Latin America is the region that has faced the largest number of investment treaty arbitration cases in the world, holding 30% of the total ICSID caseload (549 cases as of December 31, 2015).  South America alone, comprised by twelve UNASUR members, has faced 131 ICSID cases with a number of adverse outcomes for the host…

One of the most important elements to consider when participating in arbitration proceedings is the available mechanisms to challenge the award of the arbitral tribunal. This element acquires an added significance when it comes to international arbitration where the award may be enforced in several jurisdictions. With that in mind, it is pertinent to refer…

On April 22, 2013, representatives of Members States of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (“ALBA” for its acronym in Spanish) met in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the manner in which their interests are affected by the activities carried out by transnational companies, under a reunion known as the…

On June 25th, 2012 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which covers all federal appeals emanating from the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, decided that a private commercial arbitration tribunal in Ecuador used by the parties to resolve a commercial dispute is a ‘tribunal’ for purposes of the collection of…

On January 3, 2012 an Ecuador Appeals Court affirmed the $18 billion judgment against Chevron in the long-running battle over environmental damage. (Available in English and the original Spanish here). According to an unofficial English translation of the sixteen page opinion, the Court dismissed all of Chevron’s arguments, including the allegations of fraud. Here is…

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.

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…

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…

International arbitration often involves parties, arbitrators, and counsel from both Common Law and Civil Law traditions, which sometimes creates misinterpretations about how evidence production will occur. The recent São Paulo court opinion determining that an ICC arbitral tribunal should widen the scope of the expert evidence it was considering in a dispute regarding the construction…

Here in the southern hemisphere, more precisely at Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 5th Annual Congress on Arbitration took place on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 and morning of Wednesday 13, October, co-organized by two institutions: CARAT and the Arbitral Tribunal of the Stock Market of Buenos Aires. Present at the event were a number of…

The ongoing saga regarding Chevron’s legal travails in Ecuador took an interesting twist this week. As I reported earlier, Chevron has secured key outtakes of the movie Crude that appeared to show alarming collusion between the plaintiff lawyers and the Court-appointed expert. According to pleadings filed yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, the outtakes include…

This year’s ICCA Congress in Rio de Janeiro not only confirmed that nobody knows to party better than cariocas, but also served as an impressive reminder of the increasing pro-arbitration approach of Brazilian courts, the remarkable growth in the number of arbitration proceedings in Brazil and the high sophistication of the Brazilian arbitration bar. Yet…

Less than two weeks before arbitration practitioners’ eyes turned to Rio de Janeiro for the ICCA Congress 2010, a court from that same jurisdiction rendered a decision improving case law on important matters related to arbitration. On May 12th, 2010, the Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (which is similar to a…

The Court of Appeals for the state of Bahia in Brazil recently handed down an arbitration-friendly decision and vacated an injunction intended to stay an arbitration proceeding. In FAT Ferroatlàntica S.L. vs. Zeus Mineração Ltda. and others, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether the existence of conflicting arbitration clauses in contracts pertaining to a single economic transaction justifies judicial intervention at the outset of the arbitration. The Court of Appeals held that, provided an arbitration agreement exists, such issue is to be dealt with by the arbitrators, not by the Courts.

Yesterday a federal court in New York granted Chevron’s request for discovery of outtakes from the 2009 documentary Crude about the multi-billion dollar litigation in Ecuador. Chevron’s request was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, which authorizes a judge in the United States to order discovery of evidence to be used in proceedings before a foreign…

In this blog I return to the theme of investor misconduct, albeit in a different context from my previous posts:  host state criminal investigations during investment treaty arbitration proceedings.  This issue has arisen in a number of recent investment treaty arbitrations, most notably in a series of cases against Turkey (Cementownia, Europe Cement and Libananco),…

In the long-running battle between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage, a federal court in New York has denied Ecuador’s motion to stay arbitration of a Ecuador-U.S. BIT claim. In September 2009, Chevron filed a notice of arbitration alleging, among other things, that “Ecuador has breached … the Ecuador-United States BIT, including its obligation to…

The relationship between human rights and investment law is all the rage these days in academia. It seems like every week I come across a PhD student or a young academic who is tackling some aspect of the topic. But, while there are many scholars and writers looking to bridge the two fields, it’s rarer…

My colleague Trey Childress has a nice summary of the recent decision by a federal court in Florida in Osorio v. Dole Food Company to refuse to enforce a $97 million Nicaraguan judgment. Here’s the key excerpt of the decision: “the evidence before the Court is that the judgment in this case did not arise…

The question of the existence of legal protection for foreign investors under customary international law has always been controversial. States have indeed entered into BITs precisely because of the lack of development of relevant custom rules in the field of international investment law. It is nonetheless largely agreed today that some rules of customary law…

Dear all, As you know, arbitration in Brazil has become a reality. After several decades of being considered as the last frontier of international arbitration in Latin America, Brazil is now one the most important country in the practice of arbitration on this continent. The last years’ ICC International Arbitration Court statistics show the influential…

In light of interest in the international arbitration community concerning investment treaty cases against Argentina since the 2001 economic crisis, we thought it could be useful to share Freshfields’ working collation. We caution that this is based only on public records and press reports. Corrections are welcome. According to our data, 46 treaty cases have…