Corruption has been a hot topic in investor-state arbitration in recent years. This is particularly the case in situations where Claimant investors are alleged to have procured their original investment through bribery, which, if proven, may lead to tribunals denying their claims, especially under ICSID. Many commentators have focused on legal aspects such as the…

The Rutas de Lima v. Metropolitan Municipality of Lima case shows how arbitral tribunals deal with corruption allegations in disputes related to government contracts. The tribunal, chaired by current ICC International Court of Arbitration President, Alexis Mourre, issued its Award this May, which came to light when the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima (the “Municipality”) requested…

On Monday 6 July 2020, during the first day of the Paris Arbitration Week, Reed Smith held a webinar on ‘Arbitrating allegations of corruption in international business transactions – problems and solutions‘, a highly controversial topic which has gained much attention in the arbitration community in the last decade. The event focused on a series…

Recent years have seen an uptick in the expansion and enforcement of anti-corruption laws worldwide. In 2017, China amended its Anti-Unfair Competition Law, broadening the scope of bribe recipients covered by the law, and increasing penalties. In 2019, Italy widened its anti-bribery law, No. 3/2019, increasing penalties for both individuals and companies found guilty of…

The Ruta del Sol arbitral award was one of the most important awards in 2019 in Colombia and possibly in the entire region. The arbitral tribunal sitting to resolve the Ruta del Sol arbitral proceeding (the “Tribunal”) determined the consequences of securing an infrastructure concession contract in Colombia through corrupt practices and served as pioneers…

On January 24, 2020, Peru enacted the Emergency Decree No. 020-2020 (the “Decree”), published in Peru’s Official Gazette, El Peruano. The Decree amends Peru’s Legislative Decree No. 1071 (the “Arbitration Law”), in force since 2008, to provide protections to any arbitration in which the Peruvian Government is involved.  The Decree’s changes are, in fact, protectionist…

For the 35th Annual Joint Symposium of Arbitrators, the ICC Institute of World Business Law and the School of International Arbitration proposed a debate on the participation of “States and State Entities in International Arbitration”. This year, Herbert Smith Freehills hosted the event in London.   First Panel: State Involvement in International Business and Trade…

Although some might have considered 2019 a bit “lackluster”, a number of noteworthy decisions by the Paris Court of Appeal and French Supreme Court have come to refine on the now well-established French case law on international arbitration. Beyond the issue of claims brought by dual nationals discussed elsewhere on this blog, French courts have…

On 15 and 16 November 2019, the Centre for International Investment and Commercial Arbitration (CIICA), organised a conference in Islamabad, Pakistan celebrating the inauguration of its Young Arbitration Group (YAG). The conference, titled “International Arbitration in Pakistan: Opportunities for the Next Generation” was, in many respects, a first-of-its-kind in Pakistan. CIICA, based in Lahore, is…

A recent case has shocked the international arbitration community: pre-trial detention was issued against three renowned arbitrators. Their crime? Determining their fees based on the amount of the dispute and having meetings with both parties to discuss the applicable rules and who will act as the Chairperson. In other words, behave as any other arbitrator…

The Latin Lawyer – GAR Live 3rd Annual Arbitration Summit took place on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (the “Summit”). Practitioners from the United States and Latin America gathered for a third consecutive year in Miami to discuss the importance of dispute boards in constructions contracts, the issue of social licenses, the challenges facing the energy…

Corruption in the context of international arbitration is at the forefront of current discussion and analysis. At the same time, innovative efforts to obtain evidence in the U.S. through 28 USC § 1782 to support or counter a wide variety of international (i.e. non-U.S.) cases continue to evolve (including its recent extraterritorial application discussed more…

The conference “What to Do About Corruption Allegations? Debating the Options for Investment Law”, was presented by the ILA American Branch Investment Law Committee and the Georgetown International Arbitration Society, and hosted at Dechert LLP’s Washington D.C. office on 19 February 2019. The conference was dedicated to an in-depth exploration of the proof required for…

In November 2018, the former director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) in Kuala Lumpur resigned from his role after being arrested on suspicions that he paid past and present ministers bribes to renew his role at the AIAC. His lawyer argued before Malaysian courts that, by virtue of his role at AIAC, he is…

In recent years, a number of arbitral tribunals adjudicating treaty-based investment disputes have been confronted with the question of what to do when the state party to such a dispute alleges that the investors acquired the investment through corrupt means. In some instances, tribunals have applied the defense as a jurisdictional bar, preventing the investors…

In a decision from June 6, 2018, the Third Chamber of the Paraguayan Court of Appeal (the “Court”) decided an annulment application, recognizing that issues of illegality and corruption are arbitrable, as long as such decision does not imply the imposition of sanctions, something that is left to the local criminal courts Although the issue…

For AfricArb It is twelve years since an ICSID tribunal dismissed World Duty Free’s claim against the Republic of Kenya for breach of a lease agreement signed in 1989. As is well known, the claimant obtained the contract with a $2 million bribe to former President Moi, and the tribunal held, inter alia, that it…

On 26 April 2018, the Singapore High Court (“Court”), in China Machine New Energy Corp v Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC and another [2018] – SGHC 101, has upheld an ICC award of a truly international nature. The case raised intriguing procedural questions in international arbitration: The impact of an “attorney-eyes-only order” (“AEO Order”), handling allegations…

That investor state tribunals may deal with allegations of corruption in ISDS disputes is well acknowledged. The seminal World Duty Free decision involved the payment (in a briefcase) of USD$2 million dollars cash to (the then) President of Kenya to secure a concession contract. The subsequent decision became (although it was by no means the…

The Twenty-eighth ITF Public Conference on Economic Crime and International Investment Law, hosted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) on 22 May 2017, attracted 13 distinguished speakers and more than 100 participants for a day discussion on the issues of economic crime in investor-state arbitration. The conference provided a forum for…

ICSID tribunals have refused to hear the merits of investment treaty claims if a corrupt act was involved in contract formation, even where that corruption involved state actors. Consequently, the arbitral system—which was designed to ensure the neutral and apolitical resolution of investment disputes, inadvertently incentivizes states to “promote a corruption scheme in order to…

  Arbitral tribunals are increasingly faced with allegations of corruption. In these situations, arbitral proceedings and criminal investigations frequently go in tandem. Their findings overlap and may influence one another. Regardless of the many instances where corruption is alleged, there have been only a few investment cases in which a finding of corruption was actually…

With the rise of populist politics in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Brexit referendum, it is not surprising that trade in general, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in particular, have become lightning rods for controversy. The proposed treaty’s provisions on trade, investment, and intellectual property have drawn passionate criticism from both old and new…

The Second Circuit’s decision on Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger et. al., one more chapter of the “Chevron Saga” (discussed by the author here), arose out of a federal action commenced by Chevron Corporation in 2011 against American lawyer Steven Donziger, his law firm and the plaintiffs in the Lago Agrio claim initiated against Chevron…