The CUTIS project held a 2-day webinar for government officials on international investment law.
The speaker – J. Anthony VanDuzer, Hyman Soloway Professor of Business and Trade Law, University of Ottawa.
The webinar provided an overview of the international investment regime, including bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements, and current reform discussions. The emphasis was on policy implications rather than the technical detail of investment treaty provisions.
The first day was devoted to the substantive investor protection standards and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arrangements in existing investment treaties along with a discussion of treaty practise and the issues that have arisen in practice.
Canada’s treaty practice and ISDS experience were used as a case study.
The second day was addressed possible reforms to investor protection standards and ISDS. The speaker canvassed treaty drafting strategies that are designed to better balance investor protection with the host state’s right to regulate compared to traditional treaty protections as well as alternatives to investment treaty protection. He also covered proposals for ISDS reform focussing on the reforms currently being discussed in UNCITRAL Working Group III, including the EU proposal for a multilateral investment court.