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LG&E Energy Corporation, et al. v. Argentine Republic

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
46 I.L.M. 40 (2007)


Facts

LG&E Energy Corporation (LG&E) (plaintiff) was a United States corporation that invested in Argentine gas-distribution companies. Argentina (defendant) guaranteed LG&E’s investments with various tariff and inflation protections. In 2001, Argentina dishonored these guarantees by modifying the country’s contracts without payment. LG&E brought a claim before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on the grounds that Argentina violated the bilateral-investment treaty (BIT) between the United States and Argentina and violated public international law. Argentina claimed that even if it was in violation of any law, it was not liable under a state-of-necessity defense. Argentina showed that the economic problems in 2001 resulted in civil and political unrest. For example, the central bank lost 40 percent of its reserves in a single quarter, unemployment was at 25 percent, and the country’s stock exchange had lost 60 percent of its value. After Argentina restricted withdrawals from bank accounts, there was violent unrest, looting, and rioting requiring a curfew. These problems continued until 2003, when a new president was elected.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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