Annulment of an ICSID Award for Non-Disclosure of a Conflict of Interest: Towards a Moralisation of Investment Arbitration?

Author: Arnaud DE NANTEUIL

Type: Article : News

ref: 12021117-122

N0:1 of 2021

Pages: 117-122

For several years now, investment arbitration has been criticized for lack of transparency and for not taking sufficiently account of conflicts of interest arising from the multiplication of functions (arbitrator, counsel, expert, commentator) sometimes assumed by one same person. However, it is well known that significant efforts have been made to better address these issues, in particular through the adoption of a joint UNCITRAL and ICSID code of conduct designed to guarantee the utmost independence and impartiality of arbitrators . As proof that this movement is not just wishful thinking, an ICSID award was recently annulled precisely because of an undisclosed conflict of interest by one of the arbitrators . Annulments of awards are not frequent in general, and this is the first time that an award has been set aside on such a ground. In this respect, this annulment could mark the beginning of an important development.