Here we publish news and analysis by Fietta’s lawyers on recent developments in public international law and investment treaty arbitration. You can also follow our ‘PIL Latest’ alerts via the firm’s LinkedIn page. Should you wish to discuss any of these developments, please contact Stephen Fietta on +44(0)203 889 9801, Jiries Saadeh on +44(0)203 889 9792, or Oonagh Sands on +44(0)203 889 9793 in the first instance.

ICSID Member States approve amended rules and regulations

In late March 2022, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) announced that its Administrative Council, comprising 156 Member States, had approved the amendments to ICSID Rules and Regulations (including Arbitration Rules) as submitted for vote in January 2022. The amended Rules and Regulations will come into effect on 1 July 2022. The amended ICSID Arbitration Rules cover topics such as third-party funding, claims with a “manifest lack of legal merit”, security for costs, expedited proceedings, arbitrator appointment and disqualification, a tribunal’s first session and deliberations, filing methods, time limits for awards, as well as publication of arbitration...

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ICJ grants provisional measures instructing Russia to suspend military operations in Ukraine and the Council of Europe expels Russia

On 16 March 2022, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ” or “Court”) granted Ukraine’s request for provisional measures against the Russian Federation (“Russia”), ordering Russia immediately to suspend its military operations in the territory of Ukraine.  The Court’s ruling stems from Ukraine’s 26 February institution of proceedings against Russia concerning a dispute relating to the interpretation, application and fulfilment of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention” or “Convention”).  Oral hearings, which Russia did not attend, took place on 7 March. On 16 March 2022, the Council of Europe (“Council”) also announced...

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ECtHR Grants Ukraine Urgent Interim Relief Against Russia and ICJ Sets Date for Emergency Provisional Measures Hearing

On 1 March 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR” or “Court”) granted Ukraine’s request for urgent interim measures against The Russian Federation (“Russia”).  The Court’s ruling came one day after Ukraine filed an application in respect of “massive human rights violations being committed by the Russian troops in the course of the military aggression against the sovereign territory of Ukraine”.  On the same day, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) announced it would hold public hearings in Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).  The...

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Ukraine Submits Application to the ICJ against Russia

On 27 February 2022, Ukraine filed an application instituting proceedings against The Russian Federation (“Russia”) before the International Court of Justice (“ICJ” or “Court”) in respect of “the interpretation, application and fulfilment of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (“Genocide Convention”). On the same day, Ukraine filed an application to the ICJ requesting provisional measures. Ukraine seeks to ground the Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36(1) of the ICJ Statute and Article IX of the Genocide Convention. [read more] According to Ukraine’s application, Russia “has falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred in...

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ICJ Awards Democratic Republic of the Congo US$ 325 million for Damage Suffered During Armed Conflict with Uganda

In a landmark recent judgment, the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ” or the “Court”) ordered the Republic of Uganda (“Uganda”) to pay US$ 325 million in compensation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the “DRC”).  The dispute arose out of Uganda’s military invasion of the DRC between 1998 and 2003.  The ICJ’s judgment follows its prior 2005 ruling, which had held Uganda responsible for the unlawful use of force, widespread human rights violations, and the exploitation and plundering of the DRC’s natural resources. [Read More] In its 2005 judgment, the ICJ ruled that, failing agreement between the parties,...

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ICSID Submits for Vote Proposed Amendments to Arbitration Rules

On 20 January 2022, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID” or the “Centre”) announced that its amended rules and regulations, including ICSID Arbitration Rules (“Amended Arbitration Rules”), have been submitted for vote to ICSID’s governing body, the Administrative Council.  This marks the fourth (and most comprehensive) update to ICSID’s rules and regulations.   The amended rules are the culmination of a process of stakeholder consultation and negotiation that began in October 2016, pursuant to which ICSID issued six working papers detailing the proposed amendments. [Read more] The Amended Arbitration Rules contain a mix of new rules and...

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ICJ determines the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya

On 12 October 2021, the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ” or “Court”) rendered its final judgment in the case Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya), after deciding in 2017 that it had jurisdiction over the dispute. The Court rejected Kenya’s contention that there had already existed a maritime boundary, based on acquiescence, following a “parallel of latitude”. The Court proceeded to delimit a boundary following a form of equidistance line in the territorial sea and an adjusted equidistance line (due to a relevant circumstance of concavity, or cut-off effect) in the exclusive economic zone and continental...

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UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases New Assessment Report

On 9 August 2021, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) released the first instalment of its sixth assessment report, entitled: “AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” (“IPCC Report”). The IPCC Report was approved by the 195 Member States to the IPCC and, among other things, may have implications for international climate change adjudication – in particular, as regards obligations of international environmental law and evidence. In 2016, 174 States and the European Union concluded the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (“Paris Agreement”).  Through Article 2(1)(a) of the Paris Agreement, States Parties agreed to “[h]olding the increase...

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Building blocks

ICSID and UNCITRAL update the Draft Code of Conduct for Adjudicators

On 19 April 2021, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) released an updated version of the draft Code of Conduct for Adjudicators (the “Draft Code”), following feedback and recommendations from State representatives and other stakeholders.  This marks the latest effort to provide principles and rules governing issues such as adjudicators’ independence and impartiality, as well as their duty to conduct proceedings with integrity, fairness, efficiency and civility. The Draft Code has been developed in the context of UNCITRAL Working Group III reforms on investor-State dispute settlement and...

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Gavel & test tube

International courts and arbitral institutions continue to revise hearing and other procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

International courts and arbitral institutions continue to adopt measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most notably, the newly revised International Bar Association Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (“IBA Rules” or “Rules”) contain important provisions on remote hearings.  In further changes, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has recently issued guidelines on conducting proceedings during the pandemic, while the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”) now offers free of charge its digital platform for parties to ad-hoc arbitrations, to facilitate virtual hearings.  Some of these measures will stay in place beyond the pandemic and...

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