By Dr Antoine P. Martin

Attempts to limit the jurisdiction and reach of ICSID seem to be progressing as South American states’ efforts to foster regional cooperation through a new regional organisation (regrouping Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) gain in precision.

Given the numerous investment claims brought by foreign investors against South American States lately, governments have thought about setting rules for an alternative investment protection and dispute settlement mechanism in which greater consideration would be given to sovereign and regulatory needs (see our previous post on Venezuela’s withdrawal from ICSID), and where appeal and precedents mechanisms would be put in place. Following the entry into force of the ‘Unión de Naciones Suramericanas’ (UNASUR) constitutional statutes in 2011 (for a chronology, see this very informative piece by the IIS), the famous EFE Press Agency indicated in Mid April that efforts towards the creation of a dispute settlement centre are becoming more concrete.

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Just a quick line about a report published ten days ago in an Indian online newspaper regarding Indian’s plans to abandon international arbitration in investment disputes.

Everything is here: India seeks treaty revisions to deal with corporate suits – Indian Express.

By Julián Cárdenas García, Doctoral Fellow at the Research Center of International Investment and Trade Law, CREDIMI – Université de Bourgogne

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela recently denounced the ICSID Convention through a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release (Spanish):

Unofficial translation:

Venezuelan Government Withdraws from ICSID
Venezuelan Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs.-

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela gave notice to  the World Bank on January 24th, of its irrevocable denunciation of the  “Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States  and Nationals of Other States” of 1966, which established the  International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
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We are happy to annouce the publication of an peer-reviewed article taking into consideration the issue of investors’ nationality in foreign direct investments, or more specifically, the issue of abuses of corporate structures in transnational investment deals. The article compares the facts in two ICSID cases, Tokios Tokelés v Ukraine and TSA Spectrum v Argentina, where ICSID tribunals had to choose between the place of incorporation of the entity and the controling nationality of the investors (corporate veil piercing) to establish ‘foreign control’ and the Centre’s jurisdiction. The Phoenix Action v Czech Republic is also cited because of its insights on “bona fide” investments. 

A. Martin, International investment dipsutes, nationality and corporate veil: some insights from Tokios Tokeles and TSA Spectrum de Argentina, Transnational Dispute Management, Volume.8 Issue.1 February 2011

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