On 20 September 2021, an ICSID Tribunal operating under the Additional Facility Arbitration Rules ordered Mexico to pay more than USD 49 million to Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P., after finding the Mexican state liable on denial of justice and failure to provide fair and equitable treatment grounds in terms of Art. 1105 of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA).
In doing so, the Tribunal was required to determine whether there had been a denial of justice in the case by the Mexican judicial system and – as the NAFTA treaty does not refer to "denial of justice" – the “customary international law minimum standard of treatment” aliens could expect from Mexican tribunals.
In what follows, we highlight the background to the ICSID proceedings before examining the Tribunal’s decision in detail.
In 2007, Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P., a Canada based real estate investment management company (“Lion”), financed two real estate projects of Mexican businessman Hector Cardenas Curiel (“Cardenas”):