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Beyond Fragmentation

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Chapter Summary

Thomas Wälde called the international investment arbitration regime "one of the most successful institutional reforms on the plane of international law". As one of international law's most dynamic creations, investment arbitration also encapsulates its current tensions. This is nowhere more evident than in the role played by investment arbitration in the phenomenon called-rightly or wrongly-the 'fragmentation' of international law: the successive development of specialized international and transnational regulatory orders with neither hierarchy, nor stated relationship to each other, nor indeed to general principles of international law as traditionally conceived. This chapter seeks to build on this insight: specialization, a.k.a. the positive aspect of fragmentation. That does not mean that decision-makers should be ignorant of cognate principles and parallel legal systems. The chapter presents an alternative perspective, which one contends is more conducive to preserving the relevance and importance of international law in modern times than the status quo of fragmentation.

Keywords: fragmentation; international law; investment arbitration



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