Investor–State arbitration: highest number of new cases ever. $8 million spent on lawyers and arbitrators in an average case
In 2012, 58 new known investor–State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases were initiated (stated in the 2013 World Investment Report by UNCTAD). This brings the total number of known cases to 514 and the total number of countries that have responded to one or more ISDS cases to 95. The 58 cases constitute the highest number of known ISDS claims ever filed in one year and confirm foreign investors’ increased inclination to resort to investor–State arbitration.
UNCTAD's annual review of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases, part of the IIA Issues Notes series, provides up-to-date and country-specific information about ISDS developments in 2010.
2010 saw the lowest number of new treaty-based ISDS cases filed under international investment agreements since 2001. The number of known new cases was 25, bringing the total of all known cases to 390 by the end of the year. However, as most arbitration forums do not maintain a public registry of claims, the actual number of cases could potentially be higher. In 2010, Grenada and Uruguay saw the first claims directed at them, with one case each. As a result, the cumulative total of countries that have responded to investment treaty arbitration rose to 83.
Recently the arbitration court at the public association “Ukrainian arbitration union” (Odessa) issued an award. That award was adopted after the hearings which were held by means of telecommunication. The participants presented their position to the arbitration court in video conference. The award was announced to the parties through a web-cam as well. Later on the award was signed as a written document and forwarded to the parties. This event became a ground for discussion in Ukrainian specialized mass media. Some of my colleagues treated that event as a step to implementation and propagation of the Internet-arbitration concept. Though I welcome that progressive practice I am far from believing that e-arbitration is limited to or its main feature consists of the possibility of web-hearings. Electronic form arbitration clause (agreement), e-claim, admissibility of electronic evidences, turnover of electronic documents during the process and enforceability of an electronic award, - that is an inexhaustive list of main issues related to the e-arbitration concept. If the reader is interested in that matter I would recommend to familiarize with the document “International commercial arbitration. 5.9. Electronic arbitration” prepared under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).