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Investment Contracts and International Law: Charting a Research Agenda

Lorenzo Cotula

Journal article

Investment contracts are an important part of the web of legal relations that underpin investment processes. They raise complex doctrinal issues, including with regard to their interface with public international law. This article reviews two books which are part of a new surge in academic writing about investment contracts, in a field that is currently dominated by concerns about investment treaties and treaty-based arbitration.
It explores intersections between investment contracts and international law, engaging with the arguments presented in the two books and developing reflections based on trends in the wider literature. After situating the contract in academic and policy debates about international investment law, the different approaches the two books embody are compared – in relation to their scope, focus and format as well as the ways in which they conceptualise and piece together the multiple commercial and public interests at stake in investment contracting. One theme that features prominently in both books – namely, the legal contours of investment protection, particularly in connection with stabilisation clauses – is discussed, and its articulation with public regulatory powers examined. The article concludes by outlining areas that deserve further exploration in scholarly work on investment contracts and international law.

Publication information

  • External: X00241
  • Published: Jul 2020 - Oxford University Press, Oxford
  • Themes: Law, Land acquisitions and rights
  • Source pub: European Journal of International Law
  • Journal ref: Volume 31, Issue 1
  • Language: English

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Cotula L (2020) "Investment Contracts and International Law: Charting a Research Agenda", European Journal of International Law, 31, 1, pp 353-358. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Project information

International investment treaties are a key part of the legal architecture that underpins the global economy. IIED works with partners to realign these legal documents with sustainable development.

More at www.iied.org:
Rethinking investment treaties and dispute settlement in the light of sustainable development

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