Karim Youssef Refutes Stigma Surrounding Investment Treaty Arbitration
The speech, titled ‘Against Stigma: Lessons in Refuting Negative Perception & Self-Reproach from the Arab Spring & the Egyptian Investment Treaty Arbitrations’ and delivered at the CRCICA‘s Sharm El Sheikh VII conference, condemned the false criticisms against parties to these arbitrations and discredited various justifications for it using Egypt as a model. He then called upon the arbitration community to unify in its rejection of the concept of stigma as it is attached to investment treaty arbitration.
Karim warned against a very dangerous notion of stigma that looms over investment treaty arbitration and surrounds states exposed to investment claims and investors triggering BIT claims alike, saying that ‘stigma threatens to destabilize a vital global system, which is put in place for the protection of investors and states alike’.
Karim examined the mindset surrounding the stigma of investment treaty arbitration, and how it must be shifted to acknowledge that state participation in investment treaty arbitration is a mark of good faith behavior and a necessary biproduct of international life and global business.
Karim said he refutes stigma and those who inflict it – whom he calls “Stigmatizers” – and avowed that it ‘has no place in modern, international life’.
He considered common stigmas and the Egyptian government’s engagement with the investment treaty arbitration system – how it managed the influx of investment cases resulting from the Arab Spring and the effects this has had on FDI fluctuations – and compared the Egyptian reaction to those of other states to show that the stigma surrounding state disputes is an erroneous concept.
The speech was very well received and the topic will be the subject of an article by Karim in the very near future.
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