39.5 Million-dollar case against the Dominican Republic halted due to procedural error

A dismissal based on a muddled arbitral jurisdiction underscores why participants in international litigation or arbitration require skilled counsel.

Recently, arbitrators dismissed a 39.5 million dollar claim against the Dominican Republic.

The Ballantines filed a claim against the Dominican Republic due to its refusal to expand a luxury development in the Jarabacoa mountains. The Ballantines cited government approval for prior developments submitted by DR Nationals all while – so they claim – the government hampered their efforts.

However, the international arbitrators appointed under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, declined jurisdiction because although the Ballentines were dual nationals of the Dominican Republic and the United States, their dominant and effective nationality was Dominican, and therefore the Ballantines were not permitted to bring “international” claims arising under the Free Trade Agreement against their own state.

Ehrenstein|Sager specializes in helping clients navigate the complexities of international arbitration and litigation.