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Diplomacy in Action

Summary of Public Meeting of the Study Group on International Arbitration and Conciliation

September 19, 2012


 A public meeting of the Study Group on International Arbitration and Conciliation was held, under the auspices of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, on September 19, 2012 at the Department of State, Room 240, South Building, State Department Annex 4, 2430 E Street, NW, Washington DC. The meeting was chaired by the Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law.

The public meeting was convened to discuss ongoing negotiations in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the development of an instrument on transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration. An UNCITRAL working group has held four previous sessions on this project, and will convene again in Vienna October 1-5, 2012 to continue a second reading of draft rules on transparency.

During the meeting, there was discussion in particular of the following issues:

- The scope of application of the new transparency rules, i.e., when such rules would be applied in the context of either existing or future investment treaties that provide for settlement of investor claims under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

- Potential use of new transparency rules with arbitration rules other than the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

- The transparency standards (and exceptions) that should apply to various aspects of the arbitral process: publication of the notice of arbitration; publication of other documents; publication of awards; amicus participation; non-disputing State Party participation; and attendance at hearings.

- Choosing a repository that would be responsible for making documents public.

- The proposal for a multilateral convention that would provide for application of the transparency rules, on a reciprocal basis, under existing investment treaties.

No matter was resolved. No report was approved.


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