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Ghana wins arbitration dispute with German investor
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has, in a landmark ruling, granted an award in favour of Ghana over an arbitration dispute instituted against her on September 24, 2007 by a German investment company, Gustav F. W. Hamester.
Latin America faces 61% of ongoing mining cases at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes
In the context of high global prices for natural resources, particularly gold and oil, Latin American governments seeking to increase the benefits of those resources for their own people are finding themselves increasingly targeted by investor lawsuits.
Consortium building new Quito Airport takes Ecuador to ICSID
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 outside Ecuador’s capital.
Quiborax claim against Bolivia continues; may provide first decision on effects of ICSID exit
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 effects of renouncing the ICSID Convention, a controversial topic over which no tribunal has yet to rule.
Ad Hoc Committee confirms Argentina is on the hook to Azurix for US$165 Million
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 Investment Treaty.
ICSID rejects Turkish Co $756m claim against Pak
An arbitral tribunal appointed by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (lCSID) of the World Bank hearing a claim brought by a Turkish investor against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has rejected all claims for breach of a bilateral investment treaty between the two countries.
US trade policies limit 52 governments’ use of capital controls to fight financial crisis
As the global economy descends further into crisis, a new report finds that U.S. trade and investment agreements with 52 countries have removed one tool that has proved effective in past crises: capital controls.
Argentina takes the offensive as Siemens pleads guilty to corruption charges
Argentina has refused calls by Siemens to suspend proceedings at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in which a committee is considering Argentina’s request to revise a 2007 award, following the admission by the German firm that it had bribed Argentinean officials.
Out of order
Is there a backlash brewing against the international legal system used by states and investors to settle FDI disputes? For several years, lawyers and academics have been debating whether the current system - consisting of more than 2600 bilateral investment protection treaties - is ensuring the security and protection of investor assets and contracts without unnecessarily handcuffing the sovereignty of governments to regulate business activity within their borders.
Investment protection - Bilateral Investment Treaties
There is a Slovak proverb which says: “When catching a bird, they sing it a sweet song”. Another Slovak proverb says: “Those who want to beat a dog will certainly find a club“. For investors who find themselves in a situation similar to that described by these proverbs, the bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) very often provide the last available legal option. A BIT is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in the state of the other.
The wrongful acts of independent state entitites
In spite of the fact that consent is the main building block of arbitration, arbitral awards have been steady for some years that a claimant need not have a contractual relationship with a respondent state to initiate arbitral proceedings versus this state, i.e. states unexpectedly were made respondents in arbitrations under arbitration clauses they have never approved or even bargained.
German investors remain lukewarm until Fraport is ‘fairly compensated’
Until the Philippine government and Fraport AG (Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide) have resolved all the legal issues and Fraport fairly compensated, the NAIA Terminal 3 is unlikely to attract long term locators, according to German ambassador to the Philippines Christian Ludwig Weber-Lortsch.
New Delhi plans to join Investment Disputes Convention
New Delhi is considering a proposal to join the World Bank convention, International Convention on Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Ecuador: Icsid panel claims it has jurisdiction in OXY case
A panel from the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or Icsid, said late Tuesday that it has jurisdiction for the claim of the US-based oil company Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) against Ecuador.
Biwater fails in Tanzanian damages claim
A British water company thrown out of Tanzania over a bungled privatisation deal has failed in its bid to win up to £10m in damages.
Banished Zimbabwe farmer to sue country
South African taxpayers may have to pay millions of rands in compensation for the government’s failure to act in Zimbabwe when hundreds of white-owned farms belonging to South Africans were confiscated in 2000.
Experts: Exxon case has to be addressed in the ICSID
While it is a US company, Exxon Mobil is entitled to invoke protection under the Netherlands-Venezuela Investment Promotion and Protection Convention, which guarantees resolution of Exxon Mobil’s dispute with Venezuela in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Concern grows over global trade regulation
Amid the noisy battering the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) is taking from both Democratic presidential hopefuls, one recent statement from Hillary Clinton was particularly resonant. "We will have a very clear view of how we’re going to review Nafta," the New York senator said. "We’re going to take out the ability of foreign companies to sue us because of what we do to protect our workers."
Canada strengthens investor protections
Canada has just passed legislation implementing the ICSID Convention, a very important tool for the resolution of investor-state disputes. But the government has not yet indicated a timetable for ratification of the treaty. To date, only four provinces and one territory have passed similar implementing legislation.
The story of a Dutch letterbox which could cost Bolivia a fortune
Running their business via a letterbox company in the Netherlands, transnational corporations profit from the corporate-friendly Dutch tax regime and bilateral investment treaties the Netherlands has with third countries. Euro Telecom Italia (ETI), a subsidiary of Italian telecoms giant ENTEL, is one such letterbox company. ETI recently lodged a complaint with the World Bank tribunal ICSID against Bolivia for compensation, after the Bolivian government had launched a review the company’s much-criticised performance and attempted to negotiate a buy back of what used to be a public telecommunications company.