The inclusion of market access commitments in investment agreements has proven divisive. This article looks at where China stannds on this issue.
China is often singled out as one of the big ‘land grabbers’, although it strongly refutes these claims. We set out to verify whether reports about Chinese investments were accurate or not.
A major challenge for investment treaty designers and adjudicators is to separate opportunistic behavior by host states that should be sanctioned under international law from bona fide public policy measures that should not. This article suggests that International Investment Agreements need to be both ‘smarter’ and more ‘flexible’ to better make that distinction. It draws on economic contract theory as a basic framework, and political economy theory for fine-tuning.
Resources Chinese Outward Investment: An Emerging Policy Framework Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Jianping Zhang, IISD, 2012 This book is an English-language compilation covering over 80 primary texts relevant to Chinese […]
Claim against Venezuela dismissed; State acted legitimately in response to contractual violations Vannessa Ventures Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)04/6 Damon Vis-Dunbar A claim by Vannessa […]
In the 2012 report Profiting from Injustice, jointly published by Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute, we boldly asserted that law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders have, over the […]
Enabling Risky Business: Human Rights and the Role of Officially Supported Trade Finance and Investment Guarantees
The expanded role played by Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) since the global financial crisis has not been matched with stronger rules that address the human rights-related impacts of ECA financed projects. Given narrow set of regulations that currently apply to ECAs, this brief article argues that more needs to be done to ensure that ECA financed projects do not cause harm to home states.
While an extensive body of literature maps the tensions between regulatory sovereignty and investor protection in international investment law and analyses the balancing of private and public interests in arbitral practice, only a small sub-set of this literature makes reference to public interest considerations at the remedies stage of the investor-state arbitration process.
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.
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, […]
Canada receives investor complaints over provincial energy and environment policies In recent months the government of Canada has received two complaints related to energy and environmental policies adopted by its […]
Resources Foreign Direct Investment and Human Development: The Law and Economics of International Investment Agreements Edited by Olivier De Schutter, Johan Swinnen, Jan Wouters. Routledge, November 2012 This book presents […]
In late 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially endorsed an “institutional view” on the management of capital flows. This short note provides an overview of the new IMF view, pinpoints how it may conflict with country obligations under trade and investment treaties, and discusses remedies for reform.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released its Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD). This article engages in an independent assessment of the IPFSD.
The Sixth Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators: Understanding and Harnessing the New Models for Investment and Sustainable Development
The Sixth Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators was held on October 29-31, 2012, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The forum encourages participants to develop their own critical perspectives on issues which are germane to the negotiation of international investment treaties.
Integrating Sustainable Development into International Investment Agreements: A Commonwealth Guide for Developing Country Negotiators
In November 2012 the Commonwealth Secretariat completed a practical guide, titled “Integrating Sustainable Development into International Investment Agreements: A Guide for Developing Countries,” to help enable developing countries to design international investment agreements that support their development needs.
Just as Peru has joined the global trend of concluding investment protection agreements, the country has also been no stranger to the considerable increase in international investment disputes observed in recent years. To address this growth in international investment arbitration in line with its investment attraction policy, Peru has created a system for efficiently and effectively resolving potential disputes.
SADC Model BIT
Resources International Arbitration Case Law This website is a private, not-for-profit academic endeavour, in partnership with the School of International Arbitration, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of […]
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 […]
Towards a New Generation of Investment Policies: UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development
On 12 June 2012, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development launched its Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development. IPFSD comes at a time when the international investment regime is in a state of « transition » and when an increasing number of governments are reviewing their investment-related regulatory frameworks, both at the national and international levels.
Dealing With the Increasing Complexity of Investment-Related Treaties: A Framework and Some Policy Guidelines
Bilateral investment treaties used to be boilerplate: taken out of a drawer before official visits; signed with pomp and circumstance but not much attention to precise wording. Today, the diversity and ramifications of investment-related treaties are staggering.
PDF – English (914 KB) – Français (1 MB) – Español (1 MB) Investment Treaties and Investor Corruption: An Emerging Defense for Host States?; Dealing With the Increasing Complexity of […]
From October 1-5, 2012, a working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law met in Vienna to continue work on how to ensure transparency in treaty-based investor-state arbitration. It was the working group’s fifth week-long meeting on the topic, but will not be the last.
Bilateral investment treaties are famously asymmetric. They grant investors rights but not obligations, while imposing upon states obligations unaccompanied by rights. Recent cases suggest, however, that BIT tribunals are poised to recognize a defense to state liability that, in effect, imposes upon investors the obligation to avoid involvement in public corruption in the course of making a treaty-protected investment. Despite these suggestive jurisprudential trends, however, the specific contours of the emerging corruption defense are uncertain.
Analysis of the European Commission’s Draft Text on Investor-State Dispute Settlement for EU Agreements
With the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, in force since December 2009, foreign direct investment fell under the exclusive competence of the European Union (EU). Since then the three European institutions—the […]
After several cases assessing whether state regulation in the public interest gives rise to a claim under an investment treaty, commentators have begun asking questions about the applicable standard of […]
UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) UNCTAD, June 2012 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has established a set of principles for investment policymaking, guidelines […]
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 […]
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 […]
[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. This quote from an investment […]
PDF – English (686 KB) – Français (694 KB) – Español (576 KB) In this issue: Deference or No Deference, That is the Question: Legitimacy and Standards of Review in […]
Resources Fair and Equitable Treatment: UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements II UNCTAD, March 2012 This paper explores how the concept of Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) has […]
The arbitral tribunal in Chevron v. Ecuador has taken a series of steps in recent months suggesting that it has a broad view of its authority. But while it may […]
Pro-Investor or Pro-State Bias in Investment-Treaty Arbitration? Forthcoming Study Gives Cause for Concern
Debates about investment treaties often raise questions about fairness and independence in international investment arbitration. Some observers argue that investment arbitration offers a neutral and impartial forum in which to […]
In January 2012, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounced the ICSID Convention, becoming the third country – after Bolivia and Ecuador – to do so. The exit from the global […]
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.
PDF – English (521 KB) – Français (433 KB) – Español (477 KB) Flip-Page – English – Français – Español In this issue: Mission Creep: International Investment Agreements and Sovereign Debt […]
Advocates for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) describe it as a “new generation agreement for the 21st century” that will go further behind the border than any previous free trade […]
UNASUR Arbitration Centre: The Present Situation and the Principal Characteristics of Ecuador’s Proposal
Five years ago, some Latin American countries started a critical movement against the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the World Bank institution for arbitrating disputes between foreign […]