dispute resolution

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UNCITRAL and ISDS Reform: Lifelong Learning

How many International Investment Disputes have there been since 1973? How many International Investment Disputes are ongoing now? We do not know. There is no authoritative count. How many treaty-based awards issued by arbitral tribunals since 2000 are not publicly available? Again, nothing authoritative can be said except that a sizeable percentage of such awards are not available. The important work of Investment Arbitration Reporter and others mean that we have informal knowledge about the existence of many cases. But our frequent inability to answer even basic questions about the full universe is a salutary reminder that we – as a scholarly community and as a policymaking community – know less than is ideal about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Starting with how little we know also reframes what is happening at UNCITRAL Working Group III, which has been discussing ISDS reform since 2017. Sure, the Working Group is developing and delivering reforms, as we discuss in yesterday’s companion blog. In addition, however, the Working Group is facilitating learning and generating authoritative information as states…

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UNCITRAL and ISDS Reform: Moving to the Delivery Phase

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform process underway in UNCITRAL Working Group III has entered the delivery phase. The first four reform products were delivered in July 2023, when they were adopted by the UNCITRAL Commission. The Working Group plans to deliver more reform products – an advisory centre and possibly also guidelines on dispute prevention – to…

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A Contentious Toll

Rivers have caused a decent share of international disputes in Latin America: Pulp Mills, Silala (analysed here), and the series of disputes between Costa Rica and Nicaragua involving the San Juan River. And that’s just the last 15 years. Argentina’s…

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The Caster Semenya Judgment of the ECtHR: Why It Should Not be the Final Whistle?

The legal marathon of Caster Semenya against regulations of the sport governing body (SGB) overseeing athletics has emerged as one of the most contentious legal battles, reaching the pinnacle of the European human rights framework. Semenya is a South African runner with naturally higher testosterone levels than other females. She refused to submit herself to World…

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English High Court Enforces ICSID Award Despite Alleged EU Incompatibility

A recent illuminating decision from the Commercial High Court of England and Wales sets an important precedent in favour of the recognition and enforcement of International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) arbitral awards by English courts. Infrastructure Services Luxembourg v Kingdom of Spain, [2023] EWHC 1226 (Comm) (24 May 2023), involved an application by…

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