“The problem with money,” wrote the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, “is that it costs too much.” This may soon ring all too true for some investment treaty arbitration claimants and the third parties that seek to fund their claims. Recent developments suggest that there may be support – albeit embryonic – for…

This post focuses on two decisions issued by the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice in the Corporación LSR case. The decisions constitute an unexpected change in the approach of the Supreme Court towards arbitration, deviating from its latest and vastly commented case law regarding commercial arbitration matters. Background The dispute in Corporación LSR arose out…

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…

This Post analyzes the recent award in Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes, C.A. & Owens-Illinois de Venezuela, C.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (“Favianca”). This is the first award to rely on Article 72 of the ICSID Convention to decline jurisdiction over a claim filed after Venezuela had noticed it would denounce the ICSID Convention…

The epitome – and uncontroversial part – of the legitimate expectations doctrine is that a sovereign’s failure to live up to its promises made towards an investor who relied on such promise to make an investment – or to continue an investment – is a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard. Practice has,…

Recently the U.S. Executive Branch made headlines by agreeing with Venezuela. In particular, the Executive Branch filed an amicus curiae submission in New York federal appeals court in which it agreed with Venezuela regarding the treatment of ICSID awards in U.S. courts. According to the U.S. Executive (and Venezuela), a party seeking recognition of an…

For natural persons, possession of the nationality of the host state is an absolute bar to becoming a party to ICSID proceedings against that state. Article 25 of the ICSID Convention delimits the scope of arbitral jurisdiction to investment disputes between a ‘Contracting State’ and a ‘national of another Contracting State’, defined as ‘any natural…

Apropos of a recent decision in ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela (ICSID Case No ARB/07/30), this post discusses the potential underlying concerns an arbitral tribunal may consider when deciding whether it can revise earlier decisions within the context of fragmented proceedings. Background The ICSID proceedings in ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela (ICSID Case No ARB/07/30) commenced in November 2007…

The four most recent ICSID disqualification decisions (Universal Compression v. Venezuela, OPIC Karimum v. Venezuela, Tidewater v. Venezuela and Urbaser v. Argentina) have unanimously rejected applications to disqualify arbitrators on ICSID tribunals.  This post addresses an issue raised in three of the most recent decisions—disqualification based on repeat appointments by the same party or counsel—and…

Two ICSID tribunals have now weighed in on the much-debated question of whether Art. 22 of Venezuela’s Foreign Investment Law provides Venezuela’s consent to ICSID arbitration. In Decisions on Jurisdiction dated June and December 2010, the Mobil and Cemex tribunals (both presided by the former president of the ICJ, Judge Gilbert Guillaume), rejected investors’ submissions…