International Minimum Standard of Treatment (IMST) is one of the most important protection standards available to non-domestic investors under international law. The standard has been a subject of controversy on a number of occasions (see, for instance Saluka v. Czech Republic). Much of the controversy and debate arise with respect to the relationship of IMST…

In the context of the backlash against investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”), one of the main criticisms is the asymmetric nature of investment treaties, which impose numerous obligations on the States, but do not seem to hold corporations accountable for the social, environmental and economic consequences of their activities. Some recent developments reflect a redirection away…

Principles of adverse inferences are applied universally. International law endorses the arbitrator’s inherent authority to draw adverse inferences against a party for unjustified non-compliance with an order to produce information. Moreover, arbitrators can rely on general principles of law when applying adverse inferences as a basis for decisions. The general principle of good faith imposes…

The afternoon session of the second day of the ICCA Sydney 2018 Conference on “New Voices” was moderated by Monty Taylor and had the insightful contributions of Jawad Ahmad, Lucas Bastin, Samantha Lord Hill and Solomon Ebere. Monty Taylor opened the session by noting that not only was this a new initiative for ICCA, but…

The panel on Arbitration Challenged Part I: Reforming Substantive Obligations in Investment Treaties and Conditions of Access to Investment Arbitration, at ICCA Sydney 2018 Conference, was moderated by Meg Kinnear, Secretary General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Canada) and had contributions from speakers Christophe Bondy, Cooley LLP (Canada); Max Bonnell, White…

In the midst of challenges to the very legitimacy of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) celebrated its 50th anniversary and embarked on the fourth ICSID Rules amendment process in ICSID history. The previous amendment processes brought notable additions to the ICSID Rules, such as enhanced transparency in…

In late November, the UN Headquarters in Vienna saw the first meeting of Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL). The meeting marked the initiation of a process of analysis and reform – whatever shape it may ultimately take – of the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime. At…

Currently, several dozen arbitral claims have been lodged by investors from an EU Member-State against another EU Member-State based on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). These so-called intra-EU ECT-based arbitrations seem to be increasing, despite attempts by the European Commission to halt them. So far, neither the Respondent-States nor the Commission (as amicus curiae) have…

In an interesting post published on Kluwer Arbitration Blog by Eric Leikin and Martina Magnarelli, it is described in a very comprehensive manner the state of play as regards the soundness of Respondents and European Commission’s arguments refusing the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals in intra-EU ECT claims. Among these arguments (all rejected by the tribunal…

A. Introduction Investments in a foreign country entail risks for the investors. These include the possibility that their investments will be nationalized or expropriated if, for example, a political change occurs. There is also a risk of loss as a result of war, armed conflict, revolution, a state of national emergency, etc. However, on 29…

The international economic order is today bound together through a network of bilateral (and multilateral) investment treaties which provide investors with a variety of protections. Such Bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) are a relatively young species dating back to 1959’s Pakistan-Federal Republic of Germany BIT. While the exact content of BITs varies by agreement, most contain…

Recently, it was reported that after 14 years since Zimbabwe had illegally evicted Dutch farmers from their farms, it finally agreed to pay the damages awarded under the ICSID award, which dates back in 2009. In the Funnekotter et al case, the arbitral tribunal rejected Zimbabwe’s necessity defence, which was based on the claimed need…

In the 2000s, mortgages in Swiss Franc (CHF) were very popular among consumers in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe for the acquisition of both private and commercial properties, as the CHF was a stable and reliable currency and offered lower interest rates than loans in Euro or in local currencies. When on 15 January 2015…

Since the first application for provisional measures suspending criminal proceedings in Tokios Tokelés v. Ukraine (ICSID Case No. ARB/02/18, Order No. 3, 18 January 2005), the number of applications before ICSID tribunals for these types of measures has steadily increased. Recent applications have been widely commented on in the arbitration community, including in this blog….

It has been ten years since Bolivia denounced the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Convention (“ICSID Convention”), becoming the first country to withdraw from the ICSID Convention in history. True, several countries have never even signed the ICSID Convention in the first place (including large economies such as Brazil and India), but until…

The below continues and concludes a two-part post about the Spanish renewable energy cases which have been concluded to date, in particular, the apparently contradictory Eiser and Isolux awards, the former of which was decided in May 2017 and the latter, which (although decided in July 2016) only became public in June 2017.  Part I…

In furtherance of European and national policy directives, Spain enacted in the early years of this century a series of decrees to regulate the production of electricity from renewable sources and provide incentives to producers. In particular, by Royal Decree 661/2007, a generous, production-based remuneration subsidy in the form of a feed-in-tariff (FIT) was put…

On May 30, 2017, Volterra Fietta and the University of Notre Dame hosted a debate of whether foreign investors can sue the United Kingdom for a hard Brexit. The recorded video is now available for viewing. Markus Burgstaller and I presented the case that foreign investors may have viable claims against the UK, while Jeremy…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently issued an en banc decision, in International Refugee Assistance Project IRAP v Trump, affirming the district court’s injunction against President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the United States by individuals from six Muslim-majority countries. Although the case concerns the application of specialized U.S….

The ICSID Tribunal in the case Eskosol S.p.A. in Liquidazione v. Italian Republic (ICSID Case No.ARB/15/50) has recently issued a Decision on Respondent’s Application under Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Rules of Procedure for Arbitration Proceedings (Arbitration Rules). In 2015, Eskosol filed a Request for Arbitration based on Italy’s claimed violation of the Energy Charter…

In October 2016, the ICSID advised the Member States of the ICSID Convention that it was beginning the fourth amendment process since the enactment of the definitive ICSID Arbitration Rules in 1967. The first amendment to the Rules took place in 1984 and mainly referred to the possibility to resort to national courts for provisional…

On March 14th the Investment Treaty Forum at The British Institute of International and Comparative Law hosted a panel of experts to discuss practical and legal aspects of investments protection in the context of territorial disputes. Territorial disputes sometimes lead to the annexation of the territory of one state by another, of which the annexation…

NAFTA on the tightrope One of President Donald Trump’s most frequent campaign promises was to “eliminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which he described as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” He then softened his tone and stated that he would renegotiate the treaty,…

Three decades, two wars, one occupation, and multiple democratic elections later, I found myself back in my country of birth, Iraq, in April 2017. I was invited to Baghdad by the Iraq Energy Institute (IEI) as a speaker at the 2017 Iraq Energy Forum (IEF), under the patronage of the Iraq government and the Iraq…