United Nations | 3 April 2023
UNCITRAL working group III completes a draft code of conduct for arbitrators
A first step towards investor-State dispute settlement reform
VIENNA, 3 April (UN Information Service) – Representatives of more than 95 State delegations and 50 international organizations gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York last week to complete the first set of reforms in investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS), which Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has been mandated to carry out.
The Working Group completed its work on a draft code of conduct for arbitrators in international investment dispute resolution. The draft code of conduct for arbitrators reinforces the duty of independence and impartiality, broadens the disclosure requirement, and regulates the practice of so-called double-hatting. The Working Group also completed its work on a draft code of conduct for judges in a standing mechanism. A standing mechanism is another reform that the Working Group is currently considering.
To encourage the use of mediation to resolve investment disputes, the Working Group also completed the draft provisions on investment mediation for possible inclusion in investment treaties and draft guidelines on investment mediation, which will provide guidance to parties on the use of mediation in investor-State dispute settlement.
The texts developed by the Working Group will be presented to UNCITRAL, which is expected to adopt them at its 56th annual session, to be held from 3-21 July in Vienna. Additional information can be found on the UNCITRAL website: uncitral.un.org.
The European Union, the French Government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation provided financial assistance to support the participation of developing States in the negotiations at Working Group III. Other donors wishing to contribute should contact the UNCITRAL Secretariat for further information.
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The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria, and maintains a website at uncitral.un.org.