It looks like the first state-to-state arbitration under the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) may have fizzled out.
In August of 2011, I reported in this space that the United States of America was initiating arbitration against the Republic of Guatemala.
The U.S.A. turned to arbitration after determining that Guatemala was failing to enforce its own labor laws, thus running afoul of pledges made in the CAFTA itself.
In principle, the U.S.A. v. Guatemala arbitration should have played out rapidly, with Chapter 20 of the CAFTA providing for a fast-track arbitration process that is geared to take a mere 8 months to determine whether a government is not complying with its CAFTA [...]
In an earlier post, I’d highlighted five notable legal highlights from 2012. Below, and somewhat belatedly, I offer my post-mortem on some key policy developments from 2012.
1. Venezuela and South Africa beat a retreat
Venezuela’s exit from ICSID was perhaps the most visible policy story of 2012. The move could bolster the caseload of the Permanent Court of Arbitration over the next few years. However, Venezuela has much unfinished business at ICSID – with 28 claims still pending there as of this writing. So, it remains to be seen whether the government will swallow its pride and honor any award emanating from the Washington-based Centre.
While Venezuela’s retreat from ICSID got a l [...]
In the final days of 2012, I spent some time flipping back through the stories we’ve covered at Investment Arbitration Reporter, looking to identify the year’s most notable developments. I’ve settled on ten that I think are particularly noteworthy. Half of them are legal in nature, and are highlighted below. The other five are in the policy sphere, and will be featured in a separate post in the coming days.
In settling on my choices, I’ve deliberately overlooked stories that reflect broader trends – many of which have been with us for multiple years: things like non-payment of awards; challenges to tobacco regulation in Uruguay, Australia and elsewhere; or the growth of treaty claims aga [...]
Transparency of investment treaty arbitration is back on the radar this week as delegations convene in Vienna for the latest meeting of the UNCITRAL Working Group II on Arbitration and Conciliation.
While governments debate the scope and content of new transparency obligations, one issue that has received less attention is a sometimes-seen corollary of greater transparency: the redaction of confidential business information or other types of protected information from documents before they are published.
While I remain a proponent of mandatory transparency in investment treaty arbitration, I’m troubled by certain aspects of the redaction process – particularly the emerging practice in NA [...]
In a recent blog post, Gary Born highlighted the current role of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in administering state-to-state arbitrations.
Given that the PCA has recently released its Annual Report for 2011, I thought I’d complement Gary’s post with some further information about the PCA’s role in administering investor-to-state arbitrations.
It’s useful to set the stage by flipping the calendar back five years, and noting that the PCA had a total of 24 cases on its docket in 2007.
It took years for the PCA to build up that number of cases, and subsequent annual reports of the PCA chart a much sharper rise in the center’s caseload:
• In 2008, a further 12 cases were register [...]
This week, Spanish energy firm Repsol put Argentina on notice of an arbitration claim under the Spain-Argentina bilateral investment treaty. The development comes as no surprise, as Repsol had been threatening for some weeks to take such a course if Argentina persisted in nationalizing the bulk of Repsol’s 57% stake in the Argentine firm YPF.
But am I the only person who was wondering whether Spain might step forward to sue Argentina on behalf of Repsol?
To be sure, a state-to-state claim would swim against the tide of conventional wisdom. After all, modern Bilateral Investment Treaties contain investor-to-state arbitration clauses precisely so that investors can fight their own legal batt [...]