It is an exciting time to be a member of the arbitration community, especially as African countries are participating more in the shaping of the international investment regime by redefining their investment goals.
This conference presented an opportunity to discuss the potential impact of arbitration reforms on the continent as well as explored critical aspects of arbitrating investment dispute.
Some of the reforms covered national, bilateral, regional and continental level, which in themselves have turned Africa into a sort of laboratory for the rethinking and reshaping of investment and arbitration investment law. This change is fueled by the desire to change the habitual practice of investing arbitration – this desire is understandable.
It is important that African countries recognize the need to coordinate their policies at all the levels, when carrying out these reforms, to avoid any potential complexities.
The conference also discussed two critical aspects of arbitrating investment disputes- including, a focus on money matters such as third party funding, security focus and secular topics as well as the legitimacy of investment arbitration process.
The following key questions were asked:
- How do we deal with illegally obtained evidence?
- How do we deal with corruption?
- How do we deal with states that decide to abuse these powers in the process of arbitrating with third parties?
In summary, the following topics where discussed:
- Reforms at the national and bilateral levels;
- Reforms at the regional level;
- Reforms at the continental level; and
- The need for coordination in investment reforms to ensure coherence at all levels.
Please see photos from the event in the Gallery