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…