International claims settlement involves a number of challenges that are relevant for the international arbitration community, including fact-finding and burden of proof, principles of State responsibility, treaty interpretation and damages under international law. One recent development of note involves Israel’s recent settlement of a claim brought by the United Nations. In July 2009, the United…

The Swiss Parliament is currently contemplating a reinforcement of the negative effect of the “competence-competence” principle in the Swiss legislation. According to a parliamentary initiative, a Swiss court that is seized on the merits and faced with a plea of lack of jurisdiction based on the existence of a valid arbitration agreement should review such…

ICSID has just published a report on its caseload, and there is plenty of interesting data. The one that particularly caught my attention is the chart on the basis of consent invoked to establish ICSID jurisdiction. Sixty-two percent of all cases came from Bilateral Investment Treaties, while twenty-two percent came from investment contracts. An additional…

In my last post I questioned whether investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) is invariably a jurisdictional issue.  This post focuses on the use of admissibility as a filtering mechanism to screen investor claims.  Although it has been suggested by at least one investment treaty tribunal that the concept of admissibility does not…

We are pleased to announce that Kluwer Arbitration Blog will add two new permanent contributors to the blog: Alexis Mourre of the law firm of Castaldi Mourre & Partners in Paris, France, and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration in Dallas, Texas. Alexis Mourre is a founding partner of Castaldi Mourre & Partners, a 25-lawyer firm…

In a recent post , Andrew Newcombe queried whether investor misconduct should be dealt with by arbitrators not as a jurisdictional issue, but rather at the merits, damages or costs phase. His post was published as I was wading through 100’s of pages of old international claims commission awards (for reasons too obscure to get…

By Federico Campolieti* and Nicholas Lawn** Introduction In a recent decision related to the ICSID case Perenco Ecuador Limited v. The Republic of Ecuador [1], the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague (“PCA”) has upheld a challenge against a leading arbitrator, Judge Charles N. Brower, on the basis that from the…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

The treatment of investor misconduct in investment treaty arbitration raises a series of complex issues.  Allegations of investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) can arise in the context of the making of an investment, during its operation, or in the investment treaty claim making process.   How should a tribunal address investor misconduct if…

In a recent decision dated 6 November 2009 (4A_358/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court set aside an award by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. The Supreme Court held that although its practice regarding the validity of arbitration agreements was generally liberal, in the present case the mere fact that the appellant…

One of the major problems related to the doctrine of the New Lex Mercatoria (NLM) is to determine its contents. The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, of which a third edition will perhaps be finalized this year, have used the Restatement technique of the American Law Institute as a means to “codify” transnational contract…

In international arbitration proceedings in Continental Europe, particularly in Germany but also in Switzerland and other countries, it has become increasingly popular for arbitral tribunals to get involved and even take active steps in facilitating a settlement between the parties during the course of a pending arbitration. This raises a number of issues, and parties…

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…

The emerging rule in the U.S. that, to recognize and enforce an arbitral award under the New York Convention, a U.S. court must have personal jurisdiction over the award debtor or his or her property in the forum, has attracted criticism. International arbitration specialists argue that this requirement restricts enforcement of valid arbitral awards in…

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…

In a recent decision dated 26 October 2009 (4A_428/2009), the Swiss Federal Tribunal held that a party that enters into a procedural agreement in parallel state court proceedings following unsuccessful compulsory judicial conciliation does not waive its right to arbitration when that party does not proceed on the merits without making any objections.

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…