The problem of arbitral discretion has major implications on the rights of the parties. It is a concept foundational to international arbitration. Yet, it has proven to be so elusive as to escape any definition or treatment in literature. Why is this topic important? In order to answer this question, let us take pre-award interest…

So you placed your bets on Argentina’s recovery after the 2001 crisis? It is not too late to give it another thought. While Argentina’s economy grew by approximately 9 percent in 2011, it fell dramatically in 2012 to around 3 percent. The (unofficial) inflation rate is set to 25% and the dollar reached a staggering…

As described in Part 1 of this post, the mounting debate about investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) has crescendoed in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. There are at least two “schools” of concern with ISDR, both of them voiced inside and outside the TPP context. Threats to Public Interest Policy For a growing array of…

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have become the territory where a brewing perfect storm over investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) is making landfall. The June 2012 leak of the draft TPP Investment Chapter text added energy, but much more is fueling this tempest. In general the ISDR system is coming under increased scrutiny. Public and policymaker concerns…

by Inna Uchkunova and Oleg Temnikov Foreword “The whole exercise was great fun and for me, I was then 26 years old, a great eye-opener – I learned a lot.” – Sir Elihu Lauterpacht on his advice given to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. in 1954, on which occasion it emerged the idea that “any contract…

By Tai-Heng Cheng* & Lucas Bento** Introduction On October 5th, 2012, a split ICSID tribunal determined that the Republic of Ecuador had breached the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”), and awarded damages of US$1.77 billion (US$2.3 billion with interest applied), reportedly the largest award ever to have been issued by an ICSID tribunal. This award…

There are many clients who are often engaged in industrious works that result in disputes. Typically, the applicable arbitral agreements requirement submitting claims to international arbitration and, in this author’s opinion, appropriately so. However, these same clients may also be subject to frequent claim assertions that lack any true merit. Despite this, there is not…

Whereas cases of direct expropriation have become relatively rare in international investment arbitration and claims of breach of fair and equitable treatment obligation or indirect expropriation are currently more common, the profile of respondents in ICSID arbitration proceedings has also changed. However, if both investors and host governments are likely to agree that States may…

The problem of the law applicable to State contracts (i.e. contracts concluded between a foreign national and a State or a state entity) as well as the responsibility of States for the breach of these contracts has entertained the minds of scholars and practitioners ever since the famous PCIJ dictum in the 1929 Serbian Loans…

“Research is formalized curiosity…” – Z. Hurston In what follows I have tried to gather information from publicly available sources regarding some of the questions which have troubled my mind lately. It is hoped that the results would be of interest to the readers. For me, this proved to be one of my most exciting…

Monday’s New York conference on “Arbitration with States and State Entities under the ICC Rules” got me thinking about the possibility of amicus submissions in investment cases before the ICC or other institutions beyond ICSID. A few musings: Are amicus debates likely to arise in the ICC context? The answer is yes. Although most ICC…

Our interest on this topic has been provoked by a reading of the Repsol v. Petroecuador Stay Orders (See ICSID Case No. ARB/01/10, Procedural Order No. 1 (Unofficial translation), 22 December 2005; Procedural Order No. 4 Termination of Stay (Unofficial translation), 22 February 2006) in the context of a research on conditional stay of enforcement…

In a recent blog post, Gary Born highlighted the current role of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in administering state-to-state arbitrations. Given that the PCA has recently released its Annual Report for 2011, I thought I’d complement Gary’s post with some further information about the PCA’s role in administering investor-to-state arbitrations. It’s useful to set…

By Martin Hunter and Javier García Olmedo In a previous blog we discussed the concept of plain packaging of tobacco products and the pending investment arbitration claims brought by Philip Morris International (PMI) against Uruguay and Australia. The question raised was whether these anti-tobacco schemes contravene the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights…

On 18 April 2012, South Sudan signed and ratified the 1965 Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ‘ICSID Convention’). In accordance with Article 68(2) thereof, the Convention entered into force for Sudan thirty days later, i.e. on 18 May 2012. The membership of Africa’s newest republic…

The Rules, Practice, and Jurisprudence of International Courts and Tribunals (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012) has just shipped. I am the (proud) editor and a contributor of the book and am delighted to have the opportunity to bring it to the attention of this group. I think it will be of special interest to arbitration practitioners….

It’s been nearly two months since public hearings concluded in an ICSID arbitration brought by a U.S. investor, Railroad Development Corporation, against the Republic of Guatemala. And it’s been about 8 months since public hearings wrapped up in another ICSID arbitration between Pacific Rim and the Republic of El Salvador. Both proceedings were webcast online,…

In February 2010, Philip Morris International (PMI) filed a request for arbitration under the ICSID Convention against the Republic of Uruguay. 1)Philip Morris Brand Sàrl (Switzerland), Philip Morris Products S.A. (Switzerland) and Abal Hermanos S.A. (Uruguay) v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay (ICSID Case No. ARB/10/7). Pending (the Respondent filed a memorial on jurisdiction on September…

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….

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…

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…

As we approach the first anniversary of the UK Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the case of Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan, it is only fitting that we would encounter a case which would cause us to revisit the issue of the proper standard of…

In August 2011, the tribunal in Abaclat and others v Argentina decided (by a majority) that it had jurisdiction over claims brought by approximately 60,000 Italian investors, and that the claims were admissible.1)Argentina has in the meantime requested the disqualification of the two arbitrators responsible for the decision and the proceedings are currently suspended. The…