As described in Part 1 of this post, the mounting debate about investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) has crescendoed in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. There are at least two “schools” of concern with ISDR, both of them voiced inside and outside the TPP context. Threats to Public Interest Policy For a growing array of…

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have become the territory where a brewing perfect storm over investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) is making landfall. The June 2012 leak of the draft TPP Investment Chapter text added energy, but much more is fueling this tempest. In general the ISDR system is coming under increased scrutiny. Public and policymaker concerns…

In the final days of 2012, I spent some time flipping back through the stories we’ve covered at Investment Arbitration Reporter, looking to identify the year’s most notable developments. I’ve settled on ten that I think are particularly noteworthy. Half of them are legal in nature, and are highlighted below. The other five are in…

Mandatory research and development investment requirements (hereinafter ‘R&D Requirements’) may be prohibited under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (‘NAFTA’). A decision in Mobil Investments Canada Inc. and Murphy Oil Corporation v. Government of Canada (‘Mobil v. Canada’) is highly anticipated after a U.S. website leaked the fact that Canada had lost…

In a recent blog post, Gary Born highlighted the current role of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in administering state-to-state arbitrations. Given that the PCA has recently released its Annual Report for 2011, I thought I’d complement Gary’s post with some further information about the PCA’s role in administering investor-to-state arbitrations. It’s useful to set…

After a review process that lasted three years, expectations ran high for the revised model U.S. bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”), which was released last month. Stakeholders from many parts of society — the U.S. Congress, environmental organizations, labor groups, business groups, trade associations, academia, the public, and investment experts — weighed in during the review…

This week, Spanish energy firm Repsol put Argentina on notice of an arbitration claim under the Spain-Argentina bilateral investment treaty. The development comes as no surprise, as Repsol had been threatening for some weeks to take such a course if Argentina persisted in nationalizing the bulk of Repsol’s 57% stake in the Argentine firm YPF….

The concept of good faith has been a subject of perennial controversy since it was derived from the Roman legal equivalent ‘bonas fides’. Juristic views on and the legal conceptualization of the idea of good faith may often vary across the cultural divides and legal traditions. At a higher level of abstraction there may be…

The notion of ‘investment’ has been one of the most controversial issues in arbitral proceedings instituted under the ICSID Convention. The award rendered by the UNCITRAL arbitral tribunal in Romak v. Uzbekistan has brought the issue outside of the ICSID context and concluded that, despite the broad definitions of ‘investment’ in Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs),…

International arbitration has long played an important role in resolving disputes that arise out of political and economic crises.   “Arbitration in Times of Crisis” is the theme of the 9th Annual ITA-ASIL Conference on 28 March 2012 in Washington, D.C. (see program).   The conference will focus on lessons from the past use of arbitral mechanisms…

As Roger Alford mentioned previously, New York University Law School hosted a discussion of the Chevron-Ecuador dispute on October 24th. The event was subject to the Chatham House rules, so my notes below should not be attributed to any particular panelist or audience members. However, in the case of moderator Michael Goldhaber, his views have…

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…

Recent reports of the freezing of Russian government funds at the Stockholm Arbitration Institute may be premature, but it still remains possible that a Swedish bailiff could move to seize such funds. At the time of this writing, a freezing request by German businessman Franz Sedelmayer remained under active review at a Swedish government debt…

If you’ve been watching the headlines this month, you may have noticed that the United States of America has launched a novel arbitration against the Republic of Guatemala. The claim alleges that Guatemala is failing to enforce its own labour laws, thus falling afoul of international legal obligations written into the U.S. Free Trade Agreement…

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not foreign to defending investment claims. In order to restore investors’ confidence in its country, the Pakistani government has enacted on April 28, 2011 a law to secure foreign investment. The International Investment Disputes Act (the “Act”) has been qualified by the Pakistani president, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, as…

As has been chronicled in previous postings, the 2008 decision of an ICSID arbitral tribunal to award $1 Million (US) in “moral damages” to an injured company has been eyed covetously by other investor-claimants in investment treaty disputes. Such sums may be “small change” compared to the more conventional forms of economic compensation claimed for…

On 11 March 2011, the UNASUR treaty entered into force. UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) is a regional organisation that comprises all twelve South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The entry into force of the treaty is an important development for the international arbitration community given some of the proposals that UNASUR is advancing, particularly in the field of investor-State arbitration.

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…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

Within the last two decades, over 30 new states emerged within the international community. From a political, economic, as well as a legal point of view, the formation of a state is always an expedition into unchartered waters. On a domestic level, the establishment of a sound legal system is the prerequisite for a stable…

Last week I had the privilege to attend an investment arbitration conference and FDI moot court competition at Pepperdine. Kudos to Murdoch University of Australia for winning the competition and my alma mater NYU for winning the highest overall ranking. There was much to ponder in the conference from the likes of Andrea Bjorkland, Todd…

Three different investors, with three different claims, in three different situations, have recently been in the news. All three disputes have a Canadian connection. Two involved claims by foreign investors against Canada, one that settled and one that Canada defeated. The third involves a claim by a Canadian investor against the Democratic Republic of Congo….

In a recent post, Lisa Bench Nieuwveld raised an issue which has been discussed from time to time on this blog: the potential for not-for-profit activities to be protected under international investment treaties. There is no doubt that not-for-profit organizations face a barrage of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of host countries, and that…

On 31 August 2010, a group of over 35 academics (not including the current author), published a Public Statement on the International Investment Regime (Statement).  The preamble to the three-page Statement outlines why the Statement has been issued: We have a shared concern for the harm done to the public welfare by the international investment…