Category Archives: International Arbitration

BC’s Non-Resident Home Purchase Taxes and International Trade

Comments have been made in some quarters about the recently-announced 15% tax imposed by the BC government on non-resident purchases of residential property to the effect the measure might offend Canada’s obligations under the NAFTA. These come as a surprise, since few would have thought that an internal measure like this would even remotely involve… Read More »

Investment Arbitration – Important Developments in Tobacco Litigation

The huge multinational tobacco conglomerate, Philip Morris (PM), was bounced out of court on 14 July 2016, in a highly controversial investment claim against tiny Uruguay, a country with a population of 4.5 million and GDP a fraction of the US$80 billion annual revenues of the US-based tobacco giant (Philip Morris v, Uruguay, Award: http://www.italaw.com/cases/460) Although… Read More »

Canada and Investment Disputes-Tallying the Numbers

Canada Pays Out The federal government just announced that it was paying Mobil Investments and Murphy Oil some $19 million to satisfy a decision of a NAFTA investment arbitration panel last year. The tribunal found that certain guidelines of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board were discriminatory and thereby breached Canada’s NAFTA obligations. Although the government… Read More »

Investment Disputes – New Ideas Percolating

There are over 2,500 bilateral investment treaties that incorporate investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. These allow foreign investors to bring binding arbitration against host-States for allegedly unfair or arbitrary actions (laws or other measures) affecting the value of their investments. There’s growing concern among informed persons over this entrenched model, as I’ve commented on before.… Read More »

Canada Loses Another Investment Dispute under NAFTA

A NAFTA arbitration panel has decided against Canada in a long-standing investment dispute over a large coastal quarry and marine project in Nova Scotia that had been turned down over environmental and social concerns (Clayton/Bilcon v. Canada). A majority of the panel said that Canada and Nova Scotia breached the minimum standard of treatment under… Read More »

ISDS Redux: Canada Loses – But Very Little

It’s been reported that a NAFTA investment dispute panel has ordered Canada to pay $17 million in compensation to Exxon-Mobil and Murphy Oil due to changes to the  to the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board Guidelines governing offshore oil and gas development on the continental shelf off Newfoundland and Labrador. The award isn’t public as yet, but… Read More »

Investor Arbitration and Public Regulation

On August 27, 2014, a NAFTA panel dismissed a claim by the Canadian pharmaceutical company, Apotex Inc., that had argued that the US government had breached the non-discrimination clauses in the Agreement by issuing an Import Alert over the company’s Canadian drug manufacturing processes. In 2008 -2009. the US Food and Drug Administration had inspected… Read More »