Polluter Doesn’t Pay: The Rockhopper v Italy Award

Author: Toni Marzal
Published: 19.01.2023
Last August, an ICSID tribunal handed down its much-anticipated ECT-based award in the dispute between Rockhopper, a British oil and gas company, and the Italian Republic. Rockhopper had been denied a licence to exploit an offshore oilfield, due to legislation banning oil production concessions within a certain distance from the coastline. The ban was adopted as a result of intense popular campaigning from regional and local authorities, and environmental, religious and civic associations, who had successfully requested a referendum on the matter. According to the award, which was only published in November, Rockhopper had met all the conditions set by…