The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) has issued new rules that came into force on April 1, 2013. The rules changes are accompanied by new Practice Notes for cases administered by SIAC under its rules and the UNCITRAL rules that also came into force on the same date. While the changes do not reflect a significant overhaul of the prior version of the institution’s rules, they do contain important changes of which practitioners should be aware.
The 2013 rules are the fifth set of rules issued by SIAC, which promulgated previous versions in 1991, 1997, 2007, and 2010. The SIAC rules are one of several sets of arbitral rules to be updated in the last few years; other [...]
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 [...]
In Part I it was argued that the proper law applicable in the investor-State disputes under Article 42 (1) ICSID Convention depends on the substantive grounds of the investor’s claim. In support of this, I have outlined three factual scenarios and types of claims with evidence from case law. Part I dealt with host State domestic law and the direct relationship between investor and State. The ICSID case law on the latter supporting the analysis from Part I is as follows:
2.1. Case law examples
In SOABI v Republic of Senegal (ARB/82/1) there was a contract between the investor and the Government of Senegal. In para 5.02 of the award the Tribunal [...]
Rationalizing applicable law in investor-State disputes in absence of express choice of law under Article 42 (1) of ICSID Convention
Article 42 of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention) determines the powers of an arbitral tribunal constituted under the ICSID Convention as to applicable law in investor-State disputes.
Paragraph 1 of the Article has been subject of varying interpretation in both practice and doctrine, especially as to the determination of applicable law in cases of absence of express choice of law. The interpretation of the Article oscillates from absolute focus on national law of host Sta [...]
and Oleg Temnikov
There is a Taoist fable of the three stupid men who were traveling together from one village to the next. They rested for the night under a banyan tree. In the morning, it turned out that the travelers have forgotten whose shoes are whose. Because none of the three men was able to walk in another man’s shoes or to recognize his own their journey ended under the banyan tree.
On February 8, 2013 the tribunal in Tidewater and ors v. Venezuela (ICSID Case No. ARB/10/5) issued its Decision on jurisdiction. To the present authors it was of particular interest for the following passage:
“[Investment treaties] … may provide for investor-state arbitration, but only f [...]
At a conference a few years back, a well-known and respected arbitrator was speaking on the topic of predictability and consistency of arbitral decision making in investment treaty arbitration. The arbitrator asked whether arbitrators should fly solo or in flocks. He made a strong and persuasive case for the independence of the arbitrator, to fly solo—perhaps into uncharted territory. The arbitrator used the example of the condor—flying high in the sky, with clear-sighted vision taking in the expanse of the territory below it.
Using animal and bird metaphors for arbitrators and arbitral tribunals has its dangers. The condor is a member of the Vultur genus. According to Wikipedia, a [...]