Oil & Gas ISDS: Is Med-Arb Considered a Mechanism for Common Interests?

Document Type: Original Article


1 Law Faculty, Allameh University

2 Faculty of Law( allmahe Tabatabae university )

3 Faculty of Law ( University of Tehran )


International oil and gas investment disputes constitute an important part of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. Investment arbitration which considers as a prevalent dispute settlement mechanism in this area is under serious criticisms, since it endures huge costs, causes length of process and devastates the parties’ long-term investment relationship. In the recent years, possibility of applying Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and hybrid dispute settlement mechanisms have largely discussed. Mediation-Arbitration (“ Med-arb”) ; is one of the hybrid and integrated dispute settlement mechanisms which embodies flexibility, non-judicial and negotiate-oriented benefits of mediation and finality advantage of arbitration simultaneously and in a single process ( not in separate processes). In this method, mediation is first attempted by the parties before arbitration could be started, If no settlement is reached during mediation phase, then the appointed neutral or mediator, will act as independent arbitrator(s) and proceed the case under the arbitration process and will render a binding arbitration award. In this method, if parties reach an agreement during the first phase (mediation process), they will not incur huge costs of lengthy investment arbitration. In this method, even If the first stage (mediation process) fails, since mediation process made the disputes more clarified and narrower, then the arbitration process is less lengthy and arbitration will be proceeded more efficiently. Moreover, both investors and host- states in oil and gas investment area, do have strong ambitions to maintain the investment relationships. These goals are achieved better via adopting med-arb proceedings.


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 02 March 2020
  • Receive Date: 23 September 2019
  • Revise Date: 06 February 2020
  • Accept Date: 16 February 2020