Dear Sir or Madam, 

I wish to share with you UNCTAD’s report on the latest developments in 
investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS continues to be in the 
spotlight of the public debate. UNCTAD’s new report contributes to this 
debate by providing up-to-date statistical information as well as a review 
of the decisions issued by arbitral tribunals in 2014.

Among the highlights are: 

·       Investors continue to use the ISDS mechanism. In 2014, claimants 
initiated 42 known treaty-based ISDS cases. The total number of known ISDS 
cases reached 608.

·       With 40 per cent of new cases initiated against developed 
countries, the relative share of cases against developed countries has 
been on the rise (the historical average is 28 per cent). A quarter of all 
new disputes are intra-EU cases. 

·       The two types of State conduct most commonly challenged by 
investors in 2014 were cancellations or alleged violations of contracts 
and revocations or denials of licences. The sectors where most cases were 
filed in 2014 are the generation and supply of electric energy (at least 
eleven cases), followed by oil, gas and mining (ten), construction (five) 
and financial services (three). 

·       The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) surpassed the North American Free 
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the most frequently invoked IIA. 

·       ISDS tribunals rendered at least 43 decisions in 2014, 34 of which 
are public. The overall number of concluded cases has reached 356, with 37 
per cent decided in favour of the State, 25 per cent in favour of the 
investor and 28 per cent of cases settled.

·       Arbitral decisions adopted in 2014 touch upon a number of 
important legal issues concerning the scope of treaty coverage, the 
conditions for bringing ISDS claims, the meaning of substantive treaty 
protections, the calculation of compensation and others. On a number of 
issues, tribunals continue to arrive at divergent conclusions.

The IIA regime is going through a period of reflection, review and 
revision. Investment dispute settlement is at the heart of this debate, 
with a number of countries reassessing their positions. There is a strong 
case for a systematic reform of ISDS. 

UNCTAD’s forthcoming World Investment Report 2015 will provide an action 
menu for the reform of international investment regime. 

I hope that you find our IIA Issues Note on the latest developments in 
investor-State dispute settlement useful and interesting - please feel 
free to also share it with your colleagues! 

Best regards,

James Zhan 
Director, Investment and Enterprise 
Head, World Investment Report team 
Palais des Nations, Geneva 
Tel: 41229175797 (World Investment Reports)