FET

ITN  |  Monday March 13th, 2017

Awards and Decisions

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 […]

Awards  |  Monday March 13th, 2017

NAFTA tribunal orders Canada to pay U.S. wind power developer more than CAD28 million

Windstream Energy LLC v. Government of Canada, PCA Case No. 2013-22  An arbitral tribunal under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has reached the award stage. Although dismissing the discrimination and indirect expropriation claims, the tribunal upheld the claim of failure to provide fair and equitable treatment (FET), and ordered Canada […]

Awards  |  Monday March 13th, 2017

PCA tribunal dismisses expropriation and FET claims concerning an eco-touristic venture 

Peter A. Allard v. The Government of Barbados, PCA Case No. 2012-06 On June 27, 2016, a tribunal under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) dismissed all claims by Canadian businessman Peter A. Allard against Barbados under the Canada–Barbados bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission […]

News  |  Wednesday August 10th, 2016

India takes steps to reform its investment policy framework after approving new model BIT

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 […]

Awards  |  Wednesday August 10th, 2016

Awards and Decisions

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.

ITN  |  Monday May 16th, 2016

ICSID tribunal orders Zimbabwe to return expropriated farms

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.

ITN  |  Monday February 29th, 2016

Quiborax awarded US$50 million against Bolivia, one-third of initial claim

Quiborax S.A. and Non-Metallic Minerals S.A. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/2) On September 16, 2015, a tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Bolivia to pay approximately US$50 million in compensation for the expropriation of a mining investment. The claimants were Chilean company Quiborax S.A. (Quiborax) […]

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.

ITN  |  Monday January 14th, 2013

Awards and Decisions

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 […]

ITN  |  Tuesday October 30th, 2012

Awards and Decisions

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 […]

Analysis  |  Tuesday October 30th, 2012

The SADC MODEL BIT Template: Investment for Sustainable Development

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.

ITN  |  Thursday July 19th, 2012

Awards and Decisions

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. […]

ITN  |  Thursday July 19th, 2012

Trends in Investor Claims Over Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Energy

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 […]

Investment Law and Public Services: Clashes of Interests or Peaceful Coexistence?

[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.[1] 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 […]

ITN  |  Friday April 13th, 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 […]

ITN  |  Friday April 13th, 2012

Awards and Decisions

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 […]

ITN  |  Tuesday July 12th, 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  |  Thursday April 7th, 2011

Awards and decisions

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.[1] 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.

When international rules interact: International investment law and the law of armed conflict

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.[1] 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.

ITN  |  Thursday December 16th, 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 […]

A global thirst: How water is driving the new wave of foreign investment in farmland

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.

ITN  |  Thursday September 23rd, 2010

Awards and Decisions

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 […]

ITN  |  Wednesday April 7th, 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  |  Wednesday April 7th, 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  |  Tuesday March 16th, 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 […]

ITN  |  Thursday October 1st, 2009

Chevron launches investment-treaty claim against Ecuador

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 […]

ITN  |  Wednesday September 30th, 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  |  Tuesday September 29th, 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  |  Tuesday July 14th, 2009

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 […]

Awards  |  Friday November 28th, 2008

Algeria prevails in dispute with Italian construction firms

By Suzy H. Nikiéma 28 November 2008 In a 12 November 2008 final award, an ICSID tribunal has dismissed all claims by two Italian investors, L.E.S.I S.p.A. and ASTALI S.p.A, in a dispute with the government of Algeria over a failed contract to construct a hydraulic dam. While the contract with the National Agency for […]

ITN  |  Friday November 28th, 2008

Indian lawyer pursues claim against the United Kingdom under the India-UK BIT

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 28 November 2008 An English court case reveals that an Indian citizen is quietly pursuing an investment-treaty claim against the United Kingdom under the India-UK bilateral investment treaty. Ashok Sancheti, a London-based lawyer of Indian nationality, brought the UK to arbitration in 2006 under the 1995 BIT. This is the only pending investment-treaty […]

Awards  |  Monday November 17th, 2008

Belgium dredging companies fail in arbitration against Egypt

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 17 November 2008 The Egyptian government has deflected a US$ 80 million dollar claim by two companies hired to dredge the Suez Canal. Jan de Nul N.V. and Dredging International, both incorporated in Belgium, won a bid to dredge sections of the Suez Canal 1992, a job they completed some three years […]

ITN  |  Wednesday October 29th, 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  |  Thursday October 23rd, 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  |  Wednesday October 22nd, 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  |  Tuesday September 30th, 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  |  Friday September 26th, 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  |  Monday September 22nd, 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 […]

Awards  |  Wednesday September 10th, 2008

Continental Casualty Company v. the Argentine Republic: Argentina emerges largely victorious in dispute related to country’s financial crisis

By Damon Vis-Dunbar September 10, 2008 In an award rendered on September 5, 2008, an arbitral tribunal has dismissed all but one of the claims brought by an American investor, Continental Casualty, against the government of Argentina. Argentina was found liable for damages of US$ 2.8 million plus interest: a fraction of the US$ 112 […]