Treaty Law

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New Options for Investor Accountability in ISDS

ISDS emerged in the twentieth century to empower foreign investors to assert legal claims against host states without the intervention of their home state. But this understanding of international investment law (IIL) – investor rights and host state duties – is now a relic of the past. Yet because of their current asymmetrical nature, ISDS and IIL do not effectively regulate investors’ conduct. Various states have made it clear that that asymmetry has to change. One prominent manifestation of this movement for change is the inclusion of investor obligations in (a few) investment treaties. In the quest for investor accountability, this is clearly an important step, but without procedural tools to enforce these obligations, they will only serve as decorative features in investment treaties. The incumbent challenge for states is to create the requisite procedural tools. There has never been a more opportune to tackle this challenge: as we speak, the reform process for ISDS is ongoing at UNCITRAL Working Group III. To this end, this blog post examines some of the more innovative…

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An International Law Assessment of the Collective Self-defence Clause of the 2021 Treaty on the ‘Establishment of Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in Matters of Defence and Security’ between Greece and France

On 28 September 2021 France and Greece concluded a bilateral treaty on the ‘Establishment of Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in Matters of Defence and Security’ (see the Greek and French version here. The Treaty has not been translated yet into English). The Treaty is premised on a community of interests in matters of foreign policy, defence, and…

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Brexit, the Irish Protocol and the ‘Versailles Effect’

What does the Treaty of Versailles have to do with Brexit, you may be asking yourself? Quite a lot I would like to suggest. But a preliminary comment is necessary. In the current state of polarized societies  and, increasingly, a polarized academy, an old-style ‘Voltairian liberal’ like myself (of the ‘I disapprove of what you say, but…

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Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by Turkey: A Testing Problem for the Council of Europe

On Saturday 20 March 2021, Turkey woke up to a historic first – the announcement of its first withdrawal from a human rights treaty by the President. A presidential decision declared that Turkey was leaving the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This is the convention better known, most ironically,…

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Don’t Leave Me This Way: Regulating Treaty Withdrawal in the Inter-American Human Rights System

What happens after a state party denounces a human rights treaty? Which legal obligations continue and how should other member states react? On December 16, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) addressed those central questions in a much-anticipated advisory opinion on the procedure for and effects of withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR)…

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