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Influence Of The Iran-Us Claims Tribunal On Public International Law And Investment Law


September 28, 2022
8:30 am to 10:00 am EDT


Moderator: Heather Clark (IUSCT, Legal Adviser)
Panelist: Reza Eftekhar (IUSCT, Legal Adviser)
Panelist: Aniruddha Rajput (Member, ILC; Consultant, WithersWideWorld)
Panelist: Damien Charlotin (International Arbitration Reporter, Senior Analyst)
Panelist: Kabir Duggal (Arnold & Porter)

The Iran–US Claims Tribunal (IUSCT) was created as part of the negotiated settlement recorded in two complementary declarations known as the Algiers Declarations, and was a response to the severe crisis in relations between the two States between 1979 and 1981.
This crisis was precipitated by, among others, the seizure of the United States Embassy in Tehran and its diplomatic and consular staff and actions taken by the United States in response thereto.

The IUSCT has jurisdiction over a specific set of disputes relating to a specific time period and with a specific configuration of parties as between Iran, the United States, and their respective nationals. It will cease to exist once these disputes have been resolved. Insofar as the claims of nationals against the two States are concerned, these disputes concerned debts, contracts, expropriations, and “other measures affecting property rights”.

Most of the claims of nationals against one or the other State were resolved by the mid1990s. Since then, the work of the Tribunal has been focused on resolving the remaining disputes between the two States which concern contractual arrangements between them for the purchase and sale of goods and services, and the interpretation or performance of their respective obligations under the Algiers Declarations. In its more than 40-year history, the IUSCT’s jurisprudence has had a significant influence on various aspects of international law, including the law of State responsibility as it has been applied by investor-State arbitral tribunals.

For example, certain IUSCT awards concerning expropriation and “other measures affecting property rights” are considered to be foundational statements of the modern international law of expropriation, in its direct and indirect forms. Concerning attribution, the IUSCT has closely considered the link between the actions of persons or entities distinct from the State, and the State, to determine whether the State should be liable for those acts. On nationality, the IUSCT has also produced substantial case law regarding the nationality of individual claimants, especially dual nationals, which has influenced inter alia the treatment of this issue by investor-State arbitral tribunals.

The panel will consider whether the Tribunal’s jurisprudence concerning these issues remains influential today and the relevance of the similarities and differences between the jurisdictional bases for decisions of the IUSCT and investor-State arbitral tribunals.

This panel will discuss the substantive contribution to the development of international law made by the IUSCT and will reflect more broadly upon the lessons learned from its experience concerning the peaceful settlement of disputes between States.


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September 26 - September 30

September 26 - September 30

International Dispute Resolution and the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

World Arbitration Update (“WAU”) invites you to attend a 75-minute webinar discussion by leading practitioners in the international dispute resolution field on the recent developments concerning the intersection of dispute resolution and the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine has so far experienced economic damage amounting up to $600 billion. Over $10 billion in airplane assets have been reportedly stranded in Russia setting off potentially large insurance claims and related disputes. Yale School of Management has collected data showing that almost 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions. The Russian parliament continues to consider the expropriation of foreign assets. International disputes involving Russia and Ukraine are arising from the crisis and more likely to follow. Our speakers will discuss related topics, including: the impact of sanctions, the proposed formation of an international claims commission for Ukraine, the impact of the crisis on the legal profession, the potential and current international forums in which Ukrainian businesses and investors could submit legal recourse to address the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as an update on the ICJ case, Ukraine v. Russian Federation.

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September 26 - September 30

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The Actions of Russia, Countermeasures and Resulting International Disputes, Including Investor-State and Commercial Arbitration

September 26 at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT



JULY 12, 2022


6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT


Moderators: Gene Burd (FisherBroyles) (TBC)

Presenter: Rob Houston (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC)

Panelist: Tatyana Slipachuk (Of Counsel at Chief Legal Department of the Ukrainian Parliament, Special Advisor at Sayenko Kharenko Law Firm) (TBC)

Panelist: Raja Bose (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC) (TBC)

Panelist: Derek Loh (Deputy Director-General (Economic & Social), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore) (TBC)

Panelist: Simon Chesterman (Dean, National University of Singapore School of Law) 

In response to the imposition of international sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has imposed sweeping economic measures on foreign investors from States it considers “unfriendly”, including Singapore, the UK, the US, and EU Member States.  Both international sanctions on Russia and Russia’s own economic measures on foreign investors have had wide-ranging impacts across global market sectors, affecting foreign investors from around the world both directly through compliance mechanisms and indirectly through international commercial contracts.   

However, a number of venues exist for the resolution of the wide range of disputes anticipated to result from the current crisis.  In particular, foreign investors may still seek protection under investment treaties.  Currently, there are 62 BITs in force between Russia and other States, including 27 States that Russia has determined to be “unfriendly” as a result of international sanctions imposed on Russia.  Such treaties generally include substantive obligations to promote and protect foreign investment (e.g., to provide fair and equitable treatment, not to undertake unlawful expropriation of foreign investments, etc.) as well as for access to investment treaty arbitration against the Host State in certain circumstances.  Such public international law obligations under international investment treaties now appear at odds, for example, with recent economic measures imposed by Russia against foreign investors including: 

  • Currency Transfer Restrictions 

  • Transaction Approval Requirements 

  • Prohibition of Foreign Currency Export 

  • Restrictions on Debt Repayment 

  • Prohibition of Certain Exports and Imports 

  • Non-Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 

Also, the Russian Duma has considered additional measures (which many anticipate to be expropriatory) to effect the transfer of ownership or operation of certain foreign investments where foreign investors have ceased operating in Russia in the current climate of international sanctions. The resulting international legal climate arising from Russia’s actions in Ukraine breaks new ground in public and private international law. Practitioners are therefore broadly anticipating a wave of disputes both in international commercial arbitration and in investor-State arbitration, including with respect to claims advanced by covered investors in investment treaty arbitration against Russia for economic measures like the above.   

This panel will explore the implications of these developments both from a global perspective and a regional perspective in Southeast Asia, highlighting the following key points of interest: 

  • The Current International Sanctions Climate 

  • Regional Focus on International Sanctions in Southeast Asia 

  • Consideration of Current Venues for Disputes Arising from the Invasion of Ukraine 

  • Potential Mechanisms for Foreign Investors to Pursue Claims Arising from the Conflict in Ukraine in Investment Treaty Arbitration 

  • Anticipated Disputes and Issues in International Commercial Arbitration Prompted by the Conflict in Ukraine 

  • The Current Landscape for Sovereign Immunity and the Potential for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Against State Assets 

This program will provide a brief summary of recent developments in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and identify key legal issues, including the interplay between international sanctions and customary international law (e.g., the characterization of countermeasures and the application of the law of State Responsibility (including State Defences) in Public International Law as well as issues arising in Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration (such as Force Majeure).  The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A period as well as a networking session.