International Economic Law

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Belgium asks European Court of Justice to opine on compatibility of Energy Charter Treaty’s investor-State arbitration provisions with EU law

On 3 December 2020, the Government of Belgium announced that it was submitting a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on ‘the compatibility of the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty with the European Treaties.’ This is major news, potentially sounding the death knell for the settlement of intra-EU investor-State disputes through treaty arbitration. The arbitration of investor-State disputes under intra-EU BITs was held incompatible with EU law by the CJEU in its 2018 Achmea judgment. The Agreement for the termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties between the Member States of the European Union adopted by 23 Member States in May this year seeks to terminate the remaining intra-EU BITs and their ‘sunset clauses’, as well as to prevent investors in pending and new arbitration proceedings from relying on their protections. The ECT, to which the EU and all its Member States bar one (Italy having withdrawn from the Treaty at the beginning of 2016) are parties,…

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The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’s Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Procedures

Over this past weekend during the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by Viet Nam, the ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Viet Nam) finally signed, together with five other trading partners - Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand…

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The ‘New’ World Bank Accountability Mechanism: Observations from the ND Reparations Design and Compliance Lab

On 8 September 2020, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a Resolution establishing the World Bank Accountability Mechanism [hereafter, “Accountability Mechanism Resolution”], composed of the original World Bank Inspection Panel established in 1993, and a new entity called the Dispute Resolution Services.  A counterpart updated Resolution was also passed relating to the World Bank Inspection…

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To CETA or not to CETA: Reflections on ISDS and the special responsibility of national parliaments

In a reaction to an EJIL: Talk! post by Baetens et al., Arcuri et al. claim that the Dutch parliament has the right to reject CETA and also argue in favour of it doing so. The post by Arcuri et al. raises important points that merit further discussion, among legal academics and practitioners, politicians, and citizens.

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Justifying privilege in international investment law – a rejoinder to Jurgen Kurtz

In a recent issue of EJIL (EJIL (2020), Vol. 31 No. 1), I have an article on how international investment law privileges foreign investors, to which Jürgen Kurtz in the same issue has written a reply, and in response to which the editors have invited me to provide a rejoinder. In his reply Kurtz develops one…

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