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6 J. World Investment & Trade 387 (2005)
The Baby Boom of Treaty-Based Arbitrations and the Jurisdiction of ICSID Tribunals: Shareholders as Investors under Investment Treaties

handle is hein.journals/jworldit6 and id is 387 raw text is: The Baby Boom of Treaty-Based Arbitrations
and the Jurisdiction of ICSID Tribunals
Shareholders as Investors under Investment Treaties
The rapid increase in the number of international arbitrations between foreign
investors and host governments in recent years has been the subject of much discussion,
with good reason: the statistics are staggering. According to a recent study conducted
by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the total
number of investor-State arbitrations brought under bilateral investment treaties (BITs),
regional investment agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), and multilateral investment agreements such as the Energy Charter Treaty
now stands at 160, with well over half of the cases (92) filed during the last three years.'
The UNCTAD study further indicates that about two-thirds of those cases (106) have
been filed before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
(ICSID), a facility dedicated to investor-State arbitration proceedings.
The ICSID was established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment
Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States of 1965 (the ICSID Convention).
The first ICSID case was registered in 1972. The first ICSID case under an investment
treaty was registered in 1987. Ten years ago, at the end of 1994, IcsID had before it only
three cases between foreign investors and host governments under investment treaties.2
The first year in which more than five IcsID cases were registered was 1997.3
The baby boom began in the mid-1990s. At the end of 1997, the number of
pending cases was 14; at the end of 2001, it was 37; and at the end of 2003, there were
64 pending cases.4 At the end of 2004, the ICSID Website listed some 85 pending cases
* Partner at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood Lu', Washington, D.C.
This is an abridged version of the article first published in 4 The Law and Practice of International
Courts and Tribunals 19 (2005). The author would like to thank Judge Stephen M. Schwebel and
Professor Christoph H. Schreuer for their valuable comments.
The author miay be contacted at: <salexandrov@sidley.com>.
i See UNCTAD, Occasional Note: International Investment Disputes on the Rise, UNCTAD/WEB/ITE/IIT/2004/2,
29 November 2004, at 1. For recent statistics, see also Luke Eric Peterson, Research Note: Emerging Bilateral
Investment Treaty Arbitration and Sustainable Development, August 2003; available at: <www.iisd.org/pdf/2003/
tradebits disputes.pdf' (last visited 7 January 2005).
2 See UNC. FAD, ibid., at 1 and Figure 1.
See Emmanuel Gaillard, Laiurisprudence du CIRDI, Editions A. Pedone, Pans, 2004, pp. 2-3.
Ibid., at p. 4.

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