Last year at about the same period, I reported on two major events that had been taking place in the world of Intra- and Extra-EU BITs, the Regulation establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investments agreements between Member States and Third Countries, on the one hand, and the Electrabel decision, on the other. See blog of 17 December 2012.
The course of this year was marked by another event that ended up to be much ado about nothing, the order granted in the matter Slovakia v. Eureko by the German Federal Supreme Court according to which the proceedings before it were redundant. These proceedings, in which the Commission had intervened to support the position that the arb [...]
Investment arbitration under investment treaties between EU member states is a hot topic, in particular given the EU Commission’s strong views on the subject: As previously discussed here, the Commission has intervened in arbitrations in support of the position that the arbitral tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute. One such matter was Eureko v. Slovakia, apparently the first case where this issue was brought before a state court, when Slovakia challenged an interim award confirming the jurisdiction of the tribunal in the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht). The Frankfurt court in May 2012 upheld the award (see here and here for comments).
The matter proceeded to the G [...]
and Rapolas Kasparavičius, LAWIN
An abundant number of agreements have been and will be concluded between states and investors operating under the bilateral investment regime and even a larger number of negotiations will fail before reaching the final stage of signature. An investor may spend large sums of money with the aim of concluding an agreement with the state. If the final agreement is not signed, these investments may be lost. Is the bilateral investment regime able to assist investors where investors spend large sums of money and where the negotiations are terminated by the state? Would the investor only be able to recover its costs or could the state also be liable for the investo [...]
For centuries people have searched for the formula which may give them more gold. It may turn out that some investors have found it. As it will be explained, indirect investments through a chain of intermediary companies hides the risk of multiplication of claims and double recovery. But not according to the tribunal in Standard Chartered Bank v. United Republic of Tanzania (ICSID Case No. ARB/10/12, Award, 2 November 2012).
I. Standard Chartered Bank v. United Republic of Tanzania
This tribunal recently denied standing to an indirect investor by finding that:
“[P]rotection of the UK-Tanzania BIT requires an investment made by, not simply held by, an investor… (para. 257)
The recent Rompetrol Group NV v Romania award provides rare guidance as to the requirements to be satisfied for a successful treaty claim arising from State conduct against individual company officers rather than the claimant investor itself. The investor claimed, inter alia, that the arrest, detention, criminal investigations and wire-tapping of its directors constituted State-sponsored harassment that breached BIT guarantees enjoyed by its investment. The Tribunal held that the State conduct directed against the company officers had to have a sufficiently close link to the investment or investor to fall within the zone of the treaty’s protection. The requisite connection was found in re [...]
and Oleg Temnikov
I. Bureau Veritas v. Republic of Paraguay
In the recent Further decision on objections to jurisdiction dated October 9, 2012 the tribunal in Bureau Veritas, Inspection, Valuation, Assessment and Control, BIVAC B.V. v. Paraguay (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/9) dismissed BIVAC’s claim based on violation of the fair and equitable standard by reasoning that the dispute relates to mere refusal to pay invoices under a pre-shipment inspection contract and that, in doing so, Paraguay has not acted “in a manner that is qualitatively different from an ordinary contracting party.” The tribunal thus upheld the traditional distinction between mere breach of contract and treaty breach st [...]