On 26 March 2015, the Energy Charter Secretariat hosted a seminar on the direct effect of investment agreements. This event was organised jointly with the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and attracted approximately fifty participants. The seminar was designed to facilitate an informal discussion between international lawyers and ESIL members on a particular aspect of international investment protection: in a time of criticism and reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system, careful attention should be paid to the option of invoking the direct effect of investment agreements before domestic courts.
The seminar brought together law professors, arbitrators, international lawyers from Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg – three countries with a high concentration of international courts and international organisations. Among the participants were also Energy Charter delegates or representatives from Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the European Union Commission.
In their welcome addresses, the Energy Charter Secretary General Dr. Rusnák and ESIL board member Prof. Boisson de Chazournes highlight the importance of a transparent discussion on the implementation of investment agreements, including the Energy Charter Treaty. The seminar included presentations by Dr. Anna De Luca, Università Bcconi, Ms. Hege Elisabeth Kjos, University of Amsterdam, and Mr. Angelos Dimopoulos, Queen Mary University London; Dr. Matteo Barra from the Energy Charter Secretariat moderated the debate. The results of the discussion will be presented in an Energy Charter occasional paper.