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    UNIS/L/304
    18 September 2020

    Australia ratifies the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor State Arbitration

    VIENNA, 18 September (UN Information Service) - With the deposit of the instrument of ratification at the UN Headquarters in New York, Australia becomes the sixth State Party to the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor State Arbitration, also known as the "the Mauritius Convention on Transparency". The Convention entered into force on 18 October 2017. Australia is the sixth State to ratify the Convention, joining Cameroon, Canada, Gambia, Mauritius and Switzerland as a State Party to the Convention.

    The Mauritius Convention on Transparency aims at providing States and regional economic integration organizations with an efficient mechanism for making the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based investor-State Arbitration ("Rules on Transparency") applicable to investment treaties concluded before the Rules entered into force on 1 April 2014. The Convention thus supplements pre-existing investment treaties with respect to transparency-related obligations. By becoming a party to the Convention, a State or regional economic integration organization is expressing its consent to apply the Rules on Transparency to investor-State arbitration initiated pursuant to pre-existing investment treaties.

    The Rules on Transparency are a set of procedural rules that ensure transparency and public accessibility to treaty-based investor-State arbitration, the proceedings of which have traditionally been conducted behind closed doors. Together with the Rules on Transparency, the Mauritius Convention on Transparency takes into account both the public interest in such arbitrations and the interest of the parties to resolve disputes in a fair and efficient manner. It is expected that the Convention will significantly contribute to enhancing transparency in investor-State dispute settlement in more than 200 investment treaties concluded by the six ratifying States before 1 April 2014, if the claimant agrees to their application.

    The Convention is open for signature, ratification, and accession by States and regional economic integration organizations. During the signing ceremony held at Port Louis, Mauritius on 17 March 2015, eight States (Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Mauritius, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States) signed the Mauritius Convention on Transparency. The Convention has also been signed by 15 States: Australia, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, Switzerland and Syria. For up-to-date information about the parties to the Convention as well as its signatories, please see the UNCITRAL website.

    Up-to-date information on the Convention and its status is available on the UNCITRAL website: uncitral.un.org.

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    The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria, and maintains a website at uncitral.un.org .

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    For information, please contact:

    José Angelo  Estrella Faria 
    Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch 
    UNCITRAL Secretariat 
    Email: joseangelo.estrella-faria[at]un.org