ITN

ITN  |  mayo 11, 2010

Michigan owner and operator of busy trade route prepares to file a second NAFTA claim against Canada

By Elizabeth Whitsitt May 11, 2010 A Notice of Intent forwarded to Canada earlier this year by US owner and operator of the Ambassador Bridge contends that the Canadian government has violated its obligations under NAFTA Chapter 11. Facilitating a significant amount of trade between the US and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge is an international […]

ITN  |  abril 8, 2010

Ad hoc committee confirms that Kazakhstan is on the hook for US$ 125 million

By Elizabeth Whitsitt April 8, 2010 An ad hoc committee, established pursuant to the ICSID Arbitration Rules, has rejected the annulment application of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  The former Soviet Republic’s bid for annulment came after an ICSID tribunal ordered Kazakhstan to pay Rumeli Telekom A.S. (Rumeli) and Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri A.S. (Telsim) US$ […]

ITN  |  abril 8, 2010

RSM Production Corp. files second arbitration against Grenada, sues Freshfields

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz April 8, 2010 On March 16, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered a second arbitration initiated by Denver-based RSM Production Corp against Grenada over the latter’s termination of the company’s exclusive oil rights off the coast of the island nation. RSM has claimed that corrupt Grenadian officials […]

April 2010 ITN

April 2010 In this issue: Tribunal finds Ecuador in breach of BIT for its judiciary’s slow handling of Texaco lawsuits; Tribunal hears additional challenges to its jurisdiction in Railroad Development Corporation v. Republic of Guatemala; Cemex v. Venezuela: provisional measures allowed in circumstances of necessity and urgency; Oil transport company Tidewater Inc. initiates ICSID arbitration […]

ITN  |  abril 7, 2010

Tribunal finds Ecuador in breach of BIT for its judiciary’s slow handling of Texaco lawsuits

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz April 8, 2010 An international tribunal has found Ecuador in breach of the Ecuador-United States BIT for the failure of its courts to reach a timely resolution in seven breach-of-contract lawsuits filed by Texaco Petroleum in the early 90s. The tribunal awarded Chevron Corporation, who bought Texaco in 2001, almost US$700 […]

ITN  |  abril 7, 2010

Tribunal hears additional challenges to its jurisdiction in Railroad Development Corporation v. Republic of Guatemala

By Elizabeth Whitsitt April 8, 2010 The hearing on preliminary objections to jurisdiction in the Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) v. Republic of Guatemala arbitration took place from Monday, March 1, 2010 through Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Consistent with the transparency provisions of CAFTA-DR, the hearing conducted in early March was open to the public, except […]

ITN  |  abril 7, 2010

Cemex v. Venezuela: Provisional Measures allowed in circumstances of necessity and urgency

By Elizabeth Whitsitt April 8, 2010 An ICSID tribunal has refused a request for provisional measures by the world’s third largest cement-producer.  In its decision dated March 3, 2010, the tribunal confirms that provisional measures may only be granted in circumstances of “…necessity and urgency to avoid an irreparable harm.” Arbitral proceedings between Cemex and […]

ITN  |  abril 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  |  abril 7, 2010

Bolivia ordered to suspend criminal proceedings in its ongoing dispute with Chilean chemical firm Quiborax

By Elizabeth Whitsitt April 8, 2010 An ICSID tribunal has granted provisional measures in a dispute between co-claimants Quiborax, Non Metallic Metals (NMM) and Allan Fosk Kalún and respondent state, Bolivia.  On February 26, 2010 a three-member panel ordered the central South American state to suspend criminal proceedings against several persons involved in Quiborax’s Bolivian […]

ITN  |  marzo 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 […]

March 2010 ITN

March 2010 In this issue: ICSID tribunal applies ad hoc approach to confidentiality in arbitral proceedings; A merits hearing takes place in protracted NAFTA dispute over US tobacco settlements; Ecuadoreans battle battle Chevron in U.S. court over BIT arbitration in long-running environmental damage dispute; Tribunals have been constituted in ICSID cases involving Egypt, Cambodia and […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

ICSID tribunal applies ad hoc approach to confidentiality in arbitral proceeding

By Ugo Ukpabi* March 11, 2010 In Giovanna A Beccara and Others v. The Argentine Republic a tribunal composed of Pierre Tercier, Georges Abi – Saab, and Albert Jan Van den Berg has decided that questions of confidentiality and transparency in ICSID arbitrations should be determined on a case by case basis. The dispute – […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

A merits hearing takes place in protracted NAFTA dispute over US tobacco settlements

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 (NOTE: two corrections have been made to this article.  See explanations below.) A three-member tribunal, composed of Mr. Fali S. Nariman, Professor S. James Anaya, and Mr. John R. Crook, has heard arguments on the merits of the dispute between Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, Ltd., et al. and the […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

Ecuadorians battle Chevron in U.S. court over BIT arbitration in long-running environmental damage dispute

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz March 11, 2010 Chevron and Ecuadorian citizens are in U.S. court in the latest chapter of a 16 year battle over environmental damage in Lago Agrio allegedly caused by Texaco Petroleum (TexPet), which Chevron acquired in 2001.  In January of this year, a group of Ecuadorian plaintiffs which is suing the […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

Tribunals have been constituted in ICSID cases involving Egypt, Cambodia and Argentina

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 In the past two months, arbitral tribunals have been convened in a few ICSID arbitrations. Most recently, a tribunal was constituted in a dispute initiated by an American investor against the Republic of Egypt in relation to the alleged expropriation of its investment in the Arab Republic’s hotel and […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

Canadian mining firm accused of links to murder of protester, threatens arbitration over mine closure in Chiapas

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz March 11, 2010 Calgary-based mining firm Blackfire Exploration has reportedly threatened Mexican officials in Chiapas with NAFTA Chapter 11 arbitration in response to the closure of its barite mine in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.  The mine’s closure came on the heels of intense local protests against the mine following […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

Hearings take place in dispute between Electrabel and Hungary despite snowy weather

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 Despite snow storm interruptions a tribunal, composed of Mr. V.V. Vedeer, Ms. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, and Ms. Brigitte Stern, heard the merits of the dispute between Belgium-based energy firm Electrabel SA and Hungary last month. Along with AES Summit Generation Limited v. Republic of Hungary, the Electrabel SA v. Republic […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

In Brief: Proceedings are suspended in dispute between French oil company and Ecuador

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 Thomas Bingham, President of the ICSID tribunal in Perenco Ecuador Limited v. Ecuador has resigned. At the center of the dispute between Perenco and Ecuador is a windfall tax enacted in 2006 (Law 42) by the South American Republic.  According to Ecuador, Perenco owes some US$327 million under Law […]

ITN  |  marzo 10, 2010

In Memorium: Sir Ian Brownlie Q.C. (1932 – 2010)

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 A prominent figure in the field of public international law passed unexpectedly on January 3, 2010 at age 77.  According to reports, Professor Brownlie died in a car accident while vacationing with his family in Egypt. The untimely death of Sir Ian Brownlie some two months ago has undoubtedly […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

Tribunal’s decision in anticipated Yukos case released to public

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 Three highly anticipated decisions permitting three claimants – all former shareholders of Yukos Oil Corporation OJSC (Yukos) – to proceed to the merits phase of their multi-billion dollar expropriation claim against the Russian government have been released to the public.* Similar in content, all three decisions were issued by […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

ICSID finds that corruption has no place in annulment proceedings

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 American businessman, Jack J. Grynberg, has suffered another setback in his company’s ongoing dispute with Grenada. Commenced in 2005, the ICSID claim was one of a myriad of legal avenues pursued by Mr. Grynberg, the president and CEO of RSM Production Corporation (RSM), in an effort to gain an […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

Consortium building new Quito Airport takes Ecuador to ICSID

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz February 14, 2010 Corporacion Quiport S.A., the company building the new Quito international airport, has initiated arbitration proceedings at ICSID against the Republic of Ecuador in connection with its concession to maintain and operate the existing Quito airport and to construct and operate the New Quito International Airport (NQIA) being built […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

Claimant seeks enforcement of environmental laws in notice of dispute alleging expropriation of Barbadian nature sanctuary

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 A notice of dispute forwarded to Barbados some five months ago by Mr. Peter Allard, Canadian owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, contends that the Government of Barbados has violated its international obligations by refusing to enforce its environmental laws.  Located on the south coast of Barbados, Graeme […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

Perenco-nominated arbitrator disqualified for interview comments in ICSID dispute with Ecuador

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz February 14, 2010 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Secretary-General Cristiaan M.J. Kroner has accepted the challenge by Ecuador to remove the Honourable Charles N. Brower as arbitrator in its dispute with oil company Perenco Ecuador Limited.  In his December 9, 2009 ruling Mr. Kroner concludes that “comments made by Judge Brower […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

ICSID tribunal affirms power to exclude counsel, but declines to do so

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 An ICSID tribunal, composed Sir Franklin Berman, Mr. Donald Donovan and Mr. Marc Lalonde, has determined that Mr. Barton Legum, a partner with Salans & Associés, can continue to represent Dutch firm Rompetrol N.V. in its arbitration against Romania.  Mr. Legum formally took over as counsel for Rompetrol in […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

TWC Group settles with the Dominican Republic

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 TWC Group, Inc. and its affiliate Dominican Energy Holdings L.P have reached a settlement with the Dominican Republic, ending a dispute that began in 2007. TWC had been seeking some US$ 680 million for alleged violations of the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). In a joint […]

ITN  |  febrero 10, 2010

In Brief: New arbitrator nominated in NAFTA dispute over thwarted Canadian garbage site

By Eliabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 Canada has nominated Mr. Laurent Lévy to act as arbitrator in its Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute against US investor Vito G. Gallo. Canada’s original nominee, Mr. J. Christopher Thomas Q.C., resigned from his appointment as an arbitrator in October, 2009 after ICSID Deputy Secretary-General, Nassib G. Ziade, determined that […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

UNCITRAL Tribunal determines that wheat supply contracts are not «investments» under Swiss-Uzbekistan BIT

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 Swiss-based firm Romak S.A. has lost a protracted dispute against the Republic of Uzbekistan regarding alleged non-payment for wheat shipments to the country during the mid-1990s. On November 26, 2009 an arbitral tribunal composed of Fernando Mantilla-Serrano, Nicolas Molfessis and Noah Rubins dismissed Romak’s claims against the Republic of […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

Ad Hoc Committee refuses to lift stay of enforcement or require security regarding ICSID award against Argentina

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 An ad hoc committee composed of Dr. Gavan Griffith Q.C., Judge Patrick L. Robinson, and Judge Per Tresselt has decided to continue to stay the enforcement of an award rendered against the Argentine Republic in favour of the Enron Corporation.  According to the committee, the stay will remain in […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

ICSID Tribunal sides with Chile, rejects claimant’s partial revision request in long running dispute over El Clarin newspaper

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz January 13, 2010 An ICSID tribunal has rejected a partial revision request by Pey Casado and the Presidente Allende Foundation of an award rendered in their long-running dispute with Chile over the takeover and closure of the El Clarin newspaper during the early days of the Pinochet regime. This is the […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

Cemex v. Venezuela: challenges to ICSID arbitrators must be made «promptly»

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 On November 6, 2009 two members of an ICSID arbitral tribunal – Judge Gilbert Guillaume (President) and Professor Georges Abi-Saab – dismissed Venezuela’s challenge to the tribunal’s third member, Mr. Robert B. von Mehren.  In a decision only recently made public, the two-man tribunal confirms that proposals to disqualify […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

UNCITRAL Claimant Given 30 days to Appoint New Arbitrator in UK-Argentina BIT Dispute

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 Later this month UK-based firm, ICS Inspection and Control Services Limited (ICS), is expected to appoint another arbitrator in its dispute against the Argentine Republic which began earlier this summer. On July 28, 2009 in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, ICS appointed Mr. Stanimir A. Alexandrov as its […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

An ICSID Tribunal splits over whether to hear ancillary claims in dispute over unpaid gas deliveries

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 In a split decision, an ICSID tribunal has refused to hear ancillary claims advanced by American company, Itera International Energy LLC (Itera), and its Dutch parent, Itera Group NV (IGNV). Itera and IGNV commenced ICSID arbitral proceedings against Georgia in June 2008, broadly asserting violations of the US-Georgia BIT […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

Spanish firms launch ICSID dispute against Mexico over stalled toxic waste disposal project

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz January 13, 2010   Spanish firms Abengoa, S.A. and COFIDES, S.A. have launched a claim with ICSID against Mexico over the stalled opening of a toxic waste disposal plant built by them in the municipality of Zimapán, approximately 200 kilometres north of Mexico City. The project has been the subject of […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2010

In Brief: The merits of former Yukos Shareholders’ expropriation claim will be heard

By Elizabeth Whitsitt January 13, 2010 In a decision not yet released to the public, it has been reported that former Yukos shareholders may proceed to the merits phase of their multi-billion dollar expropriation claim against the Russian government. According to various sources* a tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague […]

December 2009 ITN

ITN December 2009 In this issue: Very High Standard of Review for ICSID Annulment Applications Confirmed; German investor launches ICSID case against Costa Rica over alleged expropriation of land near endangered turtle habitat; Arbitrator forced to choose in NAFTA dispute over thwarted Canadian garbage site; Continental Casualty and Argentina will continue to battle over financial […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

Very High Standard of Review for ICSID Annulment Applications Confirmed

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 An ad hoc committee, established pursuant to the ICSID Arbitration Rules, has rejected the annulment application of two US power companies: M.C.I. Power Group, L.C. (MCI) and New Turbine, Inc. (New Turbine).  The companies’ bid for annulment came after an ICSID tribunal dismissed part of the companies’ case against […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

German investor launches ICSID case against Costa Rica over alleged expropriation of land near endangered turtle habitat

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz December 6, 2009 (Note: a correction has been made to this article.  An explanation is posted below) German investor Reinhard Unglaube, a resident of Costa Rica, has commenced arbitration against his host country over the latter’s refusal to grant the appropriate permits to extend his eco-tourist hotel complex in Playa Grande, […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

Arbitrator forced to choose in NAFTA dispute over thwarted Canadian garbage site

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 Mr. J. Christopher Thomas Q.C. has resigned from his appointment as an arbitrator in a Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute initiated by US investor Vito G. Gallo against the Canadian government. Canada’s nominee to the tribunal resigned on October 21, 2009, one week after ICSID Deputy Secretary-General, Nassib G. Ziade, […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

Continental Casualty and Argentina will continue to battle over financial investments

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 On October 23, 2009 an ad hoc committee, composed of Gavan Griffith Q.C., Judge Bloa A. Ajibola and Mr. Christer Söderlund, ruled that it will hear the annulment applications of the Argentine Republic and Continental Casualty Company.  According to the ad hoc committee those proceedings will take place without […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

Canadian mining company Gold Reserve commences ICSID arbitration against Venezuela

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz December 6, 2009 Canadian mining company Gold Reserve has commenced arbitration against Venezuela at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) over the alleged expropriation of its Brisas gold and copper mine in the Bolivar State of Venezuela. Less than a week after the company filed for arbitration on […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

An End to European mining claims in South Africa?

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 On November 2, 2009 claimants in the high-profile arbitration involving mining interests owned by Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others against the Republic of South Africa requested the discontinuance of ICSID arbitral proceedings that have been ongoing since the beginning of 2007. The request comes approximately one month […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

In Brief: Rumors of a dispute between Ukrainian and Viennese firms over natural gas surface

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 Murmurings that Centragas Beteiligungs Holding AG has accused the Ukraine of violating “an agreement on the Energy Charter” surfaced in mid-November.* According to press reports, the Viennese firm, which holds a 50% interest in Swiss gas distribution company RosUkrEnergo (RUE), alleges that the Ukranian oil and gas company, Naftohaz […]

ITN  |  diciembre 4, 2009

Recently Published

By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 International Investments Protection:  Comparative Law Analysis of Bilateral and Multilateral Interstate Conventions, Doctrinal Texts and Arbitral Jurisprudence Concerning Foreign Investments, By Jan Schokkaert and Yvon Heckscher, Bruylant, 2009 A new book on international investment law published by Bruylant with the support of the Antwerp University Institute of Development Policy […]

November 2009 ITN

ITN November 2009 In this issue: ICSID Tribunal Confirms that Allegations of Corruption Must Be Substantiated by «Clear and Convincing Evidence»; F-W Oil Interests Inc. v. Republic of Trinidad & Tobago: A «Relatively Mundane Dispute» after all?; ALBA moves forward with plan to create regional investment arbitration alternative to ICSID at 7th Summit; Confusion about […]

ITN  |  noviembre 2, 2009

In Brief: Haiti Ratifies ICSID Convention

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 Haiti has ratified the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the “ICSID Convention”). Haiti deposited its instrument of ratification with the World Bank on October 27, 2009, making it the 145th state to ratify the ICSID Convention.  In accordance with its […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

Innovative Steps are Introduced Into Non-Disputing Party ICSID Procedure

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 In a high-profile arbitration involving mining interests owned by Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others versus the Republic of South Africa, an ICSID tribunal (the “Tribunal”) has accepted two petitions for participation by Non-Disputing Parties (“NDPs”) and imposed innovative procedural steps regarding document disclosure and participant feedback. In […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

Cementownia claim against Turkey found to be «manifestly ill-founded»

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 On September 17, 2009 an ICSID tribunal dismissed yet another claim initiated against the Republic of Turkey by an entity, Cementownia “Nowa Huta” S.A. (“Cementownia”), operated by the Uzan family.  As previously reported*, the Uzans are a wealthy Turkish family whose members have been enmeshed in multiple disputes around […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

Quiborax claim against Bolivia continues; may provide first decision on effects of ICSID exit

By Fernando Cabrera November 3, 2009 Chilean Química e Industrial del Bórax Ltd. (“Quiborax”) will continue with its claim against Bolivia at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (“ICSID”), despite reports of a settlement agreement and Bolivia’s renunciation of the ICSID convention. The case will likely shed the first light as to the […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

Confusion about Settlement Agreement leads to Dismissal of Case Between Dutch Companies and Azerbaijan

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 After a disagreement regarding the existence of a settlement agreement, an ICSID tribunal has determined that it has no jurisdiction to hear a dispute initiated by three Dutch companies, Azpetrol International Holdings B.V., Azpetrol Group B.V. and Azpetrol Oil Services Group B.V. against the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Dutch […]