International Economic Law, Globalization and Developing Countries
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International Economic Law, Globalization and Developing Countries

Edited by Julio Faundez and Celine Tan

International Economic Law, Globalization and Developing Countries explores the impact of globalization on the international legal system, with a special focus on the implications for developing countries.
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Chapter 9: Holistic Approaches to Development and International Investment Law: The Role of International Investment Agreements

Peter Muchlinski


Peter Muchlinski* INTRODUCTION 1. This chapter discusses the contribution made by ‘international investment law’ to the process of economic and social development in developing countries. This area is based on the myriad of international investment agreements (IIAs), especially bilateral investment treaties (BITs), which have existed in their broad current form for at least 50 years. In that time they have been seen as vehicles for development so far as they provide for improvements in the regulatory environment that could, in turn, facilitate the attraction of new foreign investment. Such agreements are said to secure the legitimate expectations of investors for a stable, transparent and predictable investment environment. More recently, IIAs have been subjected to extensive interpretation in arbitral awards as a result of the sharp increase in investor–state disputes under such treaties in the first years of the twentyfirst century (see UNCTAD, 2009b). This has led to the development of a new ‘international investment law’.1 Concerns have been expressed as to the adverse effects of such agreements, and how they have been interpreted, on * Professor of International Commercial Law, School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK. 1 This has led to the production of many recent works on international investment law. Prior to 2007 there was in effect only one major text dedicated to this subject, Sornarajah (2004) which first came out in 1994, and a section in the author’s first edition of his treatise Multinational Enterprises and the Law (Muchlinski, 1995: Part III; see...

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