Document Type

Memo/Briefing Note

Publication Date



The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives to it. Having identified various concerns about ISDS, UNCITRAL is now taking stock of potential reform options, and will consider this fall which options to pursue and in what order. To contribute to UNCITRAL’s work, CCSI, together with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), submitted this document outlining potential reform options and considerations.

In line with our broader work on objectives of international investment law, the costs and benefits of the current system, alternatives to investor-state arbitration, and strategies for advancing those alternatives, in Draft Treaty Language: Withdrawal of Consent to Arbitrate and Termination of International Investment Agreements, we outline two more systemic and near-term options that states can explore to recraft their investment policies with domestic and international sustainable development objectives.


Antitrust and Trade Regulation | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | International Law | International Trade Law | Law | Securities Law | Transnational Law