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The Award In Thunderbird V. Mexico

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Chapter Summary

International Thunderbird Gaming Corporation v. Mexico, by affirming that "it is not the Tribunal's function to act as a court of appeal or review", joins therefore a relatively long progeny of cases referring to this "doctrine". This chapter argues that the non-court of appeals doctrine is usually and certainly in the Thunderbird decision, a source of obfuscation in International investment law tribunals (IIL) adjudication. The tribunal ultimately dismissed Thunderbird's claims, correctly from the perspective of the outcome on two substantive accounts: first, the machines were illegal/quasi-illegal under domestic law, and therefore SEGOB's behavior could not be qualified as arbitrary and constituting an abuse of right; second, the Oficio, because of how it was obtained and what it said did not have the sufficient strength to overcome that basic illegality/quasi-illegality and give rise to expectations on which the investor could have relied.

Keywords: doctrine; domestic law; International investment law tribunals (IIL); Mexico; Oficio; quasi-illegality; SEGOB; Thunderbird Gaming Corporation; tribunal



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