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The Call for a Normative Framework for International Investments: Mission Impossible?

Zabbo, Michaela (2009)
Department of Law
Abstract
Despite the increasing significance of foreign investment in the global economy, the extent and intensity of regulation at the multilateral level is disproportionate as compared to that of international trade. Unlike the integrated system established under the World Trade Organization, the governance of international investment is highly fragmented, encompassing an amalgamation of customary international law, host state domestic law and a plethora of international agreements, primarily in the form of bilateral investment treaties. Although foreign investment has flourished under the existing legal regime, the need for a comprehensive normative framework is generally recognized and accepted. In light of the patchwork of competing and often... (More)
Despite the increasing significance of foreign investment in the global economy, the extent and intensity of regulation at the multilateral level is disproportionate as compared to that of international trade. Unlike the integrated system established under the World Trade Organization, the governance of international investment is highly fragmented, encompassing an amalgamation of customary international law, host state domestic law and a plethora of international agreements, primarily in the form of bilateral investment treaties. Although foreign investment has flourished under the existing legal regime, the need for a comprehensive normative framework is generally recognized and accepted. In light of the patchwork of competing and often conflicting rules that currently comprise international investment law and the inevitable impact of international law on national sovereignty, however, the scope and venue for the administration of such an agreement remain controversial. With regard to the above mentioned issues, this paper analyzes whether, in light of a long line of failed attempts spanning multiple forums over the course of more than fifty years, the pursuit of a multilateral investment regime is a beneficial and, moreover, feasible mission. Furthermore, this paper explores whether, in an economy where capital flows are reversing, global trade is shrinking, and protectionist tendencies are increasing, the pursuit of a comprehensive investment regime becomes a greater concern. The last twenty-five years of growth in foreign investment flows has seemed to suggest that ''the international economic order could exist indefinitely without a multilateral investment agreement. In light of doubts about the cost-effectiveness of expending the time, energy, and political capital necessary to produce a document acceptable to all factions ... a strong committed constituency for universal investment rules has yet to be created. However, the world's economy is facing a financial and economic crisis that is different in nature and magnitude than any before and its full impact has yet to be realized. Amidst signs of rising protectionism, the financial crisis may present the opportunity to revisit the call for a normative framework for international investment, the successful outcome of which will be dependant upon compromise with regard to a balanced consideration of the interests of investors, developing nations and developed countries alike. (Less)
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author
Zabbo, Michaela
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
European Business Law
language
English
id
1555364
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:23:28
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:23:28
@misc{1555364,
  abstract     = {Despite the increasing significance of foreign investment in the global economy, the extent and intensity of regulation at the multilateral level is disproportionate as compared to that of international trade. Unlike the integrated system established under the World Trade Organization, the governance of international investment is highly fragmented, encompassing an amalgamation of customary international law, host state domestic law and a plethora of international agreements, primarily in the form of bilateral investment treaties. Although foreign investment has flourished under the existing legal regime, the need for a comprehensive normative framework is generally recognized and accepted. In light of the patchwork of competing and often conflicting rules that currently comprise international investment law and the inevitable impact of international law on national sovereignty, however, the scope and venue for the administration of such an agreement remain controversial. With regard to the above mentioned issues, this paper analyzes whether, in light of a long line of failed attempts spanning multiple forums over the course of more than fifty years, the pursuit of a multilateral investment regime is a beneficial and, moreover, feasible mission. Furthermore, this paper explores whether, in an economy where capital flows are reversing, global trade is shrinking, and protectionist tendencies are increasing, the pursuit of a comprehensive investment regime becomes a greater concern. The last twenty-five years of growth in foreign investment flows has seemed to suggest that ''the international economic order could exist indefinitely without a multilateral investment agreement. In light of doubts about the cost-effectiveness of expending the time, energy, and political capital necessary to produce a document acceptable to all factions ... a strong committed constituency for universal investment rules has yet to be created. However, the world's economy is facing a financial and economic crisis that is different in nature and magnitude than any before and its full impact has yet to be realized. Amidst signs of rising protectionism, the financial crisis may present the opportunity to revisit the call for a normative framework for international investment, the successful outcome of which will be dependant upon compromise with regard to a balanced consideration of the interests of investors, developing nations and developed countries alike.},
  author       = {Zabbo, Michaela},
  keyword      = {European Business Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Call for a Normative Framework for International Investments: Mission Impossible?},
  year         = {2009},
}