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Portrait of Pieter Bekker

Peter Bekker

Head of Investment Arbitration Task Force

Languages German, French, English, Dutch

Professor Peter Bekker is a partner in the International Arbitration and Energy teams and Head of the CMS Investment Arbitration Task Force. A US qualified lawyer, he practises at the crossroads of international dispute resolution and energy. He combines practising law with a professorial appointment as Chair in International Law at the internationally renowned Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) within the University of Dundee in Scotland, having previously taught at Columbia Law School in New York.

Peter focuses on dispute risk management and resolution, especially arbitration, and advice regarding issues of public international law, in which he holds a doctorate. In international arbitration matters, Peter draws upon a particularly rich background: he was educated and has practised, in both Europe and the United States, in Civil law, Common law and public international law, the legal systems on which international arbitral law and procedure are based. He has experience with all the major arbitration procedures and institutions. He is listed on the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of International Arbitrators (Neutrals) and regularly sits as an arbitrator. He has been recognised in The Who’s Who in Public International Law and New York “Super Lawyers.”

Peter also advises private and public sector clients on a wide range of issues relating to private and public international law, including issues of jurisdiction, immunity, enforcement, expropriation, the law of the sea, treaty law, and State responsibility. He has extensive experience in matters involving sovereign parties, including States, state-owned entities and international organisations before both domestic and international courts and tribunals.

A native of The Netherlands, Peter was in private practice in Amsterdam before serving for nearly three years as a staff lawyer in the Registry of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations seated in The Hague. He has been involved in over 20 ICJ cases between sovereign States as well as several advisory proceedings.

Peter has also represented a variety of corporate clients in cross-border commercial transactions and financings — especially in the maritime and oil & gas industries. He regularly counsels clients in the drafting of arbitration clauses for international contracts.

Peter has been featured in The Times (as Lawyer of the Week), The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, the New York Law Journal and The Economist and he has been interviewed multiple times for American, British and Dutch TV and radio.

The text of a recent article written for the Harvard Social Impact Review can be accessed here.

He has won the Burton Award for Legal Achievement (Excellence in Legal Writing) in 2005. 

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Relevant experience

  • The Federal Republic of Nigeria in a proceeding challenging an investment treaty award based on the English Arbitration Act.
  • The Government of an Eastern European country in a pending investment arbitration arising from an investment in the energy sector.
  • A respondent state in a pending contentious case before the International Court of Justice.
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development in the Global Mechanism Case before the International Court of Justice.
  • The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (17 Member States) in Case No. 21 before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg.
  • Saudi Aramco in its claims against the Republic of Iraq before the E2 Panel of the United Nations Compensation Commission (war reparation claims).
  • State of Ukraine in relation to the negotiation of an espousal treaty settling legal issues arising from the accidental shooting down of a Russian airliner over the Black Sea in 2001.
  • French and Polish contractors in construction arbitrations with Egyptian state entities.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • Commission on Arbitration and ADR of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Founding Member, International Arbitration Club of New York
  • American Bar Association's Section of International (former Chair, International Courts Committee)
  • American Society of International Law (former Executive Council and Nominating Committee member)
  • American and Dutch Branches of the International Law Association (former Chair, Committee on Intergovernmental Settlement of Disputes)


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  • The Human Impact of Defiance of International Law, Harvard Social Impact Review, Apr 2022
  • The World Court Fixes the Somalia-Kenya Maritime Boundary: Technical Considerations and Legal Consequences, American Society of International law, Dec 2021.
  • Reimagining the Damages Valuation Framework Underlying Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard Violations through a Three-Stage Contextualized Approach, ICSID Review, Nov 2021
  • Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy—Essays in Honour of Detlev Vagts (Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780521192521) (as chief editor, with Rudolf Dolzer and Michael Waibel)
  • The Legal Position of Intergovernmental Organizations – A Functional Necessity Analysis of Their Legal Status and Immunities (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/T.M.C. Asser Instituut, 1994, ISBN 0-7923-2904-X) (Foreword by ICJ President Sir Robert Jennings) (doctoral thesis) (mentioned as one of seven standard immunity works in a book review in 99 American Journal of International Law 730, n. 1 (2005))
  • World Court Decisions at the Turn of the Millennium (1997-2001) (Kluwer Law International, 2002, ISBN 90-411-1791-1) (Foreword by ICJ President Stephen Schwebel)
  • Commentaries on World Court Decisions (1987-1996) (Kluwer Law International, 1998, ISBN 90-411-0558-1) (Foreword by Prof. Abram Chayes) (as editor & principal author)
  • Plus chapters in a dozen books and over 100 articles and notes in: The American Journal of International Law (25 publications since 1993); ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal; American Society of International Law Insights; The International Lawyer; Leiden Journal of International Law; Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Journal; Stockholm Arbitration Report; Netherlands International Law Review; Harvard International Law Journal; The Yale Journal of International Law; Cornell International Law Journal; International Law FORUM du droit international; Chinese Journal of International Law; ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law; International Legal Materials; Project Finance International; American Diplomacy Magazine; Harvard Law Bulletin.
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  • 1994 - Ph.D. (Law), Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • 1992 - US Qualified, New York
  • 1991 - LL.M., (Fulbright grant), Harvard Law School
  • 1991 - LL.B. (equiv.), Leiden University, The Netherlands
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In­ter­na­tion­al ar­bit­ra­tion law and rules in New York
New York has de­veloped a sig­ni­fic­ant body of state law on ar­bit­ra­tion, both through the com­mon law and stat­utory modi­fic­a­tions; how­ever, the ap­plic­a­tion of the FAA has lim­ited the num­ber of ar­bit­ra­tion...
Is the sun set­ting on the En­ergy Charter Treaty? An up­date on the mod­ern­isa­tion...
On 2 Decem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion (the “Com­mis­sion”) in­dic­ated that if “core EU ob­ject­ives” are not met as part of the on­go­ing ne­go­ti­ations to mod­ern­ise the En­ergy Charter Treaty (the...
Oil and Gas: Pro­tect­ing LNG pro­ject and feed-gas sup­ply from State in­ter­fer­ence
A re­cent award rendered by a tribunal act­ing un­der the aus­pices of IC­SID, the World Bank’s ar­bit­ra­tion in­sti­tu­tion, in Uni­on Fen­osa Gas S.A. v Ar­ab Re­pub­lic of Egypt, provides fur­ther guid­ance for com­pan­ies...
Drastic changes in re­new­able en­ergy laws trig­ger dam­ages award
In an award dated 4 May 2017 (pub­licly avail­able in Span­ish only) is­sued in Eiser In­fra­struc­ture Lim­ited and En­er­gia Sol­ar Lux­em­bourg S.à.r.l v The King­dom of Spain (IC­SID Case No. ARB/13/36), an ar­bit­ral...
Due di­li­gence and pro­por­tion­al­ity un­der scru­tiny in latest IC­SID li­ab­il­ity...
Sum­mary In a de­cision dated 21 Feb­ru­ary 2017, a tribunal act­ing un­der the aus­pices of the In­ter­na­tion­al Centre for Set­tle­ment of In­vest­ment Dis­putes (“IC­SID”), the World Bank’s ar­bit­ra­tion in­sti­tu­tion...
The pro­tec­tion of cross-bor­der in­vest­ments un­der the Canada-EU trade pact
Fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­ations first launched in May 2009, the Com­pre­hens­ive Eco­nom­ic and Trade Agree­ment (“CETA”) was signed by Canada and the EU on 30 Oc­to­ber 2016. CETA is a free trade agree­ment, which...
Somalia’s first oil and gas li­cens­ing round an­nounce­ment
Somalia an­nounced its first oil & gas li­cens­ing round on 1 Novem­ber 2016 at the 23rd Africa Oil Week Con­fer­ence in Cape Town. The round provides an op­por­tun­ity for ex­plor­a­tion com­pan­ies to bid for off­shore...
Is a Rus­si­an court com­pet­ent to re­solve an in­vest­ment-re­lated dis­pute between...
Sum­mary On 5 Au­gust 2016, Rus­si­an busi­ness­man and former co-own­er of the Lithuani­an Bank Snor­as, Mr. Vladi­mir Ant­onov, filed a claim against the Re­pub­lic of Lithuania (rep­res­en­ted by the Min­istry of...
Tribunal leaves door open for full pro­tec­tion and se­cur­ity to en­com­pass...
In its Award dated 27 June 2016, the Tribunal dis­missed the Claimant’s claim in Peter A. Al­lard v The Gov­ern­ment of Bar­ba­dos (PCA Case No. 2012-06) re­lat­ing to the Re­spond­ent’s al­leged breach of...
Misled IC­SID tribunal re­opens and re­verses de­cision
Sum­mary In a de­cision dated 12 Septem­ber 2016, the Tribunal in Stand­ard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Lim­ited v Tan­zania Elec­tric Sup­ply Com­pany Lim­ited (TAN­ESCO) (IC­SID ARB/10/20) re­vis­ited its de­cision...