Allard v. Barbados: Environmental Issues under the Guise of International Investment Disputes

In September 2009, a Canadian investor, Peter Allard, instituted proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration against Barbados, for breaches of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Barbados for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, signed on 29 May 1996 (Canada-Barbados BIT). In particular, the investor claimed that his US$35 million investment, an eco-tourism project in Barbados (Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary) underwent indirect expropriation, due to Barbados's failure to fulfill its environmental obligations, deriving from both domestic legislation as well as international environmental law. In 27 June 2016, the Tribunal issued the much-anticipated award, ultimately rejecting the claim of the investor. Even though, prima facie, this appears to be yet another investment dispute (albeit with environmental components), a closer look to the facts of the case provides an interesting insight.

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