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image of The Italian Yearbook of International Law Online

Italy is both the main trading partner and the State that has the most sizeable foreign direct investment interests in Libya. However, the outbreak of armed conflict in Libya in 2011 resulted in extensive damage to Italian investors. In order to obtain proper redress Italian investors may seek to rely upon investment protection provisions contained in treaties previously concluded between these two States, notably the BIT of 2000 and the Treaty of Benghazi of 2008. Crucially, however, the outbreak of the armed conflict and the subsequent regime change that took place following the Gaddafi’s removal from power raise doubts about the effectiveness of such treaties. This article firstly reviews both the relevant rules of international law and the investment treaties in force between Italy and Libya. Then, it examines the relationship between Italy and Libya during and after the events of 2011 and comes to the conclusion that such treaties are still effective and as such Italian investors may invoke the provisions contained therein, including those envisaging resort to international investment arbitration.


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