Yesterday, in a further steps towards transparency in investor-state dispute resolution, seven States signed the UN Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor State Arbitration. Those States were: Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, the US and Mauritius. As explained in our previous blog post here, the Convention will make it far easier for States to apply the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the Transparency Rules) in relation to investment treaties concluded before the Transparency Rules came into force in April 2014. A significant aspect of the Transparency Rules is that they provide for public access to documents in investor-state cases brought under investment treaties and investors will wish to consider carefully the impact of the Transparency Rules on investor-state dispute resolution, which is discussed in our previous blog post here. The Transparency Convention and the Transparency Rules are discussed by partner Christian Leathley in a short video blog post here.
Partner Christian Leathley, who, as representative of the IBA, was a member of the UNCITRAL II Working Party which drafted the Transparency Rules, comments: “Whilst the Convention relates to investor-state arbitration under investment treaties – as opposed to all investor-state arbitration – its broad acceptance by States is one step in the process of addressing one of the key criticisms of investor-state-dispute-resolution – its lack of transparency. This is a welcome development, especially against the backdrop of significant debate about ISDS more generally, which focuses in a large part on what is perceived to be a process with significant public interest and impact which takes place behind closed doors“.