The USMCA or “NAFTA 2.0” came into force on 1 July 2020

The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), the replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), entered into force on 1 July 2020. Background On 24 April, 2020 the United States Trade Representative issued a press release confirming that all three NAFTA member states had notified the other parties, in writing, that they had completed the … Read more

UK SUPREME COURT LIFTS STAY OF ENFORCEMENT OF ICSID AWARD AGAINST ROMANIA

In Micula and others (Respondents/Cross-Appellants) v Romania (Appellant/Cross-Respondent) [2020] UKSC 5 the UK Supreme Court (the “SC”) found that the duty of sincere cooperation under EU law does not preclude enforcement of an ICSID Convention (the “Convention”) award against Romania (the “Award”). In what is the enforcement stage of the long-running and well-known saga of … Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES EU-VIETNAM TRADE AND INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS

On 12 February 2020, the European Parliament (“EP“) gave its consent to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (“EU-Vietnam FTA“) and the Investment Protection Agreement (“EU-Vietnam IPA“). The consent from the EP paves the way for approval of the two agreements by the EU Council of Ministers next month. In brief, the EU-Vietnam FTA focuses on … Read more

UK Department for International Trade outlines proposed approach to FTAs with priority countries and launches public consultation on new tariff policy

Following the UK’s departure as a Member State from the EU on 31 January 2020, the UK is now considering pursuing Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”) with the EU and the rest of the world. On 6 February, the Department for International Trade (“DIT”) outlined the UK Government’s proposed approach to the negotiation of FTAs with … Read more

Update on the future of ISDS: latest Working Group III UNCITRAL discussions

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (“UNCITRAL“) Working Group III (Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform) (“WGIII“)​ has published its report (the “Report“) on the work conducted between 14 and 18 October 2019 during its 38th session. The Report provides details about the discussions around three issues in particular: (i) the establishment of an advisory … Read more

European Commission issues procedural proposals for the Investment Court System envisaged under CETA

In October 2019, the European Commission (the “Commission“) presented four proposals (the “Proposals“) to the Council of the European Union (the “Council“) with specific rules to establish the Investment Court System (“ICS“) envisaged under the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA“). If the Council and the EU Member States approve the Proposals, the EU … Read more

CJEU CONFIRMS THAT CETA DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROVISION IS COMPATIBLE WITH EU LAW

On 30 April 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) confirmed that the mechanism for the settlement of disputes between investors and states set out in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA“) was compatible with EU law. This confirms the Attorney General’s opinion discussed here. The … Read more

International Court of Justice allows Iran claim to proceed to the merits phase but upholds jurisdictional objection on sovereign immunity

On 13 February 2019, the International Court of Justice dismissed one of the United States’ jurisdictional objections to a claim by Iran, upheld another and deferred a final jurisdictional objection to the merits phase in the case concerning Certain Iranian Assets (Iran v United States). The substantive claim, brought by Iran against the United States, … Read more