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Empirical data on ISDS in the CIS: who are the main winners and losers?

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CIS Arbitration Forum | 3 September 2020

Empirical data on ISDS in the CIS: who are the main winners and losers?

The CIS Arbitration Forum conducted an empirical study on the performance of States in the CIS region in known investor-state disputes between 1996 and June 2020. It shows the growth patterns of the disputes, highlights notable features of their outcomes, and identifies trends regarding the State of investor origin and nationality of arbitrators.

The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase concerned the location of publically available decisions in major databases, including Italaw, Jus Mundi, the ICSID Cases Database, and the UNCTAD Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator. The second phase addressed the production and visual representation of statistical data presented in this report.

Strictly speaking, not all States covered in the report are members of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). For the purposes of this report, we analyzed the performance of all former Soviet Union republics which are currently not members of the European Union. Below we present the key findings of the study.
The overall number of cases: respondents

From the mid-1990s investor-state tribunals resolved only a handful of cases resolved. However, in the 2000s, the region has seen a significant increase in the number of investor-state disputes. The biggest spike in cases occurred in 2015, where over 50% of the total number of cases were filed against Russia, some resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The lowest number of cases were brought in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The cases brought in the first half of 2020 have reached the lowest number for the past ten years, undeniably as a result of the impact caused by COVID-19.

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 source: CIS Arbitration Forum