Three decades, two wars, one occupation, and multiple democratic elections later, I found myself back in my country of birth, Iraq, in April 2017. I was invited to Baghdad by the Iraq Energy Institute (IEI) as a speaker at the 2017 Iraq Energy Forum (IEF), under the patronage of the Iraq government and the Iraq…

The Mongolian government has recently been required to pay one Canadian mining company approximately $100 million for expropriating that company’s uranium extraction licences in 2009. This sum is payable to Khan Resources Inc (Khan) pursuant to an arbitral award that is the climax of an arbitration proceeding initiated by Khan in 2011 as a result…

The 2014 case of Application for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards between Beijing Chaolaixinsheng Sports and Leisure Co Ltd and Beijing Suowangzhixin Investment Consulting Co Ltd. The Beijing Chaolaixinsheng case is the first occasion on which China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has confirmed that arbitral awards are unenforceable in China where purely domestic…

A recent seminar delivered under the Chatham House Rule considered the usefulness of an analogy between Investment Treaty Arbitration (ITA) and domestic public law, with a view to critiquing perceived imbalances in the former. The content of the seminar was grounded in the speaker’s background in ITA and public law litigation including domestic judicial review…

In an Award on Jurisdiction rendered earlier this year under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the “ICSID Convention”) in ICSID Case No. ARB/11/7 – National Gas S.A.E. v. Arab Republic of Egypt (a copy of which is electronically available on the official Investment Treaty Arbitration…

Apropos of a recent decision in ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela (ICSID Case No ARB/07/30), this post discusses the potential underlying concerns an arbitral tribunal may consider when deciding whether it can revise earlier decisions within the context of fragmented proceedings. Background The ICSID proceedings in ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela (ICSID Case No ARB/07/30) commenced in November 2007…

In recent years, African states have taken several initiatives to increase the protection of and legal security offered to foreign investors. However, a lot of work is unfinished and some of it is even frustrated. Some examples. Bilateral Investment Treaties Bilateral investment treaties (‘BITs’) are critical to foreign investors considering investing in Africa. Such BITs…

In an earlier post, I’d highlighted five notable legal highlights from 2012. Below, and somewhat belatedly, I offer my post-mortem on some key policy developments from 2012. 1. Venezuela and South Africa beat a retreat Venezuela’s exit from ICSID was perhaps the most visible policy story of 2012. The move could bolster the caseload of…

On 2 November 2012, President Thein Sein approved, after several months of intense debate between Parliament and the Government, Myanmar’s new Foreign Investment Law (‘FIL’ or ‘the Law’).  The new Law revises the framework for foreign investment in Myanmar which had been in place since a military coup in 1988. Considering the country’s abundant natural…

by Patricio Grané and Brian Bombassaro The year 2012 brought eight new investor-state arbitration decisions on umbrella clauses.1)(1) Société Générale de Surveillance S.A. v. Republic of Paraguay, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/29, Award (Feb. 10, 2012), (2) EDF International S.A., SAUR International S.A. and Leon Participaciones Argentinas S.A. v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/23, Award…

By Pia Eberhardt, Corporate Europe Observatory, and Cecilia Olivet, Transnational Institute At the end of November, Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute published Profiting from Injustice, a report that looks at the role of law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders in investment treaty arbitration. In it, we argued that the arbitration industry has fuelled…

It has become fashionable in recent years, each time an ICSID annulment decision is released that takes issue with the procedures or reasoning of an ICSID tribunal, for commentators to bemoan the lack of certainty, predictability and finality that this reflects in the ICSID system for adjudicating investment treaty disputes between investors and host States….

The recent decision in Spyridon Roussalis v. Romania (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/1) is prompting renewed debate over whether ICSID arbitration, now the leading mechanism for investors to pursue treaty-based claims against host States, may also be used by those States to assert related counterclaims against the investors, allowing all such claims to be settled in…

With the release of the Dissenting Opinion in Abaclat v. Agentina, we now have the benefit of a forceful critique of the majority’s decision that the Abaclat Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina under the ICSID Convention and the Argentina-Italy BIT.  Professor Georges Abi-Saab’s Dissenting Opinion (the…

In its 4 August 2011 Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, the majority of the Tribunal in Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina arising out of Argentina’s default on various sovereign…

The OECD-hosted Freedom of Investment (FOI) Roundtable is in the process of finalizing a statement regarding the role of international investment in supporting the realization of countries’ green growth objectives.  The draft statement entitled “Harnessing Freedom of Investment for Green Growth” (Draft Statement) and three draft background consultation papers (Draft Papers) are available on the…

Two ICSID tribunals have now weighed in on the much-debated question of whether Art. 22 of Venezuela’s Foreign Investment Law provides Venezuela’s consent to ICSID arbitration. In Decisions on Jurisdiction dated June and December 2010, the Mobil and Cemex tribunals (both presided by the former president of the ICJ, Judge Gilbert Guillaume), rejected investors’ submissions…