A network of over 3,000 partially overlapping treaties governs international investment. Most investment treaties are bilateral, although some are regional agreements between three or more states. Regardless of the state parties involved, investment treaties are remarkably similar in their content. They deal with the protection of foreign investment from adverse action by the ‘host state’ in which the investment is made. Their coverage is limited by nationality. Each investment treaty protects investments in the territory of one state party that are owned and/or controlled by investors of another state party to that treaty. Importantly, investment treaties also allow foreign investors to bring claims that host states have violated these legal protections to international arbitration.This network of investment treaties is incomplete, in the sense that it does not cover every possible pair of states. For example, the Netherlands, which has one of the world's largest investment treaty programs, has bilateral investment treaties in force with ninety other states. This means that in roughly half the world a Dutch company would not, itself, be able to invoke the protection of any investment treaty. The incomplete nature of the investment treaty regime means that investors may choose to structure, or restructure, their
The Modern Law Review – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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