The Conference examined such issues as the concept of expropriation, investments and investors covered by the Treaty, the issue of state responsibility, and the relationship between contractual claims and claims under the Energy Charter Treaty. It was opened by the King of Sweden, with welcoming addresses also from Dr. Ria Kemper, the Energy Charter Secretary General, and from Ulf Franke, Secretary General of the Stockholm Arbitration Institute. The programme included presentations or commentaries from leading experts on international arbitration and on the application of the Energy Charter Treaty. It is anticipated that the proceedings of the Conference will be published in the coming months, providing valuable guidance to private practitioners, public servants, in-house counsel, arbitrators and other interested parties on the application of the Treaty.
The Energy Charter Treaty and Dispute Settlement
The investment-related provisions are a cornerstone of the Energy Charter Treaty. They aim to promote and protect foreign investment in member countries. To this end, the Treaty grants a number of fundamental rights to foreign investors with regard to their investment in the host country. Foreign investors are protected against the most important political risks, such as discrimination, expropriation and nationalisation, breach of individual investment contracts, damages due to war and similar events, and unjustified restrictions on the transfer of funds. By reducing the political risks that foreign investors face in the host country, the Treaty boosts investor confidence and encourages international investment flows. The investment provisions are backed up by mechanisms both for inter-state arbitration and for investor-state dispute settlement.
The Treaty grants foreign investors in the energy sector the right to sue the host country in case of an alleged breach of an obligation of the host State relating to investment promotion and protection. The foreign investor can bring the case before the domestic courts of the host country or submit it to international arbitration. The award of an international arbitration is binding and final, and each Contracting Party is obliged to make provision for the effective enforcement of such awards in its area. More information on the dispute settlement provisions of the Treaty is available in the 'Consolidated Energy Charter Treaty'.