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Advanced Introduction to International Investment Law

August Reinisch

August Reinisch gives a broad overview of the entire field of international investment law that has emerged as an important subfield of international economic law over the last decades. As a result of the boom of investment arbitration since the late 1990s, core questions of the substantive treatment of foreign investors are analysed. Combining an academic and a practical perspective, this book has been written to provide an introduction to investment law for lawyers, political scientists, economists as well as those interested in international relations.
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August Reinisch


s from the current ISDS reform process. However, as already discussed in the chapter on ISDS, some of the issues identified seem to be more apt to be remedied within the existing ISDS system than others. For instance, the problem of confidentiality can and largely has been addressed by states and arbitration institutions, providing for wide-ranging transparency obligations. Similarly, arbitrator independence and impartiality can be regulated by strict conflicts of interest rules and procedural mechanisms ensuring their enforcement. Whereas controlling costs – not of the tribunals, but of party representation fees – seems equally difficult to achieve as fully consistent outcomes. The latter will only become a reality if the underlying substantive IIAs are fully harmonized and a single interpretative authority is established.

The latter problem may account for the ongoing attraction of establishing an MIC or a similar multilateral investment appeals mechanism, as currently debated within UNCITRAL and as strongly advocated by the EU. This trend towards ‘judicialization’ follows the path of establishing a more uniform dispute settlement in international trade law through the creation of the two-tiered mechanism by the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding after the Uruguay Round. Ironically, however, it comes at a time when the WTO’s efficient dispute settlement system is threatened by some members’ unwillingness to make the required appointments to the Appellate Body, which could lead to its paralysis by late 2019. It is too early though to predict whether the ambitious plan to substitute an MIC for the existing decentralized system of ad...

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