“Don’t Mention the Atom!” – The Economist provides excellent background to the legal battles resulting from Germany’s opting out of nuclear power – including the Vattenfall ICSID arbitration covered earlier this month in the blog.
With Germany’s nuclear power phase-out being a cornerstone of goverment policy, the challenge by Swedish energy company Vattenfall is bringing the rather arcane subject of investor-state arbitration into the headlights of the national press: Based on the Energy Charter Treaty, Vattenfall is seeking compensation of losses that result from Vattenfall having to phase out its nuclear power plants in Germany. Allegedly, damages are in the billions.
The main theme of LTO’s article is the lack of transparency of arbitration proceedings. Moritz Renner argues that the lack of transparency jeopardizes or even violates public interest. More precisely, he criticizes that there is no way to find out whether the arbitrators did take public interest into account when rendering the award. What he would like to see are procedural safeguards that make sure that public interest and public policy arguments are being heard. Continue reading