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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 [...]

Apotex III’s Application of Res Judicata Ensures Finality, Legal Security and Judicial Economy

The recently published Award in Apotex Holdings Inc. and Apotex Inc. v. United States of America (Apotex III Award) is the first NAFTA award to apply the doctrine of res judicata. The Apotex III Tribunal confirmed that the operative part, together with the underlying reasoning, of an earlier award determined that Apotex’s abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) did not qualify as “investments” under the NAFTA. As such, the Tribunal, by a majority,* held that Apotex was barred from relitigating the issue despite Apotex’s argument that the earlier award concerned different kinds of ANDAs (those that were tentatively approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as opposed to th [...]

Making a Muddle of Moral Damages

Let’s get this straight: When awarded to persons, including foreign investors, moral damages are compensatory in nature. They are not discretionary. They are not symbolic. They are not exemplary. They are not punitive. Rather, as the commentary to the ILC Draft Articles 36 and 37 on State Responsibility notes, “[c]ompensable personal injury encompasses not only associated material losses . . . but also non-material damage . . . (sometimes, although not universally referred to as ‘moral damage’).” Put differently, “[m]aterial and moral damage resulting from an internationally wrongful act will normally be financially assessable and hence covered by the remedy of compensation.” A [...]

ISDS: which way will the scales TTIP?

On 29 September 2014, the European Commission (EC) and the US initiated the seventh round of negotiations for the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (the TTIP).1 The negotiations began in July 2013 after the EC received its mandate from the EU Member States. According to the EC, the TTIP aims to remove the existent trade barriers between the EU and the US in a wide range of economic sectors as well as to look at possibilities of converging regulations, opening market for services, public procurement and investment.2

One of the most controversial questions in relation to the TTIP has been whether to include an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision. [...]

Who Are the Protagonists in Investment Treaty Arbitration?

Procedural orders rarely become the subject of blog posts, much less the impetus for concerted action among states anxious to control the strategic space on which investment treaty arbitrations unfold. However, a series of orders in Detroit International Bridge Company v. Canada generated controversy when the tribunal steadfastly excluded representatives of the United States from attending hearings on jurisdiction. Viewed from one perspective, the incident reflects an element of farce. But it also provides a trenchant and timely reminder of continuing differences regarding the structure of investment treaty arbitration, and the roles assigned to disputing parties, tribunals, and non-disp [...]

Investment Protection – Swiss Style

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the authors’ respective law firms.

While the press has been full lately of a reported backlash against investment arbitration, Switzerland has been making quiet progress in its efforts to update and expand on the treaty protections enjoyed by Swiss investors.

Switzerland historically has been an attractive location for international corporate headquarters. Corporations domiciled in Switzerland have a longstanding tradition of investing considerable amounts abroad. Despite Switzerland’s relatively small size, it is the seventh-highest direc [...]

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