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 [...]
Indonesia is not the only Asia-Pacific nation that is reassessing investment treaties containing provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, especially arbitration). India announced a review in 2013, partly in the wake of the successful claim from an Australian mining investor, although the impact in practice is hard to discern or predict – especially under the new Modi government. In both countries, the reviews may also have been linked to domestic politics during election years.
More surprisingly, public debate over ISDS has resurfaced in Australia. For the political left, it really began when Philip Morris Asia announced in 2010 that it would claim under a 1992 treaty with Ho [...]
Investment arbitration is a crucial and sensitive dispute-resolution method, notably because the treatment given to foreign investment matters may materially affect the economic and social realities of a country or region, particularly those in development. In the last decade, however, as already reported and addressed in this blog by, among many others, Vanessa Giraud and Carlos González-Bueno, countries in Latin America — a true hot-spot for foreign investment1 — have been either ignoring, denouncing or resisting the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”), the dispute-resolution framework for investment protection enacted under the Washington Convent [...]
Although Turkey has ratified the ICSID Convention as early as in 1988, it was not until the recent decade that its domestic law recognized the possibility to resort to arbitration against the State. Until 2000s, disputes arising between a public authority and a private party were to be resolved in an appeal to administrative courts established under Turkish law. Following a series of tense discussions on the traditional role and function of the State, this trend came to an end with the amendments made to Articles 47, 125 and 155 of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic. (Law No: 4446/2, O.G., 14.08.1999, No. 21786)
During the amendment process of the Constitution, questions were raised as [...]
Over the years Latin American countries have played an increasingly relevant role in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”), with the highest proportion – 27% – of all cases handled by the Centre. Despite the high percentage these same countries have been increasingly expressing their dislike about having to resolve their disputes through the ICSID, notwithstanding the fact that in certain Latin American countries this hostility has steadily diminished through the adoption of protective Arbitration Laws or the signing of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs).
The reason for this resentment is mainly because some of these governments associate the ICS [...]
As reported earlier, the US Supreme Court has recently adjudicated on the issue of the standard of review in relation to arbitration agreements in international investment arbitration.
It is a fact that the majority of the Court has decided that deference should be given to arbitral tribunals to examine questions of procedural conditions, as it characterized the issue of litigation before the domestic courts of Argentina for 18 months before initiating arbitral proceedings. It seemed to the majority of the Court that the issue pertains to whether a duty to arbitrate arises, and not whether such a duty exists at all.
In determining the issue at hand, the majority found that the United Kingdo [...]