The CIDS has facilitated the creation of an Academic Forum on ISDS. The purpose of the Forum is for academics active in the field of ISDS to exchange views, explore issues and options, test ideas and solutions, and make a constructive contribution to the ongoing discussions on possible reform of ISDS, in particular the discussions in the context of UNCITRAL’s Working Group III (WGIII).


Statement of purpose

 Read the Forum’s Statement of Purpose here


Members of the Forum

The list of individuals who are members of the Academic Forum may be downloaded here.


Projects and initiatives

 The Academic Forum on ISDS has undertaken a number of projects and initiatives, which include the following:


  •  Bibliography of writings relating to ISDS reform

A CIDS team composed of Brian McGarry, Josef Ostřanský, Michele Potestà, and María Florencia Sarmiento has completed a bibliography on ISDS reform. You may download the bibliography here. A user-friendly search engine compiling treaties and scholarly commentary relevant to ISDS reform is available here.

  • Glossary of ISDS terms and concepts

Under the coordination of Catherine Kessedjian and Arnaud de Nanteuil, a working group composed of members of the Forum is preparing a glossary of ISDS terms and concepts in the six U.N. official languages, with a view to assisting the UNCITRAL WG III process and helping delegations and other stakeholders to navigate with more clarity through the technical terms and concepts frequently used in ISDS.

  • Concept papers on concerns and reform options

Seven working groups composed of Forum members are preparing a series of “concept papers”, which will analyze how the issues or concerns with ISDS that have emerged in the WGIII sessions may be addressed under a number of possible reform scenarios. The responsibility for the overall coordination of this project is shared by George Bermann, Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, and Michele Potestà.


Meetings of the Forum

-     26 April 2018, New York: kick-off meeting, en marge of the 35th session of WGIII

-          31 October 2018, Vienna, en marge of the 36th session of WGIII

-          1-2 February 2019, Oslo, Workshop on “Reforming International Investment Arbitration”

-          2 April 2019, New York, en marge of the 37th session of WGIII