US court issued its ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Stati et al. v. Rep. of Kazakhstan, a long-running litigation concerning the Stati Parties’ efforts to enforce a $520 million arbitral award under the Energy Charter Treaty.
The tribunal found that Novenergia’s investments were achieving a reasonable rate of return. However, the tribunal held that it was sufficient for the claim to succeed that Novenergia could show “quantifiable prejudice” compared with its position when it initially made its investment.
With the global financial crisis, solar power incentives schemes became unbearably costly and Spain repealed those incentives. Consequently, many investors brought arbitration claims under the Energy Charter Treaty.
Despite the fact that the ECT was initiated and designed by the EU, there are compelling grounds to doubt the compatibility of the ECT’s arbitration clause with the principles underpinning the EU’s judicial system.
In a second international ruling against retroactive cuts in renewables support introduced by the Spanish government in 2013, a Swedish arbitration panel has awarded a Luxembourg-based investment firm €53 million compensation.
The case is one of several brought to courts in Europe by Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati who is attempting to force the Kazakh government to pay up in a dispute about his energy investments in the oil-rich country.
With the growing concern over the traditional ISDS system, it is highly unlikely that the AfCFTA will include an ISDS mechanism giving investors access to go to international arbitration under conventional international tribunals.