International investment arbitrations

Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference

The annual “Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference” covering the issues of international investment arbitration, organized by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic since 2011, serves as an international forum for the exchange of experience with investment disputes between prominent attorneys and experts in the field of international investment law with their counterparts from the public sector, in particular state counsels representing interests of their respective states in such disputes, for whom the conference is primarily intended.

The conference usually consists of discussion panels intended for state representatives, distinguished arbitrators, academics and attorneys, as well as a series of workshops and practical seminars devoted to the state participants from various jurisdictions. Workshops for state representatives only provide inter alia a platform to exchange experience among the state officials representing their governments in investment disputes.

The conference is attended every year by delegations from various countries, which included in the past Albania, Montenegro, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, Georgia, Croatia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, United States of America, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Uruguay.

  • The 13th annual conference took place on 26 October 2023. The participants were welcomed with an address from the representatives of the Ministry of Finance Martina Matejová and Jaroslav Kudrna. The conference was opened with a keynote lecture titled “MFN: A RE/APPRAISAL” by Prof. George Bermann from Columbia University, New York.

    The keynote address was followed by panel discussions on the topics of investor obligations in investment agreements, judicial expropriation, code of conduct for arbitrators in investment arbitration and future of investment arbitration. The following speakers moderated the panels: Robert Spano (London), Eduardo Silva Romero (Paris), Sylvia Tonova (London) and Sabine Konrad (Frankfurt).

    On 27 October 2023, the workshop for state representatives started with Prof. George Bermann delivering a keynote lecture on the reform of investment arbitration in UNCITRAL Working Group III. Afterwards, state representatives from Argentina and Latvia shared their experience on state defence in investment disputes at a panel moderated by Jaroslav Kudrna. The program continued with a presentation on loss assessment in investment arbitration delivered by Jana Lefranc (Paris), and presentations of the 2021 Vienna Investment Arbitration Rules delivered by Claudia Annacker and the 2022 ICSID Arbitration Rules presented by Martina Polasek. In addition, a BIT negotiation simulation took place in the afternoon, focusing on the negotiation of the most favoured nation clause and the general exception clause.

    More than 150 participants attended the conference from 27 countries, including 39 state representatives from 14 countries.

  • The 12th annual conference took place in Prague on 20 October 2022. The welcome address by the representatives of the Ministry of Finance Martina Matejová and Jaroslav Kudrna was followed by the keynote lecture titled “Fragmentation and Integration in International Investment Law: Plus Ça Change” by Claudia Annacker from Dechert, Paris.

    The keynote address was followed by panel discussions on the topics of the protection of international investment in times of war and sanctions, experience with the use of damage experts in investment arbitration, the newly introduced ICSID Rules as well modernization and future of ECT. The panels were moderated by the following speakers: Lucia Raimanova (Bratislava), Michael Ostrove (Paris), Mallory Silberman (Washington, D.C.), and Simon Batifort (Brussels/New York).

    The conference was attended by more than 120 participants from 24 countries, including state representatives from 15 countries.

  • Due to the ongoing corners surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 11th iteration of the conference was held virtually. Prof. Christoph Schreuer opened the conference with his lecture titled “The Investment’s Unity.” The lecture was followed by two panel discussions on the future of investment promotion and protection agreements concluded between the EU Member States and the protection of environment and climate in international investment law. The conference attracted the attention of more than 100 participants from over 30 countries.

  • The 10th anniversary annual conference took place online given the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions that were in place. The conference traditionally began with a keynote address, this time by Alexis Mourre (President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration) on the topic of the use and misuse of bifurcation in investment arbitration proceedings. The keynote address was followed by panel discussions on the topics of denial of justice, attribution, and Covid-19 related claims chaired by the following attorneys: Eduardo Silva Romero from Dechert (Paris), Dmitri Evseev from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (London), and Matthew Hodgson from Allen & Overy (Hong Kong).

  • The 9th annual conference took place between 9 - 11 October 2019. The keynote address titled “The perils of a siege mentality” was delivered by Zachary Douglas QC from Matrix Chambers. The panel topics included the impact of the case Achmea v. Slovakia on investment arbitration and the newly introduced practices of states in concluding international investment agreements.

    Martina Polasek from the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and Anna Joubin-Bret from the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) held a practical workshop with state representatives to discuss reforms of the procedural rules administered by these organisations.

  • George Kahale III from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle commenced the 8th annual conference with a keynote address about the future of the dispute resolution between states and foreign investors. The keynote address was followed by panel discussions chaired by Dietmar W. Prager from Debevoise & Plimpton (New York), Eduardo Silva Romero from Dechert (Paris), George von Mehren from Squire Patton Boggs (London) and Paolo di Rosa from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Washington, D.C.). The program of the conference was concluded with a debate on the topic of transparency in investment arbitration and its current development.

    Besides the main conference program, practical workshops intended primarily for representatives of participating countries were organised. Among the topics discussed were, in particular, the prevention of disputes with foreign investors and other practical issues that states may encounter in defending their interests before international arbitration tribunals.

  • The 7th annual conference started on 26 October 2017 with a keynote address by Prof. Christoph Schreuer on the topic “Does Investment Arbitration Have a Future?”, which was followed by panel discussions on related topics chaired by the following attorneys: Stephen P. Anway from Squire Patton Boggs (New York), Emmanuel Gaillard from Shearman & Sterling (Paris), Eduardo Silva Romero from Dechert (Paris) and Paolo di Rosa from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Washington, D.C.).

    The conference was preceded by seminars and workshops organized by the representatives of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Young ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration) and KPMG.

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