VIENNA, 14 December (UN Information Service) – On 12 December 2016, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (“The Mauritius Convention on Transparency”). Canada is the second State to ratify the Convention, following the ratification by Mauritius on 5 June 2015. The Convention will enter into force six months after the date of the third instrument of ratification or accession.
During the signing ceremony held at Port Louis, Mauritius, on 17 March 2015, eight states (Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Mauritius, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States) signed the Mauritius Convention on Transparency. Since then, the Convention has been signed by a further nine states: Syria, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Gabon, Congo, Madagascar and the Netherlands. The Convention is open for signature, ratification and accession by States and regional economic integration organizations.
The Mauritius Convention on Transparency aims to provide States and regional economic integration organizations with an efficient mechanism that extends the scope of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based investor-State Arbitration (“Rules on Transparency”). These procedural Rules ensure transparency and public accessibility to treaty-based investor-State arbitration, the proceedings of which have traditionally been conducted behind closed doors. By ratifying the Convention, a State or regional economic integration organization expresses its consent to the application of the Rules on Transparency to investor-State arbitrations initiated under investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014.
Together with the Rules on Transparency, the Mauritius Convention on Transparency effectively balances the public interest in investor-State disputes with the parties’ interests in resolving these disputes in a fair and efficient manner. It is expected that the Convention will significantly contribute to enhancing transparency in investor-State arbitration.