International Tribunals

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Guyana v Venezuela: Intriguing Pleadings in an (In)conspicuous Case

On 14 and 15 November, the ICJ held oral arguments on the request for provisional measures in Guyana v Venezuela. Although, initially the chances of Guyana’s success were deemed doubtful, the ongoing events and arguments put forward by the parties have unfolded as quite intriguing. If the Court were to address all aspects, surprisingly, this inconspicuous case could shed light on many fascinating elements of provisional measures proceedings. This post delves into these captivating features. The dispute between Guyana and Venezuela The dispute centres on the territory of Guayana Esequiba, renowned for its oil reserves. The 1898 Arbitral Award granted this land to Guyana, once a colony of the UK. However, since the 1960s, Venezuela has contested the decision, alleging political motivation. To address the dispute, the UK and Venezuela signed the 1966 Geneva Agreement. Upon gaining independence, Guyana became a party to the Agreement, which, in Article IV (2), stipulates that if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the UN Secretary General determines the method of 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.

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The Recognition of a Customary Rule of International Law in NICOL II – A Redundant Exercise?

In Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 Nautical Miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (NICOL II), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) observed a general trend in which coastal States had “chosen not to assert” outer continental shelf entitlement “within 200 nautical miles of the baselines of another…

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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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The Mandate Conundrum: Reflections on the 46th Session of the UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS Reform

The UNCITRAL Working Group III convened in Vienna between 9 and 13 October 2023 for its 46th session to discuss the establishment of an advisory centre on international investment law, which would be tasked to provide legal and technical assistance in connection with investor-State disputes. In addition, it would tackle a number of…

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