Madrid Arbitration Day 3

November 18, 2016

Welcome to the 3rd Madrid Arbitration Day

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“TTIP, CETA and the future of Commercial Regime: Is the «Investment Court System» the right way?”

Universidad Pontificia Comilas and Rafael del Pino Foundation welcome you to the Madrid Arbitration Day 3

The systems of investment protection and international trade have traditionally experienced diverse legitimacy crises. The absence of a link between promotion of trade (and investment) and the levels of development, standards of living, the rule of law or other societal values (environment, labor conditions, consumer safety, etc.) have increased the credibility of opponents to this system.

In addition, the flaws of the investment protection system (obscurity, expensiveness, threaten to sovereignty, etc.) have increased the number of arguments available for those who advocate for the elimination of such systems (first) and the redefinition of the global systems of commercial (trade and investment) integration.

The critique against investment and trade regimes and, specifically, against their dispute settlement mechanisms have entered into a new stage of intensity in the midst of the financial crisis and the political crisis at all levels (Spain, European Union and, beyond our borders, The US). Parallel –occasionally but increasingly coordinated- forces have appeared in all these levels promoting a return to protectionist approaches to commercial relations.

Whether the international commercial system and or their dispute settlement systems are coming to an end is a question yet to be answered.

An informed response should not ignore the role that the WTO DSU has played over the last 20 years in the defense of legitimacy of the WTO regime. The WTO DSU and, specifically, the Appellate Body, has contributed, through independent judicialization to enhance the legitimacy of the WTO, an institution “conceived at the height of neoliberalism or the Washington consensus”.

Is the international commercial regime (including trade and investment regimes and their respective DS) status quo actually an obsolete fraudulent system? If so, are there any alternative models worth pursuing or are we better off abandoning the idea of greater commercial integration? Specifically, are macro treaties such as TTIP, TPP or CETA the right way? Is the ISDS the right way? Even if the response were affirmative, are there social and political consensus favorable to them?

Spain, a traditionally investor country, has experienced over the last few years a dramatic increase in the amount of claims initiated against it before investment tribunals. The responses to these questions are particularly relevant for business people, advocates, policy makers and students.

The Rafael del Pino Foundation, Universidad Pontificia Comillas with the collaboration of Pérez-Llorca, the London School of Economics and the Spanish Arbitration Club (Under 40) welcome you to this Third Edition of the Madrid Arbitration Day.

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