On 31 January 2014, an arbitral tribunal consisting of arbitrators José-Miguel Júdice, President, Manuel Conthe and Raúl Vinuesa, found Bolivia liable under the UK-Bolivia bilateral investment treaty for the unlawful expropriation of the 50 per cent stake owned by Rurelec, a UK power investor, in the Bolivian electricity generation company Empresa Eléctrica Guaracachi SA (“EGSA”). According to Rurelec, it is the first known investment treaty case against the state to reach a final award. Continue reading
The Mexican Senate has passed a “Bill” approving amendments to Articles 25, 27 and 28 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, and as a result creates new regulation on energy (oil, gas and electricity). Continue reading
Last month, the leaders of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam announced that the negotiations for completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) were on track. Progress was made on the legal texts and annexes that will regulate a diverse range of sectors that include goods and services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets. The focus of the TPP is now aimed at resolving the outstanding issues and achieving a final agreement by the end of this year. Continue reading
On 31 July 2013 ICSID issued its updated caseload statistics on cases registered and administered by the Centre. As of 30 June 2013 ICSID had registered 433 cases under the 1965 ICSID Convention and the 1978 Additional Facility Rules (AFR). It had registered 14 cases in 2013 until the closure of that document. Continue reading
Today we would just like to share with our readers some news coming from the current European tour of President Evo Morales of Bolivia. In this regard it is reported that, both in Vienna, Austria on 11 March 2013 and in Paris, France on 12 March 2013, Mr. Morales has defended the string of nationalizations decreed by the Bolivian Government in recent months. Continue reading
As already reported, on 18 February 2013 the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia agreed to expropriate and nationalize Servicios de Aeropuertos Bolivianos, S.A. (SABSA), a Bolivian company which was granted concessions to run airports in La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba. SABSA was ultimately controlled by Spanish companies Abertis and AENA from 2004 until the date of nationalization. Continue reading
The EU seems to be definitely committed to promoting worldwide free trade (and foreign direct investment) as a means to overcome the current economic crisis. Continue reading
On 28 February 2013 the European Commission announced the provisional application as of 1 March 2013 of the free trade agreement (the “FTA”) signed by the EU (and its 27 Member States) and Peru on 26 June 2012. Although the FTA was also signed by Colombia it will not be provisionally applicable with this country until Colombia ratifies it later this year. Continue reading
We would like to highlight that two oil and gas companies that sued Argentina at ICSID have announced new, multi-million investments in the country.
The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia has agreed to expropriate and nationalize Servicios de Aeropuertos Bolivianos, S.A. (SABSA), a Bolivian company which was granted concessions to run airports in La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba. SABSA was until the date of expropriation under control of two Spanish companies, Abertis (90%) and AENA (10%), through holding company TBI. Continue reading
The aim of this paper is to review all the protective provisions found mostly in all BITs, whether coming from customary international law or enunciated through the BIT itself in order to illustrate the implications of those provisions so that a proper understanding of the obligations imposed therein on the host States can be illustrated.
ICSID has published a new set of statistics about its caseload during 2012 and the aggregate since it was created by the Washington Convention in 1965.
CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños in Spanish / Comunidade dos Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos in Portuguese), has called for the creation of an investment dispute settlement centre for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Amid rumours of Argentina’s upcoming denunciation of the ICSID Convention after many awards and decisions rendered against that country, it is advisable to reflect about the current status of the Maffezini doctrine within its original context, i.e., the Spain-Argentina (or, reciprocally, the Argentina-Spain) BIT.
So far, six Arbitral Tribunals have accepted that investors (whether Argentinean or Spanish) may benefit from the MFN Clause included in Article IV(2) of the BIT to bypass a required 18-month period of litigation within the host State courts before resorting to international arbitration (ICSID or ad hoc under the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration). As far as it is known, to date no Arbitral Tribunal under the Spain-Argentina BIT has denied this solution, although a dissenting opinion was rendered for the first time in late December 2012.
The current score is, as indicated above, 6-0, a clear victory for investors against host States. It could lead us to affirm the existence of jurisprudence constante in this legal issue, at least under the Spain-Argentina BIT. Nonetheless, this post intends only to update the reader on this topic and is deliberately open for further research, analysis and debate. Continue reading
Following our post dated 4 January 2013, the online edition of the official journal of the Plurinational State of Bolivia has published the text of Supreme Decree No. 1448 whereby the Government of Bolivia expropriated shares in four Bolivian companies owned by Spanish energy company Iberdrola through its Bolivian subsidiary Iberbolivia de Inversiones.
With support from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Department of International Law of the Organization of American States (OAS) has launched a new website in English and Spanish about the enforceability of international commercial arbitration awards in Latin America: http://www.oas.org/en/sla/dil/international_commercial_arbitration.asp.
Just before the end of last year, on 29 December 2012, President Evo Morales of Bolivia signed Supreme Decree No. 1448 whereby the Government of Bolivia took control of four private-owned electricity companies:
- Electricidad de La Paz (Electropaz);
- Empresa de Luz y Fuerza Eléctrica de Oruro, Sociedad Anónima (ELFEO);
- Compañía Administradora de Empresas Bolivia, Sociedad Anónima (CADEB); and,
- Empresa de Servicios, Sociedad Anónima (EDESER).
Majority stakes thereof belonged at the time of the expropriations to Iberbolivia de Inversiones, Sociedad Anónima, a company subsidiary of Spanish energy company Iberdrola:
- Electropaz: 89.05%;
- ELFEO: 92.84%;
- CADEB: 93.49%; and,
- EDESER: 89.39%.
Following our post on the upcoming entry into force of EU Regulation 1219/2012 we hereby offer a short summary regarding its impact on the BITs signed by Spain with third countries (i.e., excluding those BITs signed with current or upcoming EU Member States).