Lecturas recomendadas | Recommended Readings

En esta sección publicamos resúmenes de artículos o de libros sobre temas que hemos abordado previamente, con enlaces al artículo o el libro completo, de manera que nuestros lectores puedan acceder fácilmente a esos textos.


Here we post summaries of articles or books on the themes of this website that have been previously published, along with links to the complete article or book, so that the reader can easily access those texts.

Economía y Sociedad Cubana | Cuban Economy and Society

Michael Paul Bannon, Columbia Law School, graduación 2021

Comentario sobre "El debido proceso en el Título V, Capítulo VI de la Constitución cubana" por Francesco Petrillo publicado en Costituzione e diritto privato. Una riforma per Cuba Collana del Centro di ricerca interdisciplinare su governance e public policies.  A. Barenghi, L. B. Pérez Gallardo, M. Proto

El ensayo de Francesco Petrillo sobre el debido proceso en la nueva Constitución cubana aborda una de las preguntas fundamentales para cualquier democracia electoral: cómo diseñar un sistema que proteja contra la tiranía de la mayoría.

Expresa su respuesta en el lenguaje de Ronald Dworkin, distinguiendo los "derechos de la mayoría" de los "derechos que deben tomarse en serio". Los derechos mayoritarios son los le otorgan al pueblo las leyes producidas por la legislatura.

Por otro lado, "los derechos que deben tomarse en serio" son los que se derivan de la "regla de la convivencia secular común entre los hombres y no solo las reglas morales, éticas o religiosas".

El autor enfatiza que estos derechos deben "ser protegidos del código legal mismo" y que constituyen "una especie de derechos humanos". Si bien estos "derechos que deben tomarse en serio" pueden codificarse en derechos mayoritarios, Petrillo deja claro que existen independientemente del código legal.

Mediante el debido proceso, los poderes judiciales independientes pueden hacer cumplir estos "derechos a ser tomados en serio" con o sin la bendición de la legislatura de la mayoría.

La Constitución cubana garantiza el debido proceso legal en los artículos 92 a 94. Petrillo argumenta que las garantías en estos artículos equivalen a la aceptación por parte de la legislatura cubana de "derechos a ser tomados en serio".

Caracteriza las disposiciones del debido proceso de la Constitución como una reconcepción de la estadidad. En vez de una "atribución del poder político", la nueva Constitución cubana reconoce el proceso legal como un medio de "redistribuir la justicia" y el "reequilibrio social".

Incluso si no se promulgan, estos derechos "son la base del nuevo orden republicano en Cuba". Petrillo afirma que este nuevo debido proceso cubano refleja un nuevo consenso legal internacional que los jueces "pueden aplicar un principio legal [incluso si] ese principio [no] ha sido codificado en un estatuto".

Por lo tanto, los "derechos a ser tomados en serio" no necesitan ser codificados para ser protegidos por el poder judicial.

Petrillo deja al lector con una observación final: el Artículo 94 (a) —que garantiza la igualdad de oportunidades en el proceso legal— es un derecho legal procesal (y no sustantivo) que, no obstante, es justiciable.

El autor espera que la comunidad jurídica internacional considere estudiar con mayor detalle la idea de que los derechos procesales, como los derechos sustantivos, pueden implementarse contra el Estado.


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Francesco Petrillo es profesor asociado de Filosofía del Derecho en la Universidad de Molise, Italia, donde también se desempeña como director del Centro de Investigación de Sociedades Complejas. Es un abogado admitido ante la Corte Suprema de Italia. Ha sido profesor visitante en la Universidad de Georgetown en Washington D.C. y en la Universidad Patricio Lumumba de Moscú.

Autor de Law and the Will of the State in the Thought of Giovanni Gentile (Turín, 1997), The Legal Decision (Turín, 2005), Interpretación de actos jurídicos y corrección hermenéutica (Turín, 2011, traducido al español en 2018), La lección de Antonio Rosmini Serbati. Principios jurídicos fundamentales y derechos humanos (Chieti, 2012) y Europa sin estados (Chieti, 2014).

Andrea Barenghi. Profesor titular de Derecho Civil en la Universidad de Molise, JSD en la Universidad La Sapienza, abogado con derechos de audiencia ante el Tribunal Supremo de Roma.

Ha sido profesor visitante en instituciones académicas de primer rango en el extranjero como Panthéon-Assas, Heidelberg, Harvard, Universidad de La Habana y BSB-Dijon), así como fellow Jean Monnet en el Instituto Universitario Europeo de Fiesole.

Es miembro honorario de la Sociedad Cubana de Derecho Civil y de Familia y de otras sociedades científicas. Además forma parte de la Junta Asesora del Centro Italiano del Instituto de Derecho Europeo.

Es autor/editor de varios libros y artículos en revistas italianas y extranjeras. También de un manual sobre Derechos del Consumidor (Cedam-WKI, 2017).

Leonardo B. Pérez Gallardo. Profesor titular de Derecho Civil en la Universidad de La Habana y notario en La Habana, Cuba. Obtuvo su licenciatura en derecho de la Universidad de La Habana y una maestría en derecho privado de la Universidad de Valencia en España.

El Profesor Pérez Gallardo es presidente de la Sociedad de Derecho Civil y de Familia de la Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba, así como Vicepresidente de la Sociedad del Notario Cubano.  El Profesor Pérez Gallardo es presidente del Consejo Editorial de la Revista Cubana de Derecho publicada por la Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba.

Massimo Proto. Profesor titular de Derecho Privado en la Universidad Link Campus de Roma. También enseña Derecho de Familia en la Universidad LUISS de Roma.

Ha hecho investigaciones y dictado conferencias en la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Río Grande del Sur, la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y la Universidad de La Habana. Miembro del ABF (Banco de Italia ADR para disputas bancarias y financieras) y miembro de los comités de gestión y evaluación de revistas científicas y series editoriales.

Autor de monografías y artículos sobre los temas más actuales y relevantes del Derecho Privado, que tratan principalmente el Derecho contractual y los derechos humanos: “Accordi sul termine”, Rivista di diritto civile, 2019, I, p. 890 y ss.; “El ordenamiento deportivo italiano y los instrumentos para la resolución de conflictos”, Anuario de Mediación y Solución de Conflictos, Editorial Reus, Madrid, 2018, p. 45 y ss.; “Seguridad jurídica en las resoluciones extrajudiciales de disputas”, European Business Law Review, vol. 29, no. 3, 2018, pp. 417 y ss.; “La crisis del contrato y la fragmentación de la nulidad en la evolución del ordenamiento europeo”, Revista Cubana de Derecho, no. 50, 2017, pp. 214 y ss.


Commentary On Due Process in Title V, Chapter VI, of the Cuban Constitution by Francesco Petrillo published in Costituzione e diritto privato. Una riforma per Cuba Collana del Centro di ricerca interdisciplinare su governance e public policies.  A. Barenghi, L. B. Pérez Gallardo, M. Proto

Francesco Petrillo’s essay on due process under the new Cuban Constitution addresses one of the questions that is fundamental to any electoral democracy: how to design a system that protects against the tyranny of the majority.

He couches his answer in the language of Ronald Dworkin, distinguishing “majority rights” from “rights to be taken seriously.” Majority rights are the entitlements that the laws produced by the legislature give to the people. “Rights to be taken seriously,” on the other hand, are the rights that derive from the “rule of common secular coexistence among men and not just moral, ethical, or religious rules.” He emphasizes that these rights are rights “to be protected from the legal code itself” and are “a species of human rights.” While these “rights to be taken seriously” may be codified into majority rights, Mr. Petrillo makes clear that they exist independent of the legal code. By way of due process, independent judiciaries can enforce these “rights to be taken seriously” with or without the blessing of the majority’s legislature.

The Cuban Constitution guarantees due process of law in Articles 92 to 94. Mr. Petrillo argues that the guarantees in these articles amount to the Cuban legislature’s embrace of “rights to be taken seriously.” He characterizes the constitution’s due process provisions as a reconception of statehood. Rather than an “attribution of political power,” the new Cuban constitution recognizes legal process as a means of “redistribute[ing] justice” and “social rebalancing.”

These rights—even if left unenacted—“are the foundation of the new republican order in Cuba.” Mr. Petrillo avers that this new Cuban due process reflects a new international legal consensus that judges “can apply a legal principle [even if] that principle has [not] been codified into a statute.” Thus, the “rights to be taken seriously” need not be codified to be protected by the judiciary.

Mr. Petrillo leaves the reader with a final observation: Article 94(a)—which guarantees equality of opportunity in legal process—is a procedural (and not substantive) legal right which is nonetheless justiciable. The author hopes the international legal community will consider studying in greater detail the idea that procedural rights, like substantive rights, may be enforceable against the state.


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Francesco Petrillo is an associate professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Molise, Italy, where he also serves as director of the Research Centre on Complex Societies.  He is an attorney-at-law admitted before the Italian Supreme Court.  Professor Petrillo has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow.  He is the author of Law and the Will of the State in the Thought of Giovanni Gentile (Turin, 1997), The Legal Decision (Turin, 2005), Interpretation of Legal Acts and Hermeneutic Correction (Turin, 2011, translated into Spanish in 2018), The Lesson of Antonio Rosmini Serbati, Fundamental Legal Principles and Human Rights (Chieti, 2012), and Europe without States (Chieti, 2014).

Andrea Barenghi is a full Professor of Civil Law at the University of Molise, JSD at the University 'La Sapienza', and an attorney-at-law admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court in Rome, Italy.  He has been a visiting scholar and visiting professor at leading academic institutions abroad (including Panthéon-Assas, Heidelberg, Harvard, Havana and BSB-Dijon) and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole.  Professor Barenghi is an honorary member of the Cuban Society of Civil and Family Law, as well as a member of other scientific societies.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the Italian Hub of the European Law Institute.  Professor Barenghi is author or editor of several books and numerous articles published in Italian and foreign journals as well as a handbook on Consumer Law (Cedam-WKI, 2017).

Leonardo B. Pérez Gallardo is a full Professor of Civil Law at the University of Havana and Notary in Havana, Cuba.  He obtained his law degree from the University of Havana and a Master’s Degree in Private Law from the University of Valencia in Spain.  Professor Pérez Gallardo is President of the Sociedad de Derecho Civil y de Familia de la Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba (Section of Civil and Family Law of the Cuban Bar Association), as well as Vice President of the Society of Cuban Notaries.  Professor Pérez Gallardo also serves as President of the Editorial Council of the Revista Cubana de Derecho, the publication of the Cuban Bar Association.

Massimo Proto if a full Professor of Private Law at the Link Campus University in Rome, Italy.  He also teaches Family law at LUISS University in Rome.  Professor Proto has been a visiting research scholar and lecturer at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, and the Universidad de la Habana, Cuba.  He serves as a member of the ABF (Bank of Italy’s alternative dispute resolution committee for banking and financial disputes) and a member of the management and evaluation committees of various scientific journals and editorial publications.  Professor Proto is author of two monographs and many articles on current issues of private law, primarily contract law and human rights, including the following publications: Accordi sul termine, in Rivista di diritto civile, 2019, I, p. 890 ss.; El ordenamiento deportivo italiano y los instrumentos para la resolución de conflictos, in Anuario de Mediación y Solución de Conflictos, 5, Editorial Reus, Madrid, 2018, p. 45 ss.; Legal Certainty in the Extrajudicial Dispute Resolutions, in European Business Law Review, 2018, Vol. 29 issue 3, p. 417 ss.; La crisis del contrato y la fragmentación de la nulidad en la evolución del ordenamiento europeo, in Revista Cubana de Derecho, no. 50, 2017, p. 214 ss.

Inversión Extranjera | Foreign Investment

Alejandro M. Garro

La introducción a Foreign Investment in Cuba: From Conflict to Resolution/ Inversiones Extranjeras en Cuba: de Conflicto a Resolución por Dr. Rafael-Andrés Velázquez Pérez y Dr. Miguel-Ángel Michinel Álvarez. Editado por Dr. Gabriel Vignoli y Dr. Margaret E. Crahan.  Derecho de autor 2017 por el Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos, Columbia University, EUA.

El derecho internacional de las inversiones extranjeras se ha desarrollado exponencialmente en las últimas décadas, especialmente a partir de la creciente aceptación del Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias entre Estados y Nacionales de Otros Estados (Convenio “CIADI” o Convención de Washington de 1965).  La decisión de reemplazar la presión diplomática por un método más legalista para resolver las inevitables confrontaciones entre Estados e inversores de otros Estados se aceleró a partir de la década del 90´, cuando comenzaron a proliferar la celebración de tratados bilaterales de inversión (“TBIs”) –más conocidos en España como “acuerdos de protección recíproca de inversiones¨ o APRIs--  y los tratados multilaterales de libre comercio que incluyeron al arbitraje como medio alternativo, y a la postre el más utilizado, para resolver eventuales conflictos.

La literatura jurídica alrededor del arbitraje de inversión entre Estados e inversores es abundante y también abundan en la actualidad las críticas contra el arbitraje de inversión por la erosión de la otrora invulnerable soberanía del Estado para decidir sus políticas pùblicas sin la preocupación de que una demanda millonaria obligue al Estado a compensar al inversor cuyos derechos han sido violados. Desde hace unos años se ha venido discutiendo, tanto por la doctrina como en el seno de un organismo de las Naciones Unidas especializado en el tema (“CNUDMI” o “UNCITRAL”), la conveniencia establecer un tribunal multilateral de inversiones, o algún otro tipo de mecanismo de resolución de conflictos que reemplace la cuestionada legitimidad de los pronunciamientos de tribunales de arbitraje y comités de anulación “ad hoc” que funcionan bajo el ala del Banco Mundial (CIADI).

El objetivo de estas discusiones multilaterales es mejorar el mecanismo de resolución de conflictos y no eliminarlo y el aporte de los profesores Rafael Velázquez Pérez y Michinel Álvarez, que comenzaron a elaborar una década atrás en la Universidad de Vigo, también invita al lector a reflexionar, en primer lugar, acerca de rol de las inversiones extranjeras como componente fundamental de la incorporación de la República de Cuba, gradual pero inevitable, al comercio internacional. El subtítulo que acompaña a “Las inversiones extranjeras en Cuba” destaca, al expresarlo en términos de “conflicto a resolución”, la relevancia de contar con un mecanismo confiable para resolver  las disputas que se deriven de las inversiones extranjeras.

La primera parte del libro aborda las inversiones extranjeras con el telón de fondo de las relaciones bilaterales entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, en el que un rancio y prolongado bloqueo, acompañado de un agresivo marco legislativo identificado por el apellido del legislador que la patrocinó (Torricelli, Helms-Burton, etc.) resume una política exterior de constante confrontación. Esta coyuntura desfavorable a la promoción de inversiones norteamericanas en Cuba se ha pronunciado con una política exterior  de aislamiento y proteccionismo económico de la administración del presidente Trump. El libro de los profesores Michinel Alvarez y Velàzquez-Pérez nos invita a reflexionar acerca de la necesidad de reemplazar esta política de confrontación por una de cooperación. Aunque la política exterior de los EEUU insista en este fracasado escenario de confrontación, la promoción de inversiones y la resolución de sus conflictos seguirá siendo un imperativo del cambio para Cuba, cuya estrategia debe estar dirigida a otros operadores del comercio internacional, incluyendo a sus socios comerciales tradicionales (España, Canadá) y otros socios protagonistas no menos importantes del comercio internacional (incluyendo la República Popular China, la Unión Europea y, por supuesto, otros países de América Latina).

Luego de un estudio contextualizado de los convenios multilaterales concertados por la República de Cuba en materia aduanera y arancelaria (GATT, OMC, ACE, ALADI, CARICOM, UE), reseñando el papel que ha mantenido, a pesar del bloqueo, la inversión extranjera directa (“IED”). El examen de las características que tienen en común más de 60 TBIs, cuyo lenguaje no difiere mucho del que tienen miles tratados bilaterales de inversión, permiten al lector enlazar los derechos del inversor extranjero bajo el derecho internacional con la que ofrece la ley de inversiones extranjeras cubana de data relativamente reciente (Ley 118/2014), que habilita la participación de capital extranjero en casi todas las actividades del país. 

Por supuesto que el análisis del tenor normativo de esta red de tratados no puede prescindir del contexto económico-político cubano, que incluye el trasfondo histórico de un proceso conflictivo de nacionalizaciones y confiscaciones que ayudan a mensurar lo que llevará construir una percepción de seguridad jurídica sin la cual pretender que fluyan las inversiones no sería más que una ilusión. Los autores también se ocupan de examinar, a fin de contextualizar el marco en el que se desenvuelve la IED, el régimen bancario, laboral, fiscal, registral y de seguros. Precisamente este análisis acerca de lo que los autores denominan “la tímida evolución de Cuba hacia la liberación de su mercado”  introduce al lector a la segunda parte del libro dedicada a un análisis pormenorizado del marco legal de las inversiones extranjeras.

El análisis del procedimiento arbitral incluye un estudio de los aspectos más controvertidos de la jurisprudencia arbitral en materia de inversión, comenzando por los estándares de acceso al arbitraje. Con equilibrado juicio crítico, los profesores Michinel Alvarez y Velásquez-Pérez examinan en detalle los desencuentros jurisprudenciales alrededor de cuestiones tales como si dichas cláusulas estipulando períodos de espera deben ser considerados como un simple requisito procesal de admisibilidad o bien un presupuesto que condiciona la jurisdicción del tribunal arbitral. También examinan las discrepancias de política jurídica que exhiben algunos laudos en materia de jurisdicción al tener que interpretar la llamada “cláusula de opción irrevocable” (“fork in the road”), incluyendo la decisión por parte del inversor de entablar una demanda ante los tribunales del país receptor de la inversión o bien optar por el arbitraje internacional.

Otros aspectos de derecho sustantivo, no menos controvertidos, incluye la denominada “cláusula paraguas” (“umbrella clause”), incorporada a un buen número de TBIs, que pareciera “internacionalizar” toda disputa entre el inversor y el Estado al obligar a este último a “cumplir con todos los compromisos contraídos respecto de las inversiones” o expresiones semejantes. También se obliga el Estado a tratar las inversiones “de manera no menos favorable que la que otorga en situaciones similares a las inversiones o actividades afines de sus propios nacionales o de terceros países”, extendiendo al inversor un grado de protección no menor que el otorgado a sus propios inversores o inversores de otros países con quien el Estado haya concluido un tratado de inversión màs favorable. Por supuesto que sobre estos temas y muchos otros los autores exponen ángulos de opinión diversos, destacando los esfuerzos interpretativos realizados por los tribunales arbitrales para reconciliar intereses inevitablemente en tensión: aquellos que apuntan a preservar la capacidad soberana del Estado anfitrión para dictar las medidas regulatorias que juzguen que mejor respondan a las políticas públicas que desea implementar, aun a costa de cambiar las reglas de juego establecidas al momento de la inversión y, por otro lado, el interés del inversor de ser protegido en sus “expectativas legítimas” al momento de realizar la inversión.   

No es posible en una obra de esta envergadura cubrir en detalle todos los aspectos sustantivos del arbitraje de inversión, tales como la cuestión relacionada con el alcance que cabe atribuirle a la obligación de brindarle al inversor un “trato justo y equitativo”, o si la cláusula de nación más favorecida debe extenderse a aspectos procesales, etc. Sin embargo, los profesores Velázquez Pérez y Michinel Álvarez le dedican una buena cantidad de tiempo y espacio al análisis del derecho aplicable al arbitraje de inversión, ya sea en razón de que las partes han escogido “las reglas de derecho” aplicables, o bien aplicando el artículo 42 CIADI. 

La confrontación de intereses contrapuestos en la disputa sólo puede ser resuelta por un tribunal que reúna los requisitos de independencia e imparcialidad que raramente puede estar garantizado por los jueces del Estado receptor de la inversión, mientras que las reglas de derecho que decidirán el conflicto tampoco pueden ser dejadas exclusivamente al derecho interno de dicho Estado. Por esta razón es que un procedimiento arbitral, conducido en un país diferente al del Estado receptor de la inversión y bajo reglas genuinamente “internacionales”, ofrece una mayor seguridad jurídica que el procedimiento judicial tradicional.

Luego de examinar el acceso al arbitraje y el desarrollo del procedimiento arbitral, los autores dedican una sección especial para examinar la posibilidad de impugnar la validez del laudo y, lo más importante, las causales por las cuales puede rechazarse el reconocimiento y ejecución de un laudo pronunciado en otro país.  Si bien el laudo no cuenta con el blindaje que le otorga el Convenio CIADI, al que Cuba no pertenece, los autores concentran su atención en la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre Reconocimiento y Ejecución de Sentencias Arbitrales Extranjeras, màs conocida como la “Convenciòn de Nueva York de 1958”, a la que Cuba se adhirió hace muchos años.

Tan importante, o aun más importante, que las reglas de juego son quién està encargado de hacerlas cumplir, razón por la cual los profesores Michinel Alvarez y Velásquez Perez  el papel que cumple la Corte Cubana de Arbitraje Comercial Internacional (la “Corte Cubana”). A pesar de que la Corte Cubana no ha entendido en casos de inversión de gran envergadura económica, los autores destacan que este alto tribunal ha conducido 320 procesos arbitrales en seis años (2001-2007), por un valor aproximado a los 44 millones de euros. Y todo hace pensar que tanto la envergadura y complejidad de las causas como su número ha de incrementarse en los próximos años. Es importante entonces los miembros de esta Corte Cubana afirmen su prestigio con el transcurso del tiempo, no tanto por sus vínculos con los más altos organismos del gobierno, sino por la imparcialidad, independencia y eficacia que la Corte Cubana haya demostrado al resolver conflictos derivados de las inversiones extranjeras.

El artículo 61 de la Ley de Inversiones Extranjeras establece que “pueden ser resueltos por la Sala de lo Económico del Tribunal Provincial Popular que corresponda, sin perjuicio de someterlo a instancias arbitrales conforme a la ley cubana”.  Este “sin perjuicio” al final del artículo 61deberìa interpretarse junto con el artículo 3 de Ley de Procedimiento Civil, Administrativo, Laboral y Económico de la República de Cuba (“LPCALE”). Ambas disposiciones parecieran indicar, consistentemente con lo dispuesto en el segundo párrafo del artículo 739 LPCALE, que la competencia en última instancia de la Sala de lo Económico del Tribunal Provincial Popular (“Sala de lo Económico del TPP”) podría ser excluida por las partes cuando éstas someten su disputa a un tribunal arbitral. Digo “podría” porque el esfuerzo interpretativo de los autores al señalar que la Sala de lo Económico del TPP ejerce una competencia de carácter meramente subsidiario no parece suficiente para disipar la inquietud de eventuales inversores. Al menos durante los primeros tiempos, sería conveniente asegurar al inversor extranjero que cuenta con un mecanismo de resolución de conflictos confiable y eficaz y confiable.

Enlace al libro:http://ilas.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Foreign-Investment-in-Cuba.-From-Conflict-to-Resolution-English-and-Spanish-3.pdf


Introduction to Foreign Investment in Cuba: From Conflict to Resolution / Inversiones Extranjeras en Cuba: de Conflicto a Resolución by Dr. Rafael-Andrés Velázquez Pérez y Dr. Miguel-Ángel Michinel Álvarez. Edited by Dr. Grabiel Vignoli and Dr. Margaret E. Crahan. © 2017, Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University, USA.

The international law of foreign investment has developed exponentially in the last few decades, especially following the growing adoption of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID Convention” or 1965 Washington Convention). The Convention reflected a decision to replace diplomatic pressure with a more legalistic method of resolving the inevitable disputes between States and investors from other States. This trend started accelerating in the 1990s with the rise of bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”)—better known in Spain as “agreements on the reciprocal protection of investments” or APRIs (from Spanish initials)—and multilateral free trade treaties. These treaties at first included arbitration as an alternative—and ultimately the most popular—mechanism to resolve eventual disputes.

The legal scholarship on investment arbitration between States and investors is abundant, and the critiques of the system abound as well. They focus on the erosion of once-invulnerable State sovereignty and authority to choose public policies without worrying about a multi-million dollar lawsuit for violating investors’ rights. This argument has now been going on for several years. In both academic scholarship and a U.N. body specializing on the topic (“UNCITRAL”), practitioners have been discussing the possibility of replacing the current system of “ad hoc” arbitral tribunals and annulment committees that operate under the aegis of the World Bank. The current debate centers on a new multilateral investment court or, else, another mechanism of resolving conflicts that would improve upon the questionable legitimacy of the current system.

The purpose of these discussions is to improve the conflict-resolution mechanism and not to eliminate it completely. The contributions of professors Rafael Velázquez Pérez and Michinel Álvarez—thinkers who started studying this decades ago at the University of Vigo—invites the reader to reflect, in the first place, on the role of foreign investment as a fundamental component of Cuba’s gradual yet inevitable incorporation into international commerce. The subtitle of this book—“From Conflict to Resolution”—highlights the importance of having a reliable mechanism to resolve the disputes that foreign investments generate.

The first part of the book addresses foreign investments in the context of Cuban-American bilateral relations. This context is a foreign policy of constant confrontation consisting of a rank and prolonged blockade and an aggressive legislative framework identified by the names of the particular legislators that sponsored the laws (Torricelli, Helms-Burton, etc.). These unfavorable circumstances for promoting U.S. investments in Cuba have become more pronounced under the Trump administration’s isolationist and protectionist foreign policy. The book by Professors Michinel Álvarez and Velázquez Pérez invites us to reflect on the necessity of replacing the policy of confrontation with a policy of cooperation. Even though the foreign policy of the United States will continue being this failed state of confrontation, the promotion of foreign investment and the resolution of investment disputes will continue to be key for change in Cuba. The Cuban government, in turn, should be directing its attention to other international business partners, including its traditional partners (Spain, Canada) and other new partners no less important in international commerce (including China, the European Union, and, of course, other Latin American countries).

The book then moves on to a study of the multilateral customs and tariffs treaties adopted by Cuba (GATT, WTO, Economic Complementation Agreements, Latin American Integration Association, CARICOM, and the European Union). The authors point out the role that foreign direct investment (“FDI”) has maintained despite the blockade. They also study the common language that Cuba’s more than 60 BITs share with thousands of bilateral investment treaties—a commonality that lets the reader connect the international law rights of foreign investors with the rights offered under Cuban law to foreign investors. The Cuban law of foreign investment includes, for example, Law 118/2014, which was passed relatively recently and facilitates the introduction of foreign capital into almost all the country’s activities.

Of course, the normative analysis above cannot do without the Cuban economic and political circumstances, including a history of controversial nationalizations and confiscations. This background informs what it will take to create a sense of judicial security, without which all this talk of investment flows will be illusory. In order to further contextualize the foreign investment regime in Cuba, the authors also take space to examine the laws relating to banking, labor, tax, registration, and securities. This analysis of what the authors call “the timid evolution of Cuba toward free markets” introduces the reader to the second part of the book dedicated to a detailed analysis of the legal framework for foreign investment.

The analysis of the arbitral process includes a study of the most controversial parts of arbitral jurisprudence on investments. It starts with a look at the standards governing access to arbitration. With even-handed critical judgment, the professors examine in detail the scholarly disagreements over topics like so-called cooling periods which requiring parties to wait to bring claims: should they be considered a matter of admissibility or a precondition to arbitral jurisdiction? They also examine the judicial policy behind decisions on jurisdiction interpreting so-called “irrevocable option clauses” (“fork-in-the-road clauses”) and, they examine decisions by investors under fork-in-the-road provisions either to submit a complaint before local courts or to opt for international arbitration.

Other aspects of substantive law—no less controversial—include “umbrellas clauses”. These provisions, incorporated into a number of BITs, seem to “internationalize” all disputes between the investor and the State so as to require the State to “comply with all contractual obligations with respect to investments” (or similar expressions). They also address most-favored nation clauses, which require the State to treat investments “no less favorably than it treats investments or activities, in similar situations, of its own nationals or third countries.” These clauses extend to the investor a level of protection no less than that provided to its own investors or to investors from States which have signed more investor-friendly BITs. Of course, the authors address these topics and many others with diverse opinions. They highlights the interpretive efforts of arbitral tribunals to reconcile inevitable tensions: on one hand, the state’s interest in preserving the sovereignty of the State as a host that dictates public policies that it deems necessary, even if those policies change the rules of play as they existed when the investment was made; and, on the other hand, the investor’s interest in having its “legitimate expectations” in making the investment protected.

In a work covering so many topics, it is not possible to cover in detail every substantive aspect of investment arbitration, such as the related question of what fulfills the State’s obligation of “fair and equitable treatment,” or if the most favored nation clause should extend to procedural issues. Nonetheless, professors Velázquez Pérez and Michinel Álvarez dedicate significant time and space to the question of the law applicable to investment arbitration. They do this because of the importance of the parties having chosen the “rules of law” that are applicable—in other words, how the tribunal should apply Article 42 of the ICSID Convention.

The conflicts raised in an investor-State dispute can only be resolved by a tribunal that has the requisite independence and impartiality—characteristics that can rarely be guaranteed of the judges in the host State. Moreover, the rules of law that will decide the conflict cannot be confined to the internal laws of that State. For these reasons an arbitral proceeding—conducted outside the host State and under genuinely “international” rules—offers greater judicial security than a traditional judicial proceeding does.

After examining access to arbitration and the development of the arbitral proceeding, the authors dedicate a special section to examining the possibility of impugning the validity of an award. Most importantly, they address the reasons for which a court might refuse to recognize or enforce an international arbitral award. Because an award may not enjoy the blind acceptance that the ICSID Convention requires—and since Cuba has not acceded to the ICSID Convention—the authors concentrate on the U.N. Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (better known as the New York Convention of 1958). This is because Cuba has long been a signatory to the New York Convention.

The question of who is empowered to recognize and enforce awards in Cuba may be more important than the rules of play governing recognition and enforcement. For this reason, the authors focus on the role of the Cuban Court of International Commercial Arbitration (the “Cuban Court”). Even though the Cuban Court has not presided over investment cases of serious financial significance, the authors note that the Court has nonetheless conducted 320 arbitral proceedings in six years (2001-2007), and that these proceedings had a value of approximately €44 million. One must conclude that the number of these arbitral cases will increase—as will their size and complexity—in the coming years. It is thus important that the members of the Cuban Court reaffirm their prestige in the coming years; and it is important that they do so not by their ties to the highest levels of government, but rather by the impartiality, independence, and competence that the Court has already demonstrated in resolving conflicts that derive from foreign investments.

Article 61 of the Foreign Investment Law establishes that investment disputes “can be resolved by the relevant Economic Division of the Popular Provincial Tribunal, without prejudice to submitting the dispute to arbitral proceedings in conformity with Cuban law.” This “no prejudice” provision should be interpreted alongside Article 3 of the Law of Civil, Administrative, Labor, and Economic Procedure of the Republic of Cuba (“LPCALE”, for its initials in Spanish). Both provisions seem to indicate, consistent with the second paragraph of Article 739 of the LPCALE, that the jurisdiction of the Economic Division could be excluded by submitting a dispute to an arbitral tribunal. I say “could be” because the authors’ interpretive efforts—the position that the Economic Division’s jurisdiction will be subsidiary (in other words, deferential) to arbitral jurisdiction—do not seem sufficient to satisfy potential investors. At least at the beginning, it would be helpful to assure investors that they are dealing with a conflict resolution mechanism that is trustworthy, effective, and reliable.

Link to download the book: http://ilas.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Foreign-Investment-in-Cuba.-From-Conflict-to-Resolution-English-and-Spanish-3.pdf.

To purchase a printed copy: http://www.lulu.com/shop/rafael-andr%C3%A9s-vel%C3%A1zquez-p%C3%A9rez-and-miguel-%C3%A1ngel-michinel-%C3%A1lvarez/foreign-investment-in-cuba-from-conflict-to-resolution-inversiones-extranjeras-en-cuba-de-conflicto-a-resoluci%C3%B3n/paperback/product-23585982.html


 

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

International investment law has become one of the fastest evolving as well as one of the most contentious issues in international economic law. But whereas much discussion on fragmentation in international economic law until now has focused on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the relationship between the WTO Agreements and other issue areas of international law, such as multilateral environmental agreements or international human rights law, investment and - issues have been comparatively neglected, though they have become an ever more important problem. This article connects the fragmentation debate in international law with international investment law and jurisprudence with a view to substantive conflicts and possibilities of harmonious interpretation as well as institutional problems.

van Aaken, Anne, Fragmentation of International Law: The Case of International Investment Protection. Published in: Finnish Yearbook of International Law (2008) Vol. XVII, pp. 91-130.; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2008-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1097529

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

International Investment Law (IIL), like international trade law, has an economic rationale as its background. Nevertheless, this economic rationale and the empirical insights into assumed causal links play a much smaller role than in trade law. Whereas in trade law economic insights have found entry into law application, this is true to a much smaller extent in IIL. Furthermore, the political economy rationale has been explored in trade law, but not in IIL. This article aims at filling this gap by surveying the economic insights into the link between foreign investment and sustainable development and suggesting adequate interpretative arguments and places (jurisdictional phase v. merits phase) in investment arbitration. Coupling IIL and economic insights might not only help to ground IIL firmly in the goals it pursues, but also change treaty making and treaty interpretation by putting them on an evidence basis.

van Aaken, Anne and Lehmann, Tobias A., Sustainable Development and International Investment Law: An Harmonious View from Economics (July 23, 2011). Published in: Roberto Echandi and Pierre Sauvé (Eds.), Prospects in International Investment Law and Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013), pp. 317-339.; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2011-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1893692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1893692

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

Foreign direct investment forms an ever more important part of globalised market structures, and international investment law has become one of the most successful and judicialised areas of public international law. In order to attract investment, States commit themselves to treaties that restrict their regulatory sovereignty in ways that are sometimes unpredictable, owing to vague terms in the treaties and the broad use by investment tribunals of their delegated discretion.

This article uses economic contract theory in order to understand whether the commitment problem ex ante and the flexibility problem ex post are optimally solved. It is hypothesised that the participation constraints on States may be overlooked by investment tribunals, thereby leading to an undesired weakening of protection of investors in the long run due to reactions by States. First, States may opt out of the system, for example by exiting treaties or by non-compliance. Second, they may also water down the substantive or procedural protections. Third, whereas investment treaties were seen in the beginning as a restraint on developing countries, investment increasingly flows to equally highly regulated developed countries. As legal protection is reciprocal but the capital flows used to be unilateral, developed countries might also react to their restriction of sovereignty, as the United States has already done, for example. These perils could lead to a backlash in international investment protection of which indications are already visible.

van Aaken, Anne, Perils of Success? The Case of International Investment Protection (October 2007,). Published in: European Business Organization Law Review (EBOR) (2008) 9(1), pp. 1-27.; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2007-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1020959 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1020959

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

International investment law creates an international level of review for (illegal) national regulations and laws and the conduct of administrative entities for foreign investors. It is state liability law for foreign investors. In the municipal legal orders, the law of available remedies against the state for injured right holders forms part of administrative and oftentimes constitutional law. In spite of the similarities of factual circumstances, the legal environment for dealing with national investors or citizens and the one for foreign investors varies considerably. Whereas in national law, a right holder needs to take all (usual administrative and judicial) steps to have the illegality of an act reviewed, in investment law, the investor often has immediate access to courts without the exhaustion of local remedies and may immediately claim damages. This difference justifies a functional comparison of national state liability regimes with international investment law. Of special interest are the circumstances under which legal order refers a private (legal) person to primary remedies or secondary remedies. In this article, the remedies in international investment law and the remedies for similarly situated cases in some municipal legal orders are compared. By this comparison, fundamental differences between international investment law and national state liability law in how to deal with state measures interfering with private rights or entitlements are highlighted. To summarize upfront: Whereas municipal legal orders tend to be reluctant to grant pecuniary damages and require the use of primary remedies against the (illegal) act per se, international investment law most heavily relies on secondary remedies. Why is this so? Why does an investor not need to use at least effective remedies in the host state in order for a claim to damages to be “ripe”? What are the rationales discussed for the different remedies found in national state liability law and in investment law? And do they have a rational justification in general and depending on the case in specific circumstances? The paper proposes possible interpretations of investment treaties to have mix of national and international remedies.

van Aaken, Anne, Primary and Secondary Remedies in International Investment Law and National State Liability: A Functional and Comparative View (August 1, 2009). Published in: Stephan Schill (ed.), International Investment Law and Comparative Public Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2010), pp. 721-754.; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2009-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1444253

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

Whereas in the 1980’s many developed countries privatized their state-owned enterprises (SOEs), followed by developing countries after the end of the cold war in 1990, this trend has reversed in the last ten years. First, ever more countries create Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) which engage in all sorts of economic investments and activities. Second, SOEs are again in fashion, partially due to the financial and economic crises in developed countries which led to (partial) nationalization of some failing enterprises. In short: ever more states engage in business activities in one way or the other and the boundaries between state activities and commercial activities become blurred.

In this paper, I would like to suggest some criteria where immunity should be granted (and where not) drawing partially on economic theory. While the paper does not give definite answers, it might help to consider some of the issues from a functional point of view and find answer for both of the described problems.

van Aaken, Anne, Blurring Boundaries between Sovereign Acts and Commercial Activities: A Functional View on Regulatory Immunity and Immunity from Execution (March 21, 2013). Published in: Anne Peters/Evelyne Lagrange/Stefan Oeter (eds.), Immunities in the Age of Global Constitutionalism (Leiden: Brill, 2014 Forthcoming).; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2236767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2236767

Anne Van Aaken

Abstract

International arbitration and Law & Economics (L&E) have two things in common. They have both been on the rise in the last decades; and they are both hotly contested and discussed in all their facets. 15 years ago, it was lamented that L&E had neglected (international) arbitration to large extent, focusing instead on judicial contexts. This chapter analysis international arbitration from an L&E perspective, including subsequent developments by behavioral economics relevant to arbitration.

After providing a general institutional economics perspective on arbitration, we go into greater detail concerning some questions where L&E can contribute by focusing on disputants involved in arbitration, their incentives and decision-making, including among types of dispute settlement, arbitrator appointment, incentives for settlement and third-party funding. We also discuss the incentives and behavior of arbitrators, including their cognitive abilities.

van Aaken, Anne and Broude, Tomer, Arbitration from a Law & Economics Perspective (October 28, 2016). The Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, Thomas Schultz & Federico Ortino (eds.) Oxford University Press, Forthcoming; U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2016-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861837 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2861837

This Handbook for Promoting Foreign Direct Investment in Medium-Size, Low-Budget Cities in Emerging Markets is intended as a tool for city administrators in cities of low-income countries to attract investment. Both domestic investment and foreign direct investment advance rural and urban economic growth and development. The distinctive role of foreign direct investment – on which this Handbook is focused – is that it brings scarce capital, know-how, technology, and access to foreign markets. Furthermore, if well embedded in the economic strategies of host economies, foreign direct investment can help improve the competitiveness of domestic enterprises as well, a core foundation of economic growth.

The lead consultant on this Handbook was Henry Loewendahl, an international expert in FDI and investment promotion who has worked with over 50 investment promotion agencies in 30 countries. In addition, international experts contributed to the preparation of this volume, in particular during a workshop that took place in London in December 2008. These include Persa Economou, Saida Maki-Pentilla, Laban Mburu, Mesfin Moges, Martin Mutuku, Samuel Okello, Carolyn Okul, Ahmed Maalim Omar, Edward Sambili, Festus Wangwe, and Feseha Zerihun. Paulo Cunha and Wouter Schmit Jongbloed were also instrumental in bringing this volume to fruition.

Copyright © 2009 by the Millennium Cities Initiative and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International investment. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, this Handbook for Promoting Foreign Direct Investment in Medium-Size, Low-Budget Cities in Emerging Markets may be reproduced, quoted or cited without permission of the author(s) provided there is proper acknowledgement.

http://mci.ei.columbia.edu/files/2012/12/MCI-City-Investment-Promotion-Handbook2.pdf

José Enrique Alvarez

Abstract

For those following debates on the merits of the investment chapters within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the answer to the titular question is obvious. Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is undoubtedly a mechanism to resolve “public law” disputes. This is a major reason why many, from the EU to the UN’s Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, want to replace ISDS with an international investment court, and also why U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren was able to find one hundred U.S. law professors to sign a public letter in support of the view that ISDS is such a wrongheaded attempt to “privatize” what should stay in the “public” domain that it violates the rule of law. The public nature of the international investment regime, including ISDS, is taken for granted, particularly since there is no doubt that investor-state arbitrators apply public international law and that the international investment regime shares numerous points of intersection with other public international law regimes. This essay critically examines the consensus that ISDS is “public” and what is commonly meant by that characterization. It concludes that, for purposes of description and prescription, ISDS, and the regime of which it is a part, should best be seen as a hybrid between public and private.

Available at: https://www.iilj.org/publications/is-investor-state-arbitration-public/

José Enrique Alvarez

Abstract

Like other international organizations, the ILO can be examined from a number of jurisprudential frameworks widely used by international law scholars, including realism, functionalism, legal positivism, law and economics, liberal theory, constructivism, deliberative approaches such as contestation, constitutionalism, and various forms of critical theory. This essay considers what is gained and lost from the application of such approaches to the organization. It also considers how the reality of today’s ‘transnational labor law’ – to be distinguished from the international labor law envisioned when the organization was established in 1919 – relates to contemporary scholarly debates about what exactly are the ‘sources’ of international law, how ‘compliance’ with those sources occur, and whether ‘global governance’ exists.

Alvarez, José Enrique, Frameworks for Understanding the International Labor Organization and Its Impact (July 25, 2019). ILO:100: Law for Social Justice, Forthcoming; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3426754

José Enrique Alvarez

Abstract

In the wake of numerous examples of malfeasance by international organizations, including by those of the UN system, there is widespread agreement that such institutions, commonly engaged in promoting the rule of law, need themselves to be “accountable” under the rule of law. This essay canvasses and critiques common prescriptions for achieving IO responsibility under the rule of law, emphasizing the need to avoid mistaken transcriptions of the national rule of law. It argues that holding IOs, such as the UN Security Council, to rule of law standards requires making more circumspect national law analogies.  Insisting on perfecting the international rule of law by drawing on the national rule of law may not produce the progressive results intended.  Available at: https://www.iilj.org/publications/international-organizations-and-the-rule-of-law-2/

José Enrique Alvarez

Abstract

US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has answered the question posed by my title in two different ways. A few years ago, as US Secretary of State, she argued that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was the new “gold standard” in Free Trade Agreements or FTAs.1 Most recently, as presidential candidate attentive to US democratic primary voters, she has said that its final text reveals that it simply does not make US workers better off and that she opposes its ratification. The agreement, she now says, gives US workers something less than gold. Now it could be that Secretary Clinton has been talking about the TPP as a whole and not its investment chapter. But that is doubtful insofar as the investment chapter is far too integral to this agreement and more importantly to debates about the merits of the TPP. It is probably fair to say that Secretary Clinton has changed her mind about the TPP’s investment chapter. This contribution attempts to put her quandary in context. Available at: https://www.iilj.org/publications/1887/

Modelos Económicos | Economic Models

Edmund S. Phelps

Abstract

Modern life invaded societies in the 19th century: First in Britain and America, later in Germany and France. Increasing numbers were driven not just by a work ethic or a desire to accumulate: They were dreamers, tinkerers, and adventurers on a journey, exercising their imagination, creativity, and curiosity. The result was not simply a “take-off” into sustained growth; the economy was turned into a vast imaginarium in which people conceived new products, uses, and approaches, as well as methods of production. This indigenous innovation, coming from the grassroots up, was the foundation of modern life: The satisfaction of “succeeding” at what one is doing, the satisfactions one has from “flourishing,” and the thrill of the unknown. These “soft” rewards of work are important, as are material rewards. By now, however, “soft” rewards seem to have fallen off and growth has slowed. Have modern values narrowed to a trickle or has big business choked off the dynamism of old?

Phelps, Edmund S., The Dynamism of Nations: Toward a Theory of Indigenous Innovation (2017). Capitalism and Society, Vol. 12 [2017], Iss. 1, Art. 3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2963105