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Investor-State Arbitration before the High Court of Singapore: Territoriality, Nationality and Arbitrability

Naomi Hart and Sriram Srikumar

Keywords: International Investment Law; Investor-State Arbitration; Territorial Application of Treaties; Nationality

This case note analyses the recent jurisdictional decision of the High Court of Singapore in Laos v Sanum Investments, concerning an alleged expropriation by the Laos government of an investment made by an entity incorporated in Macau. The Court's key finding was that the bilateral investment treaty between China and Laos was not intended to extend to Macau. This note questions the Court's focus on the territorial scope of the bilateral investment treaty, as opposed to the nationality of the investor, and appraises whether this case represents a departure from the ‘pro-arbitration’ reputation of Singaporean courts in international investment disputes.

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