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Protecting Russian Investments Abroad Opportunities and constraints. Anatole Boute. Structure of the presentation Protecting Russian investments abroad: relevance Introduction to Russian investment treaty-making Reciprocity in international investment law P rinciple of Most-Favored Nation

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Structure of the presentation

Protecting Russian investments abroad: relevance

Introduction to Russian investment treaty-making

Reciprocity in international investment law

Principle of Most-Favored Nation

Procedural protection

Substantive protection

The way forward

slide3

Protecting Russian investments abroad: relevance

Commercial v. investment arbitration

Ex ante – ex post

Investor-state arbitration: independence of procedural protection

Substantive standards that go beyond states’ obligation under customary international law

slide4

Russian investments in unstable and unpredictable climates

Developing and transition economies:

Mongolia (Paushok, Golden East, Vostokneftegaz, April 28, 2011)

Moldova (Bogdanov, March 30, 2010)

The EU internal energy market?

slide5

Introduction to Russian investment treaty-making

    • Russian Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)

“First-generation” BITs

“Second-generation” BITs

“Third-generation” BITs?

BUT

Dangerous classification

slide6

Russian multilateral investment treaties

Energy Charter Treaty (and Draft Convention on Energy Security)

Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU?

WTO?

slide7

The European Convention for Human Rights

Article 1, First Additional Protocol

slide8

Reciprocity in international investment law

BITs as “bilateral” treaties: reciprocity of rights / obligations

Obligations apply to both Contracting Parties

Rights for investors from both Contracting Parties

slide9

Reciprocity and the economic power of the parties:

bilateral in practice?

Primarily aimed at countries with weak institutional framework and weak “rule of law”

to export capital to developing or transition economies.

But, the trend is changing: ex. claims against the US.

slide10

Example: the Energy Charter Treaty

Objective: to reduce non-commercial risks associated with energy investments

to facilitate “Western” investments in the CIS countries.

More recently stress on the reciprocity of the ECT.

slide11

André Mernier, Secretary General of the Energy Charter:

“it is extremely important to recall that the provisions of the Treaty are not only applicable to upstream markets. Political risk is not confined only to one part of the energy value chain, and companies from producer countries are increasingly active on downstream markets. Through the Treaty, these companies receive the same binding protection against non-commercial risk.”

Reciprocity of arbitration (although commercial) highlighted in recent BP-Rosneft deal.

slide12

Reciprocity also means that Russian investors abroad face the same arbitration obstacles as foreign investors in Russia

slide13

Principle of Most-Favored Nation

Requirement not to treat investors from the other Contracting Party less favorably than other investors

Application of non-discrimination principle to the relation of a host state with investors that come from all the states with which the host state has concluded investment treaties.

slide14

“Neither Contracting Party shall in its territory subject investors of the other Contracting Party, as regards their management, maintenance, use, enjoyment or disposal of their investments, to treatment less favorable than that which it accords to investors of any third State.”

(Art. 3, para. 2 UK-Soviet BIT)

slide15

Relevance:

Harmonization of investment protection.

Obligations go beyond a particular investment treaty.

Application to substantive protection?

Application to procedural protection?

slide16

Procedural protection

Access to independent investor-state arbitration

Key: scope of the dispute resolution clause

“First-generation” BITs

“Second-generation” BITs

ECT

Prospects?

slide17

“First generation Russian BITs” :

- Dispute resolution clauses apply to any dispute:

“relating to the amount or method of payment of the compensation due under article 6 of this Agreement [on nationalization and expropriation].”

Art. 10 Spain-Soviet BIT.

See also Soviet BITs with UK, Belgium/Lux, Germany, Austria, Finland, Netherlands

slide18

Interpretation of dispute resolution clauses:

● Strict:

The clauses exclude from the scope of arbitration:

(i) other disputes than related to expropriation, and

(ii) disputes concerning “whether or not an act of expropriation actually occurred”.

slide19

On the expropriation itself: RU courts or contract

Berschader v Russia, Award, 21 April 2006 (SCC 080/2004.

See also RosInvest v Russia, Award on Jurisdiction, October 2007 (SCC V079/2005)

slide20

● Broad:

“It is impermissible to read Article 10 of the BIT as a vanishingly narrow internationalization of Russia’s commitment. Yet that would be the consequence if Russia could determine unilaterally and conclusively whether the very predicate of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction were operative or not”.

Renta v Russia, Award on Preliminary Objections,

20 March 2009 (SCC 24/2007).

slide21

Interpretation of MFN clause:

● Strict:

MFN does not allow to “import” broader dispute resolution clauses from other BITs.

(Berschader, Renta)

slide22

● Broad:

“if [MFN] applies to substantive protection, then it should apply even more to “only” procedural protection.”

(RosInvest)

slide23

Restricted dispute resolution clause in all “first-generation” BITs?

Exception:

Soviet BITs with France and Canada

slide24

“Second-” and “third-generation” Russian BITs:

Investor-state dispute resolution open to:

“Any dispute which may arise between an investor of one Contracting Party and the other Contracting Party in connection with an investment on the territory of that other Contracting Party”.

(Art. 8 Denmark-Russia BIT. See also BITs with Italy, Cyprus, Norway, Sweden, Hungary)

slide25

The Energy Charter Treaty dispute resolution clause:

Article 26 applies to “disputes which concern an alleged breach of an obligation under Part III [investment promotion and protection]”.

slide26

Interpretation:

“Article 26 ECT provides to a covered investor an almost unprecedented remedy for its claims against a host state.”

Plama v Bulgaria

Decision on Jurisdiction of 8 February 2005

(ICSID ARB/03/24)

slide27

The Y…. case:

30 November 2009 (PCA)

The central issue:

Is Russia bound by the investment regime of the ECT on the basis of the provisional application clause?

slide28

No protection under the ECT after 18 October 2009

The investment chapter of the ECT, as well as the dispute resolution clause, remains in force for existing investors until 18 October 2029

Cavaet: No doctrine of precedent in international arbitration

But:IoannisKardassopoulos v Georgia, Decision on Jurisdiction of 6 July 2007 (ICSID ARB/05/18)

slide29

Relevance for Russian investments abroad:

Art. 45, para 2, (b) of the ECT:

Neither a signatory which makes a declaration in accordance with subparagraph (a) nor Investors of that signatory may claim the benefits of provisional application under paragraph (1).

What about investments incorporated in other countries?

slide30

The dispute resolution clause of the Draft Convention on Energy Security:

recognizes investor-state arbitration

slide31

Substantive protection

- Expropriation;

- National treatment and non-discrimination;

- Fair and equitable treatment;

- Full protection and security;

- Umbrella clause.

slide32

Expropriation

Expropriation clauses in most Russian BITs

include measures “tantamount” to expropriation

ex. Italy-Russia BIT: de jure and de facto

compensation (Hull formula)

slide33

Interpretation in arbitral practice

debate on “regulatory taking”:

the sovereign right of states to regulate v. the protection of property

degree of interference with an investment

slide34

National treatment and non-discrimination

Relative and not absolute standard

No treatment less favorable than national investors that are in a comparable situation

slide35

Most Russian BITs contain a NT clause, except with Finland and Austria

BUT

MFN and fair and equitable treatment standard

slide36

Some Russian BITs limit protection “to the extent possible” and “in accordance with their laws and regulations”

2002 Model Russian BIT: retains the right to introduce exceptions to NT

ex post?

slide37

Additional safeguards: Germany-Soviet BIT:

discriminatory measures include “unjustified restrictions on the acquisition of raw materials and auxiliary materials, energy and fuel”.

slide38

Interpretation:

“comparable situation”: the likeness test.

exactly the same business?

the same economic sector?

over cross-sectoral analysis?

justification based on public policy objectives

slide39

Fair and equitable treatment

“Currently the most promising standard of investment protection” (Schreuer)

Absolute standard that “fills the gaps” left by other standards (Dolzer)

slide40

Respect for investors’ legitimate and reasonable expectations

  • Stability and predictability of the legal framework
  • Protection against arbitrariness and discrimination
  • Procedural propriety and due process
slide41

Discussion in arbitral practice:

Does it go further than the minimum standard of protection under customary international law?

Russian BITs do generally not refer to the “principles of international law” in the formulation of the Fair and Equitable Treatment standard

slide42

NL and Sweden BITs refer to “fair and equitable treatment” in preamble:

fair and equitable treatment will stimulate the flow of capital and technology and the economic development of the contracting parties.

slide43

Specific formulation in Russian BITs:

link with non-discrimination (with Cyprus)

only “fully equitable” (Germany) or just “fair” (2002 Model BIT)

slide44

Full protection and security

Physical security

Legal security?

slide45

Full protection and security clauses in Russian BITs:

“full protection” (Germany)

“full and unconditional legal protection” (Cyprus)

slide46

Umbrella clauses

Sanctity of contract

Add the compliance with (investment) contracts and other commitments to the BIT substantive standards

slide47

In Russian BITs: only few

UK and NL-Soviet:

shall observe any obligation it may have entered into with regards to investors the other Party

BUT

limited dispute resolution clause

Japan-Russia

slide48

Substantive protection standards and MFN

Differences in the investment disciplines included in the respective BITs and their formulation,

BUT

MFN clause applies to substantive protection:

“import” of more favorable protection standards from other (third-party) BITs.

slide49

Conclusion

Reciprocity:

Reciprocity of investment obligations and rights

Increasing use by Russian investors can be expected, following the general trend

slide50

Access to arbitration:

Crucial importance of access to arbitration: a considerable limit for Russian investments abroad, just as for certain foreign investments in Russia

In EU: Germany, Finland, UK, Austria, NL, BEL/LUX

slide51

Most Favored Nation:

Harmonization of substantive protection

More sensitive for procedural protection

slide52

Momentum:

Negotiations of a new EU-Russian Partnership Agreement