‘By putting its head in the sand, the ostrich can see no problems, and if it can’t see any problems, they don’t exist”[1] To what extent can legal systems differ? Can these differences be legitimate enough to collapse a “conflictive” legal system? These two ambitious questions are difficult to be answered in one go, and…

Mass claims proceedings have become increasingly important in the current dispute resolution scenario prevailing in the world. In international law, the role mass claims proceedings play is beyond dispute. Tribunals such as the Iran-US Claims Tribunal & United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) have certainly highlighted the importance which has been played by mass claims tribunals….

Both UNCTAD and ICSID have recently released documents designed to provide snapshots of key developments and trends in investor-State arbitration. Both documents draw upon a statistical analysis of case filings and outcomes to generate overviews of the lay of the land in this area of law. The documents highlight a number of important trends, and…

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…

and Oleg Temnikov Purpose of security for costs Security for costs falls into the category of provisional measures and is regulated by Article 47 of the ICSID Convention and Arbitration Rule 39. Its purpose is, inter alia to preserve the effectiveness of the award and the integrity of the proceeding by protecting the requesting party’s…

The current state of affairs of arbitration within Latin America looks challenging. Many countries are having upcoming ICSID awards which could amount to tens of billions of dollars against them. Most international bonds have a final judgment event of default (EoD), which could lead to a default bond scenario on the sovereign debt of such…

One of the fundamental issues of investment cases – apparently more frivolous than the strictly legal battles – takes the form of debates over the applicable compensation standard. Historically speaking, the problem was mainly put forth for breaches of Bilateral Investment Treaties that referred to expropriatory behaviors of signatory states. Therefore, if this specific type…

The controversial role of non-disputing parties has been the object of a significant amount of literature. While third party funding was a hot topic hitherto, the so-called amicus curia, and its evolving role, might be back in the spotlight. Since the first ICSID amicus case -the Bechtel case- until today, the rights, interests at stake…

It is well settled that there is no rule of precedent in investment arbitration and arbitrators are not bound by decisions rendered by previous tribunals. Nevertheless, investment arbitration practice shows that previous decisions are often observed and followed. Disputing parties and arbitrators devote significant attention to previous decisions and on several occasions arbitral tribunals rely…

The case of Perenco Ecuador Limited v Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/6 (Decision, 12 September 2014), is one of a number of investor-state disputes to arise from the Ecuadoran government’s policies on the so-called “extraordinary income” of oil companies operating in its territory in the mid to late 2000s. Keen followers of international…

On November 17, 2014, the tribunal in Alemanni v. Argentine Republic issued its long-anticipated decision on jurisdiction and admissibility. Alemanni is the third in a series of large-scale arbitrations arising out of Argentina’s default on its sovereign debt, and the most recent decision bears some resemblance to the preliminary awards rendered in the other two…

and Oleg Temnikov 1. Approaches to cost allocation There are, generally, two approaches to costs allocation (“CA”), namely: (1) pay your own way (“PYOWA”) whereby the parties share the costs of the proceedings and bear their own legal costs; (2) loser pays or also called “costs follow the event” approach (“CFTEA”) under which the losing…

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…

Paraphrasing Churchill, investment arbitration is the worst form of foreign investment dispute resolution, except for all the others. Post-Suez, governments are more civilised than to employ gunboat diplomacy for their own investors, and local courts are inherently partial. Achieving neutrality is the objective, and the only means: investment arbitration. This is the conventional wisdom for…

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…

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…

and Laura Lozano, González-Bueno & Asociados It is known that third party funding has become one of the hot topics in the international arbitration arena. Indeed, it is not the first time this blog deals with the matter. Amongst others, Munir Maniruzzaman and Lisa Bench Nieuwveld have already explored this tool that provides the necessary…

and Oleg Temnikov Foreword Designation by a State of a constituent subdivision or agency provided for in Article 25, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the ICSID Convention has recently sparked a debate particularly in terms of the manner in which the designation is made and communicated to the Center. This is the subject of the…

The very nature of an arbitrator requires that she or he be imbued with the principles of independence and impartiality, qualities that should never be doubted. Nonetheless, there has recently been an increased number of challenges to arbitrators in Investment Arbitrations subject to the procedures of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the…

Investment arbitration is a crucial and sensitive dispute-resolution method, notably because the treatment given to foreign investment matters may materially affect the economic and social realities of a country or region, particularly those in development. In the last decade, however, as already reported and addressed in this blog by, among many others, Vanessa Giraud and…

By Carlos González–Bueno and Laura Lozano, González-Bueno & Asociados, Madrid. It is commonly understood that Latin American countries have played an important dominant role as respondents in ICSID cases. This has led to the withdrawal from the ICSID Convention by several Latin American countries. Interestingly, however, according to recent ICSID statistics, cases filed against Latin…

The ICSID Convention threshold for arbitrators’ challenges, upholding challenges only if arbitrators exhibit a manifest lack of the qualities required to sit as arbitrators (Art. 57 ICSID Convention), has in the past been criticized as being too strict. Recently, however, few decisions, discussed in this post, seem to show that the ICSID “manifest” threshold is…

and Oleg Temnikov Foreword The recent decision on preliminary objections, dated 17 January 2014, against the application for annulment in Elsamex S.A. v. Honduras (ARB/09/4) brought renewed interest in the procedure for summary dismissal of unmeritorious claims under Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration Rules. The present post examines shortly this procedure as well as…

By Michael Polkinghorne & Charles B. Rosenberg, White & Case LLP The role of the tribunal secretary in international arbitration has been called an “enormously grey area” that has been subject to instances of “abuse.” With concerns of the secretary going beyond his or her position as an assistant to the tribunal and becoming a…