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8 Aprilie 2019
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Setting of a Multilateral Investment Court is being discussed in Brussels in EU Council where Romania currently holds the Presidency.

UNCITRAL: Romania supports reform on ISDS system



Romania has supported an ambitious reform process regarding the current Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), during a working session that took place last week in New York.

UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS Reform has met for its 37th session at New York, between 1-5 April. Event was an important opportunity for representatives of the European Commission and EU Member States to promote European Union’s initiative for systemic reform – establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court.

Setting of a Multilateral Investment Court is one of Romania’s politically committed priorities in the area of trade policy, during its mandate at the EU Council Presidency.

Within the European Union, Romania supports the new approach regarding investment protection based on a balanced approach between investors’ rights and states’ prerogatives to regulate in the public interest, as well as transition from commercial arbitration paradigm to a permanent court-based system, organized on a two tiers of jurisdiction.

Establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court is being discussed in Brussels within the EU Council in the Trade Policy Committee - Services and Investment, chaired by Romania in the first half of 2019. Committee has endorsed, in January 2019, the EU and its Member States proposal on possible reform options for international ISDS mechanisms.

UN Commission has entrusted Working Group III with a broad mandate to evaluate possible ISDS reform options. 

Procedure of the Working Group was structured in three phases:

(i)   identification of the main concerns regarding ISDS;

(ii)  establishment of the desirability of the reform in light of any identified concerns;

(iii) development of relevant solutions and debates on substance.

During debates that took place in New York, a two-track approach was established: an incremental reform of the current ISDS system, or an ambitious endeavor to establish a permanent mechanism.

Under coordination of the Canadian Chair of Working Group III, states managed to find a compromise solution, deciding to continue discussions, with the two tracks as a basis, and considered specific steps in order to establish future reform options. Final decision on the type of reform and solutions that will be developed under Working Group III has been postponed for the groups’ next session.

The 38th session of the Working Group is scheduled to take place in Vienna, on 14-18 October 2019.


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