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This article evaluates the opportunities for and challenges to the establishment of an Advisory Center on International Investment Law (ACIIL), a legal aid facility based on the design of the successful Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) but focused on investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). Drawing primarily on personal interviews conducted with high-placed sources familiar with the historical attempts at establishing investment advisory centers and/or the ACWL’s origins and operations, it identifies seven ‘lessons learned’ from those experiences. It concludes that, though the ACIIL’s time has come, that center’s future negotiators should be careful to heed the lessons learned by both the ACWL’s founders as well as those diplomats who have previously undertaken ACIIL-like initiatives, which provide invaluable insight into the political, financial, and logistical challenges they will need to overcome.

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade