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…

In the past twenty years the world of investment arbitration has taken the commercial world by storm. There are over 2,750 bilateral investment treaties and almost every one of them has an arbitration provision. Investment arbitration is now a prominent feature of the arbitration landscape. Just as BITs have proliferated in recent years, so too…

Last week I had the privilege to attend an investment arbitration conference and FDI moot court competition at Pepperdine. Kudos to Murdoch University of Australia for winning the competition and my alma mater NYU for winning the highest overall ranking. There was much to ponder in the conference from the likes of Andrea Bjorkland, Todd…

The growing success of investment arbitration may collide with the European Commission’s attitude towards intra-EU BITs, as shown recently by a development reported in August 2010 (the IA Reporter, August 5, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 12) regarding the Eureko v. Slovakia arbitration. In this case, Eureko initiated a claim against the Slovak Republic based on…

In a recent post, Lisa Bench Nieuwveld raised an issue which has been discussed from time to time on this blog: the potential for not-for-profit activities to be protected under international investment treaties. There is no doubt that not-for-profit organizations face a barrage of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of host countries, and that…

Following the controversial land reform programme first introduced by President Robert Mugabe in July 2000, Zimbabwe has found itself in hot water of late, with a number of international disputes being brought by dispossessed farmers against the State. The first of these disputes was mounted at ICSID in 2005 by a group of 13 Dutch…

The 14 July 2010 Award in Saba Fakes v. Turkey (Fakes) is notable because it expressly disapproves of the approach taken by the Tribunal in Phoenix Action v. Czech Republic, which found in its 15 April 2009 Award that good faith and legality are jurisdictional requirements for access to ICSID arbitration. Fakes is a welcome addition to…

Earlier today, an ad-hoc annulment committee at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) completely annulled a 2007 arbitral award that had been rendered in favour of US energy company, Sempra Energy International. The striking development serves to nullify a US $128 Million (plus interest) award wherein a panel of ICSID arbitrators had…

27 June 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of investment treaty jurisprudence.  On 27 June 1990, the tribunal in Asian Agricultural Products Ltd. v. Sri Lanka (ICSID Case No. ARB/87/3) (AAPL) dispatched its final award to the parties.  The AAPL tribunal (Dr. Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri (President), Professor Berthold Goldman and Dr. Samuel Asante) was the first…

By the end of the second round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in San Francisco June 14-18 some observers were concerned that the lack of inter-agency consensus on the protection of foreign investment risks slowing the negotiation of investment issues in the TPP context. If there is no internal U.S. agreement by the…