Call for Book Chapter Proposals for Book on ISDS Reform

FICA board members Alan M. Anderson and Ben Beaumont are the editors of the book The Investor-State Dispute Settlement System: Reform, Replace or Status Quo?, to be published by Wolters Kluwer - Kluwer Law International in 2020.  They are requesting submissions for chapter proposals. This book will be an edited collection of papers from scholars, practitioners, and representatives of interested parties, addressing ISDS and more specifically the on-going discussions regarding whether or not the ISDS system needs to be reformed or even replaced entirely. It will engage with the current debate regarding ISDS and will discuss possible reforms or alternatives to the present ISDS system. It will provide a balanced approach, with papers addressing all sides of the issues.

Chapter proposals are due on or before 15 November 2019.  The Call for Proposals, which includes additional information, possible contribution topics, and all deadlines, may be found here.

SIR MICHAEL BURTON APPOINTED A KNIGHT GRAND CROSS OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Sir Michael Burton, QC, the President of the Forum for International Conciliation and Arbitration (FICA), has been appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in her 2019 Birthday Honours lists recently announced. Sir Michael received the distinction for ‘services to the Rule of Law’.

In making the announcement of his appointment, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that Sir Michael

is the figurehead of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal since its inception in 2000 and has played a pivotal role in the UK’s world leading oversight of its security and intelligence agencies. He is an experienced QC and latterly a judge of the High Court. He has ruled on landmark cases that have had considerable impact on the landscape of investigatory powers. He has adapted the Tribunal to deal with new, wide-ranging counter terrorism powers. As a result of his work, there have been tangible improvements in how authorities operate to ensure that they are working within the law. He founded the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust in 1992 in memory of his late wife and for the past 26 years the Trust has funded art therapy for cancer patients as well as providing support for students wanting to pursue this field. Most notably, he has set up a scholarship fund at Goldsmith’s College, London University which is awarded every year to a student who wishes to study art psychotherapy with a focus on cancer care. As Chair of the Trust, he maintains an active role in its funding projects, outreach activities and strategic direction.

FICA congratulates Sir Michael on his well-earned and well-deserved appointment to the Order, which is a great reflection upon his life and career in the law. FICA is fortunate to count Sir Michael as its president and appreciates his association with the organization.

United Nations and UNCITRAL Approve New Convention and Amended Model Law to Facilitate Mediation to Resolve International Disputes

On December 20, 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the new “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation” that was the culmination of over three years of effort by UNCITRAL’s Working Group II.  In addition, at its sessions in June and July 2018, the full UNCITRAL Commission adopted amendments to the 2002 Model Law on Conciliation, which henceforth will be known as the “UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, 2018”.

The Convention, which will be known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation,” will be open for signature by all States in Singapore on 7 August 2019, and thereafter at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

FICA actively participated in all the sessions of Working Group II on this project, from its beginning in February 2015 until its conclusion at the 68th Session of Working Group II in February 2018. 

VIEW A REPORT ON THE 68TH SESSION OF WORKING GROUP II, THE ACTIONS OF THE UNCITRAL COMMISSION AND THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AS WELL AS THE TEXTS OF THE NEW CONVENTION AND AMENDED MODEL LAW, HERE.

Previous posts regarding Working Group II’s efforts on this project, as well as FICA’s involvement, are available on the “News” page.

FICA Announces New Managing Directors and President

FICA is pleased to announce that Sir Michael Burton, QC, Dr Rumiana Yotova, Dr Herman Verbist, and Dr Timothy Lemay have been appointed as managing directors.  Sir Michael Burton also has been appointed president of FICA.  Further information regarding these individuals may be found here.  They join Mr Ben Beaumont, Dr Alan Anderson, and Mr Constantin Eschlböck as managing directors.  Mr Beaumont continues as chair of FICA.  Ms Carol Ludington has resigned as a managing director.  A resolution of thanks for her service may be found here.

FICA participates in the 35th session of UNCITRAL Working Group III

FICA, a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) NGO Observer organization, participated the 35th session of UNCITRAL Working Group III from 23 through 27 April 2018 in New York City.

This was the second session of Working Group III’s consideration of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform. Further consideration of this topic by Working Group III is expected during the Working Group’s session in late October and early November 2018 in Vienna. FICA plans to again participate.

 

VIEW A REPORT ON THE 35TH SESSION OF WORKING GROUP III here.

FICA participates in the 34th session of UNCITRAL Working Group III

Several FICA members represented FICA, a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) NGO Observer organization, at the 34th session of UNCITRAL Working Grop III on 27 November through 1 December 2017 in Vienna, Austria.

This was the initial session of Working Group III’s consideration of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform. Further consideration of this topic by Working Group III is expected during the Working Group’s session during April 2018 in New York. FICA plans to again participate.

 

view a report on the 34th session of Working Group III here


 

FICA participates in recent sessions of UNCITRAL Working Group II

FICA, a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) NGO Observer organization, was represented at, and participated in, recent sessions of UNCITRAL Working Group II held during October 2017 in Vienna and February 2018 in New York.

These sessions focused on Working Group II’s continuing efforts regarding preparation of instruments on enforcement of international commercial settlement agreements resulting from conciliation. The February 2018 session marked completion of the Working Group's work regarding this topic, and both the Convention and Model Law developed by this Working Group were submitted to the UNCITRAL Commission for consideration at its July 2018 session.

VIEW A REPORT ON THE 67TH AND EARLIER SESSIONS OF WORKING GROUP II HERE.