In recent years, African states have taken several initiatives to increase the protection of and legal security offered to foreign investors. However, a lot of work is unfinished and some of it is even frustrated. Some examples. Bilateral Investment Treaties Bilateral investment treaties (‘BITs’) are critical to foreign investors considering investing in Africa. Such BITs…

In an earlier post, I’d highlighted five notable legal highlights from 2012. Below, and somewhat belatedly, I offer my post-mortem on some key policy developments from 2012. 1. Venezuela and South Africa beat a retreat Venezuela’s exit from ICSID was perhaps the most visible policy story of 2012. The move could bolster the caseload of…

by Patricio Grané and Brian Bombassaro The year 2012 brought eight new investor-state arbitration decisions on umbrella clauses.1)(1) Société Générale de Surveillance S.A. v. Republic of Paraguay, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/29, Award (Feb. 10, 2012), (2) EDF International S.A., SAUR International S.A. and Leon Participaciones Argentinas S.A. v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/23, Award…

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…

In the final days of 2012, I spent some time flipping back through the stories we’ve covered at Investment Arbitration Reporter, looking to identify the year’s most notable developments. I’ve settled on ten that I think are particularly noteworthy. Half of them are legal in nature, and are highlighted below. The other five are in…

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…

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, control of foreign direct investment became an exclusive area of EU competence, or such is the view of the European Commission, a view which is not shared by all EU member States. Since that time, the Commission has embarked upon what it…

Investment treaty provisions that allow joint decisions by States Parties to override or control arbitral tribunals’ interpretations of investment treaty standards scarcely appear in international investment agreements. The recently released 2012 United States Model BIT is a rare example. The 2012 version carried over Article 30(3) of the 2004 United States Model BIT, enabling States…

This week, Spanish energy firm Repsol put Argentina on notice of an arbitration claim under the Spain-Argentina bilateral investment treaty. The development comes as no surprise, as Repsol had been threatening for some weeks to take such a course if Argentina persisted in nationalizing the bulk of Repsol’s 57% stake in the Argentine firm YPF….

The concept of good faith has been a subject of perennial controversy since it was derived from the Roman legal equivalent ‘bonas fides’. Juristic views on and the legal conceptualization of the idea of good faith may often vary across the cultural divides and legal traditions. At a higher level of abstraction there may be…

The notion of ‘investment’ has been one of the most controversial issues in arbitral proceedings instituted under the ICSID Convention. The award rendered by the UNCITRAL arbitral tribunal in Romak v. Uzbekistan has brought the issue outside of the ICSID context and concluded that, despite the broad definitions of ‘investment’ in Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs),…

International arbitration has long played an important role in resolving disputes that arise out of political and economic crises.   “Arbitration in Times of Crisis” is the theme of the 9th Annual ITA-ASIL Conference on 28 March 2012 in Washington, D.C. (see program).   The conference will focus on lessons from the past use of arbitral mechanisms…

Iura novit curia (usually translated as “the court knows the law”) refers to the power and/or obligation of a court to conduct its own legal analysis outside the parties’ pleadings. While there are very few decisions on iura novit curia in the investment treaty arbitration context, a small number of investment treaty arbitral tribunals and…

A few years ago, stabilization clauses in investment contracts became the subject of increased attention by human rights and development groups. A report on Stabilization Clauses and Human Rights, issued by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, was the first comprehensive study to draw on a range of heretofore…

As Roger Alford mentioned previously, New York University Law School hosted a discussion of the Chevron-Ecuador dispute on October 24th. The event was subject to the Chatham House rules, so my notes below should not be attributed to any particular panelist or audience members. However, in the case of moderator Michael Goldhaber, his views have…

In its 4 August 2011 Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, the majority of the Tribunal in Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina arising out of Argentina’s default on various sovereign…

My previous post described years of apparently intractable debate between two opposing camps of international lawyers about what kinds of economic activity should get international investment protections. This post will explain how that dispute was settled for the purpose of ICSID jurisdiction, and with what legal result. As the dispute ground on throughout the final…

My last post described the ongoing controversy about the proper scope of “investment” under Article 25 of the ICSID Convention. The next two posts will draw on my recent article to argue that this controversy should be resolved consistently with the historical understanding of the term. Far from incorporating the limitations exemplified by the Salini…

Article 25 of the ICSID Convention famously limits ICSID jurisdiction to “legal dispute[s] arising directly out of or in relation to an investment.” Uncertainty about the outer limits of this provision erupted into controversy about a decade ago, when Salini Costruttori v. Morocco kicked off a series of cases that imposed sharp limits on the…

The OECD-hosted Freedom of Investment (FOI) Roundtable is in the process of finalizing a statement regarding the role of international investment in supporting the realization of countries’ green growth objectives.  The draft statement entitled “Harnessing Freedom of Investment for Green Growth” (Draft Statement) and three draft background consultation papers (Draft Papers) are available on the…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

Within the last two decades, over 30 new states emerged within the international community. From a political, economic, as well as a legal point of view, the formation of a state is always an expedition into unchartered waters. On a domestic level, the establishment of a sound legal system is the prerequisite for a stable…

The sense of relief enjoyed by NGO observers and other followers that UNCITRAL Working Group II’s Arbitration Rules revision project was finally completed in the Summer of 2010, after seemingly endless debate, has been diminished to some extent by the publication of the agenda for the next WGII meeting, to be held in Vienna in…