Book Review: Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties (Chester Brown Ed., 2013)
20 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Sep 2017
Date Written: 2015
Twenty-five years ago, a professor teaching an International Business Transactions course might reasonably have allocated only modest class time to Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Since then there has been a surge in the literature addressing BITs, which often focused upon investor-State arbitration, and which corresponded to the proliferation in investment claims that continued into the new millennium. The available commentary enlarged from a small cache of books and articles to the now overwhelming, and still expanding, corpus of works by academics, practitioners, and various governmental and intergovernmental entities. To a large extent, these writings assess the content of BITs through the arbitral jurisprudence produced under them.
Approximately 2,850 BITs now exist — a number representing explosive growth over the last two decades. These treaties display many common patterns and common sections of texts, suggesting the use of standard models and considerable cross-pollination. Being the product of individual bilateral negotiations, however, such treaties naturally exhibit purposeful variations and noticeable diversity. After all, no single model could be expected to suffice on a global basis without some adjustments given the range of States involved and their distinctive circumstances — economic, political and legal. In getting to the bottom of this mix of diversity and uniformity, one can hardly do better than to consult Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties, a substantial, one-volume work recently published by Oxford University Press and edited by Dr. Chester Brown.
Keywords: Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties, Book Review, Bilateral Investment Treaties, BITs, investor-state arbitration
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