Gustavo Aceves Rivera, 2012

Reconciling Public and Private Interests in Investment and Commercial Arbitration

Languages spoken: English, French, Italian, Spanish
Thesis Advisor: Professor Jeswald Salacuse

Competing interests and objectives between public and private parties create a certain tension in arbitrations when a State party or a State-owned corporation is involved.  Drawing examples from the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID), this paper explores how this tension is dealt with in treaty-based and contract-based arbitration.

For example, when public interests are involved, does the need for transparency trump any confidentiality rights that a private party may have?  Do Amicus Curiae in ICSID arbitration add to the legitimacy of the system?  Is the immunity of ICSID awards from the review of national courts an advantage over commercial arbitration?  This paper ultimately seeks to answer whether one model is better than the other in balancing public and private interests, and in so doing, meeting the ends of procedural integrity, efficiency and finality.


Gustavo Aceves-Rivera graduated from Universidad Panamericana Law School in Guadalajara, Mexico, and attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  Following his graduation, he acquired experience in Commercial Arbitration at the headquarters of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, where he prepared his award-winning thesis on the International Execution of Annulled Arbitral Awards.  Before returning to Mexico, Gustavo participated in special projects with members of the Permanent Mission of Mexico before the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.  Gustavo has over six years of practice as an International Consultant at top law firms in Guadalajara and Mexico City on business and financial transactions, particularly focused on energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications, including projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.  Gustavo has also participated as a panelist in seminars on Securities and Banking Law in Mexico.  He is currently Visiting Foreign Attorney as a member of King & Spalding's International Arbitration Team in Houston, Texas.