Bolivia has become the seventh state to ratify the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, also known as the “Mauritius Convention”.
State parties to the Mauritius Convention commit to greater transparency in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) proceedings. Specifically, by ratifying the Mauritius Convention, Bolivia consents to extend the application of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the “Transparency Rules”) to ISDS proceedings commenced under treaties concluded prior to 1 April 2014. (The Transparency Rules only apply to ISDS proceedings commenced pursuant to treaties concluded on or after 1 April 2014, unless the parties agree otherwise.)
Bolivia deposited its instrument of ratification at the UN Headquarters in New York on 13 October 2020; in accordance with the treaty provisions, the Mauritius Convention will therefore come into force for Bolivia on 13 April 2021. The Mauritius Convention will apply to disputes arising under BITs where both of the relevant States are parties to the Mauritius Convention.
The Mauritius Convention prescribes requirements including:
- the publication of information such as the names of disputing parties, economic sector involved and treaty under which the claim is being made (Article 2);
- that certain documents be made available to the public, including in particular the parties’ written submissions (Article 3);
- the potential (after consultation with the parties) for a third party to file a written submission with the arbitral tribunal regarding a matter within the scope of the dispute (Article 4); and
- for hearings for the presentation of evidence or for oral argument to be public (Article 6).
The Mauritius Convention came into force on 18 October 2017. To date, it has been signed by 23 states and ratified by seven states, including Switzerland, Canada and most recently Australia (see our post here).
For more information, please contact Andrew Cannon, Partner, Jerome Temme, Associate, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.