A. FACTUAL BACKGROUND RELATED TO RESPONDENT’S REQUEST FOR BIFURCATION
1. By letter dated 9 August 2012, the Respondent invoked the existence of objections to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction and requested the bifurcation of the proceedings.
2. On 13 August 2012, the Tribunal issued Procedural Order No. 4 by which the Tribunal granted the Claimants until 23 August 2012 to comment on the Request for Bifurcation.
3. By letter dated 27 August 2012, the Claimants submitted their response to the Request for Bifurcation pursuant to Procedural Order No. 5 and an extension subsequently agreed between the Parties, opposing that the requested bifurcation be granted by the Tribunal.
4. Pursuant to Procedural Order No. 6 dated 30 August 2012, the Tribunal decided to modify the schedule of proceedings, with the exception of the dates set for the hearings, and set a schedule for the Parties to submit their pleadings on jurisdiction. Following the submission of the pleadings, the Tribunal would decide whether to bifurcate the proceedings. Furthermore, the Tribunal requested that the Parties indicate in their respective Memorials whether they would request a hearing on jurisdictional.
5. According to Procedural Order No. 7 dated 3 September 2012, the Arbitral Tribunal modified the schedule for the submissions on the merits, granting the Respondent an extension of 45 days for submission of its Response. However, this extension did not apply to the schedule for submissions on jurisdiction foreseen in Procedural Order No. 6 nor to the dates established for the hearing.
6. On 17 September 2012, the Respondent submitted its Memorial on Jurisdiction pursuant to the deadline agreed between the Parties and requested that the Tribunal “consider and decide the present exceptions to jurisdiction and admissibility as preliminary issues and bifurcate the proceedings, granting the State the possibility of pleading its case at a hearing on jurisdiction” (our translation).