More than one year has passed since the U.S. and Cuba started to rekindle their relationship and restore economic ties. The Cuban government is opening the country to foreign investment, the U.S. is relaxing the sanctions imposed on Cuba, and both countries reopened their embassies after half century of frosty relations. Despite U.S. sanctions, Cuba…

by Nahila Cortes, American University Washington College of Law Much is being said about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”), the landmark free trade agreement signed by twelve States accounting for 40% of the world trade. Chapter 9, the investment chapter, is an important provision which applies to investors (i.e. a national or company of a…

“ISDS” (short for “investor-state dispute settlement”) was a less-known acronym some years back. Now, it has been given an increasingly bad name, no doubt fuelled by Vattenfall’s claim against Germany following the shutting down of its nuclear plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, tobacco giant Philip Morris’ high profile claims arising from Australia’s plain-labelling laws,…

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen. On 2 June 2015, the French Minister of Foreign Trade, Matthias Fekl, submitted to the European Commission a proposal regarding the Investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism included in the project for…

Given the existence of thousands of international investment agreements, the international investment law regime has been described as “complex and confusing,” “highly fragmented,” and “characterised by overlaps and incoherence”. Two key developments, however, are contributing to the harmonization of that regime. First, a set of major agreements is being negotiated by many of the world’s…

On May 26, 2015, Brazil signed its third investment treaty of 2015 with Mexico. Given the agreements previously signed with Angola and Mozambique, this certainly comes as a confirmation of a new Brazilian attitude towards the regulation of foreign investment. The instrument mostly follows the same model used for the previous two: a Cooperation and…

Introduction The Government of India recently released the Draft Indian Model BIT (“Draft BIT”) for public consultation. India has an extensive BIT network with over 72 BITs in force. In 2012, following the investment treaty award against India in White Industries award, the Government initiated a comprehensive effort to revise the Model Indian BIT (“Old…

Germany’s position on international investment law and investor-State arbitration is attracting increasing attention since the signing of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in September 2014 has been deferred, inter alia, because of opposition from Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. Is Germany, the country that not only has…

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…

In one of the very rare decisions issued by courts in the Arab world applying the provisions of the Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital in the Arab States (the “UAIAC”), the Cairo Court of Appeal has revived in its decision dated February 5, 2014, the principle of finality of arbitration awards, by…

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…

Indonesia is not the only Asia-Pacific nation that is reassessing investment treaties containing provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, especially arbitration). India announced a review in 2013, partly in the wake of the successful claim from an Australian mining investor, although the impact in practice is hard to discern or predict – especially under 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…

Although Turkey has ratified the ICSID Convention as early as in 1988, it was not until the recent decade that its domestic law recognized the possibility to resort to arbitration against the State. Until 2000s, disputes arising between a public authority and a private party were to be resolved in an appeal to administrative courts…

Over the years Latin American countries have played an increasingly relevant role in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”), with the highest proportion – 27% – of all cases handled by the Centre. Despite the high percentage these same countries have been increasingly expressing their dislike about having to resolve their…

As reported earlier, the US Supreme Court has recently adjudicated on the issue of the standard of review in relation to arbitration agreements in international investment arbitration. It is a fact that the majority of the Court has decided that deference should be given to arbitral tribunals to examine questions of procedural conditions, as it…

Introduction In BG Group v. Republic Argentina, a divided U.S. Supreme Court (“the Court”) continued to hold that arbitrators are the proper decision makers in gateway questions of arbitrability, not courts. The issue here concerned whether or not the local litigation requirement in the U.K-Argentina BIT was a procedural prerequisite to investor-state arbitration, or a…

Factual background On 4 October 2013 the Tribunal constituted under Metal-Tech Ltd.’s claim against Republic of Uzbekistan (G. Kauffman-Kohler, C. von Wobeser, J. Townsend) issued the award on jurisdiction in the ICSID case ARB/10/03. The peculiar factual background of the case has been previously discussed here. The approach taken by the Tribunal in this case…

On 4 October 2013, an ICSID tribunal rendered its decision in the investment treaty dispute between the Israeli company Metal-Tech Ltd. and Uzbekistan. In the award, the tribunal found that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the parties’ claims and counterclaims brought under the Israel-Uzbekistan BIT and Uzbek law due to corruption related to Metal-Tech’s investment…

Negotiations to establish a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement have been active and ambitious. Following 18 negotiating rounds since 2010, TPP talks now include 12 States, representing nearly 40 percent of global GDP. Scholars have observed that a TPP agreement, given its scale, could provide “staggering” economic benefits as well as a “genuine Asia-Pacific integration track.”…

and Oleg Temnikov I. Bureau Veritas v. Republic of Paraguay In the recent Further decision on objections to jurisdiction dated October 9, 2012 the tribunal in Bureau Veritas, Inspection, Valuation, Assessment and Control, BIVAC B.V. v. Paraguay (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/9) dismissed BIVAC’s claim based on violation of the fair and equitable standard by reasoning…

In Part I it was argued that the proper law applicable in the investor-State disputes under Article 42 (1) ICSID Convention depends on the substantive grounds of the investor’s claim. In support of this, I have outlined three factual scenarios and types of claims with evidence from case law. Part I dealt with host State…

Rationalizing applicable law in investor-State disputes in absence of express choice of law under Article 42 (1) of ICSID Convention PART I Article 42 of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention) determines the powers of an arbitral tribunal constituted under the ICSID Convention as…