International Investment Law

Filter category

Feature post image

A Little Threat from My Friends: An EU-based Company Contemplates Taking War-Torn Ukraine to Investment Arbitration

On 18 August 2022, the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine (ESBU) seized the assets of one of Ukraine’s largest fuel retailers, AMIC Ukraine, the local subsidiary of AMIC Energy, an Austrian private equity firm. The Ukrainian authorities acted on charges of tax fraud, money laundering, and – above all – the company’s alleged connection with Russia. According to ESBU, AMIC Energy and its local subsidiary have paid “dividends in favor of non-resident companies, the ultimate beneficial owners of which are the Russian Federation and a company from the Russian Federation”. In a confrontational press release issued right after the attachment, AMIC Ukraine dismissed ESBU’s charges as “arbitrary”, “absurd”, a “deliberate illegal pressure on a foreign investor”, “fabricated”, or “due to incompetence”. The company mockingly rejected the Russian connection allegation as “based on a shocking piece of ‘incontrovertible evidence’ – a printout of a five-year-old article published in 2017”. It then threatened to take the matter to investment arbitration and the European Court of Human Rights: “if any…

Read more

A new variety of rights-based climate litigation: a challenge against the Energy Charter Treaty before the European Court of Human Rights

In the last couple of years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has become a hotspot for rights-based climate change litigation. At the time of writing, seven cases are pending before the Court, with applicants seeking to challenge various aspects of domestic climate change laws and policies in the various respondent states, arguing that they violate their…

Read more

Will the Morocco-Nigeria Bilateral Investment Treaty Transform Sustainable Development into Hard Law?

The SDGs have now received virtually global endorsement. At the same time, new BITs have emerged which incorporate both the SDGs and the concept of sustainable development. This includes Morocco-Nigeria BIT 2016 (‘the Treaty’) which may prove to be the IIA that transforms sustainable development from a ‘mere’ political commitment or soft law into a hard legal obligation…

Read more

New Options for Investor Accountability in ISDS

ISDS emerged in the twentieth century to empower foreign investors to assert legal claims against host states without the intervention of their home state. But this understanding of international investment law (IIL) – investor rights and host state duties – is now a relic of the past. Yet because of their current asymmetrical nature, ISDS and IIL do…

Read more