Policy Analysis

The Legal Monster that lets Companies Sue Countries

By Mahnaz Malik on November 16, 2011

The article traces the history of European bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and highlights the recent concerns surrounding the rise of investor-state arbitration.

Today, an increasing number of BITs are being concluded between a developed and a developing country with a view to protect the investments of the developed country by guarantees of non-discrimination in the developing country. Moreover, these BITs grant investors the right to bring claims before an international arbitral tribunal. Thus, the treaty rights are often more favourable to the investor than the rights found under national laws of the host state. The article is a commentary on the dangerous rise of investor-state investment arbitration as both developed and developing country governments face treaty claims from foreign investors bypassing national and European Union law.

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