Narrative and Lyrical Elements in International Investment Agreements: Towards an Imagination-Inspired Understanding of International Legal Obligations
UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy (2017)
28 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2017 Last revised: 20 Feb 2018
Date Written: June 2, 2017
Drawing upon the field of Law and Literature, this article applies literary analysis to the unconventional subject of International Investment Agreements (IIAs), treating these sources of international law as if they were works of fiction with a view to uncovering insights into how they might be received by their readers. It proposes that IIAs may be imaginatively appreciated both for their narrative features (their capacity to tell stories in the tradition of novels or plays) as well as their lyrical ones (their poetic or figurative elements). Rather than leading to any concrete conclusions concerning how IIAs may have been misunderstood as a consequence of readers’ neglect of these instruments’ literariness or how they should thereby be construed going forward, the article calls upon readers of IIAs to be more aware of the feelings which these instruments might inspire, much as we would expect from novels or poems. This could in turn enhance our understanding of these treaties are be viewed by the legal practitioners who draft and interpret them as well as the people whose rights they affect.
Keywords: International Investment Law, Investment Treaty Arbitration, Law and Literature
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