Sierra Leone’s Honourable Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, has arrived in New York to deliver a keynote statement at the United Nations Conference, on the establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court.
The Honourable Chief Justice is honouring the invitation of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations which is hosting a discussion on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform and the proposed establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). Chief Justice Edwards keynote statement will focus on the ‘Future Relations between Domestic Courts and the Multilateral Investment Court’.
The discussions generally will examine the merits, concerns, and future of ISDS.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III is making significant progress in discharging the broad mandate entrusted upon it by the Commission to work on the possible ISDS reform.
The Working Group within its mandate has identified and considered the concerns regarding ISDS, and further considered that reform is desirable in the light of the identified concerns, including the systemic lack of consistency and correctness of decisions, costs, duration, and the lack of appropriate diversity among persons appointed to serve as ISDS tribunal members.
Significantly, the Working Group has concluded that reform is desirable, and it is presently developing reform options as solutions to be recommended to the Commission. Part of such solutions include the establishment of the MIC.
Proponents argue that the proposal to establish the MIC marks a critical milestone in the path to develop a better ISDS system. Concerns have been expressed on whether the MIC can provide a neutral, independent, and efficient dispute settlement forum, with preference for bilateral tools and incremental reform to address the current ISDS concerns.
As the structural reform through the establishment of the MIC is still under discussion, the event provides an opportunity for continuing engagement on the proposed MIC.
Speakers for the event include Ambassador Alhaji Fanday Turay, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN; Madam Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of UNCITRAL and Director, International Trade Law Division in the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs; Colin Brown, Head of Unit, Legal Aspects of Trade and Sustainable Development and Investment, European Commission, Directorate-General for Trade; Ambassador Dr. Michael Imran Kanu, Deputy Permanent Representative (Legal Affairs) of Sierra Leone to the UN; Dr. Martin Andrew Jarrett, Senior Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute; and Lauren Mandell, Special Counsel at WilmerHale and representative of United States Council for International Business.
The panel will be moderated by Natalie Yu-Lin Morris-Sharma, Director at the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore, and Rapporteur of UNCITRAL Working Group III.