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Case Study Analysis: Navigating the $800 Million Investment Dispute Between an Iranian Businessman and Azerbaijan


In a major legal case, an Iranian businessman has filed a claim against the Republic of Azerbaijan for approximately $800 million in damages. The dispute, which is currently being arbitrated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), is based on serious allegations that the Azerbaijani authorities orchestrated an unlawful expropriation of the claimant's investments within their jurisdiction.

The arbitration, which will be administered by the PCA, will be conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2013. The case is based on the Iran-Azerbaijan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which entered into force on June 20, 2002, and provides the legal framework for the investor's claim against Azerbaijan.

A trio of eminent arbitrators, led by Professor Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, has been appointed to arbitrate the dispute. The selection of such a distinguished panel, which includes eminent legal experts representing both parties, is indicative of the critical importance of the case and the complex legal issues involved.

Some of the most recently filed documents, including the Claimant's Statement of Claim and the Respondent's Objections to Jurisdiction and Statement of Defense, have been made available to the public on the PCA website. These documents are critical to understanding the legal arguments and strategies employed by each side and provide a unique window into the mechanics of international arbitration.

This dispute not only underscores the central role of international arbitration in resolving investment disputes, but also sheds light on the complex legal challenges that companies face in an international environment. As the proceedings unfold, the global legal community is closely watching and anticipating the impact this case will have on future investment arbitration and the dynamics of state-investor relations.

Disclaimer: This summary is published as part of the "Think Global, Go Global" initiative. It is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as representing the views of BE-NEXEL or any of its affiliates.

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