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Investment treaty arbitration as a species of global administrative law

Van Harten, Gus and Loughlin, Martin (2006) Investment treaty arbitration as a species of global administrative law. European Journal of International Law, 17 (1). pp. 121-150. ISSN 0938-5428

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ejil/chi159


The article outlines a simple thesis: that international investment arbitration – pursuant to regional and bilateral investment treaties – offers the clearest example of global administrative law, strictly construed, yet to have emerged. We present this thesis by explicating four key features of investment treaties: they permit investor claims against the state without exhausting local remedies; they allow claims for damages; they allow investors to directly seek enforcement of awards before domestic courts; and they facilitate forum-shopping. Our argument is that, owing to this unique conjunction of features, the regulatory conduct of states is, to an unusual extent, subject to control through compulsory international adjudication. Having highlighted these features, we then claim that investment arbitration is best analogized to domestic administrative law rather than to international commercial arbitration, especially since investment arbitration engages disputes arising from the exercise of public authority by the state as opposed to private acts of the state. Further, we claim that the linkages between investment arbitration and domestic legal systems are more direct and more closely integrated than other forms of international adjudication in the public sphere. For these reasons, we argue that the emerging regime of investment arbitration is to be understood as constituting an important and powerful manifestation of global administrative law.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2006 EJIL
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2008 13:50
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 22:45

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