On 18 October 2017, the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the “Mauritius Convention”) entered into force after being ratified by Canada, Mauritius and Switzerland.
Adopted on 10 December 2014, the Mauritius Convention aims to facilitate the application of the 2014 UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration. Under the Convention, signatory States agree that the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency will apply to investor-State arbitrations conducted under treaties concluded before 1 April 2014, regardless of the applicable arbitration rules. The UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency, in turn, provide greater public access to investor-State arbitrations than has previously been the case. Among other developments, they allow third parties to access documents and hearings, as well as granting them the opportunity to make amicus curiae submissions in certain circumstances.
Pursuant to Article 3, parties to the Convention can exclude its application to a specific investment treaty or to a specific set of arbitration rules other than the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Further, in the event of a revision of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency, a party may, within six months of the adoption of such revision, declare that it will not apply such revised version.
The Mauritius Convention opened for signature on 17 March 2015. As of today, twenty-two States have signed the Convention, three of which (Canada, Mauritius and Switzerland) have ratified it. Since none of the ratifying States have made reservations, the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency will apply to investor-State disputes arising under investment treaties concluded by those three States before April 2014.