ISDS Navigator: About and Methodology
The UNCTAD Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator – the ISDS Navigator – is maintained by UNCTAD’s IIA Section. The ISDS Navigator contains information about known international arbitration cases initiated by investors against States pursuant to international investment agreements (IIAs). Such arbitrations are also referred to as treaty-based investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases.
Please cite as: UNCTAD, Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator, available at https://investmentpolicy.unctad.org/investment-dispute-settlement
UNCTAD's Work Programme on International Investment Agreements (IIAs) actively assists policymakers, government officials and other IIA stakeholders to reform IIAs with a view to making them more conducive to sustainable development and inclusive growth.
International investment rulemaking is taking place at the bilateral, regional, interregional and multilateral levels. It requires policymakers, negotiators, civil society and other stakeholders to be well informed about foreign direct investment, international investment agreements (IIAs) and their impact on sustainable development.
Main goals of UNCTAD’s Work Programme on IIAs
• Reform the international investment agreements (IIAs) regime to enhance its sustainable development dimension,
• Provide comprehensive analysis on key issues arising from the complexity of the international investment regime,
• Develop a wide range of tools to support the formulation of more balanced international investment policies.
The three pillars of activities
• Research and policy analysis: monitoring trends, identifying key emerging issues and providing cutting-edge knowledge on IIAs from a sustainable development perspective,
• Technical assistance: delivering trainings, seminars and workshops; conducting IIA and model BIT reviews; offering ad-hoc advice to strengthen the capacity of beneficiaries in handling the complexities of the IIA regime,
• Intergovernmental consensus-building: exchanging and sharing best practices and experience with the view to fostering global investment governance.
For further information, please contact us via the online contact form.
The ISDS Navigator includes information about publicly known IIA-based international investor-State arbitration proceedings. As some proceedings (or certain aspects of proceedings) remain confidential, the information contained in the Navigator cannot be deemed exhaustive.
While every effort is made to keep the information up to date and complete, the material is provided without any guarantees or warranties as to its accuracy or completeness. UNCTAD assumes no responsibility for eventual errors or omissions in these data.
We welcome any additional information or clarifications on specific cases as well as suggestions to improve the Navigator. Please contact us using the online contact form.
Cases included in the Navigator
• an international arbitration between an investor and a State;
• fully or partially based on an IIA, such as a bilateral investment treaty or the investment chapter of a free trade agreement (not included are investor-State disputes that are solely based on contracts or on domestic investment legislation);
• submitted to arbitration through a notice of arbitration or a request for arbitration, and upon registration of such request if applicable (not included are cases where a disputing party has only notified the other party of the existence of a dispute or signalled its intention to submit a claim, but has not yet commenced the arbitration).
Sources of information and frequency of updating
The information included in the Navigator is collected from publicly available sources. Primary sources (i.e. official documents relating to the case and information provided by the administering institutions) are the main and preferred source of information. Secondary sources, such as specialized reporting services and other sources deemed reliable, are used to supplement primary sources and/or obtain case information otherwise unavailable.
The Navigator is updated on a regular, typically biannual, basis. The date of the last update is displayed on the Navigator’s home page.
Methodological notes for the recording of data
Full case name
The full case name is recorded as it appears in the official case documents and as it is registered at the administering institution if applicable (listing the claimants in alphabetical order). If there are more than five claimants in the case, the names of all claimants can be replaced by the name of the first three claimants followed by the words “and others”.
Short case name
The short case name is ascribed by UNCTAD. Typically it is the first word of a corporate claimant’s name, an abbreviation of the corporate claimant’s name, or the last name of a natural-person claimant “v.” the short version of the respondent State’s name.
If the Navigator includes more than one case with the exact same name, then “(I)” is added to the case name of the earlier case, and a “(II)”, “(III)”, etc. is added to the name of each subsequent case.
Year of initiation
This is the year in which the notice of arbitration / request for arbitration was submitted by the claimant. For arbitrations brought under the ICSID Convention Arbitration Rules or ICSID Additional Facilities (AF) Rules, the year in which the claim was registered by ICSID is used.
This is the IIA(s) pursuant to which the claimant initiated the arbitral proceedings.
These are the arbitral rules in accordance with which the proceedings are conducted. Proceedings that are not subject to any existing set of arbitral rules, i.e. where the arbitral tribunal determines procedural rules, are marked “None (ad hoc)”.
This is the institution that provides administrative support for the arbitral proceedings. When the proceedings are subject to arbitral rules of a certain arbitral institution (e.g. SCC or ICC), the relevant institution administers that case. In ad hoc arbitrations or those that are subject to non-institutional arbitral rules (e.g. UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), the parties may request any arbitral institution to administer their case (e.g. PCA). Proceedings may also be conducted without being administered by any institution.
Common abbreviations for administering institutions:
• CRCICA: Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
• ICC: International Chamber of Commerce (International Court of Arbitration)
• ICSID: International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
• LCIA: London Court of International Arbitration
• MCCI: Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• PCA: Permanent Court of Arbitration
• SCC: Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (Arbitration Institute)
Details of investment and summary of the dispute
The details of investment are presented as argued by the claimant, unless otherwise expressly identified by an arbitral tribunal in its decisions or awards.
The summary of the dispute describes in very general terms the conduct allegedly in breach of IIA obligations as argued by the claimant (non-exhaustive).
Economic sector and subsector
This refers to the economic sector to which the investment at issue allegedly belongs. The structure of economic activities follows the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Rev.4 (UN ISIC Rev.4).
Status/Outcome of original proceedings
This refers to the current status of the original arbitration proceedings.
• Decided in favour of State: the tribunal dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction or found that the respondent State has not committed any breach of the applicable IIA.
• Decided in favour of investor: the tribunal found that the respondent State committed one or more breaches of the applicable IIA and awarded monetary compensation or non-pecuniary relief to the claimant investor.
• Decided in favour of neither party (liability found but no damages awarded): the arbitral tribunal found that the respondent State committed one or more breaches of the applicable IIA but did not award monetary compensation or non-pecuniary relief to the claimant investor.
• Settled: the disputing parties settled the case and the arbitral proceedings were discontinued for that reason.
• Discontinued: the arbitration was discontinued for any reason other than due to a (known) settlement. This includes discontinuance as a result of non-payment of arbitration fees, in order to pursue litigation in another forum, or for any other reason (including for unknown reasons).
• Pending: the arbitration proceedings are pending. A case remains pending if any of the following elements remain to be decided: jurisdiction, liability (merits), compensation. The case remains pending, for instance, if a State is found to have breached one or more IIA obligations (liability) but no award on damages has been issued yet.
• The Navigator only records treaty-based disputes or treaty-based aspects of "mixed" disputes. In treaty-based cases that are simultaneously contract-based or based on national investment law ("mixed" disputes), a case is deemed concluded (for purposes of the Navigator) if the tribunal dismissed the case on jurisdiction or finds no breach of the IIA, even if it proceeds to adjudicate the contract- or statutory-based claims.
• Cases in which a final award has been rendered but which are later subject to follow-on (post-award) proceedings (e.g. ICSID annulment proceedings or domestic judicial review), are marked according to the outcome of the original arbitral proceeding (i.e. not as “Pending”).
Arbitral decisions rendered
These are decisions rendered by an arbitral tribunal. Included are those decisions that concern the substance of the case and affect the final outcome. In particular, these include decisions (awards) on jurisdictional issues, liability (merits) and damages, including arbitrators’ individual opinions where these were issued. Discontinuance orders and settlement agreements are also recorded if such information is available.
Not included are any other (supplementary) arbitral decisions, e.g. concerning provisional measures or decisions regarding requests for disqualification of arbitrators. Similarly, procedural orders issued by arbitral tribunals are not included. To access a full list of documentation available with respect to a case, users are invited to use (i) the link to the case page on http://italaw.com, and/or (ii) links to the websites of governments and/or arbitral institutions provided in the “Additional information” section.
Amounts claimed and awarded
Amount claimed refers to the amount of monetary compensation claimed by the investor, not including interest, legal costs or costs of arbitration.
Amount awarded refers to the amount of monetary compensation awarded by the arbitral tribunal to the claimant, not including interest, legal costs or costs of arbitration.
For proceedings that end in a settlement, the amount of compensation that the State agreed to pay to the claimant under the terms of settlement (if known) is recorded in this section.
Amounts are recorded in the currency used by the claimant/tribunal. The list of currencies in the Navigator follows the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 code list.
To enable comparisons between cases, all amounts are also converted to US dollars. For the purposes of such conversion, the OANDA Historical Currency Converter is being used; the date of conversion is the date of the document or other source from which the information was obtained (e.g. the date in which the request for arbitration containing this amount was submitted or the date of the final award).
Whenever possible, information about amounts claimed and awarded is obtained from primary sources such as the arbitration documents. Otherwise, it is derived from other publicly available sources that are deemed reliable. In some cases, the approximate amount may be recorded to give a broad indication of the dispute’s magnitude. As a general rule, a rounded figure (to the nearest hundred thousand) of the amount claimed or awarded is provided.
If the claimant provides more than one valuation of damages claimed, the highest of these amounts is recorded.
IIA breaches alleged and found
Information about breaches alleged is primarily derived from the claimant’s request of arbitration, claimant’s memorials and/or arbitral decisions. When the relevant case documentation is not publicly available, information about breaches alleged may be obtained from other public sources that are deemed reliable.
Information about breaches found is primarily derived from the arbitral decisions. When the relevant decision is not publicly available, information about breaches found may be obtained from other public sources that are deemed reliable.
Claims concerning expropriation are classified as “direct” or “indirect” according to the characterisation made by the claimant and/or the tribunal. Whenever a claimant or the tribunal refer to “expropriation”, without distinguishing between “direct” or “indirect”, such distinction is made on the basis of the factual background of the case and the context of the claimant’s claims and tribunal’s findings.
Composition of tribunal
These are individuals who serve as members of the arbitral tribunal adjudicating the dispute (arbitrators).
The disputing party (i.e. claimant or respondent) that appointed a particular arbitrator is also recorded insofar as information is available. Instances where the respondent failed to appoint an arbitrator, and the latter was appointed by an “appointing authority”, are not recorded separately (i.e. both types of appointment are recorded under “Appointed by / designated to Respondent” without further distinction).
In case an arbitrator has been replaced by another individual (e.g. as a result of resignation, disqualification or passing away), the names of both the previous and subsequent arbitrator are recorded.
Follow-on (post-award) proceedings
Follow-on (post-award) proceedings include three types of legal proceedings:
• ICSID annulment proceedings;
• Judicial review by national courts (set-aside proceedings); and
• ICSID resubmission proceedings.
Initiation of a follow-on proceeding by either disputing party does not affect the field “Case Status/Outcome” of the original proceeding, until the follow-on proceeding is completed. For example, in a case where a final award has been rendered but it is later subject to a follow-on proceeding (e.g. ICSID annulment proceeding), the status of the case is marked according to the outcome of the original arbitral proceeding (i.e. not as “Pending”).
Decisions, judgments and/or awards rendered in the course of follow-on (post-award) proceedings, as well as any individual opinions appended to them, are recorded.
The composition of the ICSID ad hoc committees that adjudicate requests for annulment under the ICSID Convention is recorded.
Link to Italaw’s case page
The Italaw.com portal offers a wide collection of case documentation for many investor-State disputes. It makes available not only the main arbitral decisions, but also procedural orders, parties’ submissions, expert opinions and other types of documents.
A link to the relevant case page at http://italaw.com is provided where such page is available, so that users could browse all documents relating to the case at hand.
This section provides links to sources of information used for gathering data for the case at hand or otherwise relevant to that case. These may include links to websites of arbitral/administering institutions, governments, international organisations, specialised reporting services (including subscription-based), media and other resources.