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One may debate whether the tremors of a systemic crisis in investment arbitration are real, and, if so, of a great enough magnitude to shake its foundations, but it is no longer possible to deny that the current system is coming under intensive scrutiny.
International lawyers, who recognize the indispensability of a well-functioning system for settling investment disputes, should be concerned about enhancing the legitimacy and functionality of investment arbitration. A well-calibrated response to the challenges facing investment arbitration is essential to ensuring its long-term future. Critics must be answered; enquiries made; reassessments undertaken. If crucial questions continue to be ignored, or simply glossed over, the strength of, and consequences flowing from, the backlash are likely to be greater in scale.
This book, which grew out of a conference held at Harvard Law School in April 2008, aims to uncover the concerns driving the backlash against the present international investment regime. Thirty-one contributors – academics, practitioners, government officials and representatives of civil society – analyze both the current state and future direction of the international investment regime, and offer valuable insights into possible ways of improving the system. The concerns fuelling the backlash, and addressed in this book, include:-
The reforms and refinements suggested promise to bring substantial improvements to the present regime and, in so doing, could reverse the current trend towards a backlash. All stakeholders in investment arbitration will welcome and learn from this work.