If you’ve been watching the headlines this month, you may have noticed that the United States of America has launched a novel arbitration against the Republic of Guatemala. The claim alleges that Guatemala is failing to enforce its own labour laws, thus falling afoul of international legal obligations written into the U.S. Free Trade Agreement…

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…

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not foreign to defending investment claims. In order to restore investors’ confidence in its country, the Pakistani government has enacted on April 28, 2011 a law to secure foreign investment. The International Investment Disputes Act (the “Act”) has been qualified by the Pakistani president, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, as…

This blog post ventures preliminary views on current critiques about ICSID annulments, and sketches out a few ideas that may merit further exploration. Some recent annulment decisions questioned ICSID awards but did not annul them because the high standard for annulment was not met. There are states and investors who now worry that should they…

Today an Ecuador court fined Chevron $8.6 billion for environmental damage. According to the Wall Street Journal, $5.4 billion of that is to restore polluted soil, $1.4 billion to create a health system for the community, $800 million to treat individuals injured by the pollution, $600 million to restore polluted waters, $200 million to restore…

Three different investors, with three different claims, in three different situations, have recently been in the news. All three disputes have a Canadian connection. Two involved claims by foreign investors against Canada, one that settled and one that Canada defeated. The third involves a claim by a Canadian investor against the Democratic Republic of Congo….

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…

A significant majority of countries in the world have demonstrated that they see benefits in being a member of ICSID by ratifying the ICSID Convention (Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States). 144 states have ratified the treaty, and an additional 11 – including Canada – have signed…

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…