FET

Review of The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime

In their new book, Jonathan Bonnitcha, LaugePoulsen and Michael Waibel develop a coherent structure for policy analysis of investment treaties that should attract interest as governments review their treaty policies. It argues that investment treaties as currently applied often appear poorly tailored to address identifiable economic concerns.

ITN  |  March 13, 2017

Awards and Decisions

ICSID tribunal dismisses claims brought against Indonesia based on forged mining licences Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v. Republic of Indonesia, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/14 and ICSID Case No. ARB/12/40 Inaê Siqueira de Oliveira [*] After rendering separate decisions on jurisdiction¾one for the case brought by British company Churchill Mining PLC under the United […]

NAFTA tribunal orders Canada to pay U.S. wind power developer more than CAD28 million

Windstream Energy LLC v. Government of Canada, PCA Case No. 2013-22  An arbitral tribunal under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has reached the award stage. Although dismissing the discrimination and indirect expropriation claims, the tribunal upheld the claim of failure to provide fair and equitable treatment (FET), and ordered Canada […]

PCA tribunal dismisses expropriation and FET claims concerning an eco-touristic venture 

Peter A. Allard v. The Government of Barbados, PCA Case No. 2012-06 On June 27, 2016, a tribunal under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) dismissed all claims by Canadian businessman Peter A. Allard against Barbados under the Canada–Barbados bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission […]

News  |  August 10, 2016

India takes steps to reform its investment policy framework after approving new model BIT

India has started to send official notices to terminate bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to 57 partner countries with which it has BITs that have already expired or will expire in the near future. Moreover, to the 25 countries with which India has BITs with initial durations expiring from July 2017 onward, India has started to propose signing joint […]

Awards  |  August 10, 2016

Awards and Decisions

The long-expected final award has been rendered in the high-profile case initiated by tobacco giant Philip Morris in early 2010 against Uruguay over its tobacco control measures.

ITN  |  May 16, 2016

ICSID tribunal orders Zimbabwe to return expropriated farms

In a 318-page award issued July 28, 2015 but only published February 2016, a tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Zimbabwe to return farms it seized without compensation in 2005.

Awards  |  February 29, 2016

ICSID tribunal dismisses final claim for compensation in relation to Hungary’s 2008 termination of power purchase agreement

Electrabel S.A. v. Republic of Hungary, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/1 A Belgian energy company—Electrabel S.A. (Electrabel)—has failed in its final claim under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal has found no breach of the ECT’s fair and equitable (FET) treatment standard by Hungary. In 2012 the […]

Awards  |  February 29, 2016

Quiborax awarded US$50 million against Bolivia, one-third of initial claim

Quiborax S.A. and Non-Metallic Minerals S.A. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/2) On September 16, 2015, a tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Bolivia to pay approximately US$50 million in compensation for the expropriation of a mining investment. The claimants were Chilean company Quiborax S.A. (Quiborax) […]

A Distinction Without a Difference? The Interpretation of Fair and Equitable Treatment Under Customary International Law by Investment Tribunals

Broad interpretations of the standard for fair and equitable treatment (FET) by investment tribunals have become a source of increasing controversy. In theory, linking FET to customary international law (CIL), which is formed through the “general and consistent practice of states” that they follow out of a sense of legal obligation (opinio juris), results in a standard of protection that is more deferential to the regulatory authority of governments than the “autonomous” standard. In practice, however, investment tribunals continue to construe even CIL-based FET provisions to impose broad limits on government authority by accepting, without any evidence of state practice or opinio juris, the pronouncements of previous tribunals as definitive evidence of the standard under CIL.

ITN  |  January 14, 2013

Awards and Decisions

US$1.76 billion dollar award levied against Ecuador in dispute with Occidental; tribunal split over damages   Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Occidental Exploration and Production Company v. The Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/11 Damon Vis-Dunbar The Republic of Ecuador has been ordered to pay US$1,769,625,000 billion in damages—the largest award to be handed down […]

ITN  |  October 30, 2012

Awards and Decisions

Majority declines jurisdiction in claim against Argentina over domestic litigation requirement Daimler Financial Services AG v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/1 Damon Vis-Dunbar A claim against Argentina by a subsidiary of the German automotive firm Daimler A.G. has failed on its merits because the claimant did not first bring the dispute to court in […]

The SADC MODEL BIT Template: Investment for Sustainable Development

The South African Development Community (SADC) Model Bilateral Investment Treaty Template and Commentary was completed in June 2012 by Member States of the Community. Its completion marks the end of an 18 month process of consultations and drafting among government representatives and is intended as a guide for member states in future investment treaty negotiations.

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

Awards and Decisions

Claim against Slovakia dismissed, as tribunal complains of poorly presented case  Jan Oostergetel and Theodora Laurentius v. The Slovak Republic Damon Vis-Dunbar A tribunal has dismissed a claim by a pair of Dutch investors against the Slovak Republic, finding no evidence that a “financial mafia” colluded with the Slovak government to bankrupt the claimants’ investment. […]

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

Trends in Investor Claims Over Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Energy

As governments increasingly turn to renewable energy to mitigate climate change, domestic climate-related policies in the form of price support measures such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) have played an important role in stimulating the much needed investment—public and private, domestic and foreign—in the sector. Feed-in tariffs are characterized by guaranteed electricity purchase prices (set higher […]

Investment Law and Public Services: Clashes of Interests or Peaceful Coexistence?

[T]he Tribunal must balance the legitimate and reasonable expectations of the Claimants with […] [the] right to regulate the provision of a vital public service.[1] This quote from an investment arbitration tribunal highlights the relationship between international investment law and the regulation of public services. This essay illustrates areas of contention between the requirements of […]

ITN  |  April 13, 2012

News in Brief

Australia to reject investor-state dispute resolution in TPPA The Australian government will not sign on to investor-state dispute resolution provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), according to an Australian government official. “We have made it clear that we will no longer be seeking investor-state dispute settlement provisions in trade agreements,” said the Australian Minister […]

ITN  |  April 13, 2012

Awards and Decisions

US court vacates award against Argentina BG Group Plc v. Argentina Lise Johnson A US appellate court has vacated an award against Argentina in a decision that may give investors pause before attempting to bypass treaty provisions requiring that they first pursue their claims in the host state’s courts. The long course of the dispute […]

ITN  |  July 12, 2011

Awards and Decisions

Swiss claimant fails jurisdictional stage for not qualifying as an ‘investor’ Alps Finance and Trade AG v. Slovak Republic Damon Vis-Dunbar A claim against the government of Slovakia has failed after a three-member tribunal declined jurisdiction. The tribunal determined that the claimant was not an “investor” as intended by the Switzerland-Slovakia bilateral investment treaty. In […]

Philip Morris v. Uruguay: Will investor-State arbitration send restrictions on tobacco marketing up in smoke?

For nearly two decades, the tobacco industry has used international investment rules to challenge governmentrestrictions on cigarette marketing.  In 1994, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company threatened to bring a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) investment chapter as part of its successful lobbying campaign against Canada’s proposed “plain packaging” legislation, which would have […]

ITN  |  April 7, 2011

Awards and decisions

UK firm victorious in dispute with Russia, but damages much less than claimed RosInvestCo UK Ltd.  v. The Russian Federation, SCC Case No. Arb. V079/2005 Lise Johnson In an award dated 12 September 2010, the tribunal in RosInvestCo v. Russian Federation issued an award in which it found that the Russian Federation had unlawfully expropriated […]

The problem of moral hazard and its implications for the protection of ‘legitimate expectations’ under the fair and equitable treatment standard

While the concepts of sovereignty, human rights, the environment and the rule of law are often invoked in public debate about international investment treaties (IITs), there is relatively little discussion of the economic effects of such treaties.[1] One of the most powerful legal protections provided by IITs is the protection of foreign investor’s ‘legitimate expectations’ under fair and equitable treatment (FET) provisions, which are common to most IITs. This article draws on economic theory—specifically, the notion of moral hazard—to elucidate some of the problems with broader interpretations of the doctrine of legitimate expectations.

When international rules interact: International investment law and the law of armed conflict

The last two decades have witnessed an exponential increase in arbitral disputes between investors and states under international investment treaties. UNCTAD reports 357 known registered cases by the end of 2009; of those, 202 cases—or 57 percent—were initiated after 2004.[1] Independent investment tribunals now regularly render binding decisions as to whether states have violated investment protection standards guaranteed under various bilateral and multilateral investment treaties—a phenomenon that has turned international investment law into one of the most dynamic fields of public international law.

ITN  |  December 16, 2010

Awards and decisions

Georgia loses dispute with Greek and Israeli oil investors Ioannis Kardassopoulos and Ron Fuchs v. The Republic of Georgia (ICSID Case Nos. ARB/05/18 and ARB/07/15) Martin D. Brauch Two oil traders have been awarded more than US$45 million each in damages from the Republic of Georgia in an ICSID award that advances a broad interpretation […]

A global thirst: How water is driving the new wave of foreign investment in farmland

It is no longer a secret that there is a new wave of foreign investment in farmland, predominantly in Africa. An explosion of media reports and a series of studies by the World Bank, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), have confirmed the scale and consequences of this new influx of foreign investment. The World Bank report, by far the most comprehensive, found that reported deals amounted to 45 million hectares in 2009 alone.

ITN  |  September 23, 2010

Awards and Decisions

Argentina on the hook for breach of Fair and Equitable Treatment Suez, Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona S.A., and Vivendi Universal v. Argentine Republic (ICSID Case No. ARB/03/19) Lise Johnson On 30 July 2010, the ICSID tribunal in Suez, Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona S.A., and Vivendi Universal v. Argentina issued a decision […]

ITN  |  April 7, 2010

Oil transport company Tidewater Inc. initiates ICSID arbitration against Venezuela over expropriated assets

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz April 8, 2010 New Orleans-based Tidewater Inc. has initiated arbitration against Venezuela at ICSID over the latter’s alleged take-over of 15 of the company’s vessels in May and July of 2009. According to the company these and other seizures of the company’s assets amount to expropriations in violation of Venezuela’s bilateral […]

ITN  |  March 16, 2010

NEWS UPDATE: NY Judge dismisses Ecuador request for stay of Chevron arbitration

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz March 16, 2010 Judge Leonard Sand of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has granted Chevron’s motion to dismiss Ecuador’s request to stay the company’s arbitration against the Andean nation at the Court of Arbitration in The Hague.  In his March 11 ruling, Judge Sand held […]