In Czech Republic v European Media Ventures SA – Lawtel 12.12.07 the Commercial Court interpreted the arbitration provisions of a bilateral investment treaty, in particular whether a provision providing for disputes ‘concerning compensation’ to be referred to arbitration was limited to the quantum of compensation or whether it included whether compensation was payable.

It held that the court was entitled to take into account that one of the objects of the treaty was to confer rights on an investor, including a valuable right to arbitrate. It emphasised that the court was to interpret the treaty itself rather than any contextual material which, in this case, was of little assistance in any event.

As regards the phrase "concerning compensation", the use of the word "concerning” was broad and, in light of the other provisions of the treaty, it included issues of entitlement as well as quantification.