Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy and Interpretation

90 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

Date Written: January 1, 2010

Abstract

These are Chapters Seven and Nine of Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy, and Interpretation, published by Oxford University Press in 2010. The book analyzes the key provisions of bilateral investment treaties (BITs), explaining the structure and policy of each provision, tracing the provision’s origins and development, and synthesizing the arbitral awards that interpret it. The book also includes extensive discussion of the history and policy underlying international investment law and is the first book to offer a general theory of international investment law, arguing that investment treaties are based on six core principles – nondiscrimination, security, reasonableness, due process, transparency and access. These principles provide a basis for interpreting BIT provisions and understanding the relationship among them. The book covers the period from 1959, when Germany concluded its first bilateral investment treaty with Pakistan, through 2009, and thus provides a summary of the first 50 years of BIT programs worldwide.

Chapter Seven discusses the norm of nondiscrimination, which appears in provisions guaranteeing national treatment, most-favored-nation treatment, and fair and equitable treatment and prohibiting unreasonable or discriminatory measures that impair investment.

Chapter Nine discusses the economics of an open capital account and then analyzes several BIT provisions that address access to the host state’s economy: the establishment provision, the currency transfers provision, the performance requirements provision, the entry and sojourn provision, and the employment provision.

Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy, and Interpretation is part of a trilogy of books on international investment agreements. U.S. International Investment Agreements, published by Oxford University Press in 2009, presents a comprehensive analysis of the first 30 years of the current U.S. investment treaty program, including both BITs and free trade agreements (FTAs) with investment chapters. It traces the evolution of each provision in the U.S. model BITs, explains the policies underlying those provisions, describes modifications to the provisions in the signed BITs and FTAs, and synthesizes the international arbitral awards interpreting the provisions. Appendices contain the text of each of the U.S. model BITs used as a basis for successful negotiations. The book covers the period from 1977, when the Carter administration approved the inauguration of a U.S. BIT program, to 2007. Chapters One (“Introduction”) and Three (“The Evolution of the BIT Model Negotiating Text”) of that book have been posted separately. The First Bilateral Investment Treaties: U.S. Postwar Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaties, published by Oxford University Press in 2017, traces the history of the U.S. postwar friendship, commerce and navigation (FCN) treaty program, including the process by which a treaty series initiated in 1776 to address trade and maritime relations was reconceptualized in the late 1940s as a program of investment treaties. It also describes the origins and meaning of the investment provisions that appeared in these treaties, provisions that are the precursors to the provisions that appear in contemporary bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) with investment provisions. Chapters One (“Introduction”) and Five (“The FCN Treaties Become Investment Treaties”) of that book have been posted separately.

Keywords: bilateral investment treaty, model BIT, foreign investment policy, fair and equitable treatment, most favored nation treatment, nondiscrimination, establishment

JEL Classification: K33, P33, P45

Suggested Citation

Vandevelde, Kenneth J., Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy and Interpretation (January 1, 2010). Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 3022249. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022249

Kenneth J. Vandevelde (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4348 (Phone)

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