The competence (jurisdiction) of international investment arbitration tribunals is one of the most vivid problems arising when a foreign investor tries to settle a dispute with a host state. The dispute settlement procedure often starts with determining the question: does the arbitration tribunal have competence (jurisdiction) to try the case between the foreign investor and the host state? If the tribunal answers this question in the affirmative in a specific dispute, it will proceed to try the dispute on its merits. Thus, foreign investors holding that their rights have been infringed by the host state, provide the tribunal with arguments proving that the tribunal has appropriate jurisdiction. In contrary, host states try to convince the tribunal that it lacks proper jurisdiction. Before bringing a claim to international arbitration tribunals, investors should carefully check whether the respective arbitration body has competence to try and adjudicate the dispute, whereas a state should think about finding arguments denying arbitration tribunal to have required jurisdiction. For this purpose, states, as a rule, use the appropriate wording from the international treaties they plan to conclude, or, otherwise, make the required changes to existing international treaties. In this article, the author provides a detailed review of cases before international investment arbitration tribunals in 2014–2015, with examples of host state objections against the tribunals’ jurisdiction and opinions of the tribunals on these objections. The author also presents the cases in accordance with the main questions which arise as the tribunals try to determine and confirm their jurisdiction.
About the author
Ilia Rachkov – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, International Law Department, MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia.
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