The protection of foreign investments is one of the pillars of trade relations between countries. In particular, US investment protection in Panama is regulated by both Law 12 of 1983, which is the Investment Protection treaty signed by Panama and the United States; and also, Law 53 of 2007, which is the one that contains the Trade Promotion Treaty (TPC) between both countries.
The concept of investment protection is contained in Article 10.3 of the TPC which states that a US company cannot be treated differently than a Panamanian company. When the lawyers of the Trump Organization claim that the Panamanian state is committing a denial of justice if it does not intervene in civil proceedings taking place in a national court, they are invoking one of the technical grounds of lack of protection of the investments. The denial of justice they invoke has two clearly identified elements according to international law:
1. Preventing access to a judge to defend the rights of the investor;
2. Or breaching the usual procedural rules that are applicable to the resolution of judicial disputes in that state.