The workshop aims to provide students with an overview on the phenomenon of international investment arbitration as an instrument to settle disputes between private investors and host States under international law. The importance of investment arbitration in the international economic panorama has grown steadily over years (with currently more than 900 total cases and 332 pending cases as of July 2019) in parallel with concerns related to its capacity to deal with sensitive public interests, conflicting States’ international law obligations that may be involved in the dispute, lack of transparency and costs. Through the analysis of documents publicly available concerning a concrete investorState dispute submitted to international arbitration, students will understand what are the main players involved (arbitrators, investor, State, third-parties) and their (sometimes conflicting) interests, the main phases of an international investment arbitration proceeding, as well as, the main international law principles and rules that come into play. The workshop will specially focus on investment disputes emerging in contexts of conflicted sovereignty, such as Crimea and Venezuela, and will emphasise what are concerns affecting investor-State arbitration in these cases. Students will simulate the drafting and submission of a notice of arbitration, the initial act of an investment arbitration proceeding, and will discuss its content with the class. This will help students understanding in practical terms what are the subjects involved, the requests usually formulated by the investor and the interplay between the different international law rules that apply to the proceeding.
Instructor's bio profile
Sondra Faccio is Assistant professor at the School of International Studies of the University of Trento. Her research focuses on international investment law and arbitration, including in context of civil wars and other cases of contested sovereignty. Sondra is a lawyer with experience in the field of commercial and investment arbitration.