Academic Forum for ISDS: arbitrator neutrality and inconsistent decisions

The Academic Forum for Investor-State Dispute Resolution was established through the University of Geneva (incidentally, an institutional partner of USydney) to provide input from (now around 120) professors expert in international investment law, mainly for the ongoing UNCITRAL deliberations into potential reforms of the ISDS system. Six working groups and related “Concept Papers” were published in April 2019, on topics that have attracted growing concern from the public and now various policy-makers. For each of the six topics, papers succinctly considered how particular concerns might be addressed by further targetted improvements to ISDS, the addition of an appellate review mechanism, the adoption of multilateral investment court (along EU lines), or abandoning ISDS (relying on domestic courts and/or inter-state arbitration).
Professors Chester Brown and Luke Nottage at USydney join with three others from Australian universities on the Forum. Chester co-chaired with Federico Ortino the working group (including Julian Arato) that wrote the paper addressing possible inconsistency or incoherence in ISDS awards, while Luke contributed (with Chiara Giorgetti and others) to the paper on independence, impartiality and neutrality of arbitrators or other adjudicators of international investment disputes. Below we reproduce (without hyperlinks) the introductions to short summaries of each paper written for the European Journal of International Law blog.

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