By a Final Award dated 27 October 2015 (see ICSID Case No. ARB/11/33 – Adel A Hamadi Al Tamimi v. Sultanate of Oman), an international tribunal constituted under the International Convention for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), also commonly referred to as the Washington Convention, dismissed all claims brought by a US national against the…

by Juan Carlos Herrera Q. Puente & Asociados In the middle of a short holiday, the Ecuadorian Government anxiously expected the Decision on Annulment issued by the Ad-hoc Committee regarding the investment arbitration initiated by Oxy. On November 2nd, 2015, the ICSID published on its web site the Decision and this event provoked a major…

The issue of transparency is hardly a new topic in legal scholarship addressing international arbitration. Last year, in an important contribution to this blog, Loukas A. Mistelis broke with the conventional wisdom that investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, is in need of court-like transparency, arguing that extending court-like transparency to arbitration “would not benefit the…

While everyone has been watching with fascination the ups and downs of the Greek crisis, colleagues have been busy in the background trying to unravel some core components of the Greek Bailouts. The PSI deal, which is largely responsible for passing the burden of any potential Greek default from private hands onto public coffers, has…

For natural persons, possession of the nationality of the host state is an absolute bar to becoming a party to ICSID proceedings against that state. Article 25 of the ICSID Convention delimits the scope of arbitral jurisdiction to investment disputes between a ‘Contracting State’ and a ‘national of another Contracting State’, defined as ‘any natural…

Treaty shopping, also called corporate (re-)structuring, is most often associated with legal persons, in particular mailbox companies. Much discussed in this respect is the practice of “round-tripping” where the investor-claimant is foreign-incorporated, but majority-controlled by natural or legal persons of host State nationality (see e.g. Tokios Tokeles v Ukraine, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/18, Decision on…

The Dissenting Opinion of Georges Abi-Saab to the Decision on Jurisdiction and Merits of September 3, 2013 in the case ConocoPhillips, Petrozuata B.V., ConocoPhillips Hamaca B.V. and ConocoPhillips Gulf of Paria B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/30 (hereinafter the “Dissenting Opinion”), raises the issue of whether there is a duty to…

In Mobil Cerro Negro, Ltd., et al v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a New York federal district court rejected Venezuela’s sovereign immunity challenge and upheld use of an ex parte procedure available under New York law to convert an ICSID award into a U.S. court judgment. The decision highlights the delocalized nature of ICSID awards…

 ‘By putting its head in the sand, the ostrich can see no problems, and if it can’t see any problems, they don’t exist”[1] To what extent can legal systems differ? Can these differences be legitimate enough to collapse a “conflictive” legal system? These two ambitious questions are difficult to be answered in one go, and…

Mass claims proceedings have become increasingly important in the current dispute resolution scenario prevailing in the world. In international law, the role mass claims proceedings play is beyond dispute. Tribunals such as the Iran-US Claims Tribunal & United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) have certainly highlighted the importance which has been played by mass claims tribunals….

Both UNCTAD and ICSID have recently released documents designed to provide snapshots of key developments and trends in investor-State arbitration. Both documents draw upon a statistical analysis of case filings and outcomes to generate overviews of the lay of the land in this area of law. The documents highlight a number of important trends, and…

A recent seminar delivered under the Chatham House Rule considered the usefulness of an analogy between Investment Treaty Arbitration (ITA) and domestic public law, with a view to critiquing perceived imbalances in the former. The content of the seminar was grounded in the speaker’s background in ITA and public law litigation including domestic judicial review…

and Oleg Temnikov Purpose of security for costs Security for costs falls into the category of provisional measures and is regulated by Article 47 of the ICSID Convention and Arbitration Rule 39. Its purpose is, inter alia to preserve the effectiveness of the award and the integrity of the proceeding by protecting the requesting party’s…

The current state of affairs of arbitration within Latin America looks challenging. Many countries are having upcoming ICSID awards which could amount to tens of billions of dollars against them. Most international bonds have a final judgment event of default (EoD), which could lead to a default bond scenario on the sovereign debt of such…

One of the fundamental issues of investment cases – apparently more frivolous than the strictly legal battles – takes the form of debates over the applicable compensation standard. Historically speaking, the problem was mainly put forth for breaches of Bilateral Investment Treaties that referred to expropriatory behaviors of signatory states. Therefore, if this specific type…

The controversial role of non-disputing parties has been the object of a significant amount of literature. While third party funding was a hot topic hitherto, the so-called amicus curia, and its evolving role, might be back in the spotlight. Since the first ICSID amicus case -the Bechtel case- until today, the rights, interests at stake…

It is well settled that there is no rule of precedent in investment arbitration and arbitrators are not bound by decisions rendered by previous tribunals. Nevertheless, investment arbitration practice shows that previous decisions are often observed and followed. Disputing parties and arbitrators devote significant attention to previous decisions and on several occasions arbitral tribunals rely…

The case of Perenco Ecuador Limited v Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/6 (Decision, 12 September 2014), is one of a number of investor-state disputes to arise from the Ecuadoran government’s policies on the so-called “extraordinary income” of oil companies operating in its territory in the mid to late 2000s. Keen followers of international…

On November 17, 2014, the tribunal in Alemanni v. Argentine Republic issued its long-anticipated decision on jurisdiction and admissibility. Alemanni is the third in a series of large-scale arbitrations arising out of Argentina’s default on its sovereign debt, and the most recent decision bears some resemblance to the preliminary awards rendered in the other two…

and Oleg Temnikov 1. Approaches to cost allocation There are, generally, two approaches to costs allocation (“CA”), namely: (1) pay your own way (“PYOWA”) whereby the parties share the costs of the proceedings and bear their own legal costs; (2) loser pays or also called “costs follow the event” approach (“CFTEA”) under which the losing…

In an Award on Jurisdiction rendered earlier this year under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the “ICSID Convention”) in ICSID Case No. ARB/11/7 – National Gas S.A.E. v. Arab Republic of Egypt (a copy of which is electronically available on the official Investment Treaty Arbitration…

Paraphrasing Churchill, investment arbitration is the worst form of foreign investment dispute resolution, except for all the others. Post-Suez, governments are more civilised than to employ gunboat diplomacy for their own investors, and local courts are inherently partial. Achieving neutrality is the objective, and the only means: investment arbitration. This is the conventional wisdom for…

One of the recurrent controversial issues in the investment arbitration practice relates to the application of the general rule of treaty interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in the interpretation of the provisions of the ICSID Convention and of investment treaties in general. Thomas Wälde in one of his last writings…

Let’s get this straight: When awarded to persons, including foreign investors, moral damages are compensatory in nature. They are not discretionary. They are not symbolic. They are not exemplary. They are not punitive. Rather, as the commentary to the ILC Draft Articles 36 and 37 on State Responsibility notes, “[c]ompensable personal injury encompasses not only…