CIADI

ITN  |  julio 19, 2012

News in Brief

Vattenfall launches new claim against Germany The Swedish state-run energy firm Vattenfall has launched a second claim against Germany. The claim stems from Germany’s May 2011 decision to phase-out its nuclear power plants, in which 8 plants have been shuttered and the remaining 9 plants to be closed over the next decade. While Germany has […]

ITN  |  abril 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 […]

Venezuela’s Withdrawal From ICSID: What it Does and Does Not Achieve

In January 2012, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounced the ICSID Convention,[1] becoming the third country – after Bolivia and Ecuador – to do so. The exit from the global forum for the settlement of investment disputes signals these countries’ apparent loss of faith in the system and raises questions about the Convention’s fitness for […]

Defining an ICSID Investment: Why Economic Development Should be the Core Element

A dispute will only fall within the jurisdiction of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) if it directly arises out of an ‘investment’, as is provided by Article 25(1) of the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention). However, not only does the ICSID Convention fail to provide any definition of what constitutes an ‘investment’, the drafters of the ICSID Convention, in fact, made an express decision not to include such a definition. This absence has given rise to interesting issues of interpretation as ICSID tribunals have sought to arrive at an understanding of how the term ‘investment’ should be properly understood for the purposes of the ICSID Convention.

Mission Creep: International Investment Agreements and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

As members of the Eurozone are now acutely aware, the lack of a sovereign debt restructuring regime is one of the most glaring gaps in the international financial architecture. That said, this summer’s decision by a tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which grants a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) jurisdiction […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2012

Awards and Decisions

Arbitrator sharply critical of majority decision in Italian bondholder claim against Argentina Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/5 Damon Vis-Dunbar Professor Georges Abi-Saab has delivered a sharply worded dissent against a decision that granted jurisdiction to an ICSID case involving tens of […]

ITN  |  enero 12, 2012

News in Brief

Philip Morris files for arbitration over intellectual property dispute with Australia The tobacco company Philip Morris filed for arbitration on 21 November 2011, claiming the government of Australia’s regulations on cigarette branding breach the Hong Kong-Australia bilateral investment treaty. The announcement arrived on the same day that the Australian Parliament passed legislation that bans most […]

ITN  |  julio 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  |  diciembre 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 […]

ITN  |  septiembre 23, 2010

Procedural requirements for arbitrator challenges: Finding fault with CEMEX v. Venezuela

One fundamental principle of investor-State arbitration is the ability of parties to have their disputes resolved by independent and impartial arbitrators. In order to ensure adherence to this principle, laws and rules governing investor-State arbitrations grant parties the right to challenge arbitrators lacking these qualifications. Given the importance of ensuring arbitrator independence and impartiality, and as evidenced by the recent decision in and subsequent commentary on Vivendi v. Argentina, practitioners and stakeholders in investor-State arbitrations are devoting significant efforts to defining the substantive standards warranting arbitrator challenges, and to understanding what those standards require in practice.

The transparency requirement in the new UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules: A premonitory view

Ignacio Torterola  In October, State delegations are expected to discuss the issue of transparency in the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration.  Ignacio Torterola, ICSID Liaison at the Argentine Embassy in Washington, DC, and Argentine Delegate to the UNCITRAL Working Group II, explains why greater openness would benefit the investment arbitration system.  Some preliminary considerations Working Group […]

ITN  |  mayo 11, 2010

Philip Morris initiates arbitration against Uruguay over new labeling requirements, taxes

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has initiated an ICSID arbitration against Uruguay over new rules requiring that 80% of cigarette pack surfaces be devoted to graphic warnings of the dangers associated with smoking. The company alleges that the labeling requirements and recent tax increase harm its investments […]

ITN  |  mayo 11, 2010

ICSID Panel Denies Ukraine’s Challenge to Arbitrator

By Elizabeth Whitsitt May 11, 2010 On March 19, 2010 two members of an ICSID arbitral tribunal – the Honourable Davis R. Robinson (President) and Dr. Stanimir A. Alexandrov – dismissed the Ukraine’s challenge to the tribunal’s third member, Dr. Yoram Turbowicz. Arbitral proceedings between Alpha Projektholding GMBH (Alpha) and the Ukraine began in 2007 […]

ITN  |  mayo 11, 2010

Pan American Energy takes Bolivia to ICSID over nationalization of Chaco Petroleum

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 Anglo-Argentinean energy firm Pan American Energy (PAE) has initiated arbitration against Bolivia over the nationalization of its subsidiary Chaco Petroleum by the Morales government in 2009.  The arbitration was registered by ICSID on April 12 2010, despite Bolivia having withdrawn from the ICSID Convention in 2007. A PAE […]

ITN  |  mayo 11, 2010

American gas services firm Exterran files for arbitration against Venezuela over nationalized assets

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 (NOTE: A correction has been made to this article.  An explanation is posted below) Houston-based Exterran Holdings has taken Venezuela to ICSID over the nationalization of its gas services support business in the country.  The arbitration, registered by ICSID on April 12, 2010, is the second in as […]

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 […]

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

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 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

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

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

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

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  |  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

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  |  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

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  |  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 […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

ALBA moves forward with plan to create regional investment arbitration alternative to ICSID at 7th Summit

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz November 3, 2009 Members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (“ALBA”) are moving forward with a plan to create a regional arbitration centre intended to replace the often criticized International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”). The final declaration of the 7th ALBA Summit, which took […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

F-W Oil Interests Inc. v. Republic of Trinidad & Tobago: A «Relatively Mundane Dispute» after all?

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 More than three years ago, on March 3, 2006, Texas-based energy company, F-W Oil Interests Inc. (“FWO”) lost its fight against the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (“T&T”) arising out of alleged breaches of the 1996 US investment protection treaty with the Caribbean nation (the “USA/T&T BIT”). � The […]

ITN  |  noviembre 1, 2009

ICSID Tribunal Confirms that Allegations of Corruption Must Be Substantiated by «Clear and Convincing Evidence»

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 On October 8, 2009 an ICSID tribunal, composed of Professor Piero Bernardini, Mr. Arthur W. Rovine, and Mr. Yves Derains, confirmed that allegations of corruption against a state will not be taken lightly.  In dismissing all claims by EDF (Services) Limited (“EDF”) against Romania, the tribunal’s decision affirms that […]

ITN  |  octubre 10, 2009

An ICSID Tribunal Introduces Innovative Steps Into Non-Disputing Party Procedure

  By Elizabeth Whitsitt October 11, 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 unprecedented procedural steps regarding document disclosure and participant feedback.  […]

ITN  |  octubre 1, 2009

In Brief: Telefonica and Argentina settle dispute

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 October 2009 The Spanish multinational Telefonica and Argentina have discontinued their arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The proceedings had been suspended since October 2006, as the parties worked towards a settlement agreement. Telefonica initiated its claim in 2002, alleging breaches of the Spanish-Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty. […]

ITN  |  septiembre 30, 2009

Claim by Turkish investor against Pakistan over highway project dismissed on the merits

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 October 2009 A claim by a Turkish investor against Pakistan has been dismissed on its merits after the Tribunal concluded that Pakistani government officials did not conspire in bad faith to expel the investor. The Claimant, Bayindir Insaat Turizm Ticaret Ve Sanayi A.S. was contracted to build a six-lane motorway between […]

ITN  |  septiembre 29, 2009

Claim by Cargill leads to another loss for Mexico

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 October 2009 Mexico has suffered another loss in a series of investor-state arbitral disputes involving its sugar industry. While attempts have been made by Mexico to consolidate similar cases involving its sugar trade, such efforts have been unsuccessful resulting in a number of separate arbitral decisions. Most recently, a tribunal convened […]

ITN  |  septiembre 28, 2009

Ad Hoc Committee confirms Argentina is on the hook to Azurix for US$165 Million

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 October 2009 Marking a final setback for Argentina in its protracted dispute with US-based water services firm Azurix Corp, on 1 September 2009 an ad hoc committee denied Argentina’s application to annul an ICSID tribunal’s previous decision awarding Azurix approximately US$165 Million for breach of Argentina’s obligations under the US-Argentina Bilateral […]