

Co-authored with: Oleg Temnikov, Wolf Theiss Background In a recent award issued in the case of CEAC Holdings Limited v. Montenegro (ARB/14/8, Award, 26 July 2016) the arbitral tribunal had to decide whether CEAC Holdings Limited (hereinafter: “CEAC”) was a protected investor within the meaning of the applicable Cyprus–Serbia and Montenegro BIT. Under Article 1…

Part I of this two-part blog post summarized the recent judgment of the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA” or the “Court”) in Sanum Investments Ltd. v Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Sanum v Laos”). This Part II provides some comments on that judgment and its significance, including its impact on future Singapore court…

On 29 September 2016, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA” or the “Court”) released its much-anticipated judgment in Sanum Investments Ltd. v Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Sanum v Laos”). In a carefully reasoned decision, Singapore’s apex court reversed a decision of the Singapore High Court, which had previously held that an UNCITRAL…

If James Bond practiced law, it would be international arbitration. Don’t believe me? Just consider how many international arbitration cases could be great plots for a James Bond movie. Take, for example, the case in which an Israeli investor was arrested in Tbilisi and jailed following a cognac-laced sting operation that caught the investor on…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, signed on 4 February 2016 among 12 Asia-Pacific economies, faces a rocky road to ratification. In the run-up to the US presidential election in November, both Donald Trump and (for now) Hillary Clinton say they are opposed. Yet Australian Prime Minister Turnbull urged President Obama to put the FTA to a vote in Congress…

For more than a decade, Argentina has been living in a permanent crisis, which affected all sectors of the economy and turned out in an avalanche of investment cases, many of them under the ICSID Convention. Thus, Argentina became one of the most active players in the investor-state dispute settlement system, facing almost 60 cases…

Climate change is a serious threat to humankind. The sources of the problem are many, requiring a multidimensional approach to find practical and viable solutions. In the last several years, awareness of the issue has been addressed in the public domain, by international community, and civil society. This publicity has resulted in States taking concrete…

On 7 July 2016, the UNCITRAL Commission adopted a revised and updated version of the UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings. The 2016 Notes replace a 1996 edition, and aim to flag procedural issues typically associated with arbitral proceedings. They include guidance on matters such as the language(s) of the proceedings, confidentiality and transparency, and…