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 Middle East is undergoing a period of extreme political, economic and social unrest. In modern Iraq, the chaos wrought by Da’esh is causing major difficulties for the government and for ordinary businesses and individuals. However, in the midst of this turmoil, on 18 November 2015, Iraq finally made good its promise by ratifying the…

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…

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….

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…

The Inaugural Conference of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) took place on Friday, 23 January 2015, in the Senate House of the Queen Mary University of London. 160 participants ranging from academics, arbitrators, arbitration institutions, companies, lawyers to NGOs reviewed a full day long the EU’s first 5 years of European…

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…

and Laura Lozano, González-Bueno & Asociados It is known that third party funding has become one of the hot topics in the international arbitration arena. Indeed, it is not the first time this blog deals with the matter. Amongst others, Munir Maniruzzaman and Lisa Bench Nieuwveld have already explored this tool that provides the necessary…

Transparency is one of the hot topics in international law. With governance functions increasingly shifting from the domestic to the international level, transparency is demanded, as Andrea Bianchi and Anne Peters show in their new seminal study, in order to compensate for the lack of a full-fledged international system of checks and balances. Transparency promises…

and Oleg Temnikov Foreword Designation by a State of a constituent subdivision or agency provided for in Article 25, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the ICSID Convention has recently sparked a debate particularly in terms of the manner in which the designation is made and communicated to the Center. This is the subject of the…

The very nature of an arbitrator requires that she or he be imbued with the principles of independence and impartiality, qualities that should never be doubted. Nonetheless, there has recently been an increased number of challenges to arbitrators in Investment Arbitrations subject to the procedures of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the…

Investment arbitration is a crucial and sensitive dispute-resolution method, notably because the treatment given to foreign investment matters may materially affect the economic and social realities of a country or region, particularly those in development. In the last decade, however, as already reported and addressed in this blog by, among many others, Vanessa Giraud and…

The ICSID Convention threshold for arbitrators’ challenges, upholding challenges only if arbitrators exhibit a manifest lack of the qualities required to sit as arbitrators (Art. 57 ICSID Convention), has in the past been criticized as being too strict. Recently, however, few decisions, discussed in this post, seem to show that the ICSID “manifest” threshold is…

and Oleg Temnikov Foreword The recent decision on preliminary objections, dated 17 January 2014, against the application for annulment in Elsamex S.A. v. Honduras (ARB/09/4) brought renewed interest in the procedure for summary dismissal of unmeritorious claims under Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration Rules. The present post examines shortly this procedure as well as…