Rio Tinto initiates arbitration procedures against the Government of Mongolia, arguing that the tax bill they were served of US$155 million is “indirect appropriation.” Originally intended to stop arbitrary abuse by states singling out foreign investments, the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system has devolved into a mechanism that allows corporations to interfere with a state’s sovereign right to legislate in their people’s public interest. By extension, the arbitration by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is inherently flawed, costly and unlikely to favour Mongolian’s public interest.


While Rio Tinto’s own timeline highlights that it is ‘giving the facts on tax,’ its attempts to evade taxes for the Oyu Tolgoi mine are noticeably absent.


The Corporate Capture of Mongolia by SOMO