The Revolving Door in International Investment Arbitration

Journal of International Economic Law, 2017, 0, 1-28 (open access)

28 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017

See all articles by Malcolm Langford

Malcolm Langford

University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Public and International Law

Daniel Behn

PluriCourts, University of Oslo; University of Liverpool

Runar Lie

Pluricourts

Date Written: June 1, 2017

Abstract

It is often claimed that international investment arbitration is marked by a revolving door: individuals act sequentially and even simultaneously as arbitrator, legal counsel, expert witness, or tribunal secretary. If this claim is correct, it has implications for our understanding of which individuals possess power and influence within this community; and ethical debates over conflicts of interests and transparency concerning ‘double hatting’—when individuals simultaneously perform different roles across cases. In this article, we offer the first comprehensive empirical analysis of the individuals that make up the entire investment arbitration community. Drawing on our database of 1039 investment arbitration cases (including ICSID annulments) and the relationships between the 3910 known individuals that form this community, we offer the first use of social network analysis to describe the full investment arbitration community and address key sociological and normative questions in the literature. Our results partly contradict recent empirical scholarship as we identify a different configuration of central ‘power brokers’. Moreover, the normative concerns with double hatting are partly substantiated. A select but significant group of individuals score highly and continually on our double hatting index.

Keywords: investment arbitration, social network analysis, international investment law, arbitrator, legal counsel, double-hatting, legitimacy, ICSID

Suggested Citation

Langford, Malcolm and Behn, Daniel and Lie, Runar, The Revolving Door in International Investment Arbitration (June 1, 2017). Journal of International Economic Law, 2017, 0, 1-28 (open access). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2978531

Malcolm Langford (Contact Author)

University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Public and International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 6706 St. Olavs plass
N-0130 Oslo
Norway

Daniel Behn

PluriCourts, University of Oslo ( email )

P.O. Box 6706, St. Olavs Plass 5
Oslo, 0130
Norway

University of Liverpool ( email )

Brownlow Hill
Liverpool, L69 3BX
United Kingdom

Runar Lie

Pluricourts ( email )

P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo
Norway

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