Friday, October 27, 2017

Investment Dispute Settlement in the Americas

Investment Arbitration ABA-SIL MiamiThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law concludes today in Miami, finishing a week of outstanding substantive panels on various aspects of transnational business, foreign investment, and international law, and with a special focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of the final panels was on investment dispute settlement in the Americas, including disputes under bilateral and multilateral treaties applicable in the Americas:

  • NAFTA (Canada and Mexico, 1994, currently being renegotiated)
  • Chile (2004)
  • Colombia (2012)
  • DR CAFTA (the Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement, with the United States and the nations of Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, with different dates of entry into force)
  • Panama (2012)
  • Peru (2009)

The panel also considered other bilateral treaties that the United States has with various nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, including:

  • Argentina (1994)
  • Bolivia (2001, terminated in 2012)
  • Ecuador (1994)
  • Grenada (1989)
  • Honduras (2001)
  • Panama (2001)
  • Trinidad & Tobago (1996)
  • Uruguay (2006)

The panel moderator was Viren Mascarenhas (King & Spalding LLP). Other speakers were Laura Sinisterra (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP) and Shane Spelliscy (Trade Law Bureau, Government of Canada). The panel chair was Paula Henin (Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP) who was also a speaker on the panel.

The panel discussed new developments and trends in international investment arbitration, including the "Mauritius Convention on Transparency," formally known as the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration. The Mauritius Convention entered into effect just 10 days ago, on October 18, 2017. It is an instrument by which Parties to investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014 agree to apply the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration,  a set of procedural rules to make information publicly available on investor-State arbitrations under investment treaties. Although it has been signed by a number of countries (including the United States), so far only Canada, Mauritius, and Switzerland have ratified that treaty (and that was enough to bring the treaty into effect 10 days ago).


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