Review Mechanisms in Natural Resource Contracts
The VCC is examining the value of built-in review periods in extractive industry contracts as a mechanism for managing investor–host-country relations over the duration of a project. The VCC is exploring how this mechanism has been adopted historically in extractive industry contracts, and examining its application and effectiveness in other industries. Based on its findings, this study aims to propose a model for effective review mechanisms.
The VCC is also researching the roles of courts and investor-state arbitration tribunals in affecting the utility, enforceability, and effectiveness of review mechanisms and negotiation obligations in long-term contracts. The weight these legal institutions give to relational features of contracts such as review mechanisms and (re)negotiation obligations can impact and even be determinative of these tools’ utility in practice. The VCC is thus exploring and analyzing how tribunals have treated contractual revision and (re)negotiation provisions in investor-state arbitrations and will offer a comparative perspective by examining how these obligations and mechanisms have been treated in other contexts.