On November 1, Canada ratified the
World Bank's ICSID Convention by depositing its
"Instrument of Ratification" with the ICSID. In
doing so, Canada is the last G8 member to ratify the
Convention. Canada signed the Convention on
December 15, 2006. Bill C-9 which was the implementing
legislation, received Royal Assent on March 13, 2008.
In a previous
Litigator article, I wrote that the ratification of the
Convention "has been a long time coming", and
lamented the lack of action by Canada in ratifying the
Convention. In ratifying the Convention,
the Canadian Government has finally allayed the concerns of
Canadian businesses and potential foreign investors.
I would like to commend the Government of Canada for the
ratification of this convention. It certainly strengthens
Canada's reputation in the global economy. The ICSID
provides potential investors with predictability in resolving
disputes, thus making Canada a more attractive place for foreign
investment. Furthermore, it will provide Canadian investors
abroad with this same predictability and thus make foreign
investment in ISCID member states more attractive to potential
The ICSID is the leading international arbitration institution
devoted to resolving disputes between investors and host states,
and Canada's ratification of the Convention will be of great
benefit to the Candian economy.
Member states and investors are not obligated to use the
ICSID. Instead, the ICSID simply provides a neutral place for
arbitration and a roster of qualified arbitrators appointed by
states who have ratified the Convention. The ICSID provides
participants with speed, expertise, and neutrality that is not
provided by other dispute resolution mechanisms, such as ad-hoc
The ICSID is advantageous compared to other aribtration
mechanisms for a number of reasons. All ICSID decisions are
final, and this provides for the kind of certainty desired by
investors and host states, who will not have to worry about the
intervention of domestic courts. Furthermore, the ICSID also
offers greater certainty and predictability with respect to
enforcement of judgments, as all ICSID contracting states are
required by the Convention to enforce ISCSID arbitral awards.
Canada becomes one of 150 state parties to the
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
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