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Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards in the BVI: Applicable Law and Rules

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is an international institution, created under the auspices of the World Bank, which is arguably the world’s leading international institution for the resolution of international investment disputes. It was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and National of Other States 1965, known as the Washington Convention, which is a treaty ratified by 155 contracting states.

In recent years, a number of substantial awards have been issued against several of its member states by ICSID tribunals. A noteworthy one, at least in the context of the BVI, is the US$6.2 billion award that was made in favour of Tethyan Copper Company PTY Limited (“TCC”), against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on 12 July 2019 (the “Pakistan Case”). That decision is referred to in more detail below.

It is a fundamental principle of the ICSID regime that, once issued, ICSID awards are “automatically” enforceable and cannot be reviewed by national courts. Despite that, it has not always been entirely clear in the BVI how the holder of an ICSID award goes about obtaining “automatic” recognition and enforcement of that award in this jurisdiction. However, the Pakistan Case does provide some guidance on the applicable provisions, albeit the case itself must be treated with some caution (for now at least), for the reasons explained below.

 

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Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards in the BVI: Applicable Law and Rules

 


Matthew Brown
Counsel

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1121


Jevgenija (Jane) Fedotova
Associate

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1140


Mark J. Forte
Partner, Head of BVI Litigation & Restructuring and Office

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1113


Richard G. Evans
Partner

British Virgin Islands   +1 284 852 1115


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