While everyone is busy discussing TTIP and the pro’s and con’s of Investment Arbitration as we know it, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced on December 2, 2015 that European Union and Vietnam have concluded the negotiations of a free trade agreement: “The EU and Vietnam finalise landmark trade deal.”
On October 24, 2013, the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) is hosting a half-day conference on “Recent Developments in Investment Arbitration”. The venue is the Frankfurt International Arbitration Center (FIAC) at the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry (see here for the full programme). The conference commences at 9:00 am with an address by the Minister of Justice in the Federal State of Hesse, Jörg Uwe Hahn, ending at noon with a lunch reception. One of the hot topics will of course be the Eureko v. Slovak Republic case, in which the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) had upheld a BIT arbitration clause and found against the Slovak Republic – the matter is currently pending before the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) – and the approach by the European Union to BIT Arbitration more generally.
Transparency in investment arbitration, thanks to Vattenfall suing Germany over the nuclear power exit, has become a topic in the mainstream business press. A recent piece in the business weekly Wirtschaftswoche talked about “back room justice” (“Justitia verzieht sich ins Hinterzimmer”), citing the “Toll Collect” arbitration as an example. “Toll Collect” is not technically a case of treaty arbitration, but a multi-billion dispute about a public-private partnership between the German government and Daimler, Telekom und Cofiroute.