For information only - not an official document

14 July 2017

UNCITRAL to consider possible reform of investor-State dispute settlement

VIENNA, 14 July (UN Information Service) - At its fiftieth annual session, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) decided to entrust its Working Group III with a broad mandate to work on the possible reform of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). The Working Group will identify concerns regarding ISDS and consider whether reform is desirable. If so, the Working Group will develop relevant solutions to be recommended to the Commission.

The Commission agreed that broad discretion should be left to the Working Group in discharging its mandate. It was further agreed that any recommended solutions would be designed taking into account the ongoing work of relevant international organizations and would allow each State the choice of whether and to what extent it wishes to adopt the relevant solutions.

In line with the UNCITRAL process, Working Group III will ensure that the deliberations, while benefiting from the widest possible breadth of available expertise from all stakeholders, will be government-led with high-level input from all governments, consensus-based and be fully transparent. International inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations invited by the Commission to the Working Group will be able to participate in the forthcoming session, scheduled to take place in autumn 2017 in Vienna.


Background: UNCITRAL's work on ISDS include the development of standards on transparency. The UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (Transparency Rules) adopted in 2013 provide a procedural framework for making information available to the public on investment arbitration cases arising under relevant investment treaties concluded after 1 April 2014. The United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration provides a mechanism for the application of the Transparency Rules to arbitration cases arising under the almost 3,000 investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014. The Convention will enter into force on 18 October 2017.

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For information contact:

Timothy Lemay
Principal Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: timothy.lemay[at]