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…

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…

Transparency is one of the hot topics in international law. With governance functions increasingly shifting from the domestic to the international level, transparency is demanded, as Andrea Bianchi and Anne Peters show in their new seminal study, in order to compensate for the lack of a full-fledged international system of checks and balances. Transparency promises…

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…

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…

Over the years Latin American countries have played an increasingly relevant role in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”), with the highest proportion – 27% – of all cases handled by the Centre. Despite the high percentage these same countries have been increasingly expressing their dislike about having to resolve their…

and Felipe González Arrieta The UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (hereinafter “the Rules”) came into force in April 1, 2014. The Rules were adopted at the forty-sixth session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, held on July 2013, and are the result of a 3-year period effort by the…

Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided”. This is also a doctrine which is frequently used by courts which decides to abide by a point of law which was previously held by a court of equal or superior judicial hierarchy. The system of stare decisis purports to promote stability, certainty, reliability, uniformity,…

and Oleg Temnikov I. Foreword At the end of 2013, the Financial Times reported that a referendum will be held in Berlin on the question whether the State shall take over power supply from the hands of Vattenfall. We use this as an occasion to examine the legal implications in the field of investment arbitration…

Setting the scene Iraq currently ranks with Libya and Yemen amongst those recalcitrant Arab states that have thus far failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (the New York Convention or Convention). This state of affairs and the inadequacy of the country’s domestic and…

By Carmen Núñez-Lagos and Javier García Olmedo In an award rendered on 31 January 2014, an arbitral tribunal constituted under the UNCITRAL Rules declined jurisdiction over the claims brought by one of two claimants against the Plurinational State of Bolivia on the basis of the application of a denial of benefits clause in the US-Bolivia…

By Beth Cubitt and Tom French The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) – a multi-lateral agreement proposed between a number of countries, currently including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam (although it is hoped to be an open platform welcoming other countries to participate) – is currently the subject of…

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…

The numbers of energy and mining related disputes in Latin America constitute 67 out of 162 or 41% of the total ICSID cases within the region. In most of these disputes the respondents are Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela, which represent 52 out of 67 or 78% of the total energy and mining ICSID cases…

and Luis Miguel Velarde Saffer Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on BG Group v Argentina – an appeal from a controversial and much-criticized decision of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case arose out of emergency actions taken by the Republic of Argentina in late 2001 in the wake of…

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…

The “contribution of assets” requirement of the Salini test was often overlooked by commentators and tribunals, probably due to its “I-know-it-when-I-see-it” nature. The recent award in KT Asia Investment Group B.V. v Republic of Kazakhstan, however, demonstrates that a failure to meet the contribution requirement may put to rest a claim of an offshore company…

and Rapolas Kasparavičius, LAWIN An abundant number of agreements have been and will be concluded between states and investors operating under the bilateral investment regime and even a larger number of negotiations will fail before reaching the final stage of signature. An investor may spend large sums of money with the aim of concluding an…

It is not uncommon to see the losing party of an ICSID arbitration filing a frivolous request for annulment merely to engage the opposing party in settlement negotiations. Another frequent abuse of ICSID’s annulment mechanism is to attempt to re-litigate the merits at the annulment stage. An annulment proceeding under the ICSID Rules typically takes…

and Oleg Temnikov Foreword The tribunal in Mesa Power Group, LLC v. Canada (PCA Case No. 2012-17, Procedural Order No. 2, 18 January 2013) recently stated with regard to bifurcation of proceedings that: “[I]t is good… to let the parties ‘know where they stand’… at an early stage and not to impose the burden of…

Foreword For centuries people have searched for the formula which may give them more gold. It may turn out that some investors have found it. As it will be explained, indirect investments through a chain of intermediary companies hides the risk of multiplication of claims and double recovery. But not according to the tribunal in…