ITN  |  November 21, 2008

Report says Tanzania is signing bad deals with foreign mining companies

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 21 November 2008 Tanzania is losing large amounts of money from foreign investment in the mining sector due to low royalty rates and generous tax exemptions, while contracts with so-called stabilization clauses have locked the government into this tax regime for up to 50 years,  says a report published by a consortium […]

ITN  |  November 13, 2008

Disgruntled fishing outfitters put Canada on notice

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 13 November 2008 The Canadian government has been sent two letters from outdoor tour companies signaling intent to sue for alleged breaches of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both outfitters complain that their businesses suffered when the Province of Quebec changed the rules for distributing fishing licenses. The two businesses led […]

ITN  |  November 10, 2008

Forum for developing country investment treaty negotiators held in Marrakech

On 2-4 November 2008, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the South Centre, and the Moroccan Department of Investment held the 2nd Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators in Marrakech, Morocco. The First Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators was held in Singapore on 1-2 October 2007, and was attended by over 30 negotiators […]

ITN  |  October 29, 2008

Canadian investors sue Costa Rica alleging failure to protect their farm

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz and Damon Vis-Dunbar 29 October 2008 A tribunal has been constituted in an arbitration that pits a group of Canadian investors against the government of Costa Rica. The claimants—Vancouver-based Quadrant Pacific Growth Fund L.P. and Conasco Holdings Inc—allege that Costa Rican authorities failed to protect their orange plantations from peasants who […]

ITN  |  October 28, 2008

Société Générale passes jurisdictional hurdle in dispute with Dominican Republic; controversy erupts over press release

By Fernando Diaz Cabrera 28 October 2008 Lawyers for the Dominican Republic have accused a subsidiary of the French financial services company Société Générale of breaking confidentiality rules in an ad-hoc arbitration when it issued a press release announcing that the tribunal had ruled in its favour by rejecting the Dominican Republic’s objections to jurisdiction. […]

ITN  |  October 24, 2008

Jurisdictional decision sees light of day in dispute between a Greek claimant and Serbia-Montenegro

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 24 October 2008 A previously unpublished 2006 partial award on jurisdiction in an arbitration between a Greek industrial group and the government of Serbia  and Montenegro was released in October 2008, providing a fuller description of the little-publicized dispute. The row relates to a series of contracts between Mytilineos Holdings SA and […]

ITN  |  October 23, 2008

Chemical company warns Canada of a potential lawsuit over pesticide ban

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 23 October 2008 One of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers may sue the Canadian government over the ban of a lawn pesticide in the Province of Quebec. The Canadian government revealed on 21 October that, some two months earlier, it was served with a “Notice of Intent” by Dow AgroSciences LLC, a […]

ITN  |  October 22, 2008

Czech Republic fails to overturn partial liability award before Paris Court of Appeal

By Suzy H. Nikièma 22 October 2008 The Czech Republic’s effort to overturn a partial award on liability rendered in favour of a Croatian businessman has been rejected by a Paris court of appeal, while a separate challenge to a US$ 1.5 million ruling on damages is still pending. The awards in question arise out […]

ITN  |  October 21, 2008

Tribunal prepares for amici curiae in miners’ dispute with South Africa

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 21 October 2008 Nonparties wishing to intervene in an international arbitration launched by Italian miners against the government of South Africa have been offered a set of procedures to follow. A two-page document, available from the ICSID secretariat, summarizes the allegations made by the Italian miners, outlines the steps that need to […]

ITN  |  October 16, 2008

In Memorial: Professor Thomas Wälde (1949-2008)

A leading figure in the field of international investment law passed away suddenly on 11 October 2008 at age 59. Thomas W. Wälde, a professor at the University of Dundee, Scotland, fell at his holiday home in Southern France. News of his death, which spread across the on-line forums that he founded and fostered, has […]

ITN  |  October 14, 2008

Argentina ordered to reconsider its position on payment of ICSID awards

By Damon Vis-Dunbar14 October 2008  A three-person committee formed by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has rejected the Argentine government’s position that foreign investors who have been awarded damages through the ICSID arbitration system must go to an Argentine court in order to obtain enforcement of the award. The committee […]

ITN  |  September 30, 2008

Dominican Republic target of potential treaty claims in toll road dispute

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 30 September 2008 The Dominican Republic faces two possible treaty claims in a dispute with a consortium it hired to extend and operate an important highway connecting the capital with the eastern part of the island. The dispute centres on a 2001 concession contract signed between the Concesionaria Dominicana de Autopistas […]

ITN  |  September 26, 2008

Caratube International Oil Company LLP v. Republic of Kazakhstan: American investor sues Kazakhstan over oil-field dispute

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 26 September 2008 A US citizen, Devincci Salah Hourani, has launched a lawsuit against the government of Kazakhstan over a failed contract to explore and exploit oil in the country. Mr. Hourani, who holds a 92% stake in the Kazakh firm Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC), has alleged breaches of the United […]

ITN  |  September 24, 2008

US investor threatens arbitration over investments in Canadian health-care sector

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 24 September 2008 An American businessman has revived long-held suspicions that the North American Free Trade Agreement’s investment chapter may hinder Canada’s ability to regulate its public health-care system. In a letter sent to the Canadian government in July 2008—a so-called Notice of Intent—Melvin J. Howard accuses provincial authorities of putting up […]

ITN  |  September 22, 2008

Ecuador hallado culpable por violación de contratos de compraventa de energía eléctrica y tratado de inversión

Por Damon Vis-Dunbar 29 de Agosto de 2008 El proveedor de electricidad Electroquil SA fue otorgado US$ 5.578.566 más intereses producto de varias violaciones de contratos de compraventa de energía eléctrica (en inglés, PPAs) respaldados por el gobierno de Ecuador. Si bien Ecuador también fue encontrado culpable por haber infringido el tratado bilateral de inversiones […]

ITN  |  September 22, 2008

Se garantiza estabilidad impositiva a inversores extranjeros en Perú

Por Elizabeth Whitsitt 29 de Agosto de 2008 En uno de los dos laudos dictados por el CIADI en agosto donde la firma estadounidense Duke Energy se encuentra involucrada, un tribunal declaró culpable a la República de Perú frente a Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd. (DEI Bermuda) por daños que alcanzan los […]

ITN  |  September 12, 2008

Canadian lumber company fails to vacate NAFTA Chapter 11 award in US court

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 12 September 2008 A bid by a Canadian lumber company, Tembec, to vacate a NAFTA Chapter 11 award was dismissed in August by a United States District Court. This is the second time Tembec has turned to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In 2005, Tembec made an […]

ITN  |  September 4, 2008

Clean Energy Investment: A report by the IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has published a report on clean-energy investment, with a focus on encouraging policies that would attract environmentally sustainable investment into developing countries. The report describes obstacles and opportunities to attracting clean-energy investment. At the domestic level, these include the various criteria that make the environment either attractive or risky for investors. At […]

ITN Newsletter 1 September 2008

In this issue: Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd. v. Republic of Peru: Foreign investors in Peru are guaranteed tax stability; Duke Energy Electroquil Partners and Electroquil SA v Ecuador: Ecuador found liable for breaches of power purchase agreements and investment treaty; Trans-Global Petroleum Inc. v. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: First Application of […]

ITN  |  August 29, 2008

Ecuador threatens cancellation of oil contracts unless ICSID nixed as arbitration forum

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 29 August, 2008 The Ecuadorian government will consider contracts with oil companies terminated unless they remove the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) as the venue of arbitration. The threat comes as the Andean nation considers domestic legal reforms which would make it unconstitutional for the country to be […]

ITN  |  August 25, 2008

Entrevista con Alejandro Faya-Rodríguez, asesor jurídico especial, Ministerio de Economía mexicano

Alejandro Faya-Rodríguez fue Director General Adjunto de Asuntos Internacionales de la Dirección General de Inversión Extranjera del Ministerio de Economía de México hasta marzo pasado. En dicho cargo negoció diez tratados bilaterales de inversión y un capítulo de inversión en el marco de un acuerdo de libre comercio. Recientemente, pasó a ocupar un cargo como […]

ITN  |  August 13, 2008

News in Brief: Tribunal declines jurisdiction in African Holding Company of America, INC et Société Africaine de construction au Congo SARL (SAFRICA) v. République Démocratique du Congo

By Suzy H. Nikièma 13 August 2008 An ICSID tribunal has declined jurisdiction in a dispute over a failed construction contract between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and two U.S. investors. Two members of the three-person tribunal held that the dispute began when the investment was under the control of a Belgium company, therefore […]

ITN  |  August 11, 2008

TDM Call for Papers: The Notion of Investment – In Search of an Acceptable Definition

Transnational Dispute Management (TDM) is announcing a special issue dedicated to the notion of investment. The theme of the issue is: “The notion of investment: in search of an acceptable definition“. Contributions are invited from prospected authors with unpublished or previously published articles, conference papers, research papers, case studies. The recent arbitration awards where the […]

ITN  |  August 8, 2008

News: An update on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements

By Suzy H. Nikièma and Damon Vis-Dunbar 8 August 2008 Over the last six years the European Commission and 77 African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) countries have been negotiating free trade agreements, which they call Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).  The EPAs are intended to end the non-reciprocal trade preferences given to Europe’s former colonies which are […]

ITN  |  August 7, 2008

Commentary: A case for an international investment court

By Gus Van Harten Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University 7 August 2008 I shall lay out an argument for an international investment court, not because I wish to associate myself with grandiose schemes for international reform, but because I see it as the most pragmatic and appropriate way to fix serious problems […]

ITN  |  August 6, 2008

South American alternative to ICSID in the works as governments create an energy treaty

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 6 August 2008 A  July 16-17 meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (comprised of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Nicaragua, and Venezuela)* ended without public mention of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the World Bank agency that administers investor-state arbitrations. Nonetheless, the bloc’s push for a regional […]

ITN  |  July 28, 2008

An interview with Alejandro Faya-Rodriguez, special legal advisor, Mexican Ministry of Economy

17 July 2008Alejandro Faya-Rodriguez was the Deputy Director-General for International Affairs of the Directorate-General of Foreign Investment at the Mexican Ministry of Economy until last March, where he negotiated ten bilateral investment treaties and one investment chapter within a free trade agreement. He recently moved to a new post as a senior legal advisor to […]

ITN  |  July 25, 2008

News: Trans-Global Petroleum Inc. v. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: First Application of ICSID Arbitration Rule 41(5)

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 25 July 2008 Tribunal considers whether a claim by an U.S. investor against Jordon is “manifestly without legal merit”, and rejects all but one of Jordan’s objections An ICSID tribunal has ruled on whether to uphold objections filed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan pursuant to Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration […]

ITN  |  July 17, 2008

Analysis: Latin America’s new model bilateral investment treaties

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 17 July 2008 For the longest time, bilateral investment treaties were quintessential bureaucrats’ agreements. Terse and technical, these treaties were drafted by a handful of trade officials, with little consideration for their wider ramifications for public policy. On the surface, therefore, many investment treaties look surprisingly similar. Although, they contain certain nuances […]

ITN  |  July 17, 2008

News: ECJ advocate general argues some Austrian and Swedish BITs are incompatible with EU law

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 17 July 2008 The ECJ advocate general sides with the European Commission in arguing that Austria and Sweden should have amended some of the pre-accession BITs with non-EU countries. In an opinion issued on 10 July 2008, the European Court of Justice’s advocate general argues that provisions guaranteeing the free movement of […]

ITN  |  July 10, 2008

Decrying past “contradictory” rulings, Argentina challenges arbitrator, By Luke Eric Peterson

Among the grounds upon which Argentina is seeking to vacate a $185+ Million arbitration award in favour of British Gas (see previous item) is one which criticizes the International Chamber of Commerce for failing to disqualify one of the three arbitrators presiding in the BG v. Argentina arbitration. Argentina had moved in June of 2007 […]

April 2008 ITN

ITN April 1, 2008 In this issue: Secret $185 Million award against Argentina comes to light in D.C. Court; ANALYSIS: Decrying past “contradictory” rulings, Argentina challenges arbitrator; Argentina settles several claims, others subject to negotiation or arbitration; Namibian court reverses expropriation of foreign-owned farms; IISD urges UNCITRAL member-states to support transparency; New and notable publications […]

ITN February 2008

ITN February 21, 2008 In this issue: Yemen found to have breached BIT in dispute with Omani construction company; Blocked eco-tourism project in Costa Rica parkland leads to BIT arbitration; Tribunal appointed to hear NAFTA claim over thwarted garbage site in Canada; Tribunal selected in German firm’s arbitration over Ghanaian cocoa processor; US investor threatens […]

ITN January 2008

ITN January 17, 2008 In this issue: ICSID annulment committee will not require Argentina to post bond in Azurix case; Czech Republic quietly pursues challenge to jurisdictional ruling in Prague court; BIT claim against Thailand clears initial jurisdictional hurdles; Austrian cement company’s BIT arbitration with Bosnia is settled; Campaigners deliver letter to ICSID over Euro […]

December 2007

ITN December 14, 2007 In this issue: ITN Year in Review for 2006 finds non-ICSID treaty arbitrations eclipse ICSID cases; US investors prevail in High Fructose Corn Syrup dispute with Mexico; ICSID rejects US challenge to arbitrator in Grand River NAFTA case; UK court declines to overturn jurisdiction in Czech TV broadcasting arbitration; Fraport to […]

November 2007

ITN November 30, 2007 In this issue: More details emerge of miner’s case against South Africa; EU envoy says Malaysian race-based affirmative action policies hindering trade talks; Argentina fails in bid to have arbitrator removed from water services arbitrations; Ecuador wants ICSID to stop presiding over mining and energy arbitrations; SGS v. Philippines case at […]

October 2007

ITN October 30, 2007 In this issue: Hearings on the merits commence in Zimbabwe arbitration with Dutch farmers; Argentina and UK firm send arbitrator-challenge to venue where reasons are provided; Czech Gov’t seeks to annul jurisdiction ruling in UNCITRAL broadcasting dispute; Vivendi-Poland UNCITRAL arbitration goes forward quietly as tribunal is constituted; European treaty may revive […]

ITN September 2007

ITN September 28, 2007 In this issue: Umbrella clause reasoning annulled in CMS-Argentina case, remainder upheld; Divided panel declines to annul ICSID award in Peruvian environmental dispute; Lithuania victorious in dispute with Norwegian parking lot business; ANALYSIS: Archaeological and environmental differences distinguish FDI projects; Tribunal chosen in arbitration over South African Black Empowerment policies; Award […]

ITN June 2007

ITN June 30, 2007 In this issue: Underwater salvaging firm fails “investment” test in ICSID case against Malaysia; Recently published UPS v. Canada decisions reveal arbitrator divergences over NT; UPS arbitrators differ on reading of cultural industries exclusion in NAFTA; EU members review intra-European BITs in light of potential overlap with EU Law. ITN June […]