New- University of Miami and Young ICCA Scholarship Winner Announced

Wamiq Chowdhury has won the Young ICCA-University of Miami scholarship competition. The announcement was made by Ms. Judy Freedberg of the University of Miami at the closing ceremony of the ICCA Congress on 13 June in Singapore. The scholarship entitles Mr. Chowdhury to a fully-paid place in the year-long LLM programme in international arbitration, taught by leading international arbitrators including ICCA Governing Board President and Member, Jan Paulsson and Albert Jan van den Berg.

Mr. Chowdhury’s winning essay entitled “Recent Developments in ICSID Arbitration: Too Early to Jump Ship”, will be published on the Young ICCA blog. Mr. Chowdhury is a recent JD graduate of the NYU School of Law where he focused on international arbitration, participated regularly in NYU’s Arbitration Forums, and was a member of the University’s multiple award-winning Foreign Direct Investment Moot team. Marike Paulsson, Young ICCA co-chair says “we are delighted to offer a young arbitration specialist the opportunity to get insights from the leading arbitration specialist- this is a big step towards opening the doors of international arbitration”!

Recent Developments in ICSID Arbitration: Too Early to Jump Ship

By Wamiq Chowdhury

This essay was written as a response to two prompts provided for the Miami/Young ICCA Scholarship Competition. The two prompts were: “Recent developments in ICSID arbitration – time to think about alternatives?” and “How Do We Design for Legitimacy?”

The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is experiencing growing pains. As recourse to ICSID arbitration in order to resolve foreign investment disputes becomes more common, ICSID jurisprudence is beginning to raise concerns on a number of fronts about the legitimacy of the system, and whether it will remain a viable method of settling investment disputes in the long term. This paper begins by exploring ICSID’s design, why legitimacy matters to ICSID, and what it means to say that ICSID’s legitimacy is in doubt. It then examines a number of different developments that are presenting challenges to ICSID’s legitimacy: inadequately reasoned awards, inconsistencies in awards and annulment decisions, and potentially problematic interpretive practices of ICSID tribunals with regards to essential security clauses, umbrella clauses, and treaty shopping. After assessing the challenges posed by these developments, the paper urges caution in determining the extent to which ICSID’s legitimacy has been affected by said developments. It argues that the challenges may seem greater at present than they in fact are. It also proposes some less far-reaching solutions for enhancing ICSID’s legitimacy than are being discussed in the investment arbitration community at present.

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