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Authors: Crina Baltag and Ylli Dautaj

Abstract

The global environmental disruption caused by human activity is firmly entrenched as a scientific fact. The present paper looks at the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system and inquires whether this is the most suitable transnational venue for resolving investment disputes that have an environmental component. This culminates essentially in whether arbitration is a legitimate forum and whether privately appointed arbitrators appropriately can resolve environmental-related disputes. These disputes are bound to increase in frequency because host-States are also partaking in global efforts to respond to environmental challenges.

This paper makes several points. First, ISDS is the best equipped venue for addressing investment disputes that have an environmental or natural resources component. Second, the “regulatory chill” and the alleged “investor bias” arguments are unsubstantiated whereas, a balance must be struck between backlash, legitimacy, and workability. Third, ISDS will eventually and inevitably facilitate green-investors, while holding States accountable for green-undertakings, and therefore continue to effectively enforce the rule of law globally. Fourth, arbitrators must adapt to their role of handling disputes at the intersection of international investment law and environmental law; this means that a thorough thick rule of law must effectively be implemented. Fifth, International Investment Agreements (IIA s) should be reconsidered or interpreted in order to accommodate for investors’ obligations, as well as widening the scope of States’ regulatory powers. Finally, ISDS will only remain the best alternative if it sticks to its fundamental elements, in particular by utilizing the regime’s flexibility to allow counterclaims from host States. Only such reform-proposals that preserve and enhance the fundamental elements of international arbitration should be seriously considered.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in International Investment Law and Arbitration
In Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration, Aikaterini Florou explores the sensitive issues of renegotiating state contracts and the relationship between those contracts and the overarching international investment treaties. By introducing novel insights from economics, the author deconstructs the contract-treaty interaction, demonstrating that it is not only treaties that impact the underlying contracts, but also that those contracts have an effect on the way the open-textured treaty standards are interpreted. The originality of the argument is combined with an innovative interpretative methodology based on relational contract theory and transaction cost economics. Departing from the traditional emphasis of international lawyers on the text of investment contracts, Florou shows instead that such contracts are first and foremost “economic animals” and the theory of obsolescing bargaining does not paint a full picture of the contract-treaty interaction.

Abstract

The relationship between international investment treaties and the underlying contracts remains a highly disputed matter in international investment law. This project explores the contract-treaty interaction by using the renegotiation of regulatory contracts in the sector of energy infrastructure as a natural experiment, with a particular emphasis on the arbitral disputes that arose from the Argentine crisis. It deploys to this end an original analytical framework drawing from transaction cost economics and relational contract theory. The result of the novel combination of these two analytical frameworks is the construction of an interpretative methodology that takes an integrated approach to the two instruments – the contract and the overarching treaty – in a way that achieves a more sustainable balance between the competing public and private interests.

The book rests in particular on three arguments: the first is the relational-contract nature of dynamic treaty standards, which require the long-term cooperation of the parties. The second is the status of these vague standards as default rules complemented by the provisions of the underlying contracts, which are also relational, and act as gap-fillers. The last, normative argument is that the relationship between these (default) treaty rules and the (gap-filling) contractual provisions should be determined by transaction cost economics, and specifically the goal of economizing on the transaction costs of bounded rationality and opportunism when and interpreting relational treaty standards.

The relational contract theory interpretation of investment-treaty standards, namely the standard of fair and equitable treatment, has evident policy implications for the reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the future of international investment relations. Applying the principles and tools of relational contract theory to the interpretation of these standards would bring more consistency and pragmatism to the adjudication of disputes arising from the renegotiation of regulatory contracts. More importantly, it would be a powerful law-and-economics tool to achieve the alignment of the parties’ incentives both during the dispute and, in a backward induction, the implementation of their contract. Forcing the parties’ cooperation and contributing to the success of their concession and thus the ensuing development of a host state are long-neglected priorities of international investment law, which shall form part, though, of the mission of international investment arbitration as global governance.

In: Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration

Abstract

The relationship between international investment treaties and the underlying contracts remains a highly disputed matter in international investment law. This project explores the contract-treaty interaction by using the renegotiation of regulatory contracts in the sector of energy infrastructure as a natural experiment, with a particular emphasis on the arbitral disputes that arose from the Argentine crisis. It deploys to this end an original analytical framework drawing from transaction cost economics and relational contract theory. The result of the novel combination of these two analytical frameworks is the construction of an interpretative methodology that takes an integrated approach to the two instruments – the contract and the overarching treaty – in a way that achieves a more sustainable balance between the competing public and private interests.

The book rests in particular on three arguments: the first is the relational-contract nature of dynamic treaty standards, which require the long-term cooperation of the parties. The second is the status of these vague standards as default rules complemented by the provisions of the underlying contracts, which are also relational, and act as gap-fillers. The last, normative argument is that the relationship between these (default) treaty rules and the (gap-filling) contractual provisions should be determined by transaction cost economics, and specifically the goal of economizing on the transaction costs of bounded rationality and opportunism when and interpreting relational treaty standards.

The relational contract theory interpretation of investment-treaty standards, namely the standard of fair and equitable treatment, has evident policy implications for the reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the future of international investment relations. Applying the principles and tools of relational contract theory to the interpretation of these standards would bring more consistency and pragmatism to the adjudication of disputes arising from the renegotiation of regulatory contracts. More importantly, it would be a powerful law-and-economics tool to achieve the alignment of the parties’ incentives both during the dispute and, in a backward induction, the implementation of their contract. Forcing the parties’ cooperation and contributing to the success of their concession and thus the ensuing development of a host state are long-neglected priorities of international investment law, which shall form part, though, of the mission of international investment arbitration as global governance.

In: Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration

Abstract

The relationship between international investment treaties and the underlying contracts remains a highly disputed matter in international investment law. This project explores the contract-treaty interaction by using the renegotiation of regulatory contracts in the sector of energy infrastructure as a natural experiment, with a particular emphasis on the arbitral disputes that arose from the Argentine crisis. It deploys to this end an original analytical framework drawing from transaction cost economics and relational contract theory. The result of the novel combination of these two analytical frameworks is the construction of an interpretative methodology that takes an integrated approach to the two instruments – the contract and the overarching treaty – in a way that achieves a more sustainable balance between the competing public and private interests.

The book rests in particular on three arguments: the first is the relational-contract nature of dynamic treaty standards, which require the long-term cooperation of the parties. The second is the status of these vague standards as default rules complemented by the provisions of the underlying contracts, which are also relational, and act as gap-fillers. The last, normative argument is that the relationship between these (default) treaty rules and the (gap-filling) contractual provisions should be determined by transaction cost economics, and specifically the goal of economizing on the transaction costs of bounded rationality and opportunism when and interpreting relational treaty standards.

The relational contract theory interpretation of investment-treaty standards, namely the standard of fair and equitable treatment, has evident policy implications for the reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the future of international investment relations. Applying the principles and tools of relational contract theory to the interpretation of these standards would bring more consistency and pragmatism to the adjudication of disputes arising from the renegotiation of regulatory contracts. More importantly, it would be a powerful law-and-economics tool to achieve the alignment of the parties’ incentives both during the dispute and, in a backward induction, the implementation of their contract. Forcing the parties’ cooperation and contributing to the success of their concession and thus the ensuing development of a host state are long-neglected priorities of international investment law, which shall form part, though, of the mission of international investment arbitration as global governance.

In: Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration

Abstract

The relationship between international investment treaties and the underlying contracts remains a highly disputed matter in international investment law. This project explores the contract-treaty interaction by using the renegotiation of regulatory contracts in the sector of energy infrastructure as a natural experiment, with a particular emphasis on the arbitral disputes that arose from the Argentine crisis. It deploys to this end an original analytical framework drawing from transaction cost economics and relational contract theory. The result of the novel combination of these two analytical frameworks is the construction of an interpretative methodology that takes an integrated approach to the two instruments – the contract and the overarching treaty – in a way that achieves a more sustainable balance between the competing public and private interests.

The book rests in particular on three arguments: the first is the relational-contract nature of dynamic treaty standards, which require the long-term cooperation of the parties. The second is the status of these vague standards as default rules complemented by the provisions of the underlying contracts, which are also relational, and act as gap-fillers. The last, normative argument is that the relationship between these (default) treaty rules and the (gap-filling) contractual provisions should be determined by transaction cost economics, and specifically the goal of economizing on the transaction costs of bounded rationality and opportunism when and interpreting relational treaty standards.

The relational contract theory interpretation of investment-treaty standards, namely the standard of fair and equitable treatment, has evident policy implications for the reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the future of international investment relations. Applying the principles and tools of relational contract theory to the interpretation of these standards would bring more consistency and pragmatism to the adjudication of disputes arising from the renegotiation of regulatory contracts. More importantly, it would be a powerful law-and-economics tool to achieve the alignment of the parties’ incentives both during the dispute and, in a backward induction, the implementation of their contract. Forcing the parties’ cooperation and contributing to the success of their concession and thus the ensuing development of a host state are long-neglected priorities of international investment law, which shall form part, though, of the mission of international investment arbitration as global governance.

In: Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration

Abstract

The relationship between international investment treaties and the underlying contracts remains a highly disputed matter in international investment law. This project explores the contract-treaty interaction by using the renegotiation of regulatory contracts in the sector of energy infrastructure as a natural experiment, with a particular emphasis on the arbitral disputes that arose from the Argentine crisis. It deploys to this end an original analytical framework drawing from transaction cost economics and relational contract theory. The result of the novel combination of these two analytical frameworks is the construction of an interpretative methodology that takes an integrated approach to the two instruments – the contract and the overarching treaty – in a way that achieves a more sustainable balance between the competing public and private interests.

The book rests in particular on three arguments: the first is the relational-contract nature of dynamic treaty standards, which require the long-term cooperation of the parties. The second is the status of these vague standards as default rules complemented by the provisions of the underlying contracts, which are also relational, and act as gap-fillers. The last, normative argument is that the relationship between these (default) treaty rules and the (gap-filling) contractual provisions should be determined by transaction cost economics, and specifically the goal of economizing on the transaction costs of bounded rationality and opportunism when and interpreting relational treaty standards.

The relational contract theory interpretation of investment-treaty standards, namely the standard of fair and equitable treatment, has evident policy implications for the reform of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the future of international investment relations. Applying the principles and tools of relational contract theory to the interpretation of these standards would bring more consistency and pragmatism to the adjudication of disputes arising from the renegotiation of regulatory contracts. More importantly, it would be a powerful law-and-economics tool to achieve the alignment of the parties’ incentives both during the dispute and, in a backward induction, the implementation of their contract. Forcing the parties’ cooperation and contributing to the success of their concession and thus the ensuing development of a host state are long-neglected priorities of international investment law, which shall form part, though, of the mission of international investment arbitration as global governance.

In: Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration
Volume 4 (2019), Published under the auspices of Queen Mary University of London and EFILA
With the entrance of the European Union into the field of International Investment Law and Arbitration, a new specialist field of law, namely ‘European Investment Law and Arbitration’ is in the making. This new field of law draws on EU Law, Public International Law, International Investment Law, International Arbitration Law and Practice and International Economic Law, while other fields of law such as Energy Law are also relevant.
This Review is the first law yearbook that is specifically dedicated to the field of ‘European Investment Law and Arbitration’.

Published under the auspices of Queen Mary University of London and EFILA.

The European Investment Law and Arbitration Review is also available online.
The Evolving Institutions and Mechanisms
Dispute resolution reforms in China in the last decade or so have all centred around the strategy of establishing an integrated dispute resolution system as part of China’s modern governance system. This new integrated system, referred to as the ‘Mechanism for Pluralist Dispute Resolution (PDR)’ in China, serves as a dispute resolution system as well as a comprehensive social control mechanism. This book is the first academic attempt to explain the methods of civil and commercial dispute resolution in China from the perspective of PDR. It systematically and critically examines the development of China’s dispute resolution system, with each chapter analysing in detail the development and transformation of the different institutions, mechanisms and processes in their historical, politico-economic and comparative context.
In: Dispute Resolution in the People’s Republic of China