NAFTA on the tightrope One of President Donald Trump’s most frequent campaign promises was to “eliminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which he described as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” He then softened his tone and stated that he would renegotiate the treaty,…

Newspapers, cable television shows, and Twitter are abuzz with claims of “fake news.” Within the past two weeks alone, the U.S. President accused his predecessor of wiretapping his office building, apparently in reliance upon reporting in online news media. More traditional news outlets have responded with innuendo that the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau…

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…

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…

In recent weeks, criticism of the TPP has been increasingly focused on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in its Chapter Nine. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren initiated the charge against the TPP’s ISDS mechanism, and her attacks were recently supported by more than two hundred economists and law professors, who addressed a letter to…

In recent weeks, it has become clear that the latest lightning rod for TPP criticism is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in its Chapter Nine. With Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren leading the charge in this new fight, and a recent letter circulated to members of Congress by more than two hundred economists and…

In the past two to three years the critics of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) have been tremendously successful in setting up an effective propaganda, which has managed to scare and misinform the general public, media, and politicians. This propaganda has not only turned around once pro-ISDS countries like Germany, The Netherlands and France, but has…

Latin America is the region that has faced the largest number of investment treaty arbitration cases in the world, holding 30% of the total ICSID caseload (549 cases as of December 31, 2015).  South America alone, comprised by twelve UNASUR members, has faced 131 ICSID cases with a number of adverse outcomes for the host…

When questioned what the users of arbitration expect from the process and what its main pitfalls are, the answer is usually unequivocal: the need for time and cost-efficient proceedings leading to a well-considered decision is not consistently met. The reason for this complaint is obvious: the ‘Golden Age’ of arbitration has made way for a…

It has become customary for governments and other organisations to issue “Qs and As” to dispel myths about trade agreements. They usually contain categorical statements made to correct the record and reassure the concerned. The following ten “Qs and As” would likely not be issued by the EU Commission, as too many answers to the…

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. On 12 November 2015, in the context of its negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and in a bid to address growing criticism…

International investment law and investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) are at a historic juncture as the United States and the European Union (EU) have started to address the content and contours of the investment chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the latest negotiation round that took place in Brussels the last week…

by Nahila Cortes, American University Washington College of Law Much is being said about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”), the landmark free trade agreement signed by twelve States accounting for 40% of the world trade. Chapter 9, the investment chapter, is an important provision which applies to investors (i.e. a national or company of a…

As Mariel Dimsey has observed, a key challenge posed by investment treaties is that – at the point of ratification – they expose States to arbitrations of ‘as-yet-unknown scope and against as-yet-unknown claimants’. Gus van Harten and Martin Loughlin argue that this feature differentiates investment disputes from those heard in other fora, transforming investment disputes into something akin to ‘domestic judicial review of state conduct’….

The issue of transparency is hardly a new topic in legal scholarship addressing international arbitration. Last year, in an important contribution to this blog, Loukas A. Mistelis broke with the conventional wisdom that investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, is in need of court-like transparency, arguing that extending court-like transparency to arbitration “would not benefit the…

Recently, Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor, warned about the dangers of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). “We know we’re going to need regulations to restrict the emissions of carbon,” Stiglitz said. “But under these provisions, corporations can sue the government, including the American government, by the way, so it’s all the governments…

“ISDS” (short for “investor-state dispute settlement”) was a less-known acronym some years back. Now, it has been given an increasingly bad name, no doubt fuelled by Vattenfall’s claim against Germany following the shutting down of its nuclear plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, tobacco giant Philip Morris’ high profile claims arising from Australia’s plain-labelling laws,…

On May 26, 2015, Brazil signed its third investment treaty of 2015 with Mexico. Given the agreements previously signed with Angola and Mozambique, this certainly comes as a confirmation of a new Brazilian attitude towards the regulation of foreign investment. The instrument mostly follows the same model used for the previous two: a Cooperation and…

Ever since the EU started to develop its investment policy, anti-ISDS groups started an unprecedented campaign. Indeed, on the very same day (7 July 2010) the European Commission published its first Communication on the EU’s investment policy, the anti-ISDS groups had a 100 page publication ready calling for the dismantling of international investment arbitration. Since…

Introduction 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…