It has become fashionable in recent years, each time an ICSID annulment decision is released that takes issue with the procedures or reasoning of an ICSID tribunal, for commentators to bemoan the lack of certainty, predictability and finality that this reflects in the ICSID system for adjudicating investment treaty disputes between investors and host States….

The recent decision in Spyridon Roussalis v. Romania (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/1) is prompting renewed debate over whether ICSID arbitration, now the leading mechanism for investors to pursue treaty-based claims against host States, may also be used by those States to assert related counterclaims against the investors, allowing all such claims to be settled in…

Iura novit curia (usually translated as “the court knows the law”) refers to the power and/or obligation of a court to conduct its own legal analysis outside the parties’ pleadings. While there are very few decisions on iura novit curia in the investment treaty arbitration context, a small number of investment treaty arbitral tribunals and…

With the release of the Dissenting Opinion in Abaclat v. Agentina, we now have the benefit of a forceful critique of the majority’s decision that the Abaclat Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina under the ICSID Convention and the Argentina-Italy BIT.  Professor Georges Abi-Saab’s Dissenting Opinion (the…

and Sandrine Giroud, Lalive In a decision issued on 23 November 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court gave some welcome guidance on the rules of immunity applicable to the enforcement of ICSID awards in Switzerland (Decision 5A_681/2011 dated 23 November 2011 – The published decision is redacted but mentions the date of the ICSID award…

Over the past few months, Russia’s outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been busy campaigning for foreign investment into various industries of the Russian economy. In a nutshell, the thinking behind the new plan for improving the investment climate in Russia is that easing access to strategic industries for foreign investors will do the trick….

At the time the General Assembly of the United Nations was deciding to include in the agenda of its fifty-sixth 1)Resolution A/RES/56/83 – 12 Dec. 2001 GA/9998 session the text of the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (The Draft) adopted by the International Law Commission (ILC), the Argentine Republic was…

Challenges are opportunities in disguise. Despite the global economic slowdown which has significantly affected developed economies, Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, has apparently shown good signs of economic expansion. According to the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook of September 2011, the region’s economy is expected to expand by up to 5¾ per cent in 2012…

In its 4 August 2011 Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, the majority of the Tribunal in Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina arising out of Argentina’s default on various sovereign…

My previous post described years of apparently intractable debate between two opposing camps of international lawyers about what kinds of economic activity should get international investment protections. This post will explain how that dispute was settled for the purpose of ICSID jurisdiction, and with what legal result. As the dispute ground on throughout the final…

My last post described the ongoing controversy about the proper scope of “investment” under Article 25 of the ICSID Convention. The next two posts will draw on my recent article to argue that this controversy should be resolved consistently with the historical understanding of the term. Far from incorporating the limitations exemplified by the Salini…

Article 25 of the ICSID Convention famously limits ICSID jurisdiction to “legal dispute[s] arising directly out of or in relation to an investment.” Uncertainty about the outer limits of this provision erupted into controversy about a decade ago, when Salini Costruttori v. Morocco kicked off a series of cases that imposed sharp limits on the…

Luke Peterson passed along a tip about this interesting declaration attached to the U.S.-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty: Articles 3 through 10 and other provisions that qualify or create exceptions to these Articles are self-executing. With the exception of these Articles, the Treaty is not self-executing. None of the provisions in this Treaty confers a private…

In the summer of 2009, an ICSID tribunal ruled that various orders of the Bangladeshi courts that cumulatively denied Saipem (an Italian company) the benefits of an ICC award made in its favour constituted an unlawful expropriation of its investment. It held that the investor was entitled to compensation based upon the value of the…

The scope of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clauses in bilateral investment treaties (BITs) has been a source of rich debate for many years. In sum, the debate centres around whether MFN “treatment” includes only substantive rules for the protection of investments, or if it also extends to procedural protections such as dispute resolution. There have…

The four most recent ICSID disqualification decisions (Universal Compression v. Venezuela, OPIC Karimum v. Venezuela, Tidewater v. Venezuela and Urbaser v. Argentina) have unanimously rejected applications to disqualify arbitrators on ICSID tribunals.  This post addresses an issue raised in three of the most recent decisions—disqualification based on repeat appointments by the same party or counsel—and…

In the recent investment treaty case Alps Finance Trade AG v Slovak Republic, an UNCITRAL tribunal had to consider whether Alps had satisfied the obligation contained in Article 9 of the Switzerland-Slovakia BIT which requires that “consultations will take place” and that they “do not result in a solution within six months” before the matter…

As has been chronicled in previous postings, the 2008 decision of an ICSID arbitral tribunal to award $1 Million (US) in “moral damages” to an injured company has been eyed covetously by other investor-claimants in investment treaty disputes. Such sums may be “small change” compared to the more conventional forms of economic compensation claimed for…

The OECD-hosted Freedom of Investment (FOI) Roundtable is in the process of finalizing a statement regarding the role of international investment in supporting the realization of countries’ green growth objectives.  The draft statement entitled “Harnessing Freedom of Investment for Green Growth” (Draft Statement) and three draft background consultation papers (Draft Papers) are available on the…

On December 1, 2010, an ICSID tribunal composed of Sir Franklin Berman (President), Prof. Emmanuel Gaillard, and J. Christopher Thomas, QC, in Global Trading Resource Corp. and Globex International, Inc. v. Ukraine [Disclosure: White & Case LLP was counsel to Ukraine in this case], became the first tribunal ever to dismiss a case under the…

Two ICSID tribunals have now weighed in on the much-debated question of whether Art. 22 of Venezuela’s Foreign Investment Law provides Venezuela’s consent to ICSID arbitration. In Decisions on Jurisdiction dated June and December 2010, the Mobil and Cemex tribunals (both presided by the former president of the ICJ, Judge Gilbert Guillaume), rejected investors’ submissions…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

In July this year, the European Commission published its communication “Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy” (COM(2010) 343 final) and a draft Regulation “establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries” (2010/0197 (COD)). This initiative is based on the still controversial change brought about by the Lisbon Treaty, by…