Katia Fach, senior Researcher at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) has posted a new article on SSRN, under the title Latin America and Icsid: David versus Goliath?. Here is the abstract:
Some Latin American countries have shown in recent times a very critical attitude with respect to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In this regard, various States of this region have individually elaborated some mechanisms to resist against the international arbitration developed under the auspices of the World Bank. Argentina has for example used legal strategies to avoid compliance with a number of ICSID awards that require from the defendant State the payment of high amounts of money; Venezuela and Bolivia have created models of oil contracts in which no reference has been included to ICSID as the forum for settling disputes arising from these investments, and in the same way this ICSID option has been omitted from recent BITs signed by Latin American states; Venezuela and Ecuador seek to disengage from existing BITs and Bolivia and Ecuador have even come to denounce the Washington Convention. Additionally, entities such as UNASUR are trying to develop regional initiatives in Latin America, that aim to be a viable alternative to the ICSID arbitration. In short, Latin America is a region that deserves special attention in the area of international investment, as new initiatives such as the referred may have an influence on the future redefinition of international arbitration.
The text is available here, and also in the Law and Business Review of the Americas, volume 17, spring 2011, number 2, pp. 195-230.