Arbitration community calls for improvement of the system

In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a renowned practitioner and arbitrator Hamid Gharavi of Derains & Gharavi published a strong criticism of the existing system of annulment proceedings under the ICSID rules. Ghravi expresses concern about ‘the unbalanced and extraordinary power that the secretary-general of ICSID’ and urges improvements in the system.

The article entitled ‘ICSID annulment committees: the elephant in the room’ constitutes a good and welcomed example of the ongoing debate within the arbitration community to improve the system.

The article is available at the Global Arbitration Review website.

Former ICJ Judge Schwebel defends ISDS

Former long-time judge and president of the International Court of Justice, highly regarded arbitration specialist and one of the most senior jurist of the globe wrote an excellent short piece for the Columbia FDI Perspectives, an occasional series of perspectives on important and topical foreign direct investment (FDI) issues.

Judge Schwebel states, inter alia, that:

  • The available research shows that investment arbitration is by no means biased against States.
  • Even though the system is asymmetrical, which means that only investors can initiate a claim, States are able initiate a counterclaim.
  • The criticism to the effect that investment arbitration constraints a State’s powers is opaque, as critics fail to recognize that the purpose of all international treaties is to limit the State powers.

The article also offers some thoughts how to develop and improve the current system of investment arbitration. It concludes that “[t]hesubstitution of national adjudication for international investment arbitration would be a regressive development that is to be resisted rather than furthered.”

The article is available on the Columbia FDI Perspectives website under the following link: