Herbert Smith Freehills and the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations are delighted to invite you to attend our webinar on Sustainability in Arbitration. Environmental sustainability is not a new subject, but is one that is increasingly at the forefront of government and corporate strategy and headlining the papers, as grappling with climate change has become a global priority. Every industry is impacted, including arbitration, and every industry is able to reduce its carbon footprint.
On 3 December 2016, Morocco and Nigeria signed a new bilateral investment treaty (the "BIT"), with the overarching aim of strengthening "the bonds of friendship and cooperation" between the two States. The BIT (available here) is yet to be ratified and to enter into force.
The BIT takes an interesting and in some ways innovative approach to the balance of rights and obligations as between investors and the respective host States, placing emphasis on the promotion of sustainable development and expressly safe-guarding the State's discretion to take measures to meet policy objectives. As compared to traditional investment treaties, the BIT imposes additional obligations on investors and appears to seek to address, to a degree, the criticism that such investment treaties have been too heavily geared towards protecting investor interests.
We explore below some of the more unusual aspects of the BIT, and consider the innovative nature of the BIT by comparison to other intra and extra-African treaties concluded in recent years.