Debates about the fragmentation of international law and the sometimes conflicting relationship between a state’s and investor’s obligations under international investment law (“IIL”), on the one hand, and public international law and domestic law, on the other, have gained renewed relevance for investment arbitration. Issues related to the interactions between these regimes have featured in…

Bilateral investment treaties depend upon international arbitration as the mechanism to resolve disputes between sovereign states and investors. Although offering obvious advantages over litigation before national courts, investors are not immune from the risk of proceedings becoming destabilized by external factors. A recent example involved Air Canada, the country’s flag carrier, and the Bolivarian Republic…

Inconsistent decisions have long been a major criticism in investment arbitration. This does not only pertain to decisions on procedure, jurisdiction or merits but also to quantum issues. This contribution will center around one unlikely connection that has the potential to enhance consistency and predictability in an area of quantification of damages in investment arbitration:…

On November 23, 2021, Ecuador’s Attorney General (“AG”), Iñigo Salvador Crespo announced the creation of a new institutional framework for handling disputes brought against the state and state entities with the vision of preventing and reducing litigation, particularly costly international arbitrations. The Institutional Strengthening of the Attorney General’s Office Project (“PROFIP” for its initials in…

In 2021, we witnessed a number of interesting developments in the field of investment arbitration in Latin America. From Mexico’s actions potentially triggering numerous treaty claims, to Colombia’s four consecutive victories, to Ecuador’s return to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention. Our authors did a tremendous job covering and sharing their…

Earlier this week, the YSIAC Conference 2021 took place virtually for the first time since its inception. The opening webinar was a panel discussion titled “Resolving ESG Disputes Through International Arbitration”, which agenda was to analyse the disputes in the buzzing environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) domain, distil the trends and lessons learnt therefrom, and…

The discussion within UNCITRAL Working Group III (WG III) on counterclaims has still remained, to a certain extent, deadlocked, as opposed to discussions on other topics under the table. As a result, the UNCITRAL Secretariat has been put (at least) until now in the unfortunate position of being unable to bring a coherent package of…

Lion Mexico Consolidated v. Mexico1)Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P. v. United Mexican States (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/15/2). represents the first positive finding of denial of justice in the history of NAFTA2)In 1999, a NAFTA tribunal analysed and rejected for the first time a claim for denial of justice in Robert Azinian v. Mexico. and one of…

Investor-state disputes often involve an interplay of different bodies of international law.  In addition to investment law, disputes may invoke issues involving public international law, international human rights law, and international environmental law – and tribunals are faced with the challenges of trying to reconcile the sometimes conflicting rights created under these different bodies of…

Earlier this year, Colombia prevailed in two arbitrations under the Colombia-US Trade Promotion Agreement (“TPA”). The claims were filed by Alberto Carrizosa Gelzis, Felipe Carrizosa Gelzis and Enrique Carrizosa Gelzis (“Carrizosa brothers”) under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, and by Astrida Benita Carrizosa (“Ms. Carrizosa”) under the ICSID Convention. In both arbitrations Ms. Carrizosa and the…

Western European countries have taken divergent approaches to dealing with the consequences of shutting down power plants while transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. On one side, Germany resolved the resulting compensation disputes by making settlement payments to the owners of affected nuclear and coal power plants. In contrast, the Netherlands appears reluctant to similarly compensate…

In May 2021, India’s National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’) ordered the liquidation of Devas Multimedia (‘Devas’), on grounds of it having been incorporated for fraudulent purposes. This is the latest turn in a long running dispute contested across multiple fora. In this post, I highlight that this could give rise to a third BIT claim…

On 2 June 2021, the British government announced that the existing 11 signatories (the “Parties”) to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”) have agreed to the United Kingdom’s bid to begin the accession process.1)The signatories consist of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. International Trade…

The Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) has further strengthened its arbitration offering by adopting brand new, stand-alone investment arbitration and mediation rules, the VIAC Rules of Investment Arbitration and Mediation (VRI), which entered into force on 1 July 2021. The VRI apply to disputes involving a State, a State-controlled entity or an intergovernmental organization that…

The Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

International arbitration is changing at a fast pace, and opportunities arise every day in this field. In this context, on May 25, 2021, Young Arbitral Women Practitioners, Holland & Knight, and Rising Arbitrators Initiative co-hosted a webinar to discuss emerging fields of practice for arbitration lawyers. This post offers an overview of the variety of…

On 12 March 2021, a tribunal issued an award in the case of Naturgy v. Colombia (ICSID Case No. UNCT/18/1) under the Colombia-Spain BIT (2005) (the “BIT”). The decision is the first in a wave of four decisions decided in the first half of 2021 in favor of Colombia. Naturgy is noteworthy for its engagement…

Calls for investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”) reform have persisted for some time (see blog coverage here). Competing calls for retaining the status quo, modifying the system, or abandoning the system altogether have each gained traction. With a drastic increase in the number of investment cases being brought, accompanied by the “mega” awards, the international community…

On 23 April 2021, Paul Vlas, Advocate-General of the Dutch Supreme Court issued his opinion in the Yukos case, setting the stage for the final setting aside act in The Hague after nine years of PCA-administered arbitration and six years of setting aside litigation. Advocate-General Vlas had previously advised the Dutch Supreme Court to reject…

On April 19, 2021, the Secretariats of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) released the second draft of the Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in International Investment Disputes, a key feature of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform process which is presently under…

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmaceutical companies have engaged in a highly competitive and risky vaccine race. In less than 10 months from the declaration of the global pandemic, the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech received its first regulatory approval, followed by the success stories of other companies. The swiftness of these results was praised as “unprecedented”…

The investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism provided by Art. 26 (2) (c) of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is highly relevant to the protection of intra-EU investments.1)In 2018, about 45 per cent of all treaty-based intra-EU investment arbitrations were brought pursuant to the ECT. See UNCTAD, Fact Sheet on Intra-European Union Investor-State Arbitration Cases, IIA…

Intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration have been a highly divisive issue in European policy circles for decades. The European Commission has been forcefully pushing for the termination of these agreements since the early 2000s. It criticised inter alia that intra-EU investment agreements and arbitration undermine the European legal order and create inequality among European investors…

Following a highly-publicized diplomatic battle among the EU Member States (MS), the EU revealed in mid-February its proposal to amend the ECT’s definition of the “Economic Activity in the Energy Sector” (EAES). The announcement allayed fears of the intra-EU discussions on the matter falling apart. Insofar as it sets forth a vision for amendments that…