Parallel Universes of Investment Protection? A Divergent Finding on the Definition of Investment in the icsid Arbitration on Greek Sovereign Debts

In: The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
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  • 1 kei.nakajima@graduateinstitute.ch

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As exemplified by the three icsid cases brought by Italian bondholders against Argentina, arbitral tribunals have tended to interpret broadly the term ‘investment’ in applicable bits. However, the tribunal in Poštová banka v. Greece came to the opposite conclusion: the series of Greek sovereign bonds in question did not constitute a protected ‘investment’. Although the tribunal carefully scrutinized the specificity in phrasing in the applicable bits so as to justify its divergent conclusion, some commentators still find inconsistencies with previous jurisprudence. This article examines the interpretative approach taken by the Poštová tribunal and compares it to previous jurisprudence involving disputes over Argentine sovereign bonds, by employing the concept of a two-level judicial dialogue: dialogue on treaty languages and dialogue on an interpretative assumption. It will explain both the apparent consistency between the two lines of jurisprudence as well as the divergence in their interpretative approaches.

  • 8

    Kyriaki Karadelis, “Greece Defeats Sovereign Debt Claim”, Global Arbitration Review (14 April 2015), at http://globalarbitrationreview.com/news/article/33716/greece-defeats-sovereign-debt-claim/.

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  • 12

    Peter Plachy, “Poštová banka and Istrokapital v. Greece: A Seeming Departure from the Abaclat ‘Norm’ ”, Slovak Arbitration Blog (26 May 2015), at http://slovarblog.com/postova-banka-istrokapital-v-greece-departure-abaclat-norm/.

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  • 17

    Schill and Tvede, supra note 13. For the original concept of ‘dialogue des juges’, see François Lichère, Laurence Potvin-Solis and Arnaud Raynouard (eds.), Le dialogue entre les juges européens et nationaux: incantation ou réalité ? (lgdj, 2004); Boleslaw Lukaszewicz and Henri Oberdorff (eds.), Le juge administratif et l’Europe: le dialogue des juges. Actes du colloque du 50e anniversaire des tribunaux administratifs (Presses universitaires de Grenoble, 2004).

  • 36

    Affaki, supra note 15.

  • 57

    Montanaro, supra note 14, 555.

  • 64

    Waibel, supra note 20, 743–744.

  • 72

    Karadelis, supra note 8.

  • 80

    Dolzer & Schreuer, supra note 1, 75.

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