All oil agreements considered by a special commission appointed by the Minister of Oil to be contrary to the Nationalization of the Iranian Oil Industry Act shall be annulled and claims arising from conclusion and execution of such agreements shall be settled by the decision of the said commission. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall participate in the said commission.
The stated possibility of settlements of claims arising out of agreements treated as nullities is a far cry from the decree provision, establishing a "Compensation Committee" to determine "fair compensation," that apparently was upheld, albeit sub silentio,8 by the tribunal in the AMINOLL case as satisfying the demands of customary international law:
A committee named the Compensation Committee shall be set up by a decision of the Minister of Oil whose task it will be to assess the fair compensation due to the Company as well as the Company's outstanding obligations to the State or other parties. It shall decide what each party owes the other in accordance with this assessment.
The State or the Company shall pay what the Committee decides within one month of being notified of the Committee's decision.
Kuwait and American Independent Oil Company (AMINOLL), para. 1xv (Reuter, Sultan & Fitzmaurice arbs., Award of 24 March 1982), reprinted in 21 Int'l Legal Mat'ls 976, 998 (1982).9 It requires more than I have been able to muster to find in the Single Article Act, as the Award does, anything providing "sufficient guarantee that the compensation will be actually determined and paid in conformity with the requisites of international law." (Para. 137.)
When this Agreement has been ratified by the Joint Economic and Financial Committees of the Iranian Parliament, such ratification shall be considered acceptance by the Government of all obligations of the Government and the grant by the Government of all facilities and privileges conferred by the Government under this Agreement, including privileges accorded to foreign companies under the "Law Concerning the Attraction and Protection of Foreign Investment in Iran" dated 7 Azar, 1334 (November 28, 1955), the "Act of 24 Teer 1344 (July 15, 1965) Concerning the Development of Petrochemical Industries", and any future amendments to such acts. (Emphasis added.)
The "Acceptance by the Government of all obligations of the Government" through approval and ratification, as occurred, is general and without any specific reference.14 For example, even though the Iranian Government is nowhere mentioned in Article 30 of the Khemco Agreement the following provision of its second paragraph binds that Government:
The provisions of any current laws and regulations which may be wholly or partly inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement shall, to the extent of any such inconsistency, be of no effect in respect of the provisions of this Agreement.
That is to say, Iran would have been in violation of its obligations had it not in fact, following approval and ratification of the Agreement, permitted the Agreement's provisions to prevail over inconsistent contemporaneous provisions of Iranian law.
Measures of any nature to annual, amend or modify the provisions of this Agreement shall only be made possible by the mutual consent of NPC and AMOCO.
The fact that the Government of Iran is not referred to expressly is of no more consequence here than as to Article 30.15 Just as only that Government, and not the National Iranian Oil Company ("NIOC"), NPC or Khemco, could supply or affect Iranian substantive law, so, too, is it only that Government that could apply "[m]easures of any nature to annul" any provisions of the Khemco Agreement. "Measures" typically imply sovereign action, as in the Claims Settlement Declaration's delineation of our jurisdiction to embrace "expropriations or other measures affecting property rights." Article II(1) (emphasis added). Nullification, as the Single Article Act itself best illustrates, implies State action. That this is the better way to view Article 21(2) is further confirmed by its heading, "Guarantee Of Performance And Continuity;" a guarantee ordinarily is an undertaking by a person not the prime obligor under a contract insuring that it will be honored.
The Government of Libya will take all steps necessary to ensure that the Company enjoys all the rights conferred by this Concession. The contractual rights expressly created by this concession shall not be altered except by mutual consent of the parties.
Any amendment to or repeal of [the Petroleum] Regulations [in force on the date of execution of the concession agreement as amended] shall not affect the contractual rights of the Company without its consent.16
Texaco Overseas Petroleum Company v. Libyan Arab Republic ("TOPCO"), (Dupuy arb., Award of 19 January 1977), reprinted in 53 I.L.R. 389, 394, 423 (1979).17
I. - A. What was the value, on July 3rd, 1922, expressed in Reichsmarks current at the present time, of the undertaking for the manufacture of nitrate products of which the factory was situated at Chorzow in Polish Upper Silesia, in the state in which that undertaking (including the lands, buildings, equipment, stocks and processes at its disposal, supply and delivery contracts, goodwill and future prospects) was, on the date indicated, in the hands of the Bayerische and Oberschlesische Stickstoffwerke?
B. What would have been the financial results, expressed in Reichsmarks current at the present time (profits or losses), which would probably have been given by the undertaking thus constituted from July 3rd, 1922, to the date of the present judgment, if it had been in the hands of the said Companies?
II. - What would be the value at the date of the present judgment, expressed in Reichsmarks current at the present time, of the same undertaking (Chorzow) if that undertaking (including lands, buildings, equipment, stocks, available processes, supply and delivery contracts, goodwill and future prospects) had remained in the hands of the Bayerische and Oberschlesische Stickstoffwerke, and had either remained substantially as it was in 1922 or had been developed proportionately on lines similar to those applied in the case of other undertakings of the same kind, controlled by the Bayerische, for instance, the undertaking of which the factory is situated at Piesteritz?
... [D]etermining what sum must be awarded to the German Government in order to enable it to place the dispossessed Companies as far as possible in the economic situation in which they would probably have been if the seizure had not taken place....
Id. at 49. In other words, the Court sought assistance, through alternative calculations, in determining "its [the undertaking's] value at the time of the indemnification." Id. at 48.
(1) What are an enterprise's "future prospects" other than its potential profitability?
(2) The Award's fear of "double recovery" (para. 200) of profits is itself produced only by the Award's overly literal approach. The process of adjusting a past estimate by subsequent experience necessarily must preclude any double counting.
(3) The conclusion that "the Court takes into consideration lucrum cessans... only for a limited and rather short period of time," i.e., that intervening between the taking and the judgment, and that its quantification thus "supplies no projection into the future" is illogical. "Future prospects," which can only mean prospects of profit, cannot be fairly judged if arbitrary limits are imposed. The phrasing of Question IB simply reflects the inescapable fact that experience as such ends at the moment of judgment; after that one is back in the realm of conjecture. The necessary result of the Award's reasoning on this particular point is that in compensating even an unlawful expropriation no consideration may be taken of probable profits in the future, i.e., post-judgment. Clearly this cannot have been intended; thus the reasoning condemns itself.
As regards the lucrum cessans, in relation to question II, it may be remarked that... [various costs] are bound to absorb in a large measure the profits, real or supposed, of the undertaking. Up to a certain point, therefore, any profit may be left out of account, for it will be included in the real or supposed value of the undertaking at the present moment.
Id. at 53 (emphasis added). The Court immediately continued:
If, however, the reply given by the experts to question I B should show that after... [certain losses and costs] there remains a margin of profit, the amount of such profit should be added to the compensation to be awarded.27
Id. By including profits in the "value of the undertaking," as referred to in Question II, and treating Question IB at the same time, the Court confirms that the "value of the undertaking" identically described in Question I likewise includes them.28
If, however, the Tribunal does not accept them ["the projections as to the future of the petroleum industry based on the consultations of experts that the Company has relied upon"], this is not because they include speculative elements, since all methods of assessment, whatever they may be, will do that. It is because the Tribunal thinks that in the present case... the Parties adopted a different conception in the course of their relations and negotiations... that must guide the Tribunal.
AMINOIL, supra, para. 154, 21 Int'l Legal Mat'ls at 1035 (emphasis added). Here, where the Tribunal expressly seeks to apply international law as such, and not a "different conception" agreed by the Parties, the DCF method cannot be branded as "not fitted" because "speculative."29
Already registered ?