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Continental Casualty Co. v. Argentine Republic

Tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
I.C.S.I.D. Case No. ARB/03/9 (Sept. 5, 2008)


Facts

Continental Casualty Company (Continental) (plaintiff), a U.S. company, owned an Argentine insurance company named CNA Aseguradora de Riesgos del Trabajo S.A. (CNA ART). CNA ART in turn owned various dollar-based assets in Argentina (defendant). Continental brought suit against Argentina, claiming that CNA ART’s assets were severely harmed as a result of recently passed Argentine laws that: (1) required the conversion of U.S.-dollar deposits into pesos and (2) restricted investment transfers out of Argentina in violation of Argentina’s obligation under the U.S.-Argentine Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to treat foreign investors fairly and equitably. Argentina contended that the implemented measures were necessary to relieve Argentina’s failing social and economic conditions and that any breaches of the standard should be excused based on Article XI of the BIT, which provides that a nation may implement measures necessary for the maintenance of public order or the protection of significant national interests. Continental argued that the necessity defense was unavailable under both Article XI and customary international law because Argentina had other means available to protect its economy that should have been implemented first, regardless of the potentially burdensome cost or inconvenience of the measures.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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