Is the Truth in the Eyes of the Beholder? The Perils and Benefits of Empirical Research in International Investment Arbitration
Santa Clara Journal of International Law, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013
14 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2013
Empirical research is the new hot trend in international law. An increasing number of publications include empirical data that aim at strengthening their author’s argument. Indeed, empirical data are used to make an argument less fallible, as the author’s conclusions are transformed from subjective to objectively proven by the empirical wrap.
Professor Catherine Rogers’ novel article, The Politics and Empirics of International Investment Arbitrators, highlights important limitations that empirical data may produce in international investment law research. As such, it is a needed and important contribution to the understanding and development of this type of scholarship, and generally to the study of international investment arbitration.
The first part of my commentary evaluates the perils and benefits of empirical research in international investment arbitration, and concludes that – to be useful – empirical research must respect certain standards. In the second part, this paper assesses empirical research based on objective variables to conclude that it can be a useful tool to study and strengthen international investment arbitration, if properly used.
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