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…

Newspapers, cable television shows, and Twitter are abuzz with claims of “fake news.” Within the past two weeks alone, the U.S. President accused his predecessor of wiretapping his office building, apparently in reliance upon reporting in online news media. More traditional news outlets have responded with innuendo that the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau…

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…

The beginning of 2017 has already been remarkable to contribute to discussions regarding counterclaims in investment arbitration: two recently finalized cases against Latin America states (Urbaser et al. v The Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No ARB/07/26 ; Burlington Resources Inc. v Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/5) provide several noteworthy points for further debates…

New years are a great opportunity to take stock and to prepare for future developments, despite the obvious difficulties in predicting what the main trends will be. This is also the case for 2017. Looking back to 2016 there are two topics that immediately stand out: gender diversity and transparency. Both topics were subject to…

Co-authored with Ivaylo Dimitrov, George Washington University Law School Foreword A recent award rendered in the case of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited v. Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) (ARB/10/20, Award, 12 September 2016) (hereinafter: “SCB HK v. TANESCO”) seems to put an end to a dispute which had sparked lately relating to an arbitral…

As Professor Luke Nottage and Dr. Jarrod Hepburn have observed in a forthcoming case note,1)Hepburn, J., Nottage, L. (2016), Case Note: Philip Morris Asia v Australia (Forthcoming), Journal of World Investment and Trade the most recent ruling in the long-running case of Philip Morris Asia v Australia has highlighted the consequences of agreeing to arbitrate…

“When Justice Delayed Would be Justice Denied: Emergency Arbitrators and Interim Measures in International Arbitration” was the subject of the 28th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA), which took place on 16 June 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Under the leadership of ITA’s Chair, Abby Cohen Smutny (White & Case), and the conference…

Favorable ICSID awards are undoubtedly a valuable commodity.  By virtue of the ICSID Convention, which features 153 Contracting States, such awards are automatically enforceable in nearly 80% of countries around the world.  But enforcement of an award is only half of the equation; award holders must also navigate the separate, but equally important, task of executing the…

The epitome – and uncontroversial part – of the legitimate expectations doctrine is that a sovereign’s failure to live up to its promises made towards an investor who relied on such promise to make an investment – or to continue an investment – is a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard. Practice has,…

On June 6, 2016, the ICSID Secretary General registered a request for arbitration in Global Telecom Holding (GTH) v. Canada. Although the text of the arbitral claim is not yet public, it appears likely that the dispute relates to GTH’s involvement (or attempted involvement) in Canada’s wireless telecommunications sector. This claim may be historic for…

In two recent cases, ICSID tribunals have been asked to consider applications for provisional measures relating to criminal proceedings initiated against the claimants. On 3 March 2016, the tribunal in Hydro S.r.l and others v. Republic of Albania (ICSID Case No. ARB/15/28) (the Hydro case) partly granted a request to recommend the suspension of criminal…

Bruchou, Fernandez Madero & Lombardi Abogados Until recently, recognition and enforcement of investment awards remained untested before Argentine courts. This changed in 2015. On August 18, 2015, Chamber A of the National Court of Appeals on Commercial Matters, rendered a judgment on the recognition of an ICSID award in the court case “CCI – Compañía…

In recent years, ICSID has provided an increasing level of detail and transparency about the practice and procedure of ICSID Convention and ICSID Additional Facility arbitrations. The ICSID Secretariat has done so in a variety of ways: on its website, in Annual Reports, in The ICSID Caseload: Statistics, as well as in one-day primers it…

This is Part II of a previous blog, discussing a recent Award dated 27 October 2015 rendered in ICSID Case No. ARB/11/33 – Adel A Hamadi Al Tamimi v. Sultanate of Oman and dismissing all claims against Oman (see Part I of the blog). By way of reminder, the claims brought in these ICSID proceedings…

By a Final Award dated 27 October 2015 (see ICSID Case No. ARB/11/33 – Adel A Hamadi Al Tamimi v. Sultanate of Oman), an international tribunal constituted under the International Convention for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), also commonly referred to as the Washington Convention, dismissed all claims brought by a US national against the…

by Juan Carlos Herrera Q. Puente & Asociados In the middle of a short holiday, the Ecuadorian Government anxiously expected the Decision on Annulment issued by the Ad-hoc Committee regarding the investment arbitration initiated by Oxy. On November 2nd, 2015, the ICSID published on its web site the Decision and this event provoked a major…

The issue of transparency is hardly a new topic in legal scholarship addressing international arbitration. Last year, in an important contribution to this blog, Loukas A. Mistelis broke with the conventional wisdom that investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, is in need of court-like transparency, arguing that extending court-like transparency to arbitration “would not benefit the…

While everyone has been watching with fascination the ups and downs of the Greek crisis, colleagues have been busy in the background trying to unravel some core components of the Greek Bailouts. The PSI deal, which is largely responsible for passing the burden of any potential Greek default from private hands onto public coffers, has…

For natural persons, possession of the nationality of the host state is an absolute bar to becoming a party to ICSID proceedings against that state. Article 25 of the ICSID Convention delimits the scope of arbitral jurisdiction to investment disputes between a ‘Contracting State’ and a ‘national of another Contracting State’, defined as ‘any natural…

Treaty shopping, also called corporate (re-)structuring, is most often associated with legal persons, in particular mailbox companies. Much discussed in this respect is the practice of “round-tripping” where the investor-claimant is foreign-incorporated, but majority-controlled by natural or legal persons of host State nationality (see e.g. Tokios Tokeles v Ukraine, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/18, Decision on…

The Dissenting Opinion of Georges Abi-Saab to the Decision on Jurisdiction and Merits of September 3, 2013 in the case ConocoPhillips, Petrozuata B.V., ConocoPhillips Hamaca B.V. and ConocoPhillips Gulf of Paria B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/30 (hereinafter the “Dissenting Opinion”), raises the issue of whether there is a duty to…