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Abstract

Are international treaties consenting to the resolution of disputes between foreign investors and the host states to their investment still a good idea? Recent and not so recent criticism of such treaty provisions calls into question whether investor-state tribunals can act as neutral arbiters of such disputes. This criticism argues that tribunals are biased in favor of the business interests of investors—and therefore disfavor the state’s right to regulate. Responses to this criticism frequently have alleged the opposite: The arbitral tribunals constituted under international treaties are, if anything, too friendly towards the interests of states. They fail to protect the very economic interests of foreign investors that the treaties were designed to promote.

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