Treaty Law

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On Hezbollah, Huawei, Homosexuality, Sharon Stone and a Chainsaw: The Economic Normalization Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo

On September 4, 2020, an economic relations agreement was signed between Serbia and Kosovo, as part of efforts to resolve the long-standing dispute about Kosovo’s independence. It was brokered by the Trump administration and signed at the White House. President Trump called the agreement historic and its signatories – the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti – great leaders (for more background see here, here, and here). As explained below, to describe this agreement as historic would be an overstatement, to put it mildly. Instead of setting the ground for what it will supposedly achieve – the normalization of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo, thus advancing the welfare of their people – the agreement in reality seems to be a mishmash of different issues important mostly to President Trump in his campaign for the US presidential election this coming November. It is more like a New Year’s resolution list, as someone noted on Twitter, than…

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Uses and abuses of authentic interpretations of international investment agreements: Reflections on the role of arbitral tribunals as masters of the judicial function

In their previous posts, Catharine Titi and Tarcisio Gazzini discussed some general aspects concerning authentic (joint) interpretations of international investment agreements. They brilliantly clarified aspects concerning the timing of joint interpretations as well as the murky difference between interpretations and amendments of investment treaties. This post will not delve into what was already explained by my…

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The Timing of Treaty Party Interpretations

Treaty interpretation by treaty Parties was initially planned to be discussed in the 39th session of UNCITRAL Working Group III scheduled to take place in New York in March-April 2020. A Note prepared by the UNCITRAL Secretariat in anticipation of the now-postponed session addressed treaty interpretation in the context of ISDS, pointing to the existing interpretive…

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Authentic (or Authoritative) Interpretation of Investment Treaties by the Treaty Parties

General remarks The interpretation of investment treaties is governed by the rules on interpretation codified in Articles 31 to 33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). The hybrid nature of Investor-State arbitration, in which the parties to the dispute and the parties to the treaty do not coincide, calls for a “particular…

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What are the Riyadh Agreements?

The ruction between Qatar and the Quartet (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain) recently passed the three-year mark. Yet for a dispute that spawned a remarkable array of international legal proceedings—including an original proceeding before the International Court of Justice, two novel inter-State proceedings before the UN Committee for the Elimination of…

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