The CERSA (CNRS-University Paris II Pantheon-Assas) organises a series of seminars on select topics in international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The purpose of these seminars is to discuss and debate such topics bringing together academics, practitioners and policymakers in a small international group in Paris. The conference about Topical issues in ISDS: Latin…

Introduction The assessment of human rights within an investment arbitration framework, typical for the investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) mechanism, is one of the topics which has gained significant momentum in the past years, and has led even to the establishment of a Working Group on International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights. Arbitral tribunals often…

In the world of International Arbitration (“IA”), one distinguishes between commercial arbitration and investment arbitration, the latter widely referred to as Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS, as a dispute resolution mechanism based on bilateral treaties, multilateral treaties, and free trade agreements. IA is lauded as the best method for dispute resolution in international trade. This…

Investor-state tribunals frequently face allegations of economic crimes, especially in jurisdictions with a weak rule of law. For instance, the largest ever investor–State award of $50 billion in Yukos v Russian Federation, primarily concerned a criminal investigation of alleged tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement by what was then the largest Russian oil company. The tribunal…

ISDS tribunals have an unfortunately accurate reputation for being “male, pale, and stale”. A welcome backlash to this state of affairs has arisen, but the discourse has focused almost entirely on one aspect of diversity: gender. For example, the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge has garnered over 2900 signatories, who have committed to appointing more…

On 26 May 2018, the Ninth Investment Arbitration Forum took place at the Juridicum of the University of Vienna jointly organized by Prof. Irmgard Marboe of the University of Vienna, Adriana San Román and Herfried Wöss of Wöss & Partners and ICC Austria. The topic of this year’s forum was “Valuation of Damages in Changing…

Introduction Pursuant to Article 47 of the ICSID Convention, an ICSID Tribunal may “recommend any provisional measures which should be taken to preserve the rights of either party”. The use of “recommend” is concerning. Its lack of imperative character triggers a debate on whether ICSID provisional measures have legally binding effect, i.e. require mandatory state…

Without the rights and protections of a treaty, a foreign investor who suffers a wrongful act at the hands of a host State traditionally has no legal standing to pursue an international claim against that State.1) Case Concerning the Barcelona Traction, Light & Power Company Limited (Belgium v Spain) (Second Phase) [1970] ICJ Rep 3,…

In the midst of challenges to the very legitimacy of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) celebrated its 50th anniversary and embarked on the fourth ICSID Rules amendment process in ICSID history. The previous amendment processes brought notable additions to the ICSID Rules, such as enhanced transparency in…

The 4th Iraq Energy Forum (IEF), coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Iraq Energy Institute, took place this year on 28-29 March at the Rasheed Royal Tulip Hotel. Politically and economically, the context of this IEF was important. The context was that the global reconstruction package in Kuwait had been agreed with the IMF and…

Critics of the current investor-state arbitration regime may yet have their best days ahead of them. In the midst of tarnished FTA negotiations and in times of political uncertainty, they have captured a global audience. Their message is disconcerting: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a system designed by and for multinational corporations. It allows faceless…

This Post analyzes the recent award in Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes, C.A. & Owens-Illinois de Venezuela, C.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (“Favianca”). This is the first award to rely on Article 72 of the ICSID Convention to decline jurisdiction over a claim filed after Venezuela had noticed it would denounce the ICSID Convention…

2017 has witnessed a boom in the number of international arbitrations in the energy sector. This is no surprise. Indeed, at the end of 2016, ICSID’s caseload-statistics reported that 42% of cases administered by ICSID arose from the energy sector, which was more than any other sector. As anticipated, this rise has continued throughout 2017….

A court of a Contracting State shall recognize an ICSID award as binding and enforce pecuniary obligations per that award within its territory as if it were a final judgment of the court in that State. The enforcement creditor is not required to obtain a declaration of enforceability (viz. the exequatur). At the same time,…

On 30 October 2017, the ICC Court announced yet another measure to tackle the twin problems of time and costs in arbitration, through the immediate disposition of manifestly unmeritorious claims commonly known as summary determination. The ICC Court implemented this measure in the form of an update to its Practice Note to Parties and Arbitral…

On 15 September 2017, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) designated new members to the Panel of Arbitrators and the Panel of Conciliators. This is momentous. For the first time, the lists contain an equal number of female and male members, and a geographical diversity…

Recently, it was reported that after 14 years since Zimbabwe had illegally evicted Dutch farmers from their farms, it finally agreed to pay the damages awarded under the ICSID award, which dates back in 2009. In the Funnekotter et al case, the arbitral tribunal rejected Zimbabwe’s necessity defence, which was based on the claimed need…

Since the first application for provisional measures suspending criminal proceedings in Tokios Tokelés v. Ukraine (ICSID Case No. ARB/02/18, Order No. 3, 18 January 2005), the number of applications before ICSID tribunals for these types of measures has steadily increased. Recent applications have been widely commented on in the arbitration community, including in this blog….

The 29th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (“ITA”), which took place on 14-15 June 2017 in Dallas, focused on a timely subject of much importance to the future of international arbitration, namely, the “Challenges to the Legitimacy of International Arbitration.” The event was co-chaired by Caline Mouawad (King & Spalding), Jeremy K….

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anaïs Nin) Introduction and background On 12 July 2017, CMS Hong Kong and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) hosted the fourth joint lecture in their quarterly series focusing on the…

The ICSID Tribunal in the case Eskosol S.p.A. in Liquidazione v. Italian Republic (ICSID Case No.ARB/15/50) has recently issued a Decision on Respondent’s Application under Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Rules of Procedure for Arbitration Proceedings (Arbitration Rules). In 2015, Eskosol filed a Request for Arbitration based on Italy’s claimed violation of the Energy Charter…

In October 2016, the ICSID advised the Member States of the ICSID Convention that it was beginning the fourth amendment process since the enactment of the definitive ICSID Arbitration Rules in 1967. The first amendment to the Rules took place in 1984 and mainly referred to the possibility to resort to national courts for provisional…

On March 9, 2017, a three-person ICSID Tribunal rendered an Award in Ansung Housing Co., Ltd. v. People’s Republic of China.  The case marks the second time where China appears as a Respondent before an ICSID tribunal.  The first case was brought by a Malaysian company in May 2011, but that case was discontinued on…