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국제투자조약상 포괄적 보호조항(Umbrella Clauses)의 해석에 관한 연구

Interpretation of the Umbrella Clause in Investment Treaties


One of the controversial issues in investor-state investment arbitration is the interpretation of "umbrella clause" that is found in most BIT and FTAs. This treaty clause requires on Contracting State of treaty to observe all investment obligations entered into with foreign investors from the other Contracting State. This clause did not receive in-depth attention until SGS v. Pakistan and SGS v. Philippines cases produced starkly different conclusions on the relations about treaty-based jurisdiction and contract-based jurisdiction. More recent decisions by other arbitral tribunals continue to show different approaches in their interpretation of umbrella clauses. Following the SGS v. Philippines decision, some recent decisions understand that all contracts are covered by umbrella clause, for example, in Siemens A.G. v. Argentina, LG&E Energy Corp. v. Argentina, Sempra Energy Int'l v. Argentina and Enron Corp. V. Argentina. However, other recent decisions have found a different approach that only certain kinds of public contracts are covered by umbrella clauses, for example, in El Paso Energy Int'l Co. v. Argentina, Pan American Energy LLC v. Argentina and CMS Gas Transmission Co. v. Argentina. With relation to the exhaustion of domestic remedies, most of tribunals have the position that the contractual remedy should not affect the jurisdiction of BIT tribunal. Even some tribunals considered that there is no need to exhaust contract remedies before bringing BIT arbitration, provoking suspicion of the validity of sanctity of contract in front of treaty obligation. The decision of the Annulment Committee In CMS case in 2007 was an extraordinarily surprising one and poured oil on the debate. The Committee composed of the three respected international lawyers, Gilbert Guillaume and Nabil Elaraby, both from the ICJ, and professor James Crawford, the Rapportuer of the International Law Commission on the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, observed that the arbitral tribunal made critical errors of law, however, noting that it has limited power to review and overturn the award. The position of the Committee was a direct attack on ICSID system showing as an internal recognition of ICSID itself that the current system of investor-state arbitration is problematic. States are coming to limit the scope of umbrella clauses. For example, the 2004 U.S. Model BIT detailed definition of the type of contracts for which breach of contract claims may be submitted to arbitration, to increase certainty and predictability. Latin American countries, in particular, Argentina, are feeling collectively victims of these pro-investor interpretations of the ICSID tribunals. In fact, BIT between developed and developing countries are negotiated to protect foreign investment from developing countries. This general characteristic of BIT reflects naturally on the provisions making them extremely protective for foreign investors. Naturally, developing countries seek to interpret restrictively BIT provisions, whereas developed countries try to interpret more expansively. As most of cases arising out of alleged violation of BIT are administered in the ICSID, a forum under the auspices of the World Bank, these Latin American countries have been raising the legitimacy deficit of the ICSID. The Argentine cases have been provoking many legal issues of international law, predicting crisis almost coming in actual investor-state arbitration system. Some Latin American countries, such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, already showed their dissatisfaction with the ICSID system considering withdrawing from it to minimize the eventual investor-state dispute. Thus the disagreement over umbrella clauses in their interpretation is becoming interpreted as an historical reflection on the continued tension between developing and developed countries on foreign investment. There is an academic and political discussion on the poss

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