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Ruling on the notion of "investment" in bilateral investment treaties

13 October 2016

Authors: Nathalie Voser; Philip Wimalasena

In a French-­language decision, dated 20 September 2016, the Swiss Supreme Court refused to set aside an investment treaty award rendered under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 by an ad hoc tribunal seated in Geneva.

In the underlying arbitral proceedings, the claimant (a French corporation) had requested compensation for losses, incurred in the context of contractual relationships with several Vietnamese enterprises of the defendant, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The tribunal declined to exercise jurisdiction for lack of an "investment" under the applicable France­Vietnam bilateral investment treaty. It also rejected claims that its application of the rules on burden of proof had violated the claimant's right to be heard.

The Swiss Supreme Court confirmed the tribunal's decision and rejected the claimant's application to set aside the award. (Decision 4A_616/2015.)

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Published in Practical Law Arbitration

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Elliott Geisinger
Elliott Geisinger

Nathalie Voser
Nathalie Voser

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