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Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator

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methodology

About

The UNCTAD Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator contains information about known international arbitration cases initiated by investors against States pursuant to international investment agreements (IIAs). Such arbitrations are also referred to as treaty-based investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases.

General disclaimer

The Navigator includes information about publicly known IIA-based international investor-State arbitration proceedings. As some proceedings (or certain aspects of proceedings) remain confidential, the information contained in the Navigator cannot be deemed exhaustive.

While every effort is made to keep the information up to date and complete, the material is provided without any guarantees or warranties as to its accuracy or completeness. UNCTAD assumes no responsibility for eventual errors or omissions in these data.

We welcome any additional information or clarifications on specific cases as well as suggestions to improve the Navigator. Please contact us using the online contact form.

Cases included in the Navigator

A case is included in the Navigator if it is:

  • an international arbitration between an investor and a State;
  • fully or partially based on an IIA, such as a bilateral investment treaty or the investment chapter of a free trade agreement (not included are investor-State disputes that are solely based on contracts or on domestic investment legislation);
  • submitted to arbitration through a notice of arbitration or a request for arbitration, and upon registration of such request if applicable (not included are cases where a disputing party has only notified the other party of the existence of a dispute or signalled its intention to submit a claim, but has not yet commenced the arbitration).

Sources of information and frequency of updating

The information included in the Navigator is collected from publicly available sources. Primary sources (i.e. official documents relating to the case and information provided by the administering institutions) are the main and preferred source of information. Secondary sources, such as specialized reporting services and other sources deemed reliable, are used to supplement primary sources and/or obtain case information otherwise unavailable.

The Navigator is updated on a regular, typically biannual, basis. The date of the last update is displayed on the Navigator’s home page.

Methodological notes for the recording of data

Case name

Full case name is recorded as it appears in the official case documents and as it is registered at the administering institution if applicable. If there are more than five claimants in the case, the names of all claimants can be replaced by the name of the first claimant followed by the words “and others”.

Short case name is ascribed by UNCTAD. Typically it is the first word of a corporate claimant’s name, an abbreviation of the corporate claimant’s name, or the last name of a natural-person claimant “v.” the short version of the respondent State’s name.

If the Navigator includes more than one case with the exact same name, then “(I)” is added to the case name of the earlier case, and a “(II)”, “(III)”, etc. is added to the name of each subsequent case.

Year of initiation

This is the year in which the notice of arbitration / request for arbitration was submitted by the claimant. For arbitrations brought under the ICSID Convention Arbitration Rules or ICSID Additional Facilities (AF) Rules, the year in which the claim was registered by ICSID is used.

Applicable IIA

This is the IIA(s) pursuant to which the claimant initiated the arbitral proceedings.

Arbitral rules

These are the arbitral rules in accordance with which the proceedings are conducted. Proceedings that are not subject to any existing set of arbitral rules, i.e. where the arbitral tribunal determines procedural rules, are marked “None (ad hoc)”.

Administering institution

This is the institution that provides administrative support for the arbitral proceedings. When the proceedings are subject to arbitral rules of a certain arbitral institution (e.g. SCC or ICC), the relevant institution administers that case. In ad hoc arbitrations or those that are subject to non-institutional arbitral rules (e.g. UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), the parties may request any arbitral institution to administer their case (e.g. PCA). Proceedings may also be conducted without being administered by any institution.

Common abbreviations for administering institutions:

CRCICACairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
ICCInternational Chamber of Commerce (International Court of Arbitration)
ICSIDInternational Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
LCIALondon Court of International Arbitration
MCCIMoscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry
PCAPermanent Court of Arbitration
SCCStockholm Chamber of Commerce (Arbitration Institute)

Details of investment and summary of the dispute

The details of investment are presented as argued by the claimant, unless otherwise expressly identified by an arbitral tribunal in its decisions or awards.

The summary of the dispute describes in very general terms the conduct allegedly in breach of IIA obligations as argued by the claimant.

Economic sector and subsector

This refers to the economic sector to which the investment at issue allegedly belongs. The structure of economic activities follows the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Rev.4 (UN ISIC Rev.4).

Status/Outcome of original proceedings

This refers to the current status of the original arbitration proceedings.

  • Decided in favour of State: the tribunal dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction or found that the respondent State has not committed any breach of the applicable IIA.
  • Decided in favour of investor: the tribunal found that the respondent State committed one or more breaches of the applicable IIA and awarded monetary compensation or non-pecuniary relief to the claimant investor.
  • Decided in favour of neither party (liability found but no damages awarded): the arbitral tribunal found that the respondent State committed one or more breaches of the applicable IIA but did not award monetary compensation or non-pecuniary relief to the claimant investor.
  • Settled: the disputing parties settled the case and the arbitral proceedings were discontinued for that reason.
  • Pending: the arbitration proceedings are pending. A case remains pending if any of the following elements remain to be decided: jurisdiction, liability (merits), compensation. The case remains pending, for instance, if a State is found to have breached one or more IIA obligations (liability) but no award on damages has been issued yet.
    Notes:
    • The Navigator only records treaty-based disputes or treaty-based aspects of "mixed" disputes. In treaty-based cases that are simultaneously contract-based or based on national investment law ("mixed" disputes), a case is deemed concluded (for purposes of the Navigator) if the tribunal dismissed the case on jurisdiction or finds no breach of the IIA, even if it proceeds to adjudicate the contract- or statutory-based claims.
    • Cases in which a final award has been rendered but which are later subject to follow-on (post-award) proceedings (e.g. ICSID annulment proceedings or domestic judicial review), are marked according to the outcome of the original arbitral proceeding (i.e. not as “Pending”).
  • Discontinued: the arbitration was discontinued for any reason other than due to a (known) settlement. This includes discontinuance as a result of non-payment of arbitration fees, in order to pursue litigation in another forum, or for any other reason (including for unknown reasons).

Arbitral decisions rendered

These are decisions rendered by an arbitral tribunal. Included are those decisions that concern the substance of the case and affect the final outcome. In particular, these include decisions (awards) on jurisdictional issues, liability (merits) and damages, including arbitrators’ individual opinions where these were issued. Discontinuance orders and settlement agreements are also recorded if such information is available.

Not included are any other (supplementary) arbitral decisions, e.g. concerning provisional measures or decisions regarding requests for disqualification of arbitrators. Similarly, procedural orders issued by arbitral tribunals are not included. To access a full list of documentation available with respect to a case, users are invited to use (i) the link to the case page on http://italaw.com, and/or (ii) links to the websites of governments and/or arbitral institutions provided in the “Additional information” section.

Amounts claimed and awarded

Amount claimed refers to the amount of monetary compensation claimed by the investor, not including interest, legal costs or costs of arbitration.

Amount awarded refers to the amount of monetary compensation awarded by the arbitral tribunal to the claimant, not including interest, legal costs or costs of arbitration.

For proceedings that end in a settlement, the amount of compensation that the State agreed to pay to the claimant under the terms of settlement (if known) is recorded in this section.

Amounts are recorded in the currency used by the claimant/tribunal. The list of currencies in the Navigator follows the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 code list.

To enable comparisons between cases, all amounts are also converted to US dollars. For the purposes of such conversion, the OANDA Historical Currency Converter is being used; the date of conversion is the date of the document or other source from which the information was obtained (e.g. the date in which the request for arbitration containing this amount was submitted or the date of the final award).

Whenever possible, information about amounts claimed and awarded is obtained from primary sources such as the arbitration documents. Otherwise, it is derived from other publicly available sources that are deemed reliable. In some cases, the approximate amount may be recorded to give a broad indication of the dispute’s magnitude. As a general rule, a rounded figure (to the nearest hundred thousand) of the amount claimed or awarded is provided.

If the claimant provides more than one valuation of damages claimed, the highest of these amounts is recorded.

IIA breaches alleged and found

Information about breaches alleged is primarily derived from the claimant’s request of arbitration, claimant’s memorials and/or arbitral decisions. When the relevant case documentation is not publicly available, information about breaches alleged may be obtained from other public sources that are deemed reliable.

Information about breaches found is primarily derived from the arbitral decisions. When the relevant decision is not publicly available, information about breaches found may be obtained from other public sources that are deemed reliable.

Claims concerning expropriation are classified as “direct” or “indirect” according to the characterisation made by the claimant and/or the tribunal. Whenever a claimant or the tribunal refer to “expropriation”, without distinguishing between “direct” or “indirect”, such distinction is made on the basis of the factual background of the case and the context of the claimant’s claims and tribunal’s findings.

Composition of tribunal

These are individuals who serve as members of the arbitral tribunal adjudicating the dispute (arbitrators).

The disputing party (i.e. claimant or respondent) that appointed a particular arbitrator is also recorded insofar as information is available. Instances where the respondent failed to appoint an arbitrator, and the latter was appointed by an “appointing authority”, are not recorded separately (i.e. both types of appointment are recorded under “Appointed by / designated to Respondent” without further distinction).

In case an arbitrator has been replaced by another individual (e.g. as a result of resignation, disqualification or passing away), the names of both the previous and subsequent arbitrator are recorded.

Follow-on (post-award) proceedings

Follow-on (post-award) proceedings include three types of legal proceedings:

  • ICSID annulment proceedings;
  • Judicial review by national courts (set-aside proceedings); and
  • ICSID resubmission proceedings.

Initiation of a follow-on proceeding by either disputing party does not affect the field “Case Status/Outcome” of the original proceeding, until the follow-on proceeding is completed. For example, in a case where a final award has been rendered but it is later subject to a follow-on proceeding (e.g. ICSID annulment proceeding), the status of the case is marked according to the outcome of the original arbitral proceeding (i.e. not as “Pending”).

Decisions, judgments and/or awards rendered in the course of follow-on (post-award) proceedings, as well as any individual opinions appended to them, are recorded.

The composition of the ICSID ad hoc committees that adjudicate requests for annulment under the ICSID Convention is recorded.

Link to Italaw’s case page

The Italaw.com portal offers a wide collection of case documentation for many investor-State disputes. It makes available not only the main arbitral decisions, but also procedural orders, parties’ submissions, expert opinions and other types of documents.

A link to the relevant case page at http://italaw.com is provided where such page is available, so that users could browse all documents relating to the case at hand.

Additional information

This section provides links to sources of information used for gathering data for the case at hand or otherwise relevant to that case. These may include links to websites of arbitral/administering institutions, governments, international organisations, specialised reporting services (including subscription-based), media and other resources.

Number of cases as respondent State
1 60
Updated as of 31 December 2017

Costa Rica - as respondent State

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No. Year of
initiation
Short case
name
Summary Outcome of
original proceedings
Respondent
State
Home State
of investor
1 2014 Aven and others v. Costa Rica David R. Aven, Samuel D. Aven, Carolyn J. Park, Eric A. Park, Jeffrey S. Shioleno, Giacomo A. Buscemi, David A. Janney and Roger Raguso v. The Republic of Costa Rica CAFTA - DR (2004) UNCITRAL ICSID Investment: Shareholding in several enterprises engaged in a construction project in Costa Rica known as Las Olas Project; ownership of 39 hectares of land in connection with such project.

Summary: Claims arising out of the Government's termination of claimants' hotel, beach club and villas construction project, following the revocation of an environmental viability permit after determining that the property included wetlands and a protected forest, and involving criminal investigations against one of the claimants.
Shareholding in several enterprises engaged in a construction project in Costa Rica known as Las Olas Project; ownership of 39 hectares of land in connection with such project. Pending Costa Rica United States of America Tertiary: L - Real estate activities 68 - Real estate activities Siqueiros, E. - President

Baker, C. M. - Unknown

Nikken, P. - Unknown
70.00 mln USD Data not available Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

National treatment
Pending None None None None None None None
2 2014 Infinito Gold v. Costa Rica Infinito Gold Ltd. v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB/14/5) Canada - Costa Rica BIT (1998) ICSID ICSID Investment: Rights under an exploration permit and an exploitation concession for the development of a gold mine in Costa Rica, known as Las Crucitas Project.

Summary: Claims arising out of the Government’s revocation of claimant's concession for a gold mining project at Crucitas de Cutris, in northern Costa Rica, through alleged court and executive measures without payment of adequate compensation.
Rights under an exploration permit and an exploitation concession for the development of a gold mine in Costa Rica, known as Las Crucitas Project. Pending Costa Rica Canada Primary: B - Mining and quarrying 7 - Mining of metal ores Kaufmann-Kohler, G. - President

Hanotiau, B. - Claimant

Stern, B. - Respondent
93.80 mln USD Data not available Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Full protection and security, or similar

National treatment

Most-favoured nation treatment

Other
Pending Decision on Jurisdiction dated 4 December 2017 None None None None None None
3 2013 Berkowitz v. Costa Rica Aaron C. Berkowitz, Brett E. Berkowitz, Trevor B. Berkowitz v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. UNCT/13/2) CAFTA - DR (2004) UNCITRAL ICSID Investment: Ownership of twenty six beachfront plots of land on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

Summary: Claims arising out of the alleged expropriation of claimant's property to create an ecological park without fair compensation.
Ownership of twenty six beachfront plots of land on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Discontinued Costa Rica United States of America Tertiary: L - Real estate activities 68 - Real estate activities Bethlehem, D. - President

Kantor, M. - Claimant

Vinuesa, R. E. - Respondent
18780.50 mln CRC (33.60 mln USD) Data not available Direct expropriation

Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims
Not applicable - settled or discontinued before decision on liability Interim Award dated 25 October 2016

Interim Award (Corrected) dated 30 May 2017

Procedural Order on Correction of the Interim Award and Termination of the Proceedings dated 30 May 2017
None Judicial review by national courts Pending (Judicial review by national courts) None None None
4 2013 Cervin and Rhone v. Costa Rica Cervin Investissements S.A. and Rhone Investissements S.A. v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/2) Costa Rica - Switzerland BIT (2000) ICSID ICSID Investment: Ownership of the Costa Rican company Gas Nacional Zeta S.A. that held gas concession agreements.

Summary: Claims arising out of a series of regulatory changes by the Government concerning liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sales, including tariff adjustments and the filling of canisters in which gas is sold, that had an alleged negative impact on claimants' gas distribution business.
Ownership of the Costa Rican company Gas Nacional Zeta S.A. that held gas concession agreements. Decided in favour of neither party (liability found but no damages awarded) Costa Rica Switzerland Tertiary: D - Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 35 - Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply Mourre, A. - President

Ramírez Hernández, R. - Claimant

Jana Linetzky, A. - Respondent
40632.00 mln CRC (75.00 mln USD) 0.00 mln USD Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Full protection and security, or similar

Umbrella clause

National treatment
Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims Decision on Jurisdiction dated 15 December 2014

Award dated 7 March 2017
Dissenting Opinion of Ricardo Ramírez Hernández (Decision on Jurisdiction)

Separate Opinion Regarding Costs by Ricardo Ramírez Hernández
None None None None None
5 2012 Supervision v. Costa Rica Supervision y Control S.A. v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/4) Costa Rica - Spain BIT (1997) ICSID ICSID Investment: Shareholding in a Costa Rican joint venture, Riteve SyC, that held rights under a 10-year concession agreement to build and operate motor vehicle inspection facilities in Costa Rica.

Summary: Claims arising out of the decision by Costa Rica’s ministry of public works and transport not to effect annual increases to the rates for vehicle inspection services as allegedly required by the concession agreement at issue.
Shareholding in a Costa Rican joint venture, Riteve SyC, that held rights under a 10-year concession agreement to build and operate motor vehicle inspection facilities in Costa Rica. Decided in favour of State Costa Rica Spain Tertiary: M - Professional, scientific and technical activities 74 - Other professional, scientific and technical activities von Wobeser, C. - President

Klock, J. P. - Claimant

Silva Romero, E. - Respondent
297.90 mln EUR (317.50 mln USD) Data not available Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Full protection and security, or similar

National treatment

Most-favoured nation treatment

Umbrella clause

Indirect expropriation
None - jurisdiction declined Award dated 18 January 2017 Dissenting Opinion of Joseph P. Klock None None None None None
6 2009 Reinhard Unglaube v. Costa Rica Reinhard Hans Unglaube v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB/09/20) Costa Rica - Germany BIT (1994) ICSID ICSID Investment: Acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project in Costa Rica; particularly, ownership of certain properties on the Playa Grande peninsula.

Summary: Claims arising out of Mr. Unglaube's alleged investment in the ecotourism industry in Costa Rica through the acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project and its subsequent alleged expropriation by the Costa Rican Government.
Acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project in Costa Rica; particularly, ownership of certain properties on the Playa Grande peninsula. Decided in favour of State Costa Rica Germany Tertiary: L - Real estate activities 68 - Real estate activities Kessler, J. L. - President

Berman, F. - Claimant

Cremades, B. M. - Respondent
4.40 mln USD Data not available Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Umbrella clause

Arbitrary, unreasonable and/or discriminatory measures
None - all claims dismissed at the merits stage Award dated 16 May 2012 None None None None None None
7 2008 Marion Unglaube v. Costa Rica Marion Unglaube v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB/08/1) Costa Rica - Germany BIT (1994) ICSID ICSID Investment: Acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project in Costa Rica; particularly, ownership of certain properties on the Playa Grande peninsula.

Summary: Claims arising out of Mrs. Unglaube's alleged investment in the ecotourism industry in Costa Rica through the acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project and its subsequent alleged expropriation by the Costa Rican Government.
Acquisition of land for the development of a tourism project in Costa Rica; particularly, ownership of certain properties on the Playa Grande peninsula. Decided in favour of investor Costa Rica Germany Tertiary: L - Real estate activities 68 - Real estate activities Kessler, J. L. - President

Berman, F. - Claimant

Cremades, B. M. - Respondent
4.40 mln USD 4.00 mln USD Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Umbrella clause

Arbitrary, unreasonable and/or discriminatory measures
Indirect expropriation Award dated 16 May 2012 None None None None None None
8 2008 Quadrant Pacific v. Costa Rica Quadrant Pacific Growth Fund L.P. and Canasco Holdings Inc. v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/08/1) Canada - Costa Rica BIT (1998) ICSID ICSID Investment: Indirect controlling interests in five orange plantations in the Canton of "Los Chiles", located on the northern border of Costa Rica.

Summary: Claims arising out of the Government's alleged failure to enforce its laws for the protection of private property; particularly, its failure to address the continuing illegal trespass on claimants’ citrus farm holdings located in Costa Rica, causing damages to the investors' farm landholdings.
Indirect controlling interests in five orange plantations in the Canton of "Los Chiles", located on the northern border of Costa Rica. Discontinued Costa Rica Canada Primary: A - Agriculture, forestry and fishing 1 - Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities Garro, A. M. - President

Cremades, B. M. - Claimant

Lowenfeld, A. F. - Respondent
20.00 mln USD Data not available Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Full protection and security, or similar

National treatment

Most-favoured nation treatment
Not applicable - settled or discontinued before decision on liability Order taking note of the discontinuance of the proceeding issued by the Tribunal dated 27 October 2010, pursuant to ICSID Administrative and Financial Regulation 14(3)(d) None None None None None None
9 2007 Anderson v. Costa Rica Alasdair Ross Anderson and others v. Republic of Costa Rica (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/07/3) Canada - Costa Rica BIT (1998) ICSID AF ICSID Investment: Capital contributions in an illegal financial intermediation scheme operated by two Costa Rican individuals.

Summary: Claims arising out of the alleged Government's failure to provide proper vigilance and governmental regulatory supervision over the national financial system, which led the 137 individual claimants to lose their deposits made in a Costa Rican business acting under a Ponzi scheme.
Capital contributions in an illegal financial intermediation scheme operated by two Costa Rican individuals. Decided in favour of State Costa Rica Canada Tertiary: K - Financial and insurance activities 64 - Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding Morelli Rico, S. - President

Salacuse, J. W. - Claimant

Vinuesa, R. E. - Respondent
405.00 mln USD Data not available Indirect expropriation

Fair and equitable treatment/Minimum standard of treatment, including denial of justice claims

Full protection and security, or similar
None - jurisdiction declined Award dated 19 May 2010 None None None None None None