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The Multilateralization of International Investment Law: The Emergence of a Multilateral System of Investment Protection on the Basis of Bilateral Treaties

29 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2008  

Stephan W. Schill

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: June 26, 2008

Abstract

The paper advances the paradoxical thesis that international investment law is developing towards a multilateral system of investment protection on the basis of bilateral treaties. Despite the infinite fragmentation of substantive investment law, coupled with arbitration as a decentralized dispute and compliance mechanism, one can observe convergence rather than divergence in this field of international law. Unlike genuinely bilateral treaties, BITs do not stand isolated in governing the relation between two States; they rather develop multiple overlaps and structural interconnections that create a relatively uniform and treaty-overarching legal framework for international investments based on uniform principles with little room for insular deviation. The paper therefore argues that BITs in their entirety function largely and increasingly analogously to a truly multilateral system. Elements of this thesis are the inclusion of most-favored-nation clauses, the possibilities of treaty-shopping through corporate structuring and the contribution of investor-State dispute settlement through the intensive use of precedent and other genuinely multilateral approaches to treaty interpretation.

Keywords: International Investment Law, Multilateralization, Multilateral, Multilateral System of Investment Protection, Bilateral Treaties, BITs, Most-Favored Nations Clauses, Treaty-Shopping, Investor-State Dispute Settlement

JEL Classification: F02, F10, F13, F14, F15

Suggested Citation

Schill, Stephan W., The Multilateralization of International Investment Law: The Emergence of a Multilateral System of Investment Protection on the Basis of Bilateral Treaties (June 26, 2008). Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) Inaugural Conference Paper, 2008; SIEL Online Proceedings Working Paper No. 18/08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1151817 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1151817

Stephan W. Schill (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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