Iraq has become the latest state to ratify the Mauritius Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor State Arbitration (the Mauritius Convention), having deposited its instruments of ratification at the UN Headquarters in New York and having previously signed the Mauritius Convention on 13 February 2017. The Mauritius Convention will come into force for Iraq on 20 February 2022.
Iraq’s ratification of the Mauritius Convention is the latest development to demonstrate Iraq’s increasing willingness to adhere to international dispute resolution norms. In March this year we blogged on Iraq’s long-awaited accession to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the reforms to Iraq’s legal system to attract foreign investment (here).
As we have noted in previous posts on the Mauritius Convention (in relation to the ratifications by Bolivia and Australia), the Convention extends the application of the UNCTIRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor State Arbitration (the UNCITRAL Transparency Rules) to ISDS proceedings commenced under treaties concluded prior to 1 April 2014. The UNCITRAL Transparency Rules impose requirements such as the publication of information regarding the names of disputing parties (Article 2); the publication of certain documents (including the notice of arbitration, response and statement of claim) (Article 4); and for hearings for the presentation of evidence or oral argument to be made public (Article 6).
Iraq is the 9th state to ratify the Mauritius Convention, and follows hot on the heels of Benin’s ratification last month (for which it will come into force in 2022). A further 14 states are parties to the Mauritius Convention but are yet to ratify it, including some of the Convention’s earliest signatories.
For more information, please contact Craig Tevendale, Partner, Stuart Paterson, Partner, Amal Bouchenaki, Partner, Vanessa Naish, Professional Support Consultant, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.
 While Article 9 of the Convention indicates that the Convention will come into force 6 months after ratification, UNCITRAL provides conflicting dates on when the Convention will come into force for Benin (here and here).
The authors would like to thank Luke Hard for his assistance in preparing this blog post.