This blog post was first published on the Practical Law arbitration blog. On 30 August 2017, the Moroccan Parliament ratified the Morocco-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty (“BIT“), which now awaits ratification by Nigeria. This treaty, part of a suite of agreements signed between Morocco and Nigeria at a ceremony in Casablanca in December 2016, is intended to herald a “strategic partnership” at a time when the two countries are embarking on an ambitious joint venture to construct a 4,000 km regional gas pipeline that will connect west African countries’ gas resources
On 8 September 2016, the President of Romania agreed to submit to the Romanian Parliament draft legislation approving termination of 22 bilateral investment treaties that Romania concluded with other EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs”). The draft legislation had been initiated on 10 August 2016 by the Romanian Government in an expedited legislative procedure. The explanatory note to the draft legislation quotes the European Commission’s view that intra-EU BITs are incompatible with EU law and refers to the infringement proceedings initiated on 18 June 2015 against five EU Member States, including Romania, requesting them
On 25 February 2016, Poland’s State Treasury announced its intention to terminate its Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”). Poland currently has around 60 BITs in force, all of them signed between 1987 and 1998. Poland concluded BITs with almost every EU Member State (“intra-EU BITs”). It remains, however, the only EU Member State that is not a party to the ICSID Convention. The State Treasury indicated its intention to terminate all 60 BITs. Shortly thereafter a new announcement recommended that the Polish Government take the step of terminating intra-EU BITs only.
On December 28, 2015, the Government of India released the text for its revised model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). In this release, the Government of India also announced that the Department of Economic Affairs will be leading all negotiations on BITs and investment chapters of trade agreements to ensure continuity between trade and investment issues.
On 8 May 2015, Markus Burgstaller of Hogan Lovells presented the findings of the recent report on foreign direct investment and the rule of law (the “Report“) to the twenty-fourth Investment Treaty Forum Public Conference in London. The Report was authored by Julianne Hughes-Jennett, Partner, International Arbitration at Hogan Lovells, together with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the Investment Treaty Forum, based on a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit of corporate foreign direct investment decision-making and the rule of law. The survey of 301 senior
Breyer Group Plc and others v Department of Energy and Climate Change In a recent decision, the High Court (Coulson J) found that a number of businesses were entitled to damages caused by a ministerial proposal to curtail government incentives in the solar energy sector. The High Court considered that the proposal, although not enacted and subsequently found to be unlawful, amounted to an unjustified interference with the claimants’ possessions, giving rise to an entitlement to damages. Although related to incentives in the solar energy sector, the findings of the
Germany has announced that it is opposing the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the TTIP. Brigitte Zypries, a German junior Economy Minster, recently advised the German parliament that “special investment protection rules are not necessary” in the TTIP because “US investors in the European union have sufficient legal protection in the national courts.” This announcement will present another complication for TTIP investment negotiators, particularly as France has previously expressed its opposition to including ISDS in the TTIP. Germany’s announcement appears to represent a stark reversal of its long-held
Indonesia has decided to terminate its Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the Netherlands, pursuant to a statement issued by the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta on 21 March 2014. The termination will be effective from 1 July 2015. However, because of a “sunset” provision in the BIT, its protections will extend for existing investments of investors until 1 July 2030. Indonesian Vice President Boediono confirmed Indonesia’s decision at a summit in The Hague on 23 March 2014. He pledged that “Indonesia will create a new bilateral investment agreement that will be
The United States Supreme Court (the “Court”), on 5 March 2014, issued its first decision in the area of international investment treaty arbitration. The Court, by a 7-2 majority, decided BG Group PLC. v. The Republic of Argentina in favor of BG Group. The Court effectively elected not to second-guess procedural rulings made by investment treaty tribunals. The Court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s ruling that an UNCITRAL tribunal lacked the authority to decide a US$185 million dispute, and instead upheld the tribunal’s award in
On 1 November 2013, the South African government published a draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which is intended to replace the existing bilateral investment treaties (BITs) that currently govern investment disputes in South Africa and provide a uniform legal framework to govern all investments in the country. The draft bill follows the South African government’s review of its BITs in 2010, the majority of which were entered into with EU states in the post apartheid-era, and subsequent announcement of its plans to phase out these treaties. South Africa