Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law in Singapore

Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law Promise: The Asian Experience, N Jansen Calamita, Ayelet Berman (eds) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022)

36 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2022

See all articles by Dafina Atanasova

Dafina Atanasova

IHEID/University of Geneva - Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement

Date Written: January 21, 2022

Abstract

Through a qualitative study of the Singaporean experience, this article offers insight into the role of investment treaties in domestic decision-making - of their internalisation. Singapore constitutes a 'most likely’ case study for testing the plausibility of claims regarding the effects of investment treaties on domestic governance and the rule of law. Indeed, contrary to most countries studied to date, Singapore is a compact developed unitary state which scores very high on many factors considered conducive to the internalisation of international obligations.

Yet, the chapter uncovers mixed evidence regarding Singapore’s experience with investment treaties. Capacity and knowledge regarding international investment law is high in specialised agencies and there is a sustained effort to disseminate relevant information across the administration. However, the causal link between investment treaties and Singapore’s internalisation practices remains unclear. In addition, these practices are not consistently calibrated to situations that commonly give rise to investment disputes. Finally, with respect to the impact of investment treaties on the rule of law, there is little evidence to support this hypothesis in Singapore.

These findings suggests that even in the most conducive of governance conditions, the internalisation of investment treaties poses important challenges. In turn, they also raise the question whether the limited internalisation of investment treaties may stem from some of the international features of the investment regime, more than from domestic factors.

Keywords: investment treaties, ISDS, law and development, Singapore, good governance

Suggested Citation

Atanasova, Dafina, Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law in Singapore (January 21, 2022). Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law Promise: The Asian Experience, N Jansen Calamita, Ayelet Berman (eds) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4014432

Dafina Atanasova (Contact Author)

IHEID/University of Geneva - Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement ( email )

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