Upon the request of the investor in the Venoklim Holding B.V. v. Venezuela case, on 2 February 2018 an ICSID ad hoc Committee issued a decision on annulment of an arbitral award dated 3 April 2015. In that award, the arbitral tribunal had declined its ratione personae jurisdiction over the dispute. In particular, it had found that Claimant had not fulfilled the nationality requirements established in the Venezuelan Investment Law. According to the Claimant, the tribunal had not applied, or at least incorrectly applied, the law applicable to that dispute. Thus, the investor had requested annulment on three grounds provided for in Article 52 of the ICSID Convention. It had argued that the arbitral tribunal had manifestly exceeded its powers, had seriously departed from a fundamental rule of procedure and had failed to state in the award the reasons on which it was based. After recalling the general guidelines related to a request for annulment and to its grounds as invoked by the foreign investor, the ad hoc Committee rejected all the claims submitted by Venoklim Holding. First, the ad hoc Committee emphasized that it was not an appellate body and ruled that the arbitral tribunal had not exceed its powers in applying the applicable law in this dispute. Second, it found no evidence of the partiality of the arbitral tribunal with regard to the application of the applicable law. The ad hoc Committee also stated that in the case of arbitration under the ICSID Convention, the impossibility to debate the statements adopted by the arbitral tribunal in its award could not constitute a serious departure from a party’s right to present its case. Third, it did not find any incoherence in the arbitral tribunal’s reasoning tantamount to a failure of motivation of the award.
Finally, the ad hoc Committee concluded that the investor was required to assume the full costs of the arbitration under the annulment proceedings, as well as the costs of legal representation of both parties.