COVID-19 has already destroyed many businesses, and insolvencies will only increase as governments withdraw temporary protections. Recent decisions highlight the potential for external administrators of these insolvent companies to use investment treaty arbitration to recover assets, even from the state that appointed the administrators. Generally, external administrators are appointed by directors, creditors or courts to…

Since Achmea there has been much debate on whether its reasoning invalidates ECT intra-EU investor state clauses as a matter of EU and international law. The recent AG’s Opinion in Cases C‑798/18 and C‑799/18 does not provide an answer to this question as a matter of EU law. A review of CJEU case law in…

On 3 December 2020, Belgium announced the submission of a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for an opinion on whether the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) are compatible with the EU Treaties. Belgium indicated that the purpose of its request…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has recently become a household name, moving from the oblivion of the 1990s, when the treaty was drafted, to one of the most hotly debated topics in legal (and other) circles nowadays. Some have demonized it as an instrument for the corporate usurpation of democratic functions, such as the host…

The signatories of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) have begun the process of the Treaty’s modernisation. This is by no means a small task given the complexity of the Treaty’s scope which covers energy trading, efficiency, transit, investment protection and dispute resolution. Additionally, in order to amend it, all the signatories need to be on…

The investment protection mechanism in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is meant to, among other things, promote, attract, and protect foreign investments in the member states’ energy sectors. In 2018, the Energy Charter Conference announced its list of approved topics for the modernization of the ECT. The list included several substantive investment protection provisions. This…

Denial of benefits clauses (DoB) have gained considerable traction in the past prolific years of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), and more specifically, with the growing number of Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitrations. UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Hub still lists a considerably small number of international investment agreements (IIAs) providing for DoB: little above 200 which would…

Modernisation of any multilateral treaty is a category of tasks on its own. There are several prerequisites which shall be in place, apart from obsolete language and provisions. The most crucial element is a steady political will of a critical mass of countries based on the strong motivation, which will break inertia and create new…

After the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) rendered the Achmea decision, heated discussions on its impact ensued. Particularly, the concern raised on whether the ICSID proceeding provided for in intra-EU BITs and intra-EU disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) would be valid. Several arbitral tribunals and national courts have dealt with…

The Paris Court of Appeal has recently sought a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the interpretation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in the ongoing Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case.   A 20-Year-Old Tale The Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case highlights the contradicting approaches to…

Introduction On the 18th of February, the Court of Appeal in The Hague reversed the lower court’s decision annulling the awards rendered against the Russian Federation in Veteran Petroleum Ltd., Yukos Universal Ltd. and Hulley Enterprises Ltd. cases. The awards are thus revived. Notwithstanding the global notoriety and public controversy, the identity of the protagonists,…

The recently leaked treaty for the termination of intra-EU BITs can be seen as the culmination of an ongoing effort by the European Commission to discourage investment arbitration between Member States, reflecting, in the eyes of many, a tension between public international law and EU law. In spite of this, and even after the Court…

Alejandro, thank you for joining us on the Kluwer Arbitration Blog! We are delighted to have the opportunity to interview you at a time when the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and its modernisation are on the spotlight. Alejandro is the current General Counsel and Head of the Conflict Resolution Centre at the ECT Secretariat, which…

The Cold War era brought to life, in a strange way, a number of all-encompassing treaties dealing with major subjects such as international treaty-making, diplomatic relations, law of seas, etc. Even among the topics covered by these treaties were enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and investment disputes. However, it seems like the world has already…

The tendency of arbitral tribunals constituted under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) to reject intra-EU jurisdictional objections, despite contrary views expressed by most EU member states, was recently continued in the case of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and others v. Kingdom of Spain (ICSID Case No. ARB/15/45). The decision made by an ICSID tribunal over a…

The regular readers of the Kluwer Arbitration Blog will recall my blog at the beginning of this year in which I predicted that 2019 would be the ‘Year of the big Harvest’ for the European Commission regarding its efforts to permanently change the landscape of international investment law and arbitration. This posts will review the…

The Lisbon Treaty granted to the EU the competences on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The exercise of those competences on FDI has not been smooth in the area of Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), in particular, regarding the application of ISDS between a Member State and the investor of another Member State either whether those ISDS…

The Italian Republic – for better or for worse – is cracking down on hydrocarbon explorations and extractions. Kicking off with the regulatory changes recently brought about by the Italian Government, this post gauges their possible consequences for the stakeholders by going through a pending arbitration which may be ripe enough to become a benchmark…

At the risk of mixing metaphors, if Achmea (Slovak Republic v Achmea Case C-284/16) killed intra-EU investor-state arbitration, and the European Commission’s Communication COM(2018)547/2 of 19 July 2018 knocked the head off its zombie corpse, then the Declaration of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 15 January 2019 on the legal…

Perhaps the one thing that is certain about the UK’s departure from the European Union is that it is uncertain. It is not certain that the UK and the EU will strike a deal on their future trading relationship after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019; it is not known whether the…

The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) judgment in Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Achmea) on arbitration under intra-EU BITs has been broadly discussed (on this blog, see e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Nine months after the Court’s ruling, some tribunals have had the opportunity to react. Food for…

It is widely acknowledged that the departure of the UK from the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit, gives rise to multiple legal problems, some of which are bound to lead to actions. While there is a widespread coverage of public law related litigation, there is less knowledge of potential private actions, including those taking…

The initially alluring and subsequently vehemently amended incentives for investments in renewable energy projects across Europe have given rise to a significant number of arbitration claims brought on basis of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and various BITs. Currently there are tens of pending investment treaty arbitrations with respect to renewable energy projects in Spain,…

There has been much comment about recent awards in Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) arbitrations concerning investors’ claims against Spain and other EU states regarding renewable energy projects . The fortunes of investors and states have waxed and waned over the last few years, but overall it seemed that investors faced a considerable hurdle. In recent…