Published 3 November 2016
The investment arbitration system in general, and the ICSID system in particular, has been taking serious incoming fire. Some of that criticism is superficial, and easily rebutted. Other requires more sustained analysis. The criticism of the ICSID annulment system falls into that latter category, and it is in that particular context that the recently "Updated Background Paper on Annulment" is such a welcome contribution.
From my perspective, I often find it useful to return to first principles. Is the bulk of the criticism of the annulment system that it is failing to meet the objectives for which it originally was designed by participating States? Or alternatively, does the criticism reflect a shifting set of objectives, a recalibration of norms - and of the balance between competing norms - since the founding of the ICSID system 50 years ago?
Offered as remarks at the Inaugural SIA/QMUL and ICSID Joint Symposium on "Current Trends in Investor-State Arbitration," London, 8 September 2016.