Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tribunal's power to sanction the counsel: Hvratska Elektopriveda v. Slovenia and Rompetrol v. Romania

The tribunal's inherent power to sanction counsel is often discussed in light of famous  investment arbitration cases Hvratska Elektopriveda v. Slovenia[1] and Rompetrol v. Romania [2]. In the first case the counsel who had joined the defense team of a state party no earlier than the day before the hearing was disqualified by the tribunal (as this person was a member of the same English barristers' chambers as one of the co-arbitrators), whilst in the second case the challenged counsel was not excluded due to the fact that he has previously practiced law in the same firm as one of the co-arbitrators as a counsel. In the latter case the tribunal draws attention to the interests of the procedural integrity and the party’s right to choose its representative.

[1] Hvratska v Slovenia (ICSID Case No. ARB/05/24).
[2] Rompetrol v Romania (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/3).