EFILA Annual Conference 2016 – “Investment Arbitration 2.0”

The Annual Conference of EFILA 2016 entitled “Investment arbitration 2.0?“ will take place on 5 February 2016 at the La Maison du Barreau in Paris.

The Conference will bring together world-class dispute resolution practitioners and prominent arbitration experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities of investment arbitration, including the new features of investment protection chapters included in recently concluded or currently negotiated EU International Investment Agreements, like CETA or TTIP. In particular, the speakers will discuss pros and cons of international arbitration, the rule of law, including the complex issues such as transparency, right to regulate, protection of property rights and democratic deficits.


The registration fee is:  299 (excluding VAT)
EFILA offers 50% discount on the conference fee to full time students and academics


Conference programme is available here.

For registration, follow this link: REGISTRATION.

The 2015 EFILA Inaugural Lecture: Escaping from Freedom?

We are pleased to offer you the full text of the 2015 EFILA Inaugural Lecture by Sophie Nappert, “Escaping from Freedom? The Dilemma of An Improved ISDS Mechanism“, delivered on 26 November 2015 in London.

In times such as ours, when freedom is often abandoned for security to be gained, Sophie Nappert’s lecture is a vindication of freedom endorsed by law.

Executive Summary

ISDS in its current international arbitration format has attracted criticism. In response, the EU proposal for ISDS in the TTIP consists of a two-tiered court system, comprising an appeal mechanism empowered to review first-instance decisions on both factual and legal grounds and, the EU says, paving the way for a “multilateral investment court”.

The EU proposal envisages that the courts of first instance and appeal be composed of pre-ordained, semi-permanent judges randomly assigned to cases and subject to compliance with a Code of Conduct worded in general terms.

As it stands the EU proposal walks away from the international arbitration format, and consequently the application of the New York Convention.

The Lecture expresses surprise at the EU proposal of a court mechanism given the CJEU’s unambiguous, historical unease with other similar, parallel international court systems, as most recently expressed in its Opinion 2/13 of 18 December 2014 on the draft Accession Agreement to the
European Convention on Human Rights.

The Lecture examines whether, and how, the EU proposal might provide solutions to critical issues presented in two recent cases taken as illustrations – the Awards in the cases of the Yukos shareholders against the Russian Federation, as well as the case of Croatia v Slovenia currently pending in the PCA.

The Lecture remarks that appeal mechanisms are not free from difficulty, not least of which the real risk of inconsistent decisions between the first and appeal instances, due to different, equally valid approaches to a developing area of international law.

The Lecture also notes that the proposed Code of Conduct provides no practical sanctions to deal with instances of arbitrator misconduct such as that featured in the Croatia v Slovenia matter, and expresses surprise that ethical challenges are to be decided by fellow Judges – probably one of the most problematic features of the current ICSID system.

The Lecture proposes a third way, aimed at addressing these concerns, whereby a Committee – stroke – Interpretive Body, informed by the intentions of the TTIP Parties, would take over the development of TTIP jurisprudence in a more linear and consistent manner, with a longer-term view, whilst ad hoc arbitration tribunals in their current form would focus on the settlement of the discrete factual dispute.

Dissociating the settlement of the factual dispute from the broader interpretive exercise would create a repository of the TTIP jurisprudential function, allowing for a more harmonious and authoritative development of TTIP interpretation and law and alleviating the phenomenon of “overreaching” currently burdening ad hoc tribunals – arguably the real source of the criticism aimed at ISDS.

The Committee/Interpretive Body could also more credibly act as decision-maker in ethical challenges than would fellow Judges, provided the Code of Conduct is reviewed to allow for realistic standards and practical sanctions.

This proposed “third way” retains the arbitration features necessary for the application of the New York Convention, and is not inconsistent with the EU’s own proposal, building as it does on Article 13(5) which contemplates an overseeing Committee that would be well-placed to take over the above role.

See the full text of the Lecture here.

UPDATE: EFILA Annual Lecture 2015 – Sophie Nappert

Due to the present situation in Brussels, the EFILA annual lecture will be transferred to London. The date and time of the lecture will be maintained, i.e. 26 November, 5.00 o’clock PM.

More precisely, the new venue of the lecture delivered by Sophie Nappert will be:

Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD Telephone Number+44 20 3088 0000

Please register for the event at the following e-mail address: Laura.Weston@allenovery.com

AIA and EFILA Event: Seminar on Arbitration and EU Law

Seminar on Arbitration and EU Law – 7th April 2016, Brussels, Belgium



Over the years, there has been increasing EU activity in private international law. The interaction and relationship of EU law and international commercial arbitration has had growing interest over the years. In this course, we will consider the key changes in the Brussels Regulation (recast) for commercial parties, the consequences and interpretation of the arbitration exceptions and the relationship between EU state aid and investment protection under bilateral investment treaties.  We will also discuss the procedure, minimum standards, application of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and compare BITs and EU law in investment arbitration.


Confirmed speakers for this event are Mr. K. Adamantopoulos, Mr. Jean-François Bellis, Mr. George A. Bermann, Mr. Damien Geradin, Mr. A. Komninos, Mr. N. Lavranos and mrs. Z. Prodromou.


EFILA Annual Lecture 2015 – Sophie Nappert

In the wake of the release of the European Commission’s proposal for a new investment chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, EFILA is pleased to announce a launch of its Annual Lecture series.

The inaugural Annual Lecture of EFILA entitled: “Escaping from Freedom? The Dilemma of an Improved ISDS Mechanism” will take place on 26 November 2015 from 16.30 until 19.30 at the Brussels Press Club Europe (Rue Froissart 95, 1000 Bruxelles).

The inaugural Annual Lecture of EFILA will be delivered by Sophie Nappert, a highly regarded, experienced arbitrator and peer-nominated Moderator of OGEMID.

As stated by Sophie, the purpose of her speech is not to make the apology of ISDS in its current form, or to sing its eulogy.  Rather than clinging to a model that is showing cracks, she is far more interested in the challenging proposition of making investor-to-State, and most relevantly investor-to-EU, dispute resolution in the 21st century legitimate and authoritative at this fascinating intersection between EU law and international law, whilst remaining loyal to core values common to both the EU and international dispute settlement. For the abstract of Sophie’s lecture please click here.

Please register by sending an email with your name, affiliation and phone number to Ms Senta Marenz, s.marenz@efila.org.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Annual Lecture of EFILA.

Sponsors of the Annual Lecture 2015