Foreign investors have a privileged position under investment treaties. They enjoy strong rights, have no obligations, and can rely on a highly efficient enforcement mechanism: investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Unsurprisingly, this extraordinary status has made international investment law one of the most controversial areas of the global economic order.
This book sheds new light on the topic, by showing that foreign investor rights are not the result of unpredicted arbitral interpretations, but rather the outcome of a world-making project realized by a coalition of business leaders, bankers, and their lawyers in the 1950s and 1960s. Some initiatives that these figures planned for did not emerge, such as a multilateral investment convention, but they were successful in developing a legal imagination that gradually occupied the space of
international investment law. They sought not only to set up a dispute settlement mechanism but also to create a platform to ground their vision of foreign investment relations. Tracing their normative project from the post-World War II period, this book shows that the legal imagination of these business
leaders, bankers, and lawyers is remarkably similar to present ISDS practice. Common to both is what they protect, such as foreign investors' legitimate expectations, as well as what they silence or make invisible. Ultimate, this book argues that our canon of imagination, of adjustment and potential reform, remains closely associated with this world-making project of the 1950s and 1960s.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 554 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 22 mm
Perrone's book is an elegantly written account of both investment law's origin story and its contemporary practice. Taking a deep dive into the archives and the jurisprudence, readers learn that arbitral output today is fully faithful to the legal imagination of the regime's founding fathers. Like their predecessors, contemporary norm entrepreneurs elide engagement with local communities even as the regime moves to adopt a proceduralist, good governance, rationale.
Inviting readers to rethink the investment law regime, Perrone offers a critical and timely intervention, conjoining the present with the past, with a view to imagining a different future for international law. * David Schneiderman, Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Toronto *
This timely book subverts the tradition by offering its own, meticulously researched and boldly argued, story of international investment law. Perrone unmasks the hidden figures whose legal and political imagination spawned the global regime of investment protection, unveiling the key drivers behind its creation and rapid expansion in the recent decades. * Mavluda Sattorova, Reader, Liverpool Law School *
Nicolas Perrone's fascinating book explores the blueprint that had been made in the 1950s and 1960s for the setting up of a system of international investment protection. At a time when the reform of this system is being contemplated, this timely book calls our attention to the early thinking of a coalition of diverse leaders from business, law and finance, and to how arbitrators willingly carried out the ideas in the blueprint by building a legal superstructure
through the interpretation of the investment treaties. * Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore *