A Return to the Gay Nineties?
This chapter introduces investment law and arbitration by examining the historical conflict between capital-exporting and capital-importing countries over proposals for a multilateral investment treaty, and by arguing that this legal conflict is interwoven with the social and economic history of European expansion and colonialism, and the corresponding efforts of newly independent countries to achieve greater regulatory autonomy over foreign-owned assets within their territory. It provides an overview of the present system of investment treaty arbitration and the manner in which its use has expanded as multinational firms have capitalized on the opportunity to bring claims against middle-sized developing and former communist states. Finally, it offers an explanation for why capital-importing countries have agreed in bilateral and regional treaties to accept an intensity of adjudicative supervision and investor protection that they long opposed at the multilateral level.
Keywords: investment treaties, multilateral investment code, investment treaty arbitration, investment law, arbitration, capital-exporting countries, capital-importing countries, bilateral treaties, regional treaties
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