By Marlon M. Meza-Salas, published in the latest volume (N.º 36/2019) of the Spain Arbitration Review – Revista del Club Español del Arbitraje

Abstract: This article deals with the possibility that matters of labor nature are raised or discussed in international commercial or investment arbitrations, either as the central core of the disputes or within the arguments presented in their defense by the defendants in those proceedings, especially by States sued in investment arbitration. The article also mentions some mechanisms for resolving disputes enshrined in free trade agreements or regional integration schemes, or in the so-called new generation agreements, used to process and resolve complaints of labor-related breaches by States-parties to those agreements, including in some cases the arbitration for the application of sanctions, beyond other mechanisms more commonly used such as high-level consultations between governments, panels of experts, committees or special groups, conciliation or mediation, etc. It also mentions the possibility of using mechanisms of protection of Human Rights at the international level, to claim the responsibility of States and even of multinational corporations, for violations of labor rights, and even the possibility of arbitration for claims against businesses for Human Rights violations, as it happened in an emblematic case originated in Bangladesh and submitted to arbitration in recent years, which is a good example of the use of alternative mechanisms to resolve Human Rights disputes with labor content. All the described situations show the intersection and links between arbitration –and other dispute resolution mechanisms– with labor issues, evidencing that in law there are no separate blocks but connections, interrelations and unity.

Download the full article here (pg. 89). 




I. Casos comerciales

II. Casos sobre protección de inversiones

  1. Noble Ventures, Inc. v. Rumania (caso CIADI Nº ARB/01/11).
  2. Plama Consortium Ltd. v. Republic of Bulgaria (caso CIADI Nº ARB/03/24).
  3. Veolia v. Egipto (caso CIADI Nº ARB/12/15)

III.  Otras alegaciones en Arbitrajes de Inversiones que envuelven asuntos laborales

  1. Objeciones a la Jurisdicción de Tribunales Arbitrales
  2. Defensa de Fondo o Mérito
  3. Reconvención o Contrademanda
  4. Algunas estadísticas y tendencias recientes sobre la inclusión de temas laborales en tratados sobre protección de inversiones

IV. Resolución de disputas mediante arbitraje u otros mecanismos en el ámbito de los Acuerdos de Libre Comercio e Integración Regional, y en los acuerdos de nueva generación

V. Los Sistemas de Protección de DDHH, y el borrador cero de un instrumento sobre DDHH jurídicamente vinculante para las corporaciones trasnacionales

VI. Las proyectadas Reglas de Arbitraje de la Haya sobre Empresas y DDHH, y el emblemático caso de las fábricas de ropa en Bangladesh

VII. A modo de conclusiones: reflexiones finales en primera persona


*Marlon Meza is a Venezuelan lawyer working in DLA Piper’s Houston office as a Texas Board Certified Foreign Legal Consultant.