After the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) rendered the Achmea decision, heated discussions on its impact ensued. Particularly, the concern raised on whether the ICSID proceeding provided for in intra-EU BITs and intra-EU disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) would be valid. Several arbitral tribunals and national courts have dealt with…

Recently, the first-ever treaty-based arbitration against Norway was registered with ICSID. The Request for Arbitration was submitted by a Latvian investor, Mr. Peteris Pildegovics, and his company, SIA North Star. This post provides a background to the dispute, outlines possible claims, elaborates on its ramifications, and predicts further arbitrations. The dispute at hand is similar…

On May 1, 2020, the Secretariats of ICSID and UNCITRAL released the first draft of the Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). I had the privilege of working extensively on the drafting of the Code as a Scholar in Residence at ICSID, and I think this is an important development in…

The aftermath of Achmea Since the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Achmea, defending EU Member States and the European Commission have questioned the validity of the application of the investment arbitration clause in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) to intra-EU disputes. Although the motions to challenge jurisdiction on…

Last month, ICSID published a further Working Paper (WP4) linked to its ongoing reform process, by which it is considering a series of amendments to the ICSID and ICSID Additional Facility Rules. The Working Paper is the fourth in a series of working papers, preceded by Working Papers 1 (August 2018), 2 (March 2019), and…

In a decision likely to enthuse investors willing to enforce intra-EU ICSID awards in the UK, the UK Supreme Court unanimously held yesterday that the UK’s enforcement obligations under the ICSID Convention could not be affected by the EU duty of sincere co-operation (in this case, the question of whether the award obtained by the…

“the money’s not about the money…The key to settlement lay not in the realm of calculation and rationality but in the more opaque social world of face, punishment, justice and emotion.” Charlie Irvine in Not about the money? The end of 2019 and the start of 2020 offered a rich variety of posts on the…

After the quite tumultuous 2018, which saw the seminal Achmea judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the subsequent awards on jurisdiction by a number of investment treaty arbitration tribunals, 2019 comes as a sequence and furtherance to developments that were in process in the course of the previous year. The…

On September 9, 2019, the Federal Republic of Germany designated Professor Franco Ferrari to serve on the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators, pursuant to Article 13 of the ICSID Convention. Professor Ferrari is the only arbitrator designated by Germany who does not have German nationality, the exception that proves the (unwritten) rule of Contracting States predominantly…

The numerous interpretations of the Full Protection and Security Standard (“FPSS”) have complicated the findings of tribunals for many years. A number of tribunals have found that this standard applies only to physical protection. Meanwhile, other tribunals have extended this standard to cover all types of protection from physical to legal and commercial. Also, more…

In September 2018, Tanzania took the international arbitration community by surprise when it issued its notice of its intent to terminate the Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Tanzania and the Netherlands which was set to expire on 1 April 2019 (Netherlands BIT). Article 14 (2) of the Netherlands BIT provides that…

Introduction The enforcement bar is becoming more specialized. This development follows the trend in U.S. litigation towards increasing specialization and the growth of niche practice industries; but it also stems from specific changes to the enforcement regime that are addressed in this article and that have important implications for the life-cycle of an international arbitration….

On April 12, 2019, the Republic of Djibouti (“Djibouti”) signed the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (“ICSID Convention” or “Convention”). To date, the Convention has been signed by 163 countries and ratified by 154 countries. Why is Djibouti signing the ICSID Convention at a time when…

The CERSA (CNRS, University Paris II Panthéon-Assas) organized its fourth event in a series of seminars on selected topics in international investment law and ISDS. On 28 March 2019, a distinguished panel of practitioners and academics gathered in Paris to exchange views on ‘Environmental Considerations in Investment Arbitration’. The discussion was moderated by Catharine Titi…

Within the same week last March, two awards were rendered in cases against the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Uruguay). One concerned an investment dispute with Italba Corporation (Italba), a company incorporated in Florida, over wireless spectrum services and the allocation of radio frequencies, and was Uruguay’s second case before an ICSID tribunal (the first being…

Foreign Direct Investment into Africa has increased from $10 billion in 1999 to $41,8 billion in 2017. Makhtar Diop, former World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, pointed out that “Intra-African investment is also on the rise, creating a virtuous circle”. ICSID statistics also show that the number of newly registered cases involving African…

A. Introduction The ICSID Convention and the corresponding Arbitration Rules contain certain provisions that, apparently, are not uniformly applied by arbitral tribunals. Article 47 of the ICSID Convention can be considered as one of them. In light of the proposal for new ICSID Arbitration Rules, a discussion about the use of provisional measures in the…

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…