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International Economic Law: Still the Ugly Duckling of Public International Law?

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Chapter Summary

Economic relations across borders have always been an important element of the law of nations. Nevertheless "International Economic Law" (IEL) has only recently emerged as a recognized branch of public international law (PIL). The establishment of a proper academic discipline focusing on the rules and problems relating to international economic relations and the respective legal instruments and institutions was not always easy. An increasing number of legal instruments contained rules on the liberalization of trade flows and establishment as well as a protection of foreign investors. The international treaties initially were to become known under the name of "Treaties of Amity and Commerce", more often later "Treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation" (FCN). Despite all this remaining criticism and the questions relating to the role of IEL for general international law one can certainly no longer describe IEL as an ugly duckling.

Keywords: Commerce and Navigation (FCN); foreign investors; Friendship; International Economic Law" (IEL); international treaties; legal instruments; public international law (PIL); rules; trade flows; ugly duckling



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