Thousands of books, articles and guides offer a wide array of mediator’s responsibilities and functions. However, in my opinion, this range can be boiled down three very distinctive roles that a mediator should assume simultaneously:  1) a guardian of protocol, 2) an interpreter and 3) a creative contributor. We strongly believe, it is this mix that is key to building up the maximum capacity of a mediator.

Alternative dispute resolution has gained significant ground over the recent decades, which is primarily due to the outlawing of war through the UN Charter, as well as the boom of international economic relations and the advance of human rights. In other words, the world has realized that traditional ways of conflict resolution are long, costly, sometimes violent, but most importantly very often fruitless. Therefore, new practices have developed and proliferated, mediation being one of them.

I myself would consider that there [are] advantages in making it clear that ultimately there are even limits on the supremacy of Parliament which it is the courts’ inalienable responsibility to identify and uphold.’

Lord Woolf, ‘Droit public – English style’ [1995] PL 57

by John O'Sullivan

Capital Markets Editos, The Economist


State X has a BIT in force with State A that provides for investor-State arbitration of disputes concerning only the amount of compensation due in the event of an expropriation. It also provides for most-favoured-nation ("MFN") treatment "in all matters governed by this treaty". State X has a BIT in force with State N that provides for investor-State arbitration of any dispute arising under the treaty (and also provides for full compensation for direct or indirect expropriation). May an investor from State A initiate investor-State arbitration against State X for a claim of indirect expropriation relying on the MFN clause?