Mining for Profits in International Tribunals

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A new report documents increased lawsuits against governments by transnational corporations involved in the oil, mining, and gas industries.

In the context of high global prices for natural resources, developing country governments seeking to increase the benefits of those resources for their own people are finding themselves increasingly at odds with transnational corporations.

In these battles over resource rights, transnational companies are increasingly using a powerful new weapon – the right to sue governments in international arbitration tribunals. Chevron, for example, recently won such a battle against the government of Ecuador.

On March 30, a panel of arbitration judges ordered the government to pay the oil giant some $700 million as compensation for taking what they deemed to be an unreasonably long time to resolve disputes over oil contracts in domestic courts.

This report explains the institutional framework that allows global firms to mine for profits in international arbitration tribunals. It then documents the increased use of these rights by transnational corporations involved in the oil, mining, and gas industries, particularly in Latin America.

 

El reporte se encuentra disponible en español en: http://es.justinvestment.org/2010/04/extrayendo-ganancias-en-los-tribunales-internacionales/