Ecuador intends to prevent oil and mining disputes from going to the Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Bolivia announced in May that it wished to withdraw from ICSID; Venezuela and Nicaragua have said that they intend to do so (see Update 56). Bolivia’s withdrawal is being contested by ICSID’s ruling allowing a claim lodged by a subsidiary of Telecom Italia. Ecuador could either withdraw completely, or tell ICSID that it no longer wishes to allow certain categories of disputes to be arbitrated, though this might not carry legal weight. Ecuador is facing a billion dollar claim brought by US oil giant Occidental.
EarthRights International examines how the Jam v. IFC case has helped to shift the landscape of accountability for international financial institutions by successfully challenging their claim to “absolute” immunity in US courts, potentially opening IFC up to further legal challenges in future.
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