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…

It is always satisfying for an academic when research interests contribute to teaching. So, as I began teaching first year contracts this year, I read the 8 September 2009 award in Azpetrol International Holdings B.V., Azpetrol Group B.V. and Azpetrol Oil Services Group B.V. v. The Republic of Azerbaijan, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/15 (Azpetrol) with…

While litigation and arbitration both entail binding adjudication, the traditional functions of judges and arbitrators diverge in fundamental respects. While judges resolve individual disputes, they also serve a number of secondary functions. For example, in the process of deciding cases, they also supply guidance to parties in future disputes, uphold the public interest, and contribute…

In 2006, the ICSID Arbitration Rules were amended to allow a party to make a preliminary objection to claims that are “manifestly without legal merit.” The procedure for this objection is embodied in Rule 41(5). An ICSID Tribunal composed of Dr. Briner (President), Professor Stern and Professor Böckstiegel, in Brandes Investment Partners, LP v. Venezuela…

In modern treaties, a fair and equitable treatment standard (hereinafter “FaETS”) is to be provided to foreign investors and investments by the host state. In the past, the FaETS had been viewed as merely a sub-category of the international minimum standard. However, recent practice and international case law has started taking the view that the…

For many years, no broad international consensus emerged on the existing protection for foreign investors as a result of differences of approaches between developed and developing States. As a result of this perceived lack of established customary principles, States concluded thousands of bilateral investment treaties in the 1990s for the promotion and the protection of…

One set of international arbitrations which don’t get enough attention are the series of claims mounted under NAFTA Chapter 11 by US investors in the Mexican sweetener industry. A group of agri-business heavyweights, including Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Tate & Lyle have all invoked NAFTA’s investment protections in order to challenge a Mexican tax levied…

One can observe two rather opposing trends. On the one hand there is a steady (and more recently significant) increase in the number of arbitration cases; one the other hand there is a rather systematic criticism expressed by certain voices, predominately in the corporate world.Most well established institutions have recorded a 10% increase in their…

In the latest twist in the ongoing war between foreign investors and the Republic of Argentina, a panel at the International centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has lifted a stay on a $128 Million arbitral award. US energy company, Sempra, won its arbitration with Argentina in 2007, when arbitrators ruled that measures taken…

Article 25 of the ICSID Convention, which draws the outer limits for the exercise of ICSID jurisdiction, does not define the concepts of “nationality” and “investment.” Aaron Broches, the principal author of the Convention, explains that this reflects a deliberate decision by the drafters to leave the choice of what constitutes an investment and who…