Dear Members of the World Investment Network,

I am pleased to inform you that UNCTAD has completed its regular semi-annual update of the Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator. The ISDS Navigator is now up-to-date as of 1 January 2017.

Key findings of the update
  • In 2016, investors initiated 62 known ISDS cases pursuant to international investment agreements (IIAs). This number is lower than in the preceding year (74 cases in 2015), but higher than the 10-year average of 49 cases (2006-2015).
  • The new ISDS cases were brought against a total of 41 countries. With four cases each, Colombia, India and Spain were the most frequent respondents in 2016.
  • Developed-country investors brought most of the 62 known cases. Dutch and United States investors initiated the highest number of cases with 10 cases each, followed by investors from the United Kingdom with 7 cases.
  • About two thirds of investment arbitrations in 2016 were brought under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), most of them dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. The remaining cases were based on treaties with investment provisions (TIPs).
  • The most frequently invoked IIAs in 2016 were the Energy Charter Treaty (with 10 cases), NAFTA and the Russian Federation-Ukraine BIT (three cases each).
  • The total number of publicly known arbitrations against host countries has reached 767.
The update of the ISDS Navigator covers new cases as well as new information on existing case entries. You can browse the ISDS Navigator to find information on: the subject matter of disputes, the status/outcome of the arbitral proceedings, awards and decisions issued by tribunals, breaches of IIA provisions alleged and found, amounts claimed and awarded, arbitrators serving on the tribunal and many other aspects.

Information about the claims has been compiled on the basis of public sources, including specialized reporting services. As arbitrations can be kept confidential under certain circumstances, the actual number of disputes filed in this and previous years is likely to be higher.

We welcome any additional information or clarifications on specific cases. Please use the “Report new developments” button to submit information.

A more detailed analysis of the newly filed cases as well as an overview of the key decisions issued by arbitral tribunals over the course of 2016 will be provided in UNCTAD’s annual review of the past year’s ISDS developments, which will be published in the coming months.

With kind regards,
James Zhan

Director, Investment and Enterprise
Lead, World Investment Report
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: +41 22 917 5797