recht van de internationale handel

(International) Investment law –
Main questions of (investment) law / investment regime:
Requirements for foreign investment, treatment of foreign investors,
protection against expropriation incl. dispute resolution mechanism
Financing of investments
Responsibilities of investors
Investment law
- sources
Sources for rules on foreign investment:
National law
International Investment Agreements (IIAs), either (mostly) Bilateral
Investment Treaties (BIT) (s. infra) or Multilateral treaties (regional,
sectorial, TRIMS, world bank treaties) (s. infra)
Customary international law, esp. concerning protection in case of
expropriation (s. infra)
International investment contracts, i.e. contracts between investor and host
country, s. next slide
Problems of applicable law
Why may domestic law (of the host state) be problematic ?
protectionism: obligation to buy in the guest country (performance
obligations, infra); restrictions on import / export, restrictions on
transferring (expatriating) profit , …
using sovereignty, eg limited protection against expropriation
sometimes also reverse discrimination of nationals, privileges for foreign
TRIMS 1994: only trade related aspects of investments:
Prohibition of quantitative measures and measures with similar effect
Principle of national treatment of foreign investment legaly ‘enteed’
Problems of applicable law
Can international investment contracts help ?
 i.e. contracts between investor and host country
 Contain eg stabilisation clauses (compare infra in BIT)
 Effectiveness against host country depends on applicable law and
competent jurisdiction
Applicable law: domestic law or international public law ? quasi
international law ?
Dispute resolution mechanism ? most effective is application of international
public law and international arbitration
Protection ag. expropriation
Esp. protection against expropriation
Types of expropriation:
individual expropriation s.s. (public interest + compensation);
collective nationalisation;
creeping expropriation or quasi-expropriation (disproportionate
burdens or restrictions)
(lot of disputes as to what amounts to expropriation)
Expropriation and international law ?
in European countries: 1st Protocol to the ECHR
rules of customary public international law ? Next 2 slides
Protection ag. expropriation
Traditional customary public international law has as rules &
conditions for expropriation:
- No general prohibition
- Allowed only in the public interest (but interpreted thus that poliical
purposes are not excluded)
- No discrimination of foreigners (unless required for national
- Effective Prompt Appropriate Compensation (Hull-formula) (i.e.
quick, in convertable and exportable currency, full value)
- Due process of law (procedural protection)
Protection ag. expropriation
Traditional customary public international law questioned:
by the USSR 1917, Latin Am. (Calvo doctrine), developing countries, ….
UN-Resolution no. 1803 from 1962: stresses permanent sovereignty over
natural resources of every state (host state for investments)
A more radical « Charter of economic rights and duties of States » in 1974
(« new economic order »):
NEO-Charter proposed to extend the sovereignty to include all economic
activities, does not require « public interest », grants only « reasonable »
compensation, refuses international procedural control, etc.
Such expropriations will however not be recognised by other countries
Thus not accepted as customary law, meanwhile slipped into oblivion
(Reaction after 1974’s: BIT’s)
Investment treaties
Uncertainty about the customary international public law creates
need for treaties
Next slides: multilateral treaties; bilateral treaties
Foundation of 2 new institutions under the world bank:
- ICSID 1965
- MIGA 1985
Bilateral Inv. Treaties (BIT)
Bilateral investment treaties (BIT) (also known as Foreign Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreements, FIPAs)
 BIT’s in response to the NEO-Charter
- Starting in 1959 with Germany-Pakistan
 almost 3000 BIT’s (57 with Belgium, ca. 130 with Germany, etc.) (more
specifically end of 2013: 2857 BIT’s and 339 other agreements with an
investment dimension)
 Big countries have a model BIT
 Sometimes followed by a larger FTA (China-Switzerland FTA 2014,
supplementing the 2010 BIT)
 Some countries are terminating their BIT’s, eg South Africa (BIT w.
Benelux, Germany, Spain)(«Black Economic Empowerment »); Indonesia;
Bolivia & Ecuador left ICSID
 Others limit the scope of the dispute settlement, eg Australia (included in
2013 safeguards in areas as public health, welfare and environment)
has predictive qualities in an area with such ample opportunities for rational
learning, it will almost certainly also have it with respect to other policies.
Figure 1.1. The spread of BITs
Bilateral investment treaties, 1959-2009
Total (2nd axis)
Source: UNCTAD
Bilateral Inv. Treaties (BIT)
Fate of « Extra-EU-BIT’s » after Lisbon Treaty: Reg. 1219/2012 - EU
intends to replace national extra-EU-Bits’ by common EU-BIT’s. Duty of
MS’s to eliminate incompatibilities
As it is often sufficient to invest via a company incoporated under the laws
of a country with a BIT, investors form third countires may use this indirect
Scope of application (usually):
(inward) investment, usually broadly defined (FDI = foreign direct
Sometimes restricted to certain investments or under certain conditions
Multilateral Investm. Treaties
OECD: OECD 1967 Draft Convention on the Protection of Foreign property
failed; OECD-MiA failed; negotiations on a GIT in WTO failed
FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) contain also investment protection, as in:
NAFTA Ch. 11: non-discrimination; investor chooses dispute resolution
CETA (EU / Canada Partnership, 2013), EU-Singapore FTA Oct 2014
(EUSFTA concluded, not signed yet)
Negotiations on other FTA’s, such as TTIP and TPP (but no investment
chapter in the 2009 EU-Korea FTA)
(EU: internal market as a more radical solution)
Other Regional IT’s, such as:
Investments agreement of the OIC (Bagdad 1981); ASEAN Comprehenisve
Investment Agreement (ACIA) 2009, …
Sectorial: Energy Charter Treaty 1994, infra
Also investment aspects in Cotonou (EU / ACP), supra
TRIMS, supra
Codes of conduct of the World Bank, OECD, « UN Global Compact »,…
World bank related treaties, infra
Energy Charter Treaty
Sectorial Multilateral investment treaties ?
Sectorial Energy Charter Treaty 1994, in force 1998
45 countries from Europe (incl. EU itself), former Soviet U + Japan;
(Russia withdrew in 2009; Norway and Australia did not ratify)
Oil & electricity;
Concerns investment / exploitation / transport;
Principle of non-discrimination
Protection against expropriation and quasi-expropriation
Dispute resolution mechanism (arbitration) for breaches of Part II
ECT. Investor may choose arbitration according to ICSID, Uncitral or
SCC (Stockholm)
E.g. Procedures by Vattenfall v. Germany (i.a. decision to close
nuclear plants)
E.g. Arbitration Youkos v. Russia (initiated while Russia was still
bound by the ISDS)
Energy Charter Treaty
Bilateral Inv. Treaties (BIT)
Typical content (1)
 Freedom to invest ? (free inflow and outflow of capital)
Usually not fully liberalised
Usually no full national treatment, but a MFN clause + minimum standard
of «proper & equitable» treatment
Incl. often prohibition of ‘performance requirements’ (such as requirement
of « national » content of products …) (conflicts with EU quota rules)
 Protection of investments made:
Stabilisation clauses (later regulation cannot negatively affect the
investment); observance clauses (later regulations not applicable); also
called ‘umbrella clause’ (giving an umbrella to certain obligations).
Purpose: turn a contractual obligation (which can often be overruled by
national public law or change in legislation) into an international obligation validity (binding character) sometimes disputed
Usually rules on protection in case of expropriation
Capital transfer guarantees (free movement of capital, ‘free transfer of
payment’) (some conflicts with EU law)
Foreign investment – financing
« Project financing » through international institutions
International lenders (financing institutions)
An important player is the World bank: comprises 5 institutions:
IBRD (1944) (188 members): loans for projects (usually in
cooperation with banks) to states, with funds from member states
or capital markets, short term and on interest; no flow-back to
funding states: neutral assessment – annual reports
IDA (1960): advantageous loans for least developed countries: long
term, no or very low interest
IFC (International Finance Corporation, 1956): loans or capital
investment in private sector; technical assistance and advice
MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency 1985): see infra
ICSID (1965): mediation and arbitration institution, infra.
MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) 1985: mainly covers noncommercial risks of investors from MIGA-member countries in other MIGAcountries; succesful (168 members)
Coverage can be granted by MIGA after assessment of risks if:
An investment is made (interpreted widely)
By an investor from a MIGA-country
After the granting of the guarantee (only new investments)
In a developing country, member of MIGA
Contributing to development
Approval by the host country is required; usually MIGA will contract with
the country to limit the risks
Risks that can be covered: mainly 4 types: currency transfer restrictions;
expropriation and similar measures; breach of contract without domestic
remedy; sometimes war and civil disturbance. Not: eg devaluation
Conditions will be specified in a contract MIGA-investor: premium to be
paid; uninsured percentage (usually 10 %), arbitration clause
Disputes between MIGA-states on the Convention: submitted to Board of
Disputes MIGA - host country: negotiation; if necessary arbitration
Other financing institutions
Other international lenders (financing institutions)
Regional development banks - often on condition of flow-back to
funding countries: African DB, Asian DB (67 members, strong
Japanese influence), Inter-American DB, new AIIB (Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank, 2014, strong Chinese influence)....
EBRD (European Bank for reconstruction and Development) – for
Eastern Europe; 65 memebrs, capital mainly from EU countries, US,
Canada, Japan
Investment Funds of the EU:
- ACP countries (Cotonou agreement): investment facilities
- EU-internal: European Investment Bank (projects for regional
- European Social Fund
UN-organisations, esp. UNDP
Responsibilities of investors
Some elements in investment treaties, Free Trade Agreements etc.
Codes of conduct of the World Bank, OECD, « UN Global Compact »,…
Conditions imposed by financing institutions
Esp. the performance standards of the IFC. They concern:
Assessment of environmental and social risks
Labor and working conditions
Resource efficiency and pollution prevention
Community health, safety and security
Land acquisition and involuntary resettlement
Biodiversity conservation and living natural resources
Indigenous peoples
Cultural heritage
S. also the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises
Reporting obligations for big companies, eg in EU Non-financial reporting directive:
report annually on social matters, human rights, ani-corruption mesaures
Dispute resolution (in BITs)
Renegotiation clauses
Arbitration clauses:
Arbitration may be under the ICSID rules (infra) or under UNCITRAL rules
(see Ch. 12).
Sometimes subject to a national court requirement (eg UK-Argentina BIT:
first go to the Argentinian court; if no decision within 18 months arbitration
is open)
The UNCITRAL rules impose a certain degree of ‘transparency’ (public
access for third parties to hearings and documents except confidential or
protected information), but this applies only a) to arbitration under BIT’s
concluded after April 1, 2014 or b) when parties agree. Under ICSID, access
is much more limited (discretionary decision of the tribunal)
2014 UNCITRAL Draft Convention on Transparency in treaty-based investorState arbitration (for existing BIT’s)
Question whether an arbitration clause in a BIT displaces a forum clause in
the investment contract itself: concurrent jurisdiction*, or priority of one
clause over the other ? (*ICSID arb 97/3 Compania de Aguas del
Investment treaty arbitration
ICSID – Convention 1965: dispute resolution procedure for investment
 now 150 ratifications (+ 9 signatures); became much more important since
the 1990’s. Canada ratified Nov 2013 (after solving federalism problem).
Missing Russia (not ratified), i.a. India, Brazil, South Africa (not signed);
Withdrawal by Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela.
 Scope of application:
only investment disputes
between a party to the ICSID Convention and an investor from another
contracting party (or a local daughter company)*
jurisdiction of the ICSID has been accepted in an investment contract,
domestic law, BIT or ad hoc
ICSID organises the procedure, does not settle the dispute itself
conciliation procedure (not succesful)
arbitration procedure
no «seat»; annulment procedure organised by ICSI itself
* Dispute whether still possible under intra-EU BIT’s (according to EU
Commission, contrary to 344 TFEU; not according to Frankfurt Court)
Investment treaty arbitration
Advantages of ICSID –Arbitration
If a choice of law was made in the contract, the arbitrators must apply that law
But national law can be set aside if contrary to public international law (art. 42
Arbitral award can be set aside only by ICSID itself, not by a national court; limited
grounds for annulment
Exclusive jurisdiction; national courts lose jurisdiction; no immunity of jurisdiction for
ICSID states before ICSID
Member states recognise the awards as binding and guarantee the enforcement
within their territory; nevertheless enforcing often remains difficult
« Additional facility »: ICSID assistance in cases out of the scope of application of the
Convention (eg investor not a national of an ICSID State) (but awards are then not
falling under the ICSID Convention bu unde rthe NY Convention or arbitration)
Awards are published in annual Reports
Criticism: no guarantees for fair trial & impartiality, no public character*, no
guarantee of consistent interpretation by a single tribunal, etc…
* unless Uncitral Transparency rules apply

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