Several months ago, I drew attention on this blog to Uruguayan press reports which hinted that Uruguay might be prepared to compromise in the face of an arbitral claim filed by Phillip Morris International. (For background on the claim, see this Investment Arbitration Reporter account.) Following the flurry of Uruguayan press coverage, I spent a…

In his April 2010 inaugural lecture as holder of the Michael R. Klein’s Chair at the Miami University, Jan Paulsson advocated a fundamental change in the culture and practice of international commercial arbitration (Moral Hazard in International Arbitration, Miami, 29 April 2010, see also on this blog). In a nutshell, his views can be summarized…

The growing success of investment arbitration may collide with the European Commission’s attitude towards intra-EU BITs, as shown recently by a development reported in August 2010 (the IA Reporter, August 5, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 12) regarding the Eureko v. Slovakia arbitration. In this case, Eureko initiated a claim against the Slovak Republic based on…

Three different investors, with three different claims, in three different situations, have recently been in the news. All three disputes have a Canadian connection. Two involved claims by foreign investors against Canada, one that settled and one that Canada defeated. The third involves a claim by a Canadian investor against the Democratic Republic of Congo….

In a recent post, Lisa Bench Nieuwveld raised an issue which has been discussed from time to time on this blog: the potential for not-for-profit activities to be protected under international investment treaties. There is no doubt that not-for-profit organizations face a barrage of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of host countries, and that…

On 31 August 2010, a group of over 35 academics (not including the current author), published a Public Statement on the International Investment Regime (Statement).  The preamble to the three-page Statement outlines why the Statement has been issued: We have a shared concern for the harm done to the public welfare by the international investment…

It is rather interesting to read in the news about how some governments have chosen to “fund” their own government. One government went so far as to simply clear out the checking accounts of small businesses and not-for-profit organizations (“NGOs”). Another government, not necessarily seeking funding but presumably disagreeing with the purpose and/or presence of…

Following the controversial land reform programme first introduced by President Robert Mugabe in July 2000, Zimbabwe has found itself in hot water of late, with a number of international disputes being brought by dispossessed farmers against the State. The first of these disputes was mounted at ICSID in 2005 by a group of 13 Dutch…

The 14 July 2010 Award in Saba Fakes v. Turkey (Fakes) is notable because it expressly disapproves of the approach taken by the Tribunal in Phoenix Action v. Czech Republic, which found in its 15 April 2009 Award that good faith and legality are jurisdictional requirements for access to ICSID arbitration. Fakes is a welcome addition to…

A string of mainstream media reports are suggesting that Uruguay is looking to compromise with Philip Morris International in relation to a sensitive international arbitration. On Tuesday, The UK-based Guardian newspaper reported that Uruguay has promised to water down anti-smoking laws after pressure from the tobacco giant Philip Morris, prompting accusations of corporate bullying. More…

27 June 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of investment treaty jurisprudence.  On 27 June 1990, the tribunal in Asian Agricultural Products Ltd. v. Sri Lanka (ICSID Case No. ARB/87/3) (AAPL) dispatched its final award to the parties.  The AAPL tribunal (Dr. Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri (President), Professor Berthold Goldman and Dr. Samuel Asante) was the first…

I spent some time in Namibia and South Africa last December looking into the impact of bilateral investment treaties on land reform. I don’t do a lot of field trips, and my wife harboured some suspicion that this “research venture” was merely a tidy excuse to trade the New York winter for the Southern African…

The preliminary hearings in the Pacific Rim v. El Salvador CAFTA arbitration went off without a hitch at the start of this week. I’d like to report that I hung on every word via the live webcast that had been arranged by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. However, I spent my Monday…

UNCTAD’s most recent note on investment treaty arbitration (Latest Developments in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, IIA Issues Note No. 1 (2010)) provides a useful overview of the growth in investment treaty arbitration and the major jurisprudential developments in 2009.  According to UNCTAD, the total number of known investor-state cases under investment treaties stood at 357 at…

At the recent Northwestern Law School conference on the Israeli-Arab Dispute and International Law I had the good fortune to address one of the few bright spots in current Arab-Israeli relations. Most international law scholars of the Arab-Israeli conflict seem to know little about international trade, and focus almost exclusively on the laws of war…

Yesterday a federal court in New York granted Chevron’s request for discovery of outtakes from the 2009 documentary Crude about the multi-billion dollar litigation in Ecuador. Chevron’s request was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, which authorizes a judge in the United States to order discovery of evidence to be used in proceedings before a foreign…

Until very recently, the issue of moral damages had arisen in only a handful of investor-State disputes. However in 2008 and 2009 alone, no less than five arbitration awards discussed the issue. While some tribunals dismissed moral damages claims based on lack of evidence (Pey Casado v. Chile; Biwater v. Tanzania and Europe Cement v….

King Solomon might have split the baby had he not realised the identity of its parent in time. Judges and arbitrators – some 3,000 years later – might be quicker to identify a company’s real group structure, but are they any better in splitting parent from child-subsidiary? A typical corporate veil piercing case involves a…

I spent yesterday at a Georgetown Law School conference on transparency and international arbitration. Ostensibly focused on arbitration writ large, the event tended to zero in on investor-state arbitration (and investment treaty arbitration more specifically). While various arguments were aired for and against transparency, I was struck (anew) by the extent to which the transparency…

The principle of good faith arises in investment treaty arbitrations in various contexts. Tribunals, of course, regularly refer to Article 31(1) of the Vienna Convention for the rule that treaties shall be interpreted in good faith. Tribunals have noted that states must perform their treaty obligations in good faith. References to good faith occur in…

In the last month, two professors mused to one of the authors that “international investment arbitration is undertheorized”. One of the professors is a serious scholar of international law. The other professor was a former clerk at The Hague and writes about international investment arbitration. Their comment got us thinking: Is international investment arbitration undertheorized?…

The United States and Mexico signed the General Claims Convention of September 8, 1923 and thereby constituted the U.S.-Mexico General Claims Commission.* The Commission was asked to resolve all claims by U.S. and Mexican citizens against the other government for loss or damage to their person or property interests arising out of the period of…

In this blog I return to the theme of investor misconduct, albeit in a different context from my previous posts:  host state criminal investigations during investment treaty arbitration proceedings.  This issue has arisen in a number of recent investment treaty arbitrations, most notably in a series of cases against Turkey (Cementownia, Europe Cement and Libananco),…

I have always found the submission of expert legal opinions on matters of international law to investment treaty tribunals rather odd.  Why are expert opinions needed and what is their status?  To begin, the opinion is submitted to an international arbitration tribunal often comprising leading public international lawyers (and sometimes current or former judges of…