ICSID tribunals have refused to hear the merits of investment treaty claims if a corrupt act was involved in contract formation, even where that corruption involved state actors. Consequently, the arbitral system—which was designed to ensure the neutral and apolitical resolution of investment disputes, inadvertently incentivizes states to “promote a corruption scheme in order to…

  Arbitral tribunals are increasingly faced with allegations of corruption. In these situations, arbitral proceedings and criminal investigations frequently go in tandem. Their findings overlap and may influence one another. Regardless of the many instances where corruption is alleged, there have been only a few investment cases in which a finding of corruption was actually…

With the rise of populist politics in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Brexit referendum, it is not surprising that trade in general, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in particular, have become lightning rods for controversy. The proposed treaty’s provisions on trade, investment, and intellectual property have drawn passionate criticism from both old and new…

The Second Circuit’s decision on Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger et. al., one more chapter of the “Chevron Saga” (discussed by the author here), arose out of a federal action commenced by Chevron Corporation in 2011 against American lawyer Steven Donziger, his law firm and the plaintiffs in the Lago Agrio claim initiated against Chevron…

The legal consequences of a breach of a contract tainted by corruption are better understood through a hypothetical: Contractor A of country X enters into negotiations with B, the Minister of Economics and Development of country Y, with a view to concluding an agreement on a large infrastructure project (“the Contract”). B requests the payment…

It has been some time since Judge Gunnar Lagergren – 52 years precisely – arbitrated a case (ICC No. 1110) whose underlying contract involved an agreement to pay bribes, and where he proffered a landmark award holding that “a case such as this, involving such gross violation of good morals and international public policy, can…

In the landscape of international investment arbitration the allegations of corruption have become more and more common. Confronted with investor’s claims before an arbitral tribunal, host states employ all possible legal arguments available to avoid potential liability and the subsequent payment of compensation. Investor’s corrupt acts have emerged as a potentially viable state defense in…

For many years, the standard of review by French courts of awards rendered in international arbitration proceedings on grounds of violation of international public policy has been controversial. Scholars have debated the relative merits of a “minimalist” as opposed to a “maximalist” approach. In court decisions, the “minimalist” approach prevailed. In the area of competition…

Chair: Klaus Reichert SC (London) Main Speakers: Dr. Aloysius Llamzon (The Hague), Anthony Sinclair (London) Commentators: Utku Cosar (Istanbul), Carolyn B. Lamm (Washington, DC) Rapporteur: Elizabeth Karanja (Nairobi) No one would seriously challenge the proposition that investor wrongdoing is a systemic threat to international investment arbitration. But what constitutes investor wrongdoing? What are the standards…

Factual background 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…

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…

By Luke Eric Peterson There’s perennial discussion in the arbitration world as to the definition and legal implications of corruption in the context of international arbitration – including for example in a recent investment case involving Uzbekistan – but it’s less common to see discussions of corruption in the context of relations between arbitration lawyers…