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Usuario :     TFA Press Release 12-02-2014 . . .
 
 
 

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TFA Press Release
Bondholders Secure Another Victory at ICSID, as World Bank
Rejects Argentina’s Second Attempt to Disqualify Arbitrators
Nicola Stock, President of TFA, states: “The World Bank President has dismissed Argentina’s
latest attempt to sidetrack the proceedings. With the rejection of Argentina’s second
unfounded arbitrator challenge, the merits phase moves on to completion in 2014.”
On 4 February 2014, the President of the World Bank, acting in his capacity as the
Chairman of the ICSID Administrative Council, issued a decision rejecting a request by
Argentina to disqualify two of the three Tribunal members. Argentina’s request, filed on
19 December 2013, sought to remove the Tribunal President, Pierre Tercier, and Claimants’
party-appointed arbitrator, Albert Jan van den Berg, on the grounds that a recent
Procedural Order on final briefing and hearing deadlines allegedly was improper. The Italian
bondholder Claimants had opposed Argentina’s request on the grounds that it lacked any
merit, and instead was an improper attempt by Argentina to prolong the proceedings.
In a thorough 20-page decision, the ICSID Chairman concluded that Argentina’s request did
not meet the disqualification standards under the ICSID Convention. This is the second
time in the proceeding that Argentina has challenged the two members of the Tribunal—and
the second time that the ICSID Chairman has rejected Argentina’s disqualification attempt
for lack of merit. Key elements of the ICSID Chairman’s decision include:
Rejected Argentina’s request to refer the arbitrator challenge to the Permanent Court
of Arbitration, because “[t]he circumstances in this Proposal do not justify such a
request.
Rejected Argentina’s complaints about the Tribunal’s Procedural Order, and
confirmed that “[t]he mere existence of an adverse ruling is insufficient to prove a
manifest lack of impartiality or independence”—and, indeed, “[i]f it were otherwise,
proceedings could continuously be interrupted by the unsuccessful party, prolonging
the arbitral process.
Confirmed that “[t]he Tribunal has addressed numerous requests from both parties
and has issued an extensive number of procedural orders,” and that “[e]ach of the
Tribunal’s rulings has been rendered following thorough argument by each of the
parties and due deliberation among the members of the Tribunal.
Further to the decision, President Tercier and Arbitrator van den Berg retain their positions
on the Tribunal. A copy of the decision, along with all of the Tribunal’s Procedural Orders, is
available for review on the TFA website, www.tfargentina.it/icsid.php. The next step in the
proceeding is for Argentina to file its final submission on the merits and individual issues.
Dr. Nicola Stock, President of Task Force Argentina, states: “The World Bank President
agreed with the Italian bondholders that Argentina failed to articulate any valid basis to
disqualify either arbitrator, and has dismissed Argentina’s latest attempt to sidetrack the
proceedings. With the rejection of Argentina’s second unfounded arbitrator challenge, the
merits phase moves on to completion in 2014.
2
* * *
This Press Release is issued further to the Tribunal’s Confidentiality Order, which
authorizes the publication of decisions and orders by the Tribunal and
communications regarding the status of the proceeding. Italian bondholders
participating in the ICSID arbitration may obtain information on the case by
sending a request for information to info@tfargentina.it or consulting the website
www.tfargentina.it. Any participating bondholders who revoke their participation
in the cases against Argentina referenced above place the protection of their
rights against Argentina at risk.
Rome, 10 February 2014
 
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