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8 Aristotle’s Statistics: Consistency and Accuracy in International Mass Claims

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Chapter Summary

It is hardly controversial to say that consistency and accuracy are among the most important principles that inform judicial and arbitral decision-making. Consistency is about compatibility- consistency- with relevant earlier decisions, or jurisprudence constante, whereas accuracy refers to the legal and factual correctness of the decision taken. This chapter argues that accuracy is more important than consistency in one-off arbitral decision-making, whereas consistency is more important than accuracy in a mass claims situation. This argument is explored in the particular context of investment treaty arbitration where the issue has now become relevant, as a result of the recent emergence of mass investor claims. Paraphrasing Aristotle, one could say that consistency is the temporal aspect of equality. Consistency is equal treatment over time. If the facts are the same, then the law should be the same and should be applied equally.

Keywords: accuracy; Aristotle; consistency; decision-making; jurisprudence constante



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