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2019, vol. 91, iss. 3, pp. 332-347
Mera Investment Fund Limited v. Republic of Serbia: Is the international protection of domestic foreign investors justified?
"Maks Plank" institut za procesno pravo, Luksemburg
Keywords: international investment protection; investment arbitration; domestic nationals; structure of investments; origin of funds
Abstract
The Decision on Jurisdiction of 30 November 2018 in the case of Mera Investment Fund Limited v. Republic of Serbia, an ICSID arbitration, addressed the question of international protection of formally foreign investors which involve domestic nationals and capital. The Tribunal found that the fact that a Serbian national stood behind a Cypriot company could not preclude the qualification of the latter as a foreign investor and its protection under the Cyprus-Serbia BIT. This comment will demonstrate that such a decision is justified from both practical and theoretical aspects. Despite the intuition that formally foreign investors cannot be treated as such if they involve domestic nationals and capital, international investment law does not protect foreign capital and foreign nationals exclusively, and the arguments to that effect have been constantly rejected in the long practice of international investment arbitral tribunals. Of course, this does not mean that investors are free to structure their investments according to the possibility to sue their own states in respect of the existing or foreseeable disputes, but that is a separate question pertaining to the abuse of rights and temporal jurisdiction. Therefore, the international protection of domestic foreign investors does not depend on the arbitral interpretation of the law, but primarily on the contracted provisions of BITs.
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About

article language: Serbian
document type: Professional Paper
DOI: 10.5937/gakv91-24248
published in SCIndeks: 14/05/2020
peer review method: double-blind
Creative Commons License 4.0