Friday, January 6, 2012

Conference: ICSID Article 52 Review and Annulment Procedure

On February 11, 2012, the Yale Journal of International Law and the American Society of International Law will co-host a conference on "ICSID Article 52 Review and Annulment Procedure," in New Haven. The program is not yet available. Here's the idea:

For over 40 years, the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has offered investors and states a unique arbitration mechanism, which trades off diplomatic protection on behalf of investors in return for commitments by host states to arbitrate investment disputes at the initiative of the investor. ICSID’s role in international investment has grown dramatically along with the proliferation of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). At the same time, most of the awards of ICSID tribunals have been published and have contributed to the ongoing development of international investment law and general international law.

In recent years, however, the ICSID framework has come under criticism from a number of angles, perhaps the most acute being controversy over its distinctive review and annulment procedure. Originally intended to be an “extraordinary remedy,” the Article 52 procedure has almost become a staple of the arbitral process. Moreover, the precise function of the procedure and its scope appears to be conceived very differently in many of the decisions of ad hoc Committees. Some have suggested that the uncertainty introduced by the application of Article 52 is undermining the finality of ICSID awards and the attractiveness of ICSID arbitration itself, in competition with other arbitral institutions available for managing international investment disputes.

This conference, cosponsored by the Yale Journal of International Law and the American Society of International Law, will bring together leading academics and practitioners who have played central roles in the drama of Article 52 to appraise recent cases and to consider whether any adjustments to the review procedure ought to be introduced.