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Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment treaties

Comparative and Foreign Law

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Investor-State Contracts, Host-State “Commitments” And The Myth Of Stability In International Law, Lise Johnson, Oleksandr Volkov May 2013

Investor-State Contracts, Host-State “Commitments” And The Myth Of Stability In International Law, Lise Johnson, Oleksandr Volkov

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

A new de facto rule has emerged in international investment law that emphasizes and prioritizes investment stability, imposing liability on host governments for a wide range of public interest measures deemed to interfere with “commitments” given to foreign investors by host governments. The arbitral decisions from which this new rule has emanated in treaty-based investment disputes resolve types of claims that have long been familiar to domestic jurisdictions. Yet, as this article uncovers through a comparative law analysis of factually similar cases decided under United States law over roughly the past 200 years, the approaches taken and pronouncements issued by …