In the long-running battle between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage, a federal court in New York has denied Ecuador’s motion to stay arbitration of a Ecuador-U.S. BIT claim. In September 2009, Chevron filed a notice of arbitration alleging, among other things, that “Ecuador has breached … the Ecuador-United States BIT, including its obligation to…

Following the flurry of arbitrations initiated by investors against Argentina based upon Argentine government actions during that country’s 2001-2002 economic crisis, one might have expected the U.S. government’s extensive market interventions during the 2008 global financial crisis to lead similarly to investor claims. The United States bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the…

Procedural Order No. 3 (Confidentiality Order) dated 27 January 2010 in Giovanna a Beccara and others v. The Argentine Republic (the “Order”) addresses the competing considerations of confidentiality, transparency, public information, equality of the Parties’ rights, and orderly conduct of the proceedings in investment treaty arbitration.  Although the Tribunal’s Order provides a nuanced approach to…

I recently gave a talk at a Sydney Law School conference about the unexplored relationship between bilateral investment treaties and freedom of expression. In a longer paper on BITs and human rights published last year I’d highlighted some potential tensions, including the need for states to balance the rights of citizens to speak and protest…

It is not easy to get a grip on the vast amount of case-law being churned out by investment treaty arbitration panels. However, if law students wanted examples of the ultimate slap-dash arguments being put together by claimant lawyers, then go no further than to sample some of arguments launched in this case. It is…

I am in Australia in advance of the investment law conference at Sydney Law School at the end of the week, and I took advantage of many plane hours to read the docket in the case pending between Ecuador and Chevron/Texaco Petroleum Company (TexPet) in the Southern District of New York. They repay study. In…

ICSID has just published a report on its caseload, and there is plenty of interesting data. The one that particularly caught my attention is the chart on the basis of consent invoked to establish ICSID jurisdiction. Sixty-two percent of all cases came from Bilateral Investment Treaties, while twenty-two percent came from investment contracts. An additional…

In my last post I questioned whether investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) is invariably a jurisdictional issue.  This post focuses on the use of admissibility as a filtering mechanism to screen investor claims.  Although it has been suggested by at least one investment treaty tribunal that the concept of admissibility does not…

In a recent post , Andrew Newcombe queried whether investor misconduct should be dealt with by arbitrators not as a jurisdictional issue, but rather at the merits, damages or costs phase. His post was published as I was wading through 100’s of pages of old international claims commission awards (for reasons too obscure to get…

By Federico Campolieti* and Nicholas Lawn** Introduction In a recent decision related to the ICSID case Perenco Ecuador Limited v. The Republic of Ecuador [1], the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague (“PCA”) has upheld a challenge against a leading arbitrator, Judge Charles N. Brower, on the basis that from the…

The treatment of investor misconduct in investment treaty arbitration raises a series of complex issues.  Allegations of investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) can arise in the context of the making of an investment, during its operation, or in the investment treaty claim making process.   How should a tribunal address investor misconduct if…

Handicapping investor-state arbitration cases is a tough business. Indeed, it’s difficult to predict when decisions will come down – much less what they will say. The following somewhat-hastily-cobbled-together list constitutes my best guess as to the 10 most notable awards which may come down in 2010. I won’t hazard a guess as to what’s in…

As a political slogan, re-Belizeanization was supposed to have a brief shelf life. When the Government of Belize announced last August the “re-Belizeanization” of the tiny Central American country’s dominant telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia Limited, the government disavowed any intention to embark upon a broader programme of economic nationalization. “It is not part of any…

Agency as a mechanism for compelling a non-signatory to join arbitral proceedings By Hanna Roos for YIAG International investors, and those who advise them, continue to be vexed by the question of when a non-signatory, such as a sovereign state, can be compelled to join arbitral proceedings. A typical scenario involves a private investor who…

When mapping the present trajectory of investment treaties, common themes include the “rebalancing” or “recalibration” of substantive disciplines, concepts that signal a retreat from the high-water mark of investor protection and a reorientation towards the preservation of regulatory space for host states. Generally, this phenomenon takes two forms: preparation of new model treaties (the prospective…

Until recently, no arbitral tribunal had found an investor’s claim under a BIT to be barred by a fork-in-the-road clause. Previous tribunals have found that for a fork-in-the-road clause to apply, the same dispute between the same parties must have been submitted to the local courts before resort to international arbitration and have drawn clear…

When I last visited South Africa in 2006, there was much talk of a potential bilateral investment treaty between SA and Zimbabwe. Three years later, as I make another visit to the region, the long-promised deal has just been sewn up. But, despite much clamouring for a protective pact – particularly from South Africans with…

The concept of “moral damage” as long been recognised at international law. Article 31 of the International Law Commission (“I.L.C.”)’s Articles on State Responsibility provides that a State must make full reparation for any “injury” caused to another State by an internationally wrongful act and defines “injury” as “any damage, whether material or moral, caused…

On September 9th, 2009, an intriguing editorial penned by Jeffrey Golden, a special US Counsel and global derivatives senior partner at Allen & Overy LLP, appeared on the Financial Times. It was titled “We Need a World Financial Court with Specialist Judges”. The reason why I bring this article to the attention of the readers…

My colleague Trey Childress has a nice summary of the recent decision by a federal court in Florida in Osorio v. Dole Food Company to refuse to enforce a $97 million Nicaraguan judgment. Here’s the key excerpt of the decision: “the evidence before the Court is that the judgment in this case did not arise…

The Decision on Jurisdiction and Competence (19 June 2009) in Tza Yap Shum v. The Republic of Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/6) is noteworthy as the first publicly available decision involving a claim by a Chinese investor under a Chinese investment treaty. The claim is a tangible reminder of the fact that Chinese investors are…

In one of the most recent NAFTA awards, Glamis Gold v. United States, the United States (“US”) raised objections to the tribunal’s “subject matter jurisdiction” against Glamis’ claims of expropriation under NAFTA Chapter 11. The US argued that the Canadian mining company’s claims based on recently passed California legislation were not “ripe” because the legislative…

Earlier this year, the ICSID ad hoc committee in the Sempra v. Argentina annulment proceedings decided to continue the stay of the enforcement of the tribunal’s award in that case for the duration of the annulment proceedings on the condition that Argentina pay USD 75 million into an escrow account. After Argentina failed to make…