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6 Mass Claims in Practice—The Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission

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Chapter Summary

The Abaclat tribunal's decision affirming jurisdiction and admissibility over approximately 60,000 Italian bondholders' claims against Argentina has stimulated lively discussion of the possible uses of international arbitration to address mass claims involving large numbers of persons alleging similar injuries. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission is a rare recent international claims institution required to determine liability for complex international law claims and then to quantify the associated injury. The Boundary Commission's April 2002 decision assigned to Eritrea the remote disputed village where the war began. Ethiopia asked the commission to reconsider aspects of the decision; the commission declined to do so, and ultimately was unable to physically delimit the boundary. The commission's initial liability stage moved briskly. Following extensive briefing and a series of hearings, the commission issued fifteen substantial liability awards between July 2003 and December 2005.

Keywords: Abaclat; Argentina; Eritrea; Ethiopia; international arbitration; international law; Italian bondholders'; mass claims



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