A U.S. District Court has denied the Republic of Argentina’s motion to vacate a $185 million dollar arbitration award in favor of a British investor in Argentinean gas distribution. The award was made in an arbitration under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Rules, as provided in the Argentina-United Kingdom bilateral investment treaty.
As an initial matter, the court determined that it had proper subject matter jurisdiction over the matter under Chapter 2 of the FAA, also known as the Convention On The Recognition And Enforcement Of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Specifically, the court rejected Argentina’s arguments based on the Convention’s reciprocity clause, finding that an award made in the U.S. between a U.K. investor and a foreign state fell within the New York Convention as an award “not considered as domestic.” The court then rejected each of Argentina’s merits-based arguments, finding that the Court of International Arbitration did not exceed its powers in rejecting a challenge to one of the arbitrators based on bias, that the panel’s decisions were based on plausible constructions of the bilateral investment treaty, and that the panel did not otherwise abuse its powers. , Case No. 08-485 (USDC D.D.C. June 7, 2010).
This post written by Michael Wolgin.