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1 ICSID and International Investment Treaty Arbitration: Progress and Prospects

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Chapter Summary

Students and practitioners of international investment law and investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) have observed that the public dialogue related to these topics can sometimes become polarized and heated. The polarized debate often ignores vital context: that international investment law and ISDS are new disciplines. The first investment treaty was signed only 54 years ago, and the first investment treaty offering investor-State arbitration was concluded 45 years ago between the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1968. The first known treaty based arbitration award was issued in 1990 in Asian Agricultural Products Limited v. Sri Lanka. The caseload at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) mirrors the development of international investment law globally and demonstrates the recent increase in ISDS. The development of a body of international investment case law has provoked a debate on whether there is a sufficient level of predictability in interpretation and coherence in outcome.

Keywords: ICSID; international investment law; investment treaty; investor- State dispute settlement (ISDS)



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