Friends with Benefits? Amicus Curiae in the TPP Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism

  • Fernando Dias SimõesEmail author
Part of the Economics, Law, and Institutions in Asia Pacific book series (ELIAP)


Amici curiae are individuals or organisations who do not have the right to participate in the dispute as parties but want to intervene because the outcome of the proceedings may affect their interests. The participation of amici in investor-state arbitration has been justified as a useful tool to pursue different interests, inter alia, the promotion of greater transparency, accountability, and openness of this dispute settlement mechanism. However, opening up investment arbitration to the participation of non-disputing parties may raise several concerns, namely as regards the identity and interests pursued by the so-called ‘friends of the tribunal’. This chapter analyses the provisions of TPP’s Chap.  9 on amicus curiae intervention and discusses to what extent they balance the perceived benefits and potential drawbacks of this mechanism of public participation in investor-state arbitral proceedings. The social acceptance of the TPP will depend, to a large extent, on whether it offers solutions that effectively tackle the criticisms that have been thrown at investor-state arbitration, especially those that relate to a perceived lack of transparency and public participation. However, this goal can only be truly achieved if amicus curiae participation creates added value and does not undermine the purpose of peaceful and orderly settlement of investment disputes.


Amicus curiae Non-disputing parties Investment arbitration Public interests Transparency Public participation 


  1. Bartholomeusz, L. (2005). The amicus curiae before international courts and tribunals. Non-State Actors and International Law, 5, 209.Google Scholar
  2. Bastin, L. (2012). The amicus curiae in investor-state arbitration. Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, 1, 208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bjorklund, A., (2009). The emerging civilization of investment arbitration. Penn State Law Review, 113, 1269.Google Scholar
  4. Blackaby, N., & Richard, C. (2010). Amicus curiae: A panacea for legitimacy in investment arbitration? In M. Waibel, et al. (Eds.), The backlash against investment arbitration: Perceptions and reality (p. 253).Google Scholar
  5. Brower, C. (2003). Structure, legitimacy, and NAFTA’s investment chapter. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 36, 37.Google Scholar
  6. Brower, C. (2010). The ethics of arbitration: Perspectives from a practicing international arbitrator. Publicist, 5, 1.Google Scholar
  7. Buckley, R., & Blyschak, P. (2007). Guarding the open door: Non-party participation before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Banking and Finance Law Review, 22, 353.Google Scholar
  8. Charnovitz, S. (2000). Opening the WTO to non-governmental interests. Fordham International Law Journal, 24, 173.Google Scholar
  9. Chinkin, C., & Mackenzie, R. (2002). Intergovernmental organizations as “Friends of the Court”. In L. B. De Chazournes, et al. (Eds.), International organizations and international dispute settlement: Trends and prospects (p. 135).Google Scholar
  10. Crema, L. (2012). Testing amici curiae in international law: Rules and practice. In B. Conforti, et al. (Eds.), The Italian Yearbook of International Law, 22, 91.Google Scholar
  11. De Brabandere, E. (2011). NGOs and the “Public Interest”: The legality and rationale of amicus curiae interventions in international economic and investment disputes. Chicago Journal of International Law, 12, 85.Google Scholar
  12. De Chazournes, L. B. (2004). Transparency and amicus curiae briefs. Journal of World Investment and Trade, 5, 333.Google Scholar
  13. Dias Simões, F. (2017). A guardian and a friend? The European Commission’s Participation in Investment Arbitration. Michigan State International Law Review, 25, 234.Google Scholar
  14. Garner, B. (2004). Black’s law dictionary (8th edn). West Group.Google Scholar
  15. Gómez, K. (2012). Rethinking the role of amicus curiae in international investment arbitration: How to draw the line favorably for the public interest. Fordham International Law Journal, 35, 510.Google Scholar
  16. Ishikawa, T. (2010). Third party participation in investment arbitration. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 59, 373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kawharu, A. (2010). Participation of non-governmental organizations in investment arbitration as amici curiae. In M. Waibel, et al. (Eds.), The backlash against investment arbitration: Perceptions and reality (p. 275).Google Scholar
  18. Knahr, C. (2007). Transparency, third party participation and access to documents in international investment arbitration. Arbitration International, 23, 327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knahr, C. (2011). The new rules on participation of non-disputing parties in ICSID arbitration: Blessing or curse? In: C. Brown & K. Miles (Eds.), Evolution in investment treaty law and arbitration (p. 319).Google Scholar
  20. Knahr, C., & Reinisch, A. (2006). Transparency versus confidentiality in international investment arbitration—The Biwater Gauff compromise. Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 6, 97.Google Scholar
  21. Levine, E. (2001). Amicus curiae in international investment arbitration: The implications of an increase in third-party participation. Berkeley Journal of International Law, 29, 200.Google Scholar
  22. Mackenzie, R. (2005). The amicus curiae in international courts: Towards common procedural approaches? In T. Treves, et al. (Eds.), Civil society, international courts and compliance bodies (p. 295).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Magraw, D., Jr., & Amerasinghe, N. (2008). Transparency and public participation in investor-state arbitration. ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, 15, 337.Google Scholar
  24. Moloo, R. (2014). Evidentiary issues arising in an investment arbitration. In C. Giorgetti (Ed.), Litigating international investment disputes: A practitioner’s guide (p. 287).Google Scholar
  25. Mourre, A. (2006). Are amici curiae the proper response to the public’s concerns on transparency in investment arbitration? The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 5, 257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rubins, N. (2007). Opening the investment arbitration process: At what cost, for what benefit? In R. Hofmann & C. J. Tams (Eds.), The international convention on the settlement of investment disputes (ICSID): Taking stock after 40 years (p. 213).Google Scholar
  27. Stern, B. (2007). Civil society’s voice in the settlement of international economic disputes. ICSID Review, 22, 280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stern, B. (2011). The future of international investment law: A balance between the protection of investors and the states’ capacity to regulate. In J. Alvarez, et al. (Eds.), The evolving international investment regime: Expectations, realities, options (p. 174).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tienhaara, K. (2007). Third party participation in investment-environment disputes: Recent developments. Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, 16, 230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Triantafilou, E. (2008). Amicus submissions in investor-state arbitration after Suez v. Argentina. Arbitration International, 24, 571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Triantafilou, E. (2010). Is a connection to the “Public Interest” a meaningful prerequisite of third party participation in investment arbitration? Publicist, 5, 38.Google Scholar
  32. Van Duzer, J. (2007). Enhancing the procedural legitimacy of investor-state arbitration through transparency and amicus curiae participation. McGill Law Journal, 52, 681.Google Scholar
  33. Viñuales, J. (2006). Human rights and investment arbitration: The role of amici curiae. International Law: Revista Colombiana de Derecho Internacional, 8, 231.Google Scholar
  34. Viñuales, J. (2007). Amicus intervention in investor-state arbitration. Dispute Resolution Journal, 61, 72–81.Google Scholar
  35. Wälde, T. (2010). Procedural challenges in investment arbitration under the shadow of the dual role of the state asymmetries and tribunals’ duty to ensure, pro-actively, the equality of arms. Arbitration International, 26, 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Willetts, P. (2011). Non-governmental organizations in world politics: The construction of global governance. Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of MacasTaipaChina

Personalised recommendations