CCSI and Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration hosted a roundtable discussion on “Institutional Reform in Treaty-Based Investor-State Dispute Resolution: Where is change needed and how can it be effected?” at 5:30 p.m. on September 25, 2012 at Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Annex. Catherine Kessedjian, Professor of European Business Law, Private International Law, and International Dispute Resolution at the Université of Panthéon – Assas Paris II, launched the discussion by giving a short presentation of the topic and posing a series of questions for the group’s consideration.
This issue of reform in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which has hovered somewhere on the agenda of many governments, academics, civil society organizations, and businesses for years, is now moving increasingly to the forefront. A confluence of factors and developments — including Australia’s widely publicized step away from investor-state arbitration and the EU’s anticipated moves into the area — make it particularly ripe for enhanced attention. The purpose of the discussion was thus to evaluate the needs for and opportunities for reform. It explored and built on, among other things, recent and ongoing assessments of the issue in a variety of areas, including the (1) OECD’s public consultation on ISDS, (2) the OGEMID+ survey on ISDS, (3) the UN High-Level Meeting on the Rule-of-Law, and (4) work in UNCITRAL to increase transparency in investor-state arbitration.