By Carmen Núñez-Lagos and Javier García Olmedo
In an award rendered on 31 January 2014, an arbitral tribunal constituted under the UNCITRAL Rules declined jurisdiction over the claims brought by one of two claimants against the Plurinational State of Bolivia on the basis of the application of a denial of benefits clause in the US-Bolivia BIT.1
The two claimants were Rurelec Plc, a company constituted under the laws of England & Wales, and its affiliate Guaracachi América Inc. (GAI), a company incorporated in the United States. The dispute concerned the alleged violation by Bolivia of certain provisions of the US-Bolivia BIT and the UK-Bolivia BIT (the BIT).
Among the various jurisdictio [...]
By Beth Cubitt and Tom French
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) – a multi-lateral agreement proposed between a number of countries, currently including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam (although it is hoped to be an open platform welcoming other countries to participate) – is currently the subject of much debate. TPPA countries will potentially account for approximately 39% of the world’s GDP, with Australia’s portion of trade representing AUD215 million. By 2025, the TPPA is expected to account for USD233 billion in trade per year, and is said to set the “economic architecture” for the region.
But will the TPPA contain i [...]
On 4 October 2013 the Tribunal constituted under Metal-Tech Ltd.’s claim against Republic of Uzbekistan (G. Kauffman-Kohler, C. von Wobeser, J. Townsend) issued the award on jurisdiction in the ICSID case ARB/10/03. The peculiar factual background of the case has been previously discussed here.
The approach taken by the Tribunal in this case deserves closer attention as this is one of the few where allegations of corruption managed to have decisive influence on the outcome of the case, unlike most of the cases where bribery considerations are usually ruled out as inconclusive and unproven, although discussed in the award.
A number of tribunals ha [...]
The numbers of energy and mining related disputes in Latin America constitute 67 out of 162 or 41% of the total ICSID cases within the region. In most of these disputes the respondents are Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela, which represent 52 out of 67 or 78% of the total energy and mining ICSID cases in Latin America. With the exception of Argentina, the rest of the above-mentioned countries have withdrawn from the ICSID Convention in 2007, 2010, and 2012, respectively, while of 105 ICSID total related cases submitted against them 52 or 50% are energy and mining related.
The majority of investment treaties offer claimants the option to have different arbitration fora. For Bolivia, Ec [...]
and Luis Miguel Velarde Saffer
Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on BG Group v Argentina – an appeal from a controversial and much-criticized decision of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case arose out of emergency actions taken by the Republic of Argentina in late 2001 in the wake of its economic meltdown. BG Group, a UK investor with a sizable stake in an Argentine gas distribution company, was adversely affected by the Argentine emergency measures and initiated UNCITRAL arbitration against Argentina pursuant to Article 8 of the Argentina-UK BIT. BG Group prevailed at the arbitration seated in Washington, D.C., and the resulting award came for review before [...]
On 4 October 2013, an ICSID tribunal rendered its decision in the investment treaty dispute between the Israeli company Metal-Tech Ltd. and Uzbekistan. In the award, the tribunal found that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the parties’ claims and counterclaims brought under the Israel-Uzbekistan BIT and Uzbek law due to corruption related to Metal-Tech’s investment in Uzbekistan. In particular, the tribunal found that payments of approximately USD 4 million made by Metal-Tech to several individuals, including an Uzbek government official and the brother of the then Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, while presented as remuneration for various consultancy services, in fact constituted corruption [...]