In holding that “Article 85 of the [EU] Treaty [now article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU] constitutes a fundamental provision which is essential for the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the Community and, in particular, for the functioning of the internal market”, and that “the provisions…

In my last post I questioned whether investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) is invariably a jurisdictional issue.  This post focuses on the use of admissibility as a filtering mechanism to screen investor claims.  Although it has been suggested by at least one investment treaty tribunal that the concept of admissibility does not…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

The treatment of investor misconduct in investment treaty arbitration raises a series of complex issues.  Allegations of investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) can arise in the context of the making of an investment, during its operation, or in the investment treaty claim making process.   How should a tribunal address investor misconduct if…

Handicapping investor-state arbitration cases is a tough business. Indeed, it’s difficult to predict when decisions will come down – much less what they will say. The following somewhat-hastily-cobbled-together list constitutes my best guess as to the 10 most notable awards which may come down in 2010. I won’t hazard a guess as to what’s in…

As a political slogan, re-Belizeanization was supposed to have a brief shelf life. When the Government of Belize announced last August the “re-Belizeanization” of the tiny Central American country’s dominant telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia Limited, the government disavowed any intention to embark upon a broader programme of economic nationalization. “It is not part of any…

The emerging rule in the U.S. that, to recognize and enforce an arbitral award under the New York Convention, a U.S. court must have personal jurisdiction over the award debtor or his or her property in the forum, has attracted criticism. International arbitration specialists argue that this requirement restricts enforcement of valid arbitral awards in…

When mapping the present trajectory of investment treaties, common themes include the “rebalancing” or “recalibration” of substantive disciplines, concepts that signal a retreat from the high-water mark of investor protection and a reorientation towards the preservation of regulatory space for host states. Generally, this phenomenon takes two forms: preparation of new model treaties (the prospective…

Until recently, no arbitral tribunal had found an investor’s claim under a BIT to be barred by a fork-in-the-road clause. Previous tribunals have found that for a fork-in-the-road clause to apply, the same dispute between the same parties must have been submitted to the local courts before resort to international arbitration and have drawn clear…

The concept of “moral damage” as long been recognised at international law. Article 31 of the International Law Commission (“I.L.C.”)’s Articles on State Responsibility provides that a State must make full reparation for any “injury” caused to another State by an internationally wrongful act and defines “injury” as “any damage, whether material or moral, caused…

In two recent decisions, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rejected petitions for annulment and revision of an arbitral award by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The decisions highlight the importance of raising new facts in arbitral proceedings without delay and as explicitly as possible.

One aspect of Chinese arbitration law that is of enduring interest to the international arbitration community is the question of whether Chinese law permits non-Chinese arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, to administer arbitrations in China. In practice, a number of arbitrations have taken place and are currently taking place in China under the rules…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

On May 6, 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision relating to the consequences of insolvency proceedings commenced in France against a party to pending international arbitration proceedings (Jean X. v. International Company For Commercial Exchanges (Income), May 6, 2009, Case no. 08-10281). A French company had signed three contracts for the sale of…

In one of the most recent NAFTA awards, Glamis Gold v. United States, the United States (“US”) raised objections to the tribunal’s “subject matter jurisdiction” against Glamis’ claims of expropriation under NAFTA Chapter 11. The US argued that the Canadian mining company’s claims based on recently passed California legislation were not “ripe” because the legislative…

The 9.10.2009 session of the New York Convention subcommittee of the IBA in Madrid saw a lively discussion on the topic of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards. The discussion related to the “Yukos Capital” decision issued by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in April 2009. The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had previously upheld the…

Earlier this year, the ICSID ad hoc committee in the Sempra v. Argentina annulment proceedings decided to continue the stay of the enforcement of the tribunal’s award in that case for the duration of the annulment proceedings on the condition that Argentina pay USD 75 million into an escrow account. After Argentina failed to make…

It is always satisfying for an academic when research interests contribute to teaching. So, as I began teaching first year contracts this year, I read the 8 September 2009 award in Azpetrol International Holdings B.V., Azpetrol Group B.V. and Azpetrol Oil Services Group B.V. v. The Republic of Azerbaijan, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/15 (Azpetrol) with…

There is a lingering perception amongst the international arbitration community that English courts tend to be more interventionist in relation to arbitration proceedings and awards compared to some of their continental counterparts. In reality, English courts are much less interventionist than some imagine, despite provisions such as section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 which…

(AND WHY A RECENT ENGLISH HIGH COURT DECISION REMINDS US THAT A FINAL, BINDING AND CONCLUSIVE AWARD IS NOT NECESSARILY IMMUNE FROM CHALLENGE) Finality is a fundamental characteristic of arbitration and a key factor that attracts many parties to choose arbitration when providing for a contractual dispute resolution mechanism. This is because the ability to…

In 2006, the ICSID Arbitration Rules were amended to allow a party to make a preliminary objection to claims that are “manifestly without legal merit.” The procedure for this objection is embodied in Rule 41(5). An ICSID Tribunal composed of Dr. Briner (President), Professor Stern and Professor Böckstiegel, in Brandes Investment Partners, LP v. Venezuela…

For many years, no broad international consensus emerged on the existing protection for foreign investors as a result of differences of approaches between developed and developing States. As a result of this perceived lack of established customary principles, States concluded thousands of bilateral investment treaties in the 1990s for the promotion and the protection of…

The English Court of Appeal recently upheld a first instance decision to refuse enforcement of a US$20m New York Convention award in Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, on the basis that the arbitration agreement was ‘not valid’ for the purposes of…