Reproduced from www.worldbank.org/icsid with permission of ICSID.
Case report (free download)
Case Report by Nur Natalia Adnan, editor Anastasiya Ugale
In its decision on liability, the Tribunal assumed jurisdiction over the dispute between Antoine Goetz and other Belgian investors against Burundi under the Convention between the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union and the Republic of Burundi on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments. The dispute concerned legitimacy and consequences of a ministerial decision issued by Burundi to Claimants' locally owned entity, AFFIMET. The disputed decision deprived AFFIMET of certain benefits previously conferred upon it by means of a certificate of free zone. Claimants requested annulment of the withdrawal decision or payment of damages.
The Tribunal found no violation of Burundian national law at the time the withdrawal decision was adopted. It further concluded that the measure was adopted in the public interest, was not discriminatory and followed the procedure prescribed by law. It further found that unless Burundi compensated AFFIMET for deprivation of the investment, Burundi would be found in breach of its international obligation under the BIT. On that basis, the Tribunal decided that Burundi was either to terminate the disputed measure or pay adequate and effective compensation to AFFIMET within four months of the Tribunal's decision.
Following the parties' settlement agreement, which provided for reimbursement of taxes and customs duties sought by Claimants in the framework of the arbitration proceedings and reinstatement of the certificate of free zone, the Tribunal issued its decision on costs. The award rendered on 10 February 1999, included the Tribunal's decision on liability of 2 September 1998 and the parties' settlement agreement of 23 December 1998, accompanied by the Protocol attesting to the settlement agreement of the dispute and the Special Protocol on the functioning of AFFIMET.
Default of a party, settlement, jurisdictional - personal (legal person versus natural person), material (dispute directly related to foreign investment), choice of law, discrimination, compensation, public interest, state responsibility.
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