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Juries for Foreign Investment Disputes

Paraphrasing Churchill, investment arbitration is the worst form of foreign investment dispute resolution, except for all the others. Post-Suez, governments are more civilised than to employ gunboat diplomacy for their own investors, and local courts are inherently partial. Achieving neutrality is the objective, and the only means: investment arbitration. This is the conventional wisdom for rationalising the use of arbitration for foreign investment disputes.

Investment arbitration is imperfect. An oft-cited cause of this imperfection is doctrinal inconsistency, with an ICSID appellate body being trumpeted as the antidote. Partiality of arbitrators, propensity to annul decisions, and la [...]

Interpreting Investment Treaties

One of the recurrent controversial issues in the investment arbitration practice relates to the application of the general rule of treaty interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in the interpretation of the provisions of the ICSID Convention and of investment treaties in general.

Thomas Wälde in one of his last writings pointed out that “[t]ribunals often do not practise what they preach; reference to the Vienna Rules is now mandatory, but such reference does not mean the Rules are taken and applied seriously” and “it is difficult to find a tribunal which formally and properly applied the Vienna Rules step by step” (Interpreting Investment Treaties: Experience [...]

Third Party Funding Again Under the Spotlight

and Laura Lozano, González-Bueno & Asociados

It is known that third party funding has become one of the hot topics in the international arbitration arena. Indeed, it is not the first time this blog deals with the matter. Amongst others, Munir Maniruzzaman and Lisa Bench Nieuwveld have already explored this tool that provides the necessary capital to either distressed parties or parties willing to manage their cash flow.

1. Hitches surrounding TPF

The presence of a third party funder in arbitration has raised concerns around its disclosure and the necessity of cautio judicatum solvi (security for costs).

Indeed, the initial dilemma versed on whether, or to what extent, third party funding a [...]

Transparency as a Global Norm in International Investment Law

Transparency is one of the hot topics in international law. With governance functions increasingly shifting from the domestic to the international level, transparency is demanded, as Andrea Bianchi and Anne Peters show in their new seminal study, in order to compensate for the lack of a full-fledged international system of checks and balances. Transparency promises a more accountable, more democratic and hence more legitimate system of global governance. International investment law cannot escape from this general drift. As I noted in my Editorial for the latest issue of the Journal or World Investment and Trade (JWIT), secrecy in treaty negotiations and confidentiality in dispute settlement [...]

Untying the Knot: Estoppel and Implicit Designation of a Constituent Subdivision or Agency under the ICSID Convention

and Oleg Temnikov


Designation by a State of a constituent subdivision or agency provided for in Article 25, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the ICSID Convention has recently sparked a debate particularly in terms of the manner in which the designation is made and communicated to the Center.

This is the subject of the present post.

I. Meaning of “constituent subdivision or agency of a Contracting State”

Past tribunals have noted that “the term ‘constituent subdivisions’ covers a fair range of subdivisions including municipalities, local government bodies in unitary states, semi-autonomous dependencies, provinces or federated States in non-unitary States and the local government bo [...]

The Problem of Repeat Arbitrators in Investment Arbitration

The very nature of an arbitrator requires that she or he be imbued with the principles of independence and impartiality, qualities that should never be doubted. Nonetheless, there has recently been an increased number of challenges to arbitrators in Investment Arbitrations subject to the procedures of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”). There is a strong view that the ICSID arbitrators appear to be earning an unfortunate reputation as lacking in the aforementioned independence and impartiality due to, for example, multiple appointments by the same parties or counsel who happen to be called upon to resolve similar disputes or issues at the ICSID. [...]

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