The Energy Charter Treaty modernization negotiations are due to begin later this year and a set of topics for parties to consider has already been announced. This piece examines the prospects for updating the ECT’s existing formulation of FET and analyzes how this standard has been interpreted in past arbitrations involving renewable energy disputes. The author argues in favour of including a requirement of investor due diligence as an attempt to help ensure that investors anticipate possible risks that may emerge from changes to a state’s regulatory framework.
ANTIN INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES LUXEMBOURG S.À.R.L. AND ANTIN ENERGIA TERMOSOLAR B.V. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/13/31
UNCTAD’s 2017 High-level IIA Conference: Moving Forward on Addressing Older-Generation International Investment Agreements
Over 300 experts gathered in Geneva to take stock of the sustainable development-oriented reform of the investment treaty regime and discuss policy options for modernizing the existing stock of older-generation treaties. Participants recognized that multilateral collaboration would be key to addressing the complex IIA 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.
Kazakhstan held liable for expropriation of Hourani family’s investment on second round of ICSID arbitration
Caratube International Oil Company LLP and Devincci Salah Hourani v. Republic of Kazakhstan, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/13
Two African developing countries respond to criticisms against the investment regime. The innovative treaty offers protection to foreign investors without compromising on the host state’s capacity to regulate in the public interest.
Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. v. the Kingdom of Spain, SCC Case No. V2013/153
Teinver S.A., Transportes de Cercanías S.A. and Autobuses Urbanos del Sur S.A. v. The Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/09/1
Eiser Infrastructure Limited and Energía Solar Luxembourg S.à r.l. v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/36
WNC v. Czechia: tribunal dismisses expropriation claim and determines that it has no jurisdiction over all other claims
WNC Factoring Limited v. The Czech Republic, PCA Case No. 2014-34
The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) reform project led by the OECD tackles corporate measures aimed at shifting profits to no- or low-tax destinations. But investment law can hinder the implementation of much-needed reform in international taxation.
SCC tribunal dismisses claims brought by British company and its shareholders against the Czech Republic
Anglia Auto Accessories Ltd. v. Czech Republic (SCC Case No. V 2014/181) and Ivan Peter Busta and James Peter Busta v. Czech Republic (SCC Case No. V 2015/014)
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 […]
The Government of India has proposed a Joint Interpretative Statement to its bilateral investment treaty (BIT) partners. The statement clarifies key substantive and procedural provisions, bringing them more in line with India’s new foreign investment policy.
During the 10th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from November 7 to 10, representatives from Brazil and India announced that they had recently initialled a bilateral investment agreement (BIT).
Ecuador’s levy on extraordinary oil profits at a 99% rate has breached Murphy’s legitimate expectations, decides PCA tribunal
Murphy Exploration & Production Company – International v. Republic of Ecuador, PCA Case No. 2012-16 (formerly AA 434) – Inaê Siqueira de Oliveira
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 […]
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.
Philip Morris Brands Sàrl, Philip Morris Products S.A. and Abal Hermanos S.A. v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay, ICSID Case No. ARB/10/7
A tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) declared that it lacked jurisdiction in the case of Corona Materials LLC (a U.S. company) against the Dominican Republic.
Venezuela ordered to pay US$1.202 billion plus interest to Canadian mining company Crystallex for FET breach and expropriation
In a 273-page award dated April 4, 2016, a tribunal at the Additional Facility (AF) of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Venezuela to pay US$1.202 billion plus interest to Canadian company Crystallex International Corporation (Crystallex).
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.
Quiborax S.A. and Non-Metallic Minerals S.A. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/2)
UNCITRAL tribunal finds Canada’s environmental assessment breached international minimum standard of treatment and national treatment standard
William Ralph Clayton, William Richard Clayton, Douglas Clayton, Daniel Clayton and Bilcon of Delaware Inc. v. Government of Canada, UNCITRAL
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, 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 […]
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 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.
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. […]
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 […]
[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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 An ad hoc tribunal under UNCTIRAL Rules has awarded German investor Walter Bau AG more than 30 million Euros in its claim against Thailand over a tollway concession gone sour. The tribunal found that the failure of Thai authorities to approve toll hikes as contemplated in the concession […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 October 2009 Correction: The original headline in this article stated that Chevron Corporation alleges a denial of justice on the part of Ecuador. Chevron explains that this is incorrect. While Chevron claims that Ecuador “abuses the criminal justice system”, its notice of arbitration does not assert a denial of justice. The world’s second […]
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 […]
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 […]
Glamis Gold Ltd. v. United States of America: Tribunal sets a high bar for establishing breach of “Fair and Equitable Treatment” under NAFTA
By Elizabeth Whitsitt and Damon Vis-Dunbar 15 July 2009 A protracted dispute between the United States of America and Glamis Gold Ltd., a Canadian gold mining company, was settled in June by an arbitral tribunal constituted under Chapter 11 of NAFTA. In a unanimous 355-page decision, the Tribunal dismissed Glamis’ claims that the US expropriated […]