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Thinking About BITs And BIT Arbitration: The Legitimacy Crisis That Never Was

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the questions: does the image of private foreign investment accurately reflect the changed reality of the regime governing world private foreign investment; can the legitimacy crisis be observed and verified; is this image suitable for the exacting task of policy-making; and, is anything in it, to quote Halle, false-actually and philosophically false. Thomas Wälde did more than most to establish, nurture, and sustain the international investment law community. The chapter looks at the language used by various scholars and policy activists when they speak of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and BIT arbitration, so as to see more clearly the underlying critical ideas. Four images of BITs and BIT arbitration emerge: the economic, the normative, the political, and the universal. The vision thus enhanced, the chapter tentatively attempts to imagine BITs and BIT arbitration more vividly.

Keywords: bilateral investment treaties (BITs); BIT arbitration; legitimacy crisis; nternational investment law; Thomas Wälde



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