The international investment legal regime has been heavily critiqued for several decades. Critics argue that investment arbitration is non-transparent, inconsistent and captured by an elite group of arbitrators from the Global North who favor private interests. Others argue that it significantly curtails states’ regulatory power to adopt public interest legislation, others have called attention to the dizzying amounts of compensation granted to foreign investors, and others yet suggest that the system discriminates between domestic and foreign investors.
This roundtable will address some of the limits of the current investment law system, taking as a starting point the recent memo prepared by the Amsterdam European Law Clinic for the Dutch research organization SOMO. The memo compares several aspects of international investment law, Dutch law and EU law, and illustrates how the international investment legal regime privileges foreign investors.
The goal of this conversation is to critically engage with the distributive consequences of the investment legal regime, and assess its future directions. Some of the broad questions that panelists will tackle are the following: What are the asymmetries built into the current international legal regime? What should be the purpose(s) of international investment law? Is it possible to design a system that strikes a ‘fair balance’ between private and public interests? What would such a ‘fair balance’ look like? What should be the role of domestic courts in investment disputes? What are the potential consequences of recent efforts to address the flaws of investment arbitration?
Speakers include: Alessandra Arcuri (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Laurens Ankersmit (UvA), Rob Howse (NYU School of Law), Andrea Leiter (UvA), Lise Johnson (Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment) and Nicolás Perrone (Universidad Andrés Bello).
This event is organized by the Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance, and the Amsterdam Law Clinics, and is part of the Sustainable Global Economic Law project.