Download the latest issue of ITN: ITN Quaterly January 2014

State Liability for Regulatory Change: How International Investment Rules are Overriding Domestic Law

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With governments around the world pushing efforts to negotiate and approve mega-investment treaties, it is important to be clear on just what these investment treaties do and do not mean. This article compares U.S. domestic law and international treaty rules on state liability for regulatory changes. It shows that arbitral tribunals have interpreted investment treaty rules in a manner far more favorable to the interests of investors than the approaches adopted in U.S. courts.

The Boom in Parallel Claims in Investment Treaty Arbitration

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Investment treaty arbitrators have adopted a de facto policy of favouring parallel claims by declining to yield to contractually-agreed dispute settlement provisions. The policy is widespread among tribunals but appears out of step with judicial restraint based on principles of party autonomy, sanctity of contract, or the avoidance of parallel proceedings.

 

Proposed Changes to the Investment Dispute-Resolution System: A South American Perspective

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The system of international investment arbitration suffers from serious flaws. In South America, more than other regions, these failings are apparent from direct experience. Perhaps because so many countries in the region have faced multiple international investment arbitrations based on multi-million dollar claims for compensations, a number of alternatives to the current system of investment dispute resolution have been proposed by governments, multilateral institutions and academics.

 
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Online Statements by National Investment Boards or Agencies and Their Potential Legal Effects

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National investment boards or agencies operate in several countries with a view to attract foreign investment. Towards this objective, they often maintain websites highlighting the advantages of investing in their country. This article surveys some common categories of representations and promises made on the websites of national investment boards and discusses their potential legal implications.

 

Conoco-Phillips and Exxon-Mobil v. Venezuela: Using Investment Arbitration to Rewrite a Contract

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Arbitrations by ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil against Venezuela feature some of the largest claims ever to have been brought against a state by international investors. However, a careful reading of dispute’s factual background suggests that these claims bear little connection with the deals that these oil firms actually agreed to in Venezuela.